So far on this inaugural season of Agents of SHIELD
, the team has had missions that served to bring them together, get them all on the same page and prove Skye's worth as a member. Then they saved a former agent being controlled by a villain and tested Skye's allegiance while reminding everyone that people with super powers will turn up from time to time.
And along the way, they created a comic book supervillain, offered glimpses into their troubled pasts and blew up some stuff. But they've also grown as a family.
That sentiment, if anything, was the number one thing on display in "FZZT," right down to Coulson's dad-like yelling at the end, even though he's just happy they are all safe. I once got spanked in the middle of a department store after my sister and I wandered off during a misunderstanding over looking at soft pretzels at the concession stand, but really, he was just glad I was alive.
So this episode isn't about the mission at all. It's about intra-character relationships and making us all believe that this elite yet ragtag bunch actually does care about each other, no matter how green the team may be.
Fitz and Simmons
This was by far the most important dynamic explored this week, starting with Fitz' crush on Skye getting in the way of the entity known as FitzSimmons. He begins by denying their similarities, even though they make the same jokes and interact in a way the other appreciates more than anyone else ever could.
They've been together since they first stepped foot in a lab, and when one is threatened, the other is going to be there. It ends with Fitz risking his life to save her, and then willing to risk it further after her incredibly bold decision to jump from the bus. (Thankfully, he doesn't actually have to try or they both probably would've died.)
And after she is exposed to an alien virus that causes its victims to build up static electricity until their brains explode outward and is subsequently quarantined with her own life in her hands while looking for an antiserum, it is Fitz who realizes that the Chitauri who wore the infected helmet was the only one immune to its effects, and that by curating a sample from the helmet they could create a vaccine and save everyone.
Yeah, I just really wanted to type that sentence.
Still, they prove that two heads are better than one, and FitzSimmons is better in every way than Fitz and Simmons.
Skye and Ward
To a lesser extent, "FZZT" is also the catalyst to these two mending their fences. Ward has been hard on Skye ever since she lied to them and put everyone in danger, because it's basically the worst thing someone can do to their elite-level special forces partners. But with Simmons' life on the line, they bring it back in for a nice bro hug.
Ward loses a little more of his robotic magnetism, opening up about trying to protect everyone but not knowing how to do it in this post-Avengers world where things aren't as simple as having a bad guy to punch.
And for Skye's part, she's trying to be the best little agent she can be, and the scene where Simmons accepts her impending death and sheds a tear while the rest of the team looks on is easily the most emotional moment of the season. And it works, at least for me. I'm vested.
Coulson and May
If Coulson is this SHIELD team's father, May is certainly its mother. In addition to silently looking out for everyone while doing the dirty little things that need to be done, even though no one wants to do them (I dunno, my mom smiles more), she also has an odd relationship with Coulson that is only starting to develop.
There's even a small revelation that there may have been something going on between them while Coulson is struggling to understand his resurrection, as it apparently took May a long time to come to grips with what happened to him in New York.
He feels that he's different, a changed man, and he has a deeper connection with humanity in general now. He's willing to disobey direct orders to save his team, which he is fully dedicated to preserving, and stay with a firefighter whose forehead is about to explode just to help him die peacefully.
When May tells him to take off his shirt and sees his horrible scar, she reminds him that no one who dies, whether it be for eight or 40 seconds, can be the same afterwards. The point is that there is no going back, you can only move forward.
And so we move forward as well, together with this team of SHIELD agents that is growing ever closer as a family.
And everything turns out fine. So, you know, that's a plus.
You can watch Agents of SHIELD every Tuesday at 8pm on ABC.