Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. might not be a good show, but “F.Z.Z.T.” is a pretty good episode of television. It’s not that it improves upon any of the fundamental flaws of the show, it just manages to execute its formula with more skill than previous episodes. The cast remain underwhelming (though Fitz’s crush on Skye is a welcome addition) and the show’s tie-ins to the wider Marvel universe remain frustratingly slight. Meanwhile the fleeting attempts at serialisation (the mysterious nature of Coulsen’s resurrection, Skye’s ties to Rising Tide) remain less interesting than the writers seem to think they are.
“F.Z.Z.T.” finds success by wholeheartedly embracing the “monster of the week” gimmick – just minus the monster part. There’s less attention given to the pedestrian details of the problem (an electrostatic virus peripherally linked to the events of The Avengers) and more paid to its effects. Like a good standalone episode of Buffy or The X-Files, there’s a real sense of stakes – the campfire discovery, the resigned encounter at the fire station and Simmons’ realisation of her infection are all well-executed. Sure, Simmons has been more failed comic relief than character thus far, but her performance and storyline here demonstrate real potential.