This show has just been getting stronger and stronger lately.
This week the spotlight was on probably the series' most divisive characters - Fitz and Simmons. I like them, but can understand why others find them irritating. This was the first episode where we got to see them as actual three dimensional characters instead of occasionally adorable exposition machines. It was Iain De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge's chance to shine and shine they did, Henstridge especially. She knocked it out of the park this week.
The case of the week involved a string of floating bodies (there goes that Fringe deja vu again). This wasn't the work of some crazed serial killer of a crazed scientist or a crazed serial killing scientist, but three normal guys who just had the bad luck to pick the wrong time to do some spring cleaning. Let this be a lesson to us all, next time aliens invade and get defeated by superheroes, don't keep any mementos.
The scene between Coulson and the final fire-fighter was great. Coulson could've just quarantined the place and left him all alone to die. That's what mean old by the book Agent Blake would've done. But he's an evil island smoke demon in human form so that's to be expected. Coulson, though, stayed to give this dying man what little comfort he could offer, even at the risks of being infected himself.
Once it was revealed that an alien virus was responsible, the great big book of storytelling clearly dictates that one or more of the team will become infected. And sure enough, random items started to float around poor Jemma Simmons. One of the problems with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is that it can comes across as too safe. We've seen the team in many dangerous situations, but there's never been any sense that they were ever in any real jeopardy. This was the first time they had to deal with the real possibility that one of them may die.
Having Joss Whedon's name above the door is a benefit in cases like this as I honestly started to think that Simmons would die. If anyone else's name was in the credits I would've known right away that a cure would be found in the nick of time and everything would be okay. Everything did turn out okay, but there were times I seriously felt like it wouldn't, such as when Simmons actually jumped out of the freaking plane. I thought she was a goner then for sure.
It's nice that we're getting more interaction between Coulson and May. Of the trio of double-acts the series has given us, this one is by far my favourite. I've been focused on May or someone else figuring out something is wrong with the Coulson, I never thought to think that Coulson might start to think the same thing himself. I am starting to worry that they're going to drag this storyline out for the whole season. While some of the other storylines have shown some progression, this one has continued to move at the pace of a extremely lazy snail. Is he a Life Decoy Model? Was he resurrected via black voodoo magic? Is he a clone created using alien technology? Tell us something. You can't keep posing the question and then leave us with nothing.
Intel and Assets
--This first time ever we have seen Phil Coulson out of his suit.
--On a semi-related note, Clark Gregg was nice enough to retweet one Sunbunny's tweets on our official Twitter feed:
--Everyone's impressions of Ward were rubbish, especially Ward's.
--Titus Welliver's Agent Blake first appeared in the Marvel One-Shot 'Item 47', which appeared on The Avengers Blu-ray.
Coulson: "Little heavy on the iron. But don't worry, you don't have to start calling me Iron Man."
--Don't give up your day job, Phil.
Skye: "This guy makes Captain America look like the Dude."
Three out of four evil island smoke demons in human form who shop at Josie's Trader Joe's (whatever the hell a Trader Joe's is).
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