'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' react: Near-death experiences
Guys, I’ve had a realization: I’m way more emotionally invested in this show than I thought. Sure, I’ve always shipped Skyward, but it’s more than that. I officially care about these S.H.I.E.L.D. folk, which means tonight’s episode was stressful. Let’s get to it!
Tonight was all about the art of almost dying and how that affects even the most highly skilled agents. We started with a little trip to Wrigley, Penn., where a group of boy scouts were telling ghost stories around a campfire. Things quickly got a lot less funny when the troop leader went into the woods and appeared to be zapped by lightning. His body was left suspended in mid-air, which meant one thing: This was a S.H.I.E.L.D. case.
Also suspended in mid-air, the bus was handling business as usual. Coulson had randomly asked for Simmons to perform a physical on him — but why? — and Sky was still running around trying to get Ward to forgive her for the whole lying-to-save-her-boyfriend-and-betraying-the-team thing. But at least she had Fitz and Simmons around to make her laugh with their Ward impressions, which weren’t even remotely good, but at least they were charming. And did anyone catch the moment when Sky compared her ex to Ward? Poor Fitz was trying to get his flirt on, but only one name was flashing in my head like a tacky neon sign — Skyward!
On the ground, the team investigated the campsite, where what they called an “electrostatic anomaly” had occurred. By getting close to a wound on the victim’s forehead, Simmons caused the body to drop to the ground. Don’t ask me what any of it meant. Rather, ask Simmons, who did some investigating into the dead man’s fried brain to reveal that he had been hit with almost double the power of a lightning bolt. And just like that, even before Sky could finish her research or let Ward finish being too tough on her, Fitz spotted another electrostatic event.
Much like the first one, the second victim was also suspended in midair. Sky quickly made the connection between the victims: Both were firefighters from the same squad which had responded when the aliens crashed New York. Coulson, May, and Ward went to warn the rest of the firefighters, where they discovered that there was no weapon. A Chitauri helmet was left behind after the attack, and the firefighters were saving it as a souvenir. When three of them went to clean it recently, they detracted an alien virus. The lesson? Sentimentality kills!
After victim number three realized his fate, Coulson stayed behind and gave the man a beautiful speech about death, and his brief time spent “there” after leaving “here.” All I know is that May was getting pretty curious about Coulson’s emotional state, but there wasn’t time for questions. The team loaded the helmet up on the bus in order to take it overseas to The Sandbox, a S.H.I.E.L.D. research facility. Simmons was tasked with finding a cure in case of an epidemic, but she quickly realized two things. First, the virus spread through electrostatic shock. Second, she had contracted it. She had two hours to find a cure or else she was going to die and take the whole plane down with her.
This is where my emotions kicked in. Watching Fitz and Simmons sit back-to-back against that glass wall made me want to cry. And don’t even get me started on the Skyward bonding that was happening, with Ward being all vulnerable and talking about feeling helpless and not being able to protect his team from what he can’t see or understand. Ugh, ever the protector, that sexy man. But regardless of his sexiness, he too had to sit and wait.
However, they didn’t have long. Headquarters ordered Coulson to dump the infected cargo (Simmons), but he chose to deliberately disobey orders instead. In the lab, Simmons — who they all started calling Jemma once she was going to die — discovered that the virus was born of alien DNA, and therefore, no anti-serum would be strong enough… unless Fitz could find a strand of DNA from inside the helmet. And just like that, FitzSimmons was back in the lab and working to solve this problem the way they always do — together.
But after the antiserum failed for a third time, Simmons decided she was out of time. She knocked Fitz out and jumped out of the plane… just as he realized that the antiserum had worked. It just needed a few minutes. And this is where I. freaked. out. What happened to patience Simmons?! Luckily, Ward was no longer helpless. The big protector grabbed a parachute and the antiserum and caught Simmons just before she hit the water. Damn, these guys are good.
Back on the bus, Ward revealed that he knew all about their impressions of him, Simmons reassured Fitz that he was the hero of the day, and Sky gave Simmons a bear hug. Although the person really in need of a bear hug was Coulson, who told May that no doctor had ordered his physical. The results might’ve told him he was fine, but he has felt different ever since his death (whether he died for eight seconds or 40, it doesn’t matter). May stole a look at his scar and hinted toward a near-death experience of her own. She then explained that he didn’t feel different. He was different. It was a message Coulson would then relay to the people at S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters, when they questioned his disobeying orders. The old Coulson might not have done it, but this is the new Coulson, and he’s different, a.k.a badass.
What did you guys think of tonight’s episode? Did you realize your love for Simmons (and everyone) like me, or are you still waiting to feel that connection? More importantly, when are we going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened to the badass himself, Coulson?