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Awesome: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
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WARNING: Later episodes may contain unmarked spoilers.

Season 1

     Pilot 

  • Coulson not only calmly dodges a van door Matrix-style launched by an enraged Centipede/Extremis-powered Mike, but he also calmly negotiates with the man while he showcases that he's being affected by Extremis.
  • May taking out any and all mooks she comes across in short order. Pity she's only driving the bus and not in the field.
  • Ward's fight with the goons trying to get the Chitauri device.
  • The fact that, according to Fitz, among Coulson's S.H.I.E.L.D collectibles include not only Lola, but also the world's first G.P.S and flamethrowers. PLURAL.
  • Skye has the ability to not only hack S.H.I.E.L.D from her van, she can keep her files encrypted so they can't get to them.
    • How awesome is Skye? S.H.I.E.L.D. knows nothing about her - something Coulson says never happens.
      • She insinuates she removed the data on herself (when she's speaking with Mike in the van about deleting his info, he asks how she knows what to do and she says quietly that she's done it before).
    • As pointed out by Skye, with her ordinary laptop (which she won in a bet, no less), she was able to hunt down a secret that S.H.I.E.L.D., with all its high-tech equipment, didn't know about.
  • Fitz and Simmons finding a third option to save Michael from dying and blowing up.

     0-8-4 

  • The team overcoming their differences and working together to foil Camilla's attempted hijacking.
    • Said foiling involves using the 0-8-4 to blast a hole through the hull of the jet.
    • And before that, there's May effortlessly dislocating her wrist to slip through of her bindings, Stealth Hi/Bye attack the mook guarding them, and then snapping her wrist back into place. And it all takes about thirty seconds.
    • When the rest of the team is arguing about what to do next.
      May: You talk too much [drives car through a bulletproof door]
  • According to Coulson, S.H.I.E.L.D. was able to keep an anti-matter meteor eating away half of Miami from reaching public eyes & ears.
  • While Nick Fury has yet to actually do something in the series, the fact that he showed up at all has gotta be a Moment Of Awesome.
    • It's certainly a Crowning Moment for Samuel L. Jackson. Remember, he didn't have to make that cameo. He surely has bigger and more important projects on his plate, and he has enough professional clout in Hollywood that he probably could have said no. I doubt there was anything in his Avengers contract that mandated a cameo on this show. The fact that he agreed to do it anyway is pretty cool.
    • Not to mention, the show probably couldn't afford to pay him a whole lot for the cameo, lacking the kind of budgets of the Marvel films. He probably did it out of love for his character.

     The Asset 
  • Quinn getting Hall, catching S.H.I.E.L.D. completely off-guard.
    • And both of them getting caught off-guard by Hall revealing he orchestrated the whole thing himself, while in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody, without either party knowing.
  • Skye hacks an invitation to Quinn's party using only her phone!
  • When Quinn points a gun at Skye, she flawlessly disarms him using the move Ward taught her earlier in the episode.
  • Skye getting Quinn to let her into his office so she can plant the device Fitz-Simmons gave her. The best part? She never actually lied to him. Every word she said was the truth: She's a hacker who works for Rising Tide and she infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. to work as The Mole.
  • Coulson stopping the gravitonium reactor by shooting a window Hall was standing on, causing him to fall into it.

     Eye Spy 
  • May vs. Akela, especially when May calmly dodges a thrown shard.
  • Akela remaining completely calm when Fitz and Simmons operate on her cybernetic eye while she's conscious. In fact, she injects the anesthetic into her own eye, because Simmons's hand was shaking from nervousness about performing eye surgery.

     The Girl in the Flower Dress 
  • Coulson releasing the self-righteous hacker Miles... in Hong Kong. With a bracelet that keeps him from using electronics. He also donates the money Miles received from the Centipede organization to the family of the Chinese S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who was killed during attempt to rescue Chan from Centipede.
    • Coulson's line at the beginning of the scene:
    Coulson: [offers Miles a small box] You have a choice: You take what's in this box, or we put you in a slightly bigger one.
  • Chan's Roaring Rampage of Revenge has impressive pyrotechnics.

