‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Reveals Chitauri Virus (and Some Heart) – Is It Enough?

Published 9 months ago by , Updated November 7th, 2013 at 8:02 am,

agents of shield episode 6 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Reveals Chitauri Virus (and Some Heart)   Is It Enough?

[This is a review of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 1, episode 6. There will be SPOILERS.]

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has finally pushed aside its exceedingly over-reaching tales and, instead, presents a surprisingly intimate and successful story focused on the two characters fans love to hate the most, Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge). Is Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. finally taking the steps needed to become an earnest series?

In this week’s episode, “F.Z.Z.T.”, written by Paul Zbyszewski, creator of the short-lived, cult-favorite ABC series Day Break, Coulson (Clark Gregg) and the team find themselves up against an anomaly left over from The Avengers’ Battle of New York which leaves its victims dead and levitating. After securing what is thought to be the source, a salvaged Chitauri helmet, Agent Simmons finds herself infected by the alien virus and must find a cure before she becomes the next victim, or before S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters steps in.

On the surface, this week’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D doesn’t appear to be much different from the over-reaching premises and unconvincing resolutions of weeks past. And when it comes to the actual plot device of this week’s adventure – the Chitarui helmet with its living space rust – not much has changed; the overly-forceful attempts at announcing all-things Marvel can be felt, and the references do little to connect audiences to the large and expansive world that the studios theatrical releases exist it. However, if one is able to put levitating bodies aside – even momentarily – an impressive attempt at evolving the characters, as well as the series, can be seen.

agents of shield episode 6 fitz Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Reveals Chitauri Virus (and Some Heart)   Is It Enough?

In a brilliant effort at righting ABC’s upended television experiment, what would essentially be considered case-of-the-week is quickly resolved with a bit of teamwork, leaving a good majority of the episode left to focus on the most encouraging storyline the series has yet to present. With Simmons now infected by the Chitarui virus, a sense of risk and anger, be it ever so slight, is introduced into the series – and with much success.

As Simmons’ final minutes continued to tick away, the extraterrestrial flu that has infected her forces the characters to show their true colors, in one way or another. For Fitz, who would be any fan’s pick as the least-likely hero in group, he showed his dedication to both his team and partner by sacrificing himself to carry his fallen comrade who had, essentially, given up all hope. Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), too, stepped it up this week. Still, the most encouraging and downright delightful aspect of this week’s episode is Agent Phillip Coulson who, for all intents and purposes, finally stepped up as leader of this would-be team.

From the eye of the view, Coulson comes from the world of superheroes and super threats, where any decision could result in success, destruction or, worse, annihilation, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D had yet to actually present everyone’s favorite character in situations where he’d shine. With Simmons’ life on the line, Coulson was able to defy orders from Item 47’s Agent Blake’s (Titus Welliver) all-too brief appearance, buying Simmons some much needed time, while also standing up to Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen) about his death. Alas, Coulson’s rejuvenation is still a mystery left to be revealed, and it’s becoming increasingly more unlikely that the reveal – whatever it may be – will be worth the wait.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is now entering into its own version of Phase II, per say, with the series finally catching up to the episodes written before its series premiere, so now the producers are able to tweak aspects of the series they didn’t know needed work before it aired. Does this mean that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D will now become the best superhero-esque series that television has ever seen? Probably not. But if this episode is a sign of what’s to come, there’s still a good chance that fans will no longer have to label this show as a reluctant watch.

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D returns next Tuesday @8pm on ABC with “The Hub”.

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91 Comments

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  1. if they did a good job of building up simmons’ character, this episode would’ve made a better impact. AOS still needs work, i’m close to dropping this series

    • But you won’t drop it because like the rest of us, you’re Marvel through and through. Nuff said. Stick with Stan Lee even if Josh doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing.

      • but i will if it doesn’t get better. maybe you’re marvel through and through, not me. i’m giving it 2 more episodes if there isn’t a drastic improvement then i’m dropping this

  2. yeah, this episode actually didn’t make me cringe, thus/moreover I actually enjoyed it.

  3. Thought it was a solid episode. Not too much Skye, which was a good thing.

    Ward’s move to jump out of the plane was pretty bad ass.

