It’s a “shocking” episode of Agents of SHIELD!
Coulson’s merry band of misfits is sent out to investigate a Ranger Scout (read: Boy Scouts without trademark issues) campout in which the kids were frightened away by some sort of electric ghost that took their troop leader. When the team arrives, they find the hapless leader floating in midair, still crackling with electricity. He remains suspended until Simmons approaches him, getting a nice little zap in the process.
Not long after, the electrical storm which presaged the death of the scout leader starts brewing again, this time at a nearby farm. They’re too late to save the farmer, but at least now they know the connection. Both the farmer and the scout leader worked out of the same firehouse, and they were both responders at the Battle of New York. They brought back a Chitauri helmet that now holds pride of place in the firehouse. Tony Diaz, the other responder responsible for the care and feeding of the alien souvenir, isn’t looking too hot himself. Coulson and the team are at the firehouse for less than an hour before metal things start floating in Diaz’s general vicinity and he suffers the same sizzling fate as his teammates.
Now SHIELD has all the information they need about what appears to be an alien virus contracted from the helmet. They lock it up and put in on the Bus for transport to the Sandbox. (By the way, sitting casually on top of a table in an airplane that’s about to take off? Not exactly locked down, boys!) Simmons discovers that the virus isn’t airborne or passed by touch. It’s passed via electricity. You know, like the little zing that she received from the first body back in the beginning of the episode. Oops.
Coulson is ordered to dump the “infected cargo,” including the now-quarantined Simmons. He pretends not to have heard. Fitz is going nuts trying to help come up with an antiserum, but with little result until the dynamic duo have the bright idea that the Chitauri who initially wore the helmet would have had the necessary antibodies to fight off the disease. Fitz dramatically breaks quarantine to help Simmons synthesize a cure from the epithelials found inside the helmet. When it looks like the cure is still ineffective, Simmons knocks Fitz out and heads for the cargo bay door, planning to jump in order to save everyone else.
Just as she exits the plane, Fitz wakes up to see their experimental mouse regaining consciousness and squeaking happily. He grabs the cure and a parachute, only to have both pulled out of his hands by Ward, who desperately needs something heroic to do this episode. Ward catches Simmons and injects her with the cure just in time. Fitz and Simmons share an extremely adorable post-day-saving moment, and all is well once more.
I can’t help it. I loved this episode! I really couldn’t have cared less about the Artifact-of-the-Week (come on guys, Warehouse 13 has that formula already and they do it better), but the last half of the show was touching and altogether pretty awesome.
It did, unfortunately, serve to highlight what are becoming the different types of character on the show. You’ve got Fitz and Simmons, who are entertaining to watch and extremely human, even in their collective super-intelligence. Next there are May and Coulson, who are there to be badass. And then Skye and Ward, who are there… okay I’m not sure why they’re there yet. We’re working on that. I think.
Regardless, it looks to me like the show is starting to pick up steam. Make sure you go see Thor: The Dark World before November 19th, though. Word of God says that the events of the movie are going to directly affect that episode!
Coulson: “I don’t sweat, I glisten.”
May: “Have a cookie.”
Things to Ponder:
- So who else thinks that the folks doing Coulson’s bloodwork are in on the “He must never know…” conspiracy? I’m guessing those results were fudged.
- Sweet lord, Fitz and Simmons even have their very own ready-made shipper name!