     FZZT 
  • Simmons creates a cure for an alien virus by using alien DNA and she does it within hours. This is while she's racing against the clock because she herself is infected.
  • Fitz rushes into quarantine to help Simmons after their Eureka Moment, thus overcoming all the fear from this episode. When she did her Heroic Sacrifice, the only reason he didn't jump after her is because Ward grabbed the parachute from him.
  • Ward jumps out of the Bus and skydives after Simmons, who had jumped herself because she was infected with an alien virus which could destroy everyone aboard the plane. He's also able to catch her and cure her before they hit the water.
  • In The Stinger, Coulson standing up to Blake after being lectured for disobeying an order to dump the infected Simmons off the plane.
    Blake: If you keep bending the rules like this, someone might take this dream team away from you.
    Coulson: I'd like to see them try.
    Blake: That doesn't sound like the Coulson I remember.
    Coulson: No, I guess it doesn't. Get used to it.

     The Hub 
  • May living up to her name of The Cavalry and showing that like Firefly, you don't need guns to be Big Damn Heroes.
  • A relatively minor one compared to the above, but Fitz willingly going through with the mission in spite of learning there's no planned extraction for them. Not because he feels he has something to prove but because he's that loyal to his duties as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.
  • Fitz repurposing the core of the Overkill device, destroying the guns of the men attacking them to back up Ward, followed by him kicking one of the goons in the head hard enough to put the mook down.
  • When Coulson realizes there's no extraction plan for Ward and Fitz, he marches right up to Agent Hand and chews her out for it.
  • Fitz shorts out the electricity of a building with a mini-EMP just so he can fix it and win the trust of the people present. Keep in mind these were Russian mobsters who were very close to killing them both just to prove a point.

    The Well 
  • Agent Coulson deducing the Berserker's identity with only the slightest of clues.
    • Randolph acting completely calm and nonchalant throughout the entire thing. Starting by shrugging off a cultist attack with a simple "I messed up." and culminating with casually catching Agent Ward's knife and bending it, with a look on his face that says 'Oh, come on, how did they figure it out? Now I've got to explain myself, so tedious.'
  • May assembling and wielding the completed Berserker Staff and kicking ass, and also holding onto her sanity because she's dealt with her pain rather than repressed it.
  • Ward also becomes a One-Man Army using two staff pieces like batons, dispatching a few dozen crazed cultists single-handedly.
  • After Randolph gets impaled with the staff, Simmons is panicking that she doesn't know how to help someone with Asgardean physiology. Coulson takes the matters into his own hands (literally) by shoving his hand into the gaping chest wound, feeling around for his heart and then clamping down on a laceration on it while helping it pump long enough that the Asgardian rapid healing takes care of the rest.

    Repairs 
  • May pulling a Stealth Hi/Bye on Tobias, who can literally teleport.
  • Tobias shutting down The Bus and capturing all but one member of a SHIELD team with teleportation and a wrench.

    The Bridge 
  • The prison break at the beginning. Edison Po just calmly sits there eating his lunch the entire time, completely unfazed by the fight, and corrects a solider with "Time to go, sir." Despite the fact that this soldier had super abilities.
  • Mike vs. Three Soldiers. Mike wins.

     The Magical Place 
  • Skye gets kicked off the bus because she's no use there then follows the money all the way back to Centipede to locate Coulson with none of SHIELD's resources... except for the Walking Techbane bracelet that shuts down every computer she touches. Including GPS. She successfully uses the disarming techniques Ward had been teaching her, while channelling Melinda May.
  • May tricks Victoria Hand into booting Skye off of The Bus, thus allowing her to work outside the box, which is where she operates best. Even Hand seemed impressed.
  • The Bus gets one when May needs to quickly change directions. How often do you see a passenger jet do a complete 180 in-flight?
  • Skye pulling a Shut Up, Hannibal! by punching out Raina.
  • Villains can be awesome too. For example, Raina talking Coulson into cooperating with the Mind Probe. Despite his training to resist interrogation, despite him knowing how evil they are, despite being 5 minutes past the torture. Props to the writers too, for making every second convincing.
    • There's another one for Coulson in here too - even though he caves in to Raina's manipulation, he manages to hide what he's discovered about his resurrection from her, meaning the baddies are still in the dark how he survived, while he himself comes away with more information than he had before.

