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This week, the team investigates victims of an electrostatic anomaly. The case gets personal when the anomaly infects one of their own.
The episode begins with a bunch of boy scouts in the woods with two troop leaders. Things go bad quickly when one of the troop leaders gets a bad case of the blue Weird Science electric special effects. You know the effect I’m talking about, right? Please say you do. I’m singing the Weird Science song, you just can’t hear me.
Back on the bus, Simmons is running tests on Coulson, who says he’s been told to take a physical. Simmons says he’s doing well for a man of his age. Coulson: “Man of my age? That’s something you say to an old person.” Simmons: “Is it? Let’s get you some electrolytes.”
In the lab, Skye tells Fitz, “You and Simmons are so tight. It’s like you’re psychically linked.” Ward insists his gun is an ounce too heavy. Fitz and Simmons do impressions of Ward, cracking up Skye.
The team go to Pennsylvania to investigate the electrostatic anomaly. They find the troop leader’s body in the woods, floating in mid air. It drops when Simmons gets too close and the static hits her.
Skye looks into the troop leader’s background and finds he’s squeaky clean. Skye: “This guy makes Captain America look like the Dude.” Coulson and Ward say nothing. Skye: “The Big Lebowski. …Seriously?”
Fitz, refusing to be in the lab with the troop leader’s dead body, argues with Simmons about a dead cat she once left in the lab. Fitz: “You left its liver next to my lunch!” There’s pretty much nothing I love more on this show than the two of them talking, arguing, being together.
Simmons finds the troop leader’s brain is fried. It’s been zapped “with almost double the power of a lightning bolt,” she tells Coulson. Fitz says, “It’s happening again.” Simmons: “It’s science, Fitz! I have to dissect something.” He’s actually referring to a new electrostatic anomaly happening right now. Coulson, Ward and May drive off to investigate.
At the source of the anomaly, a barn, Coulson says, “Door’s barred from the inside. We could ram it with the truck.” May kicks it open like the badass she is. Coulson: “Or.” Inside, they find another floating body in the barn. Both victims were volunteer firefighters and first responders in the attack on New York from The Avengers.
In the lab, Simmons realizes the wounds on the victims are exit wounds, not entry wounds.
At the firehouse, Coulson finds one firefighter to be Mega Shifty and puts the firehouse on lockdown. Skye picks up a new electrostatic reading coming from the firehouse. Coulson follows Mega Shifty to the kitchen where the fireman hears humming and a frying pan starts floating near him.
May finds a Chitauri helmet from the battle of New York in the firehouse. Simmons discovers the helmet actually infected the two victims and Mega Shifty when they decided to clean it a few days earlier. Knowing the firefighter isn’t long for this world, Coulson stays to comfort him while Fitz warns that he needs to get out of there as the electrostatic readings are growing.
Coulson talks about his own death to the firefighter. “Some say it was only for eight seconds but I know it was more than that. I know I wasn’t here anymore. I was there,” he says. Firefighter: “What’s it like?” Coulson: “It’s beautiful.”
The poor fireman starts to crackle with energy and a huge knife gets lifted into the air. He tells Coulson to leave. He does and the firehouse lights up blue with the electrostatic energy.
The team watches as the Chitauri helmet is loaded into the bus. They’ll be transferring it to the Sandbox, Coulson explains. He also tasks Simmons with finding a cure for the other firefighters, who may also be infected.
Back in the lab, Simmons shows Coulson she’s found out the virus can move from person to person through electrostatic shock. She’s adorably excited about this discovery but Coulson isn’t because he can see metal instruments floating behind her. Not Simmons, the most adorable person on planet SHIELD!
Coulson apologizes and puts her in lockdown in the lab. Fitz and Simmons sit back to back, separated by the glass doors. Fitz tries to cheer up Simmons while he works on an antiserum delivery system but they’re both terribly upset.
Coulson explains to the rest of the team that if they’re in the air when she emits the electrostatic pulse, it’ll crash the plane. May says they’re still three hours from the Sandbox and directly over the Atlantic Ocean.
