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Agents Of SHIELD: F.Z.Z.T.

Agents Of SHIELD Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

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#1 DWF

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 07:48 PM

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The team investigates a rash of floating bodies.

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#2 Christopher

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 09:17 PM

Wow, this was really good. Our first Fitz/Simmons focus -- mainly Simmons -- and a good Coulson episode dealing with what he went through. The scene with Coulson and the doomed firefighter was very powerful, and the stuff with Jemma when everyone thought she was going to die was strong too. And wow, that act-break cliffhanger... or hatch-faller-out-of... shocking. Plus the skydiving scene was really cool.

And I think we can safely rule out the Life Model Decoy theory for Coulson. With a few exceptions, LMDs are robotic and can't pass as human on a medical exam. Now we know that Coulson has normal human vitals, he has blood, and he has scars.

What if we've been misled? What if Coulson really did survive exactly the way he said -- by getting medical treatment in the nick of time -- and the secret that "he can never know" is about something else, something that happened during his recuperation? Maybe he witnessed something so traumatic, or caused something so awful to happen, that he had to have his memory of it erased.
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#3 NeuralClone

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 01:04 PM

I agree. This episode was fantastic. I think you covered pretty much all the strong points. Although almost everything stood out in this. I also agree about Coulson. I highly doubt he's a LMD at this point too. Everything suggests that he's human and that he really was resuscitated. Something else seemed to have happened to him that needs to remain a secret. The question of course is what exactly was it that happened?

I think my favorite line was Agent May's, "Have a cookie." :lol:

Edited by NeuralClone, 06 November 2013 - 04:47 PM.

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#4 BklnScott

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 02:04 PM

Or that's what they want us to think at this point.  It's misdirection time in this sort of arc...

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#5 Christopher

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 02:31 PM

^Generally, if you want to misdirect your audience, you'd begin doing so right off the bat.
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#6 BklnScott

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 02:47 PM

Fair enough, Chris.  In my experience, a mystery (particularly in film/TV) usually tips its hat to the solution and THEN proceeds to lead us down the garden path. The solution to a mystery has to be front loaded - it can't just come out of nowhere.

With regard to Coulson - because he has the scar, we're meant to think it's still the same body?  The first thing they told us is that he must never know what really happened.  That would extend to making it look like his old body, right?

When May tells him that survivors of trauma often feel like different people after, that's true - but Coulson doesn't evince any psychological baggage from Loki.  He's weirded out because he doesn't know what happened after he was pronounced dead - a different thing.  

He does seem to have absolutely perfect blood work, though - unusual for a man his age.  That was the real clue last night, IMO, and it tracks with the others people have noticed so far.  (Reflexes, etc...  And yet he says he has a physical therapist.)

Did Titus Welliver suggest that whatever happened to Coulson also happened to him?

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#7 Christopher

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 03:48 PM

View PostBklnScott, on 06 November 2013 - 02:47 PM, said:

With regard to Coulson - because he has the scar, we're meant to think it's still the same body?  The first thing they told us is that he must never know what really happened.  That would extend to making it look like his old body, right?

All they actually did was show Hill and Ron Glass saying:

"Tahiti. He really doesn't know, does he?"
"He can never know."

We assumed they were talking about the true mechanism behind his resurrection. But misdirection is about letting your audience make assumptions that divert them from the truth -- so if you want to see through misdirections, the most important thing to do is to question your own assumptions. Strip away assumptions, look only at the actual data, and all they really said was that he can never know about something pertaining to the time period when he was recuperating. We're just assuming it's about how he came back to life. That could be misdirection from a different mystery. After all, we've all been wondering how he was brought back to life, so that's the perfect misdirect. We expect the mystery to be about how he came back, so we miss the possibility that it might be about something that happened afterward.


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When May tells him that survivors of trauma often feel like different people after, that's true - but Coulson doesn't evince any psychological baggage from Loki.  He's weirded out because he doesn't know what happened after he was pronounced dead - a different thing.

Assumptions again. Actually, if you look at the dialogue, he's weirded out because he feels like he's off his game, his muscle memory is failing him, his outlook and behavior seem to have changed, etc. And he made it pretty clear here that he does remember his experiences during the time he was pronounced dead -- "It's beautiful." And he does have memories of recovering in Tahiti, or believes he does. As far as Coulson himself knows, there's no gap in memory to worry about; he's worried about how he feels afterward, whether he's the same person and can still do his job as well. It's us in the audience who are puzzled by not knowing what happened afterward. His own concerns are not the same as ours.


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He does seem to have absolutely perfect blood work, though - unusual for a man his age.

