Mania Grade: D+
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- Episode: F.Z.Z.T. (Season 1, Episode 6)
- Starring: Clark Gregg. Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, Chloe Benne, Elizabeth Henstridge
- Written By: Paul Zbyszewski
- Directed By: Vincent Misiano
- Studio: ABC Studios, Marvel Television, and Mutant Enemy
- Network: ABC
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: F.Z.Z.T. Review
They should have called it Fizzle
By Tim Janson
November 06, 2013
They should have called it Fizzle
© Marvel Studios
Quick show of hands…when Agent Simmons (Henstridge) jumped out of the S.H.I.E.L.D. in order to save her teammates, who was hoping she would really die? My hand is raised. Oh look, I don’t have anything against the character. In fact, Simmons finally showed a bit of character this week aside from the slightly daft scientist she’s been portraying. But having one of the main characters would have gone a long way to giving Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. some serious street cred. Instead, we got the weakest episode thus far.
Titled “F.Z.Z.T.” the episode would have been more aptly named Fizzle. Not even longtime Hulk villain ZZZAX could have injected any energy into this silly episode about a contaminated Chitauri helmet which makes its victims heads explode in a sudden burst of electrostatic energy. Actually if their entire heads exploded it would have made the episode much better than just having a small, bullet-sized wound in their temple. Is this Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. of Team X-Files? Episode scribe Paul Zbyszewski got his start writing for the game show “The Weakest Link” which is amusingly appropriate as he is definitely the weakest link among the show’s writers thus far.
When S.H.I.E.L.D. is called in to investigate a series of these mysterious deaths, Agent Simmons contracts the virus. She is quarantined aboard the team’s plane and Coulson is ordered by Agent Blake (Titus Welliver) to dispose of Simmons by tossing her off the plane in order to save the rest of the team. Coulson pretends to not hear Blake in a plot device that is far over-used. Simmons and Fitz rush to try to find a cure for the virus which eventually leads to Simmons’ suicidal sacrifice attempt and eventual mid-air save by a sky-diving agent Ward after Fitz gets the anti-serum to work.
As stupid of a villain as ZZZAX is I was praying for him to show up and be the source what is causing the deaths. I mean he even has a history with S.H.I.E.L.D. and MODOK. This is the kind of throw-away episode that has to be avoided in the future. The writers need to look at how Supernatural handles these types of episodes. Quite often that show’s self-contained episodes which stray from the main plotlines are some of the best episodes of the season. The team’s attempts at humor by mocking how Agent Ward talks came off completely forced and unfunny.
And then we have Agent Coulson’s dilemma. We’ve wondered from the beginning if this is the real Coulson, a life model decoy, a clone, or something else. The secretive hints at what happened to him after being killed by Loki has been the show’s biggest mystery. And yet this week they try to explain Coulson’s feeling that something is wrong as being a result of his near-death experience. I was expecting Roma Downey to pop up for his “touched by an angel moment”. So is that it? But clearly back in the pilot episode Agent Maria Hill hints at something more mysterious about Coulson’s resurrection and says that he must never know. So what the hell? And look, enough the Chitauri, Captain America and Iron Man mentions. We get it. Now let’s start forging your own path.