Top 5 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Episodes
Marvel’s longest running television show returns next week on December 1st with an out-of-this-world two hour premiere, and what better way to celebrate the beauty that is Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. than looking back at some of its greatest episodes?
5. Self Control (4x15)
The words “disturbing” and “heartbreaking” instantly come to mind when I think of this incredible episode. Self Control comes right after the jawdropping revelation in the episode before that most of the team has been captured and replaced by Life Model Decoys.
The beginning of the episode is fraught with tension as Fitz and Simmons try to hide the fact they know they're the only humans left (except for some background agents). The tension quickly ramps up as the episode falls squarely into the “who can you trust" trope, and pulls it off masterfully.
I was absolutely on the edge of my seat throughout the entire episode, and by the end of it, I was stunned, heartbroken, and dealing with a massive case of Ship Trauma (my apologies to my friends whom I spammed mercilessly that night with all my feels).
Self Control is one of the best directed episodes I've seen, and has some of the tightest storytelling of possibly the entire show. Not to mention, the acting is phenomenal from everyone.
4. Spacetime (3x15)
This episode is easily one of best episodes from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s third season. The storyline is fairly simple: Daisy is given a glimpse into the near future by another Inhuman, and the team rushes to stop it.
Despite the simple premise, the episode shines with character development and dynamics. We have the delightfully creepy Hive power walking all over the place in Ward’s dead body, and showing off his destructive powers.
On the flip side, we see Daisy at her most heroic. She marches into a building, knowing it could bring about her own death, to save a fellow Inhuman from Hydra. In the end, she takes a massive beating, and gets yet another glimpse into the future, leading into the next arc for the rest of the season: who’s going to die in the future?
In terms of character development and fun dynamics, we get the hilarious “training” scene with the team, the continuing banter between Coulson and Lincoln, May confronting her ex-husband turned Inhuman killer, and development for Fitzsimmons’ relationship (which comes to a climax in a few episodes time).
3. Face My Enemy (2x4)
Espionage! Philinda! Team dynamics! What isn't there to love?
Face My Enemy is one of the few post-season one episodes that is actually light-hearted with a lot of laughs.
It's the first episode where we get to see Coulson and May on a mission alone and it leads to a lot of laughs, like the team’s horrified reactions to listening to an undercover May both flirt and laugh.
If you love watching May kick some major butt, then this is definitely the episode for you. The end of this episode has one of the best May fight scenes in the series (though I'm keen to say it takes second place, since my ultimate favorite fight is May vs Ward in the season one finale).
With a recipe like undercover Philinda, humor, the birth of the excellent Fitz/Hunter BROTP, what's not to love?
2. FZZT (1x6)
Ah, yes. The first ever AOS episode to make me cry repeatedly. FZZT was the third in a series of character focused episodes which added a lot of depth to the characters. In this case, it focused primarily on the Science Queen herself, Jemma Simmons.
When the team begin to investigate a series of bizarre deaths, they quickly become aware that the electrifying deaths are the cause of a Chitauri virus that travels by electric shock. Halfway through the episode, it's revealed that Jemma was infected by the virus at the start of the episode, which leads to a very tense last half hour.
The conspiracy theorist in me believes that this episode is what made the writers decide that FitzSimmons would be an angst goldmine, simply due to Elizabeth Henstridge’s and Iain de Caestecker's incredible acting. In one 45-minute episode, Simmons and Fitz became more than just the adorkable scientists there for exposition; they became interesting, all-too-human characters that were terrified to die or lose their best friend.
On top of the wonderful FitzSimmons moments (the “whole damn time” speech is what pulled me onto the SS. FitzSimmons), the scenes between Skye, Simmons, and Fitz at the beginning of the episode is absolutely hilarious. Then there's the adorable Skye/Simmons hug at the end of the episode, and the tender moment between May and Coulson at the end of the episode.
To this day, this episode still tugs on my heartstrings, and it's all due to the fantastic acting (especially in the scene where a distraught Simmons asks Coulson to tell her dad first if she dies, since she thinks her mom would take it better coming from her him), and storytelling.
1. The Hub (1x7)
Humor, shippy moments, and character development! Talk about my kind of episode--which is exactly how the Hub ended up being my favorite ever episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, and number one on this list.
There are many things about this episode that sets it to the top for me. First and foremost, the humor. This is an episode that I can watch at the end of a bad day and instantly have my spirits lifted because it's just that funny. Fitz vs the Door? Iconic. Jemma stunning Sitwell (who would later turn out to be Hydra)? Probably one of the best things to happen ever.
Of course, it wouldn't be Agents if there weren't touching character moments, character development, and scenes that will make your shipper heart flutter. There was plenty of FitzSimmons goodness in this episode, including the introduction of the Prosciutto and Buffalo Mozzarella sandwich (with just a hint of pesto aioli). Then there was the touching moment between Skye and Coulson at the end of the episode when he reveals what he found about her parents at the Hub.
The best part of the episode is the character development for Fitz, though. For the first six episodes, he was vocally opposed to being out on the field, wishing to instead stay in his lab. This episode takes the scientist out of the lab, and on his first two-man mission with Ward.
This episode easily puts Fitz on the path to become the agent and character he is now, as well as giving us some development for Fitz and Ward's friendship, which would lead to a lot of heartache later. Brett Dalton and Iain de Caestecker have fantastic chemistry together, and I'll forever be bitter this was the only episode that really put them together while separated from the rest of the team.