    The cut away from Fitz at the end suggested he still wasn’t ok being upstaged by Ward.

  4. Yeah, I pretty sure all the promotion on the world can’t save this show. The real question is where is your The Raid 2 Teaser Screen Rant? That’s by far the biggest movie news today!

    • yes, this is absolutely the thread to talk about the raid 2…as it has nothing to do with the article.

  5. I really enjoyed this episode. I went into the episode thinking “I have an hour of my life to spare.” And it was actually a good episode of Agents of Shield. Who knew? Far from perfect, but it was a step in the right direction. The Fitzsimmons storyline, though good, wasn’t the one that made me like it. I actually liked the Coulson storyline more. His talk with the third fireman… woah. His talk with May… woah. Really good stuff. Just goes to show that Coulson is the saving grace of the show.

  6. Lol, sorry every time I her melinda May I think Mulan.

  7. It was ok. They keep trying!!

  8. why do people dislike Fitzsimmons so much? i think they are really endearing characters.

    This was a solid episode that wasnt too campy like the others

    (pun intended)

    • I wonder that too.

      Granted, I gave up on the show after episode 5 and read this article to see if the next episode sounded any decent (it doesn’t) but the hate Fitz and Simmons get is completely unnecessary.

      They’re likable characters and the complaints about not being able to understand their accents is incredibly laughable. It’d be like a Brit viewer complaining that Coulson’s accent is hard to understand.

    • I realize that is part of their idiom, but Fitz and Simmons talk so fast with that accent that i have a hard time catching everything they are saying on the show. Coulson is OK, Ward is decent and probably the most developed character as far as what you can at least imagine him trying to be (and probably the most useful), Melinda May is kind of disappointing, and Skye does not impress me either (except when she was in her bra and panties..that impressed me alot!).

    • I don’t hate them but because Fitzsimmons are being treated more like a single entity rather than actually two separate individuals who are obviously quite close, there isn’t really any room to develop their characters to make them likeable or endearing as of yet. Also Fitzsimmons so far seem to be like cliché scientists who are while intelligent, are basically headless chickens when it comes to anything outside of their field of expertise.

      This episode definitely developed Fitz and Simmons in terms of characterisation such as showing some of their other qualities such as Simmons’s self-sacrifice to save everyone else from blowing up with her and illustrating the relationship Fitz and Simmons have. Hopefully they’re continued to be written in this direction. The writers do need to remember that while Fitzsimmons are close and their field of expertise do overlap, they are individuals at the same time.

  9. i only caught the last 15 mins of it and by the looks of it i didn’t miss anything is that a good thing or bad

  10. anybody else feel like the sandbox is in wakanda? they did say they were going to north africa.

    i also feel like SR is giving those Howard Wolowitz back-handed compliments to this show “normaly i don’t like women with big teeth, but it works for you”

    i’m still liking this show, and every week it gets better. it’s not the worst thing on tv [that would be anything WWE related], nor is it the best, but i think it is working.

    • Waukanda works for me (introduce Black Panther???)

      • I doubt it. From all indications they want to keep BP seperated from the TV series which is why I think these little “easter egg” clues will lead to no where. If any hero is introduced I think it would be a lesser known hero like a Slapstick, Jack of Hearts, Echo, Quake, Cloak, or a Dagger type of character. This is my main complaint about the show. They are not really taking any chances like a Arrow. Arrow at least is taking a chance with “The Flash” and other character(BC, Red Arrow). Also there appears to be known actually villians in Arrow and you can see the direction of the show. With AOS it’s all over the place.

  11. Floating bodies…? Mmmm sounds a bit like an episode in the 3rd season of Fringe with well floating bodies… Still at least its been derivative to quality source material.

  12. Would’ve been much better if Ward had shown some emotion (even extremely restrained would have worked) during his skydiving trip. Now, he’s still as robotic as ever. Except for the “seduce him” in 4.

  13. Ugh, I was hoping they were going to kill off Simmons there but dammit! Damn damn damn dammit!

  14. Can someone chime in and let me know how good (or bad) are Joss Whedon’s superhero based Marvel comic books that he wrote? X-men?
    Can he actually write this genre on his own?
    As far as Avengers the movie, I really consider that a collaborative effort where he had access to the creative overseers for each of the heroes it included. e.g. he worked with Favreau on the Iron Man parts.

