F.Z.Z.T (did I miss something obvious? What does this name mean? The sound that is made when the virus kicks in?) gives Coulson plenty of chances to think about his temporary death in New York City. He started the episode in this reflective mood by asking to have a physical done, this continues when he comes face to face with the fireman who is about to die, and when he is dealing with Simmons’ dealings with the alien virus. Sadly, by the end of a very good episode we are left with more questions than answers about Coulson’s makeup.
The episode opens to scary stories being poorly told around the campfire, until the leader hears a Humming sound and goes off to investigate. While gone the group is terrified by an exploding car battery and the scout leader is found dead floating in mid air.
We’re back at the ship and Simmons is giving Coulson his physical and attempting not to insult him about his age. When she asks why he is asked for this checkup, he said the physical therapist requested it when Coulson told him he was feeling rusty. Simmons says he is in perfect shape for a man of his age.
Ward is in the lab complaining to Fitz that a gun is an ounce too heavy. He leaves, and Fitz takes the time alone (and a winning Ward impersonation) to flirt with Skye. She doesn’t seem to notice. She is too busy wondering when she is going to regain Ward and the rest of the team’s trust. Simmons comes in and offers a Ward impersonation of her own, at which point Ward comes back and tells them they have a new case to work on.
The crew sets down and checks out the campsite of the floating murder mystery. Simmons gets a bit too close to the body, which causes it to fall to the ground. They speculate on causes.
Back at the ship Skye presents all of the data she was able to dredge up about the victim, while complaining about her spy handcuffs. Ward continues to mistrust Skye for her actions in the past episode. Coulson mentions that her latest work might be the first step in establishing trust.
An alert comes in and a similar anomaly can be found at a farm house nearby. May, Ward , and Coulson rush over to find another floating dead body. While investigating the crime scene Skye finds a link between the two victims, and the trio heads to a local firehouse. Coulson encounters a fireman who is acting suspiciously. He talks to him and comes to the conclusion that he is another victim, and not a perpetrator. This group of firemen had been in New York when The Avengers had shawarma and did other more heroic things. While there they found a Chitauri helmet and took it home as a trophy. The three victims acquired an alien virus while cleaning the helmet.
Coulson talked this third victim through his last couple of minutes. He brought up his own time dead and told him he is going somewhere wonderful. May listened to this conversation intently right outside the fire house. The fireman sent Coulson out right before he went floaty. SHIELD agents packed up the helmet to deliver to the Sandbox, a secret facility, and took the other members of the fire crew in for observation.
Things start to float behind Simmons as she excitedly describes what she has found out about the alien virus. Coulson is forced to quarantine her. He receives a video conference from a SHIELD muckity muck at the Sandbox and he is told that HQ has told him to jettison any material that is infected. He feigns technical difficulties to buy more time. Knowing that if she succumbs to the virus she will cause the entire ship to explode.
Fitz and Simmons have a touching moment through the glass and they brainstorm ideas about creating an antidote (it’s an antivirus!). They figure out that the helmet probably has the answers they need and Fitz rushes out to get the crate holding it and crashes into the lab bringing the helmet with him. FitzSimmons comes up with the answer. They try it out on the third mouse bringing tears all around. Simmons makes Coulson promise that he will call her Father first to report her death. Another call from SHIELD higher ups come in and Coulson reiterates to May and Ward that they are going to attempt to find cure Simmons.
Simmons knocks out Fitz with a fire hyrdant and rushes from the lab opening the air lock. Fitz wakes up and sees that the mouse they thought died, was just knocked out. And he jumps up excitedly to tell Simmons. She is at the airlock about to jump out. He scream at her to stop. She jumps anyway.
Fitz gets the anti-virus and rushes out of the lab and starts to put on a parachute. Ward comes down the stairs and grabs both and jumps out of the plane dives after her. He catches up and gives her the cure, and opens the parachute.
Back in the plane Coulson gives Simmons the riot act. Which she takes with a smile, and is surprised things are over when Coulson just sits down. After they leave his office Simmons admits that the gun isn’t the right weight, and Ward responds with an impression of himself. Skye rushes in to give Simmons a huge hug. Fitz and Simmons have a quiet moment where Fitz apologizes for not jumping out of the plane, but Simmons tells him he was brave just for helping her find the answer.
May talks to Coulson about the physical he actually ordered for himself. She tells him that she knows from experience that almost dying changes a person and after he opens his shirt to show the scar, she says that those scars are there to remind them what happened.
The muckity muck from SHIELD comes and tells Coulson that if he keeps disobeying orders he is liable to lose his dream team. Coulson tells him that he would like to see them try, and muckity muck says he is not the Coulson he remembers.
I thought this was an especially effective episode. I have to admit, knowing Whedon’s track record of killing off main cast members on previous shows I was genuinely afraid that we were watching the end of Simmons. And, when Fitz screamed through the glass after finding out that the anti-virus had worked I was gutted thinking she was going to die for no good reason. In other areas, we got a bit of movement on Coulson’s story. He has a feeling that something is off, and is trying to find out what is wrong on his own. May’s scene with him was touching, and it strengthened the bond they have. I’m glad that last episode wasn’t forgotten and Skye still has work to do to regain the trust of Ward and the rest of the crew (and get rid of her wrist band.) Most importantly, the scenes between Fitz and Simmons all the way through the episode were great. At this point, the show has done nothing better than show how strong a relationship these two have.
- The Ward mockery was genuinely funny. Except for Ward’s impression of himself. That was just painful.
- The scars on Coulson’s body show that if it is another body somehow, they at least did a good job of making it look like the old one.
- I could do with fewer characters telling Coulson that he is different.
- Coulson didn’t say anything about that guy touching his car!
- It might have been funnier if Coulson had said they were going through a tunnel.
- I am not sure how realistic the saving Simmons scene in the air was, and I don’t care. Because, that was awfully cool.