Simmons tests the first antiserum on a rat, which pulses, dies and floats.
Titus Welliver (the Man in Black from Lost, Jimmy O’Phelan from season 3 of Sons of Anarchy and other awesome things) appears as a SHIELD higher up. He tells Coulson he’s to dump any infected cargo. Coulson pretends he couldn’t hear the order due to a bad connection.
Fitz argues with Simmons that he never wanted to go out in the field in the first place but Simmons talked him into it. He imitates Simmons’ voice and they both continue to argue and get upset as they are so very attached at the hip. Simmons realizes the only living thing that’s survived the virus is the Chitauri.
Fitz runs to get the Chitauri helmet to retrieve cells and hopefully create a vaccine. “Antiserum,” Simmons corrects him. Fitz enters the lab with the helmet. Simmons protests but Fitz tells her, “I’m doing what we always do. We’re gonna fix this, together.”
They create an antiserum and test it on the last rat, which seems to survive it, until it, too, zaps and floats. Simmons tells Coulson she knows the protocol but asks if he could tell her father first as her mother “would take it better if it comes from him.”
Simmons asks for a moment alone with Fitz, who continues to work on the antiserum. She apologizes, then hits him over the head with a fire extinguisher. When he wakes, he finds the antiserum didn’t kill the rat but knocked it unconscious. He turns and sees Simmons in the cargo hold with the loading door open to the sky. Fitz screams to Simmons but she allows herself to fall out.
Fitz scrambles to grab the antiserum and a parachute, Ward, who has been waiting to do something, anything, in a situation he doesn’t understand, grabs the parachute and antiserum from Fitz and jumps out of the plane. Ward Supermans his way down to her and catches her, zapping her with the antiserum.
Cut to Simmons and Ward, but mostly Simmons, getting a major lecture from Coulson. “Don’t you ever pull a stunt like that again,” he says, sternly. Then, softly, “We’d hate to lose you, Jemma.”
Simmons cops to Ward about not actually fixing his gun earlier, which leads him to tell her he knows and do his own impression of himself. It’s a super cute moment, especially for the always serious Ward.
Coulson tells May he ordered the physical because he feels different. She tells him to take off his shirt. Uh, yes please. She examines his scar, which is bad. Thanks again, Loki. See you this weekend. May implies that she’s been through a trauma like dying, or actually dying, too. Interesting.
Simmons tells Fitz he’s the hero because he “gave me hope when I had none.” She then kisses him on the cheek. I love them. I love them, I do.
The Sandbox is a big patch of sand in the sandy, sandy desert. Blake (Titus Welliver) confronts Coulson on disobeying orders and threatens to take the team from him. “I’d like to see them try.” Blake says he doesn’t sound like old Coulson, to which Coulson says, “Get used to it.” Then, Blake touches Lola. Them’s fighting words. And touches.
For me, this was the best episode yet. I love Fitz and Simmons and I loved how the case this week was mostly with them. It really brought the team together and showed why this is a group we like and should care about. That’s the Agents of SHIELD I’ve been waiting for. Plus, I’m clearly a sucker for Fitz/Simmons centric episodes.
So, what did you think? Did this episode do it for you? Are you on Team FitzSimmons?
I thought it was odd Coulson let him touch Lola! Of all things! Also I too am a huge sucker for FitzSimmons. This was a really good episode and definitely showed a bit into Fitz and Simmons’ relationship/backstory. Instead of being just the scientists on the team. We learn that SImmons pulls Fitz into doing things and they’ve probably been partners for quite some time.
Coulson probably put vengeance for Blake touching Lola on his To Do list for much later. He’ll be like, “This is for [some major event that Coulson rebels against]. And this is for Lola.” I’m glad the episode gave FitzSimmons some backstory, too. They’re always adorable but this took it to another level of how inseparable they really are. It also showed the differences between the two, like you were saying, how Simmons is the more adventurous one. I’m looking forward to more of this in the future.