    • I assume this is in reference to incorrectly believing that Joss Whedon has some sort of writing responsibilities for this show? As mentioned specifically in the article, this episode was written Paul Zbyszewski. Not Joss, or even his brother Jed. Joss co-wrote, produced and directed the pilot, which was mostly just to help promote the show with his name. Other than that, he has had extremely limited to no involvement although it’s somehow a common misconception that Marvel/ABC/Disney/Illumanti would waste his valuable time and talent on this show. It is produced by his brother and his sister-in-law, however. I don’t blame you for not knowing that, as most people seem not to and continue to circulate mis-information as fact.

      Also, Jon Favreau had no part in writting either Iron Man before the Avengers. So no, he probably didn’t help Joss with the Iron Man parts, and I’ve never seen anywhere that he did. The only collaboration was for the screenplay and that was with Zach Penn. As far as the WGA is concerned, it was written only by Joss.

      Finally, to your original question, Whedon’s runs on the Astonishing X-men and the Runaways were both of critical acclaim. I can’t say I’ve read them, but since he was nominated for several Eisners for his work, I’m going to assume they were at least pretty good. So yeah, he knows and writes the genre pretty well, especially Marvel. Interestingly enough, the guy who took over after Whedon on Astonishing X-men was Warren Ellis… the guy who wrote Extremis. How fun!

      • Favereau did not directly write IM but he was sort of a puppeteer into what went into the script/story.

        He was partly responsible for the villain choice of IM 1, he changed the setting from Vietnam War to Afghanistan War, and it was Favereau who helped select some of the writers.

        And also from what I researched IM 2 was written by Justin Theroux but was based on a story written by Favereau and RDJ.

        So I would say he had an invisible hand in the scripts of IM and IM 2.

    • I’ve read some of his Astonishing X-Men stories but they were just like his TV shows, dull.

      You might like them though, I mean, I read Demon In A Bottle and didn’t think it was too good either.

      • Astonishing X-Men is one of the best X-Men titles written in the last ten years. You have to read all of them and not just one every once in a while. The Warren Ellis stories actually fell kind of flat after Whedon’s run (which surprised me cause usuallly Ellis’s writing is top notch).
        Same goes for Runaways. Also Brian K Vaughan, who wrote the first arch mentions especially Buffy as a major inspiration?

        Just saying but if they had killed of Simmons I would’ve been not surprised to see a lot of comments of the sort of “no surprise given Joss Whedon’s involvement, he always kills his characters to cause any dramatic effect”

        This episode was a vast improvement over the past episodes and I am hoping the series is going to keep getting better in the coming episodes (where the focus seems to get back to some more action oriented stories as well)

        And then one last thing. Stop complaining about FitzSimmons accents and learn to go beyond American sounding accents seriously, how ignorant of the world can you be…

    • I just read the first deluxe version of his astonishing and liked it a bunch. I’ve heard the second volume is better and both are well worth the read.

    • Joss has no bearing on this show’s writing, but I thoroughly enjoyed his run on X-men.

  15. Man Daybreak was flipping awesome

  16. Episode was really good. Not great. But it is clear creators/producers have heard fan voices and are trying to tweek the show. Loved the Typhoid Mary reference as she was also a Marvel character.

    My wife was actually in tears and she isn’t into the show that much but loved this episode.

    I too disagree that Fitz and Simmons are annoying. I like their characters a lot. The character that bugs me is Ming’s. She is too plain and boring.

    Final thoughts: The show needs to add a couple B-list or C-list superheros that are less known to the public to show up in and out of the episodes. (Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Speedball, Slapstick, Jack of Hearts, Echo, Quake, Cloak, Dagger,) Establish those heroes as allies that show up once in awhile. I know this show is supposed to be focused on the SHIELD agents stories but SHIELD deals with superpowered villains and heroes and therefore should have an established regular hero.

  17. When Ward jumped out of the plane to save Simmons it looked like a scene from captain america when cap jumped out of the plane. Thought that was pretty cool. Overall a good ep

  18. This episode was perfect. It felt like a Marvel episode. Hopefully it’s all greatness from here.

  19. solid episode. I actually cared about what was happening.