I just checked the recording -- he did not say "absolutely perfect." He said "I'm perfectly normal. A bit heavy on the iron." So he's normal in the sense that he's as imperfect as anyone else of generally good health.

(Then again, "heavy on the iron" could be a clue that there's some kind of nanotechnology in his blood...)
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#8 DWF

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 08:17 PM

Outside of the low key revelation about Coulson this ep. is rather predictable and it's odd how little emotion Coulson has showed about his resurrection.
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#9 G-man

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 01:47 PM

Hmmm ...

I found the mystery du jour and its solution to be rather weak.

Skye and Ward ... I'm kind of rolling my eyes at Ward's comment about her "betrayal" and his not trusting her.  I'm sorry, Skye is trying to make amends, if he doesn't recognize that she 1) had a life before SHIELD; and 2) was being loyal to her friend (which I'd think is a trait you want as opposed to someone who wholeheartedly abandons her friends as soon as opportunity presents), I'm thinking that Ward needs a serious wake-up call in his own right.

May and Coulson ... he seems appropriately freaked out and its manifesting itself in him trying to define just what is wrong.  He knows something is not right, but he doesn't know what, and I'm thinking May's talk to him about trauma was more to put him at ease with the old "considering what you've been through, you're fine, so don't sweat the differences" argument.  Of course, May is drawing on her own experiences and we still don't know why she decided to step away from being the cavalry and content herself with working in the file room.

Fitz and Simmons ... it's nice that the episode focused on them, but generally I wasn't too impressed with that sub-plot - tied up as it was with the main plot which I felt was week.  I think this was something that really should've been drawn out, and we should have seen more lab-work and trial and error as they worked to define what was going on.  As is, it just came across as being too pat ... almost as if the writers themselves weren't all that interested in this particular puzzle.

So, eh.

The nice touch was that the mystery did involve the "first responders" who came out of state to deal with (presumably) the aftermath of the Chitauri invasion; and that people do occasionally collect souvenirs from such an event.  I just wish something more had been done with them than simply seeing them going "pop-pop-pop".

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#10 Christopher

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 02:52 PM

View PostG-man, on 07 November 2013 - 01:47 PM, said:

I found the mystery du jour and its solution to be rather weak.
...
Fitz and Simmons ... it's nice that the episode focused on them, but generally I wasn't too impressed with that sub-plot - tied up as it was with the main plot which I felt was week.

See, that's the thing. Fitz and Simmons dealing with the disease was the main plot. The mystery was just the setup for it, which is why it was resolved so quickly. The point of the episode wasn't "What killed/levitated these people?", it was "How does the team cope with the imminent death of one of its most vulnerable-seeming members?"
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#11 G-man

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 03:28 PM

^^^ Except everything unfolded far too fast and felt perfunctory to me, which undercut the whole drama.

I mean you go from "it's a virus" to "here's how it spreads" to "SLAM!" and then the girl's all alone, with Ward, Skye, May and Coulson essentially not participating/contributing to a solution and maybe hoping, or being in denial, or whatnot because the focus quickly shrinks to her and Fitz.

I get that they're professionals with only Fitz, Simmons, and Skye the amateurs, but I'd certainly expect more action from them than simply ignoring orders to get rid of her right now.

/s/

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Let me strive every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, so that all may profit by it.
Let me think of the right and lend my assistance to all who may need it, with no regard for anything but justice.
Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage.
Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens, and my associates in everything I say and do.
Let me do right to all, and wrong no man.
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#12 NeuralClone

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 03:47 PM

To be fair, they only have about 43 minutes to tell a story.
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#13 Christopher

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 04:04 PM

View PostG-man, on 07 November 2013 - 03:28 PM, said:

I mean you go from "it's a virus" to "here's how it spreads" to "SLAM!" and then the girl's all alone, with Ward, Skye, May and Coulson essentially not participating/contributing to a solution and maybe hoping, or being in denial, or whatnot because the focus quickly shrinks to her and Fitz.

Wow. For weeks, I've been hearing fans complain, "Too much focus on Skye and Ward, when do we get an episode focusing on the other characters?" So naturally, when we get an episode designed to focus on Fitz/Simmons, someone complains that there's not enough Skye and Ward. No matter what you do, somebody's going to be unhappy with it.
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#14 RJDiogenes

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 08:12 PM

This was another great episode. I've loved them all, but this was the best yet. The scene with the dying fireman was very touching (and a nice fake out when it first looked like he was the villain-- especially since there was no villain [another thing I loved]). The other moment I really liked was when Fitz was going to jump after Gemma-- he would have tumbled to his doom, but he was going to go after her. And Wade's rescue was a nice homage to Bond (I still wonder if whoever named him was a fan of Ward Bond). There were other great moments, too, especially between Gemma and Fitz. And Sky hugging Gemma. And then there was Ward's comment about not being able to protect everybody-- he sees himself as everybody's big brother.