  20. I really enjoyed this episode, I think they will get much better from here on out.

    I also feel like the second half of this season could really be great. It looks like they are taking their time to establish the characters and the next episode looks like it could introduce some more super secret SHIELD stuff (maybe…).

    And I don’t think that the captain america trailer (or rather the movie) means that the show is over, I really think its a great opportunity for the show, to take it in a new direction for next season.

  21. S.H.I.E.L.D does a better job at melodrama than they do at action drama. The ROI on this show just has not been great. I’m getting a far greater rate of return on The Tomorrow People.

  22. This episode also reconciled that Coulson just died and came back after a while like 5% of the newly dead does, nothing special about him, it showed his scars, did no one notice it? It wasn’t mentioned in anyones comments or the article itself.

  23. I think it’s pretty good. Also, I’m almost positive that Coulson is a Life Model Decoy. There were two lines he said in this episode that seemed to little easter eggs left by the writers. Once where he said he was feeling a little rusty, and another time when he said his test results said he was perfectly fine but a little high with the iron content in his body.

  24. I’m trying to understand why people continue to try so hard to like this show. Did you guys honestly like last nights episode? This show is terrible, and everything that made the past episodes bad is still there. The whole interchange between fitz and simmons just made me want them dead even more. Skye and bland young male agent #1 need to die too. This show needs to die.

    • Disagree Ghostcrawler… I liked last nights episode a lot. I will agree that the show is not living up to its potential. Out of the all of the 6-7 episodes I have really liked the last 2. As far as the rest, I liked 2 of them decently.

      I do find it odd though that you are saying people are trying hard to like the show. Yet you obviously are watching the show too. Does that mean you are trying to like the show? If not, why would you keep watching something you don’t like? If you want the show to die then stop watching.

      • It doesn’t matter if Ghostcrawler watches the show or not. That’s not the point. He’s stating that the show is awful and let’s be honest, he’s right. If you like it, then fair enough, that’s you’re opinion but the majority of people have been utterly disappointed with it, and rightly so, the ratings consistently dropping, the amount of negative feedback and critizising articles are proof of this.

        • @ Irish Knight. The fact that he keeps watching the show is the point. He said “Im trying to understand why people continue to try so hard to like the show. Did you guys honestly like last nights episode?”

          He keeps watching the episodes but also wants the show to die. He is helping the show survive by watching it.

          And I never said I like the series. I stated that I have really liked 2 episodes and 2 of them were decent. I even said the show is not living up to its potential.

          You are defending someone for giving their opinion and who slams others for liking the show that he keeps watching the show he wants to die. I then give my opinion, which actually supports his claim to an extent, and follow it up by explaining to him why I am confused by his logic.

          So I guess I ask…What was your point?

    • Its so terrible that you watch it every week?

  25. This was definitely a redeeming episode of Fitzsimmons. I was one of those people that were really annoyed by them, but I have a feeling it was already in the works for us to warm up to them. This was a much better episode than the past.

  26. Die, kill kill kill.. more dying hate die……

    Think its time you turned the channel pal

    • I’m not your pal guy

      • I’m not your guy, buddy.

  27. I could die if it helps?

  28. All praises be to Allah for the first real review of this show and not just hatemongering and beating a dead horse for six paragraphs like the last few.

    • Yeah, they can even say some pretty nice stuff through their teeth about it sometimes too.

  29. I thought Skye and to a lesser extend Ward were the two characters that viewers find most annoying? Fitz and Simmons haven’t done much in the show so I’m not sure why people would find them annoying to begin with.

    This episode in that regard was great in that much in the same way Thea Queen got less and less screen time on Arrow as the season progressed, Skye barely showed up in this episode.

    I just hope we don’t see May turn into another Laurel Lance type character later on in the show because that would be criminal for what is probably the 2nd best character in the show behind Coulson.

    • This may be one of the problems with the show, out of the six main characters there seem to be a number of viewers who do not like 2/3 of them. Whether it is the combination of Skye and Ward or Fitz/Simmmons is the dividing line, with some people not really liking all four of them.

      • I guess Im the minority cause I don’t mind all of those characters. I am annoyed with May. SHe is bland and boring.

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