And they are slowly accepting Sky back into the group-- well, Fitz and Simmons already have, but Coulson and Ward are.  Coulson commented that they are being a bit hard on her and Ward's invitation to stay was a gesture.

Coulson's conversation with the guy at the Sandbox was a bit ominous though, and probably a bit of foreshadowing.
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#15 DWF

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 09:26 PM

From what litle I've seen of the series it's a superhuman international version of NCIS/CSI not the gritty action based version of the comics. Ward does appear to be the man of action on the show.
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#16 Sci-Fi Girl

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 01:09 AM

Great episode!  Intense and riveting, with strong character work throughout.  You can't ask for much more than that.  :cool:



I only had one problem though, with the idea that dropping her in the ocean would somehow contain the contagion.  Sure, it would save the plane, but I think it would have doomed the Earth very quickly.

The virus spreads by electrical current, and water conducts electricity.  And given the variety of species shown to be susceptible to the virus (it jumped from Chitauri to Humans after all), I have to believe that the vast majority of ocean life could be infected, probably even down to the microscopic level.

So if she fell in the ocean, she would have immediately infected the patch of ocean around her, which would quickly have spread to rest of the ocean, followed shortly by the rest of the world.  

Dropping her in the ocean would have been a terrible solution.  There were no better ones, but it was still a terrible idea.  :fear:



But that is just one small science nit-pick in an awesome show!  :D

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#17 Christopher

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 09:19 AM

^The ground conducts electricity too, and so can the air if the voltage is high enough, but the first victim didn't infect the grass and trees around him. Perhaps the virus only affects certain species like Chitauri and humans. Or perhaps the current path has to be concentrated, as in the electric arc between the first body and Simmons, rather than dissipated through the mass of the ocean.
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#18 G-man

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 09:54 AM

View PostChristopher, on 07 November 2013 - 04:04 PM, said:

View PostG-man, on 07 November 2013 - 03:28 PM, said:

I mean you go from "it's a virus" to "here's how it spreads" to "SLAM!" and then the girl's all alone, with Ward, Skye, May and Coulson essentially not participating/contributing to a solution and maybe hoping, or being in denial, or whatnot because the focus quickly shrinks to her and Fitz.

Wow. For weeks, I've been hearing fans complain, "Too much focus on Skye and Ward, when do we get an episode focusing on the other characters?" So naturally, when we get an episode designed to focus on Fitz/Simmons, someone complains that there's not enough Skye and Ward. No matter what you do, somebody's going to be unhappy with it.

Excuse me?  That is so not what I said.

When I consider a show to be an ensemble piece, as I do Agents of SHIELD I expect to see the ensemble acting as a group with all contributing to the drama and the solution, not have episodes focus on couple A, or couple B, or individual episodes, with the rest of the cast essentially pushed back into the shadows to watch the action whilst wringing their hands.

/s/

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the G-man Himself
Let me strive every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, so that all may profit by it.
Let me think of the right and lend my assistance to all who may need it, with no regard for anything but justice.
Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage.
Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens, and my associates in everything I say and do.
Let me do right to all, and wrong no man.
-- Doc Savage

Few people want to be moderated, most people see the need for everyone else to be moderated. -- Orpheus

#19 Christopher

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 10:50 AM

View PostG-man, on 08 November 2013 - 09:54 AM, said:

When I consider a show to be an ensemble piece, as I do Agents of SHIELD I expect to see the ensemble acting as a group with all contributing to the drama and the solution, not have episodes focus on couple A, or couple B, or individual episodes, with the rest of the cast essentially pushed back into the shadows to watch the action whilst wringing their hands.

Why would you expect that? Tons of ensemble shows do episodes that feature only a couple of their characters. There are dozens of Deep Space Nine episodes, for instance, that focus primarily on just a couple of the leads and have the rest of the cast only appear in a scene or two. It's good to mix it up, to shift the character focus from episode to episode -- some episodes focused on the whole ensemble, others highlighting just certain members. It's also perfectly normal for TV shows to do that.

Besides, sometimes helplessness is a valid place to send a character. I liked the way they handled Ward here -- he's used to being a man of action, to having straightforward problems he can hit, so we saw here how much it troubled him to face an abstract problem and not know what he could do to help. That was a good bit of character-building.
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#20 enTranced

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 12:28 PM

This was easily the best one so far. I loved focusing on our science team but having the bonus moments with Coulson and May was just perfection and hey Ward has a sense of humor.Just so good.

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