     Seeds 
  • May flies The Bus in and out of the eye of giant, hail-spewing superstorm without batting an eye.
  • The students of the Science and Research Divison of the Academy transformed the school's boiler room into a night club. They supposedly did this without the faculty knowing or at least discreetly enough for Plausible Deniability.
  • Lola aids Coulson in capturing the missing SHIELD agent.

    T.R.A.C.K.S. 

    T.A.H.I.T.I 
  • May beating the crap out of Quinn for shooting Skye.
  • Fitz and Simmons locating the facility where Coulson was resurrected, in only a few minutes, by following a paper trail in S.H.I.E.L.D's human resources documents.
  • When everyone is blaming themselves for what happened to Skye, May snaps them out of it and says that the only one to blame is the man who shot her.

     Yes Men 
  • Coulson, when asked by Agent Sitwell, "How was Tahiti?" We fully expect Coulson to repeat the old Catch Phrase "It's a magical place"—probably with a bitter and/or snarky tone. What does Coulson do? Puts on his sunglasses, CSI: Miami style...and says, "It sucked."
  • Sif gets plenty of these moments. Specifically:
    • Dishing out a Curb-Stomp Battle to a group of thugs under Lorelei's control.
    • Climbing on the top of the plane in mid-flight!
    • Getting back into the holding cell without Lorelei noticing—providing a nice Oh Crap for our villainess. The following fight also qualifies.
    • Coulson himself lampshades this trait of hers near the beginning, after recounting what he's seen Sif do: "Pretty Badass."
    • During the bar fight Sif takes a shotgun blast to the torso at point blank range. Barely a flinch.
  • Lorelei has her moments, too—and not just of the Evil Is Sexy variety. Her unflappably confident demeanor makes her quite charismatic in general.
  • Coulson's Indy Ploy when realizing that Fitz has been compromised. What's awesome is that he somehow gets away with it!
    • You've really got to give it up to Brainwashed!Fitz too: Most people who are affected by Lorelei's power basically act like hopeless love slaves, making it fairly obvious that they are under her control. Fitz lures Sif into the interrogation room without ever tipping her off.

    End of the Beginning 
  • Coulson telling off The Clairoyant:
    Clairvoyant: A force beyond your comprehension is coming for you. You and Skye. She has something we want and she will die giving it to us. I have seen it.
    Coulson: Go to hell!
  • Before becoming brutally incapacitated by Deathlok, Agent Blake managed to shoot him with the tracker devised by Fitz. When Coulson later realizes this he says to himself: "Nicely done, Blake."
  • Seeing May unhesitatingly and unflinchingly hunt Fitz down is equal parts Awesome and Nightmare Fuel.
    • Coulson stops her by drawing his gun on her. She tells him that the bullets in her gun are just icers; he counters by telling her that his are the real thing and he has no problem using them on her if she doesn't drop her gun. The message here? No one messes with a member of Coulson's team, not even one of his own agents.
    • Awesome moment for Skye too, as she backs up Coulson and pulls her own gun on May.

    Turn, Turn, Turn 
  • It turns out that the Mousehole, that lightsaber-esque cutting tool used by Fury and Hill in The Winter Soldier, was invented by Fitz. Fitz saved Fury and Hill's lives!
  • Ward takes out twelve guards by himself. (Offscreen Moment of Awesome, sadly....)
  • May echoes Black Widow by doing a hurricanrana on a mook.
  • Fitz, Cowardly Lion though he is, stammering defiance to the Clairvoyant's face through tears of fear and wishing the Clairvoyant pain. Pain that Fitz would like to play a central role in administering.
    • Not just that, he saved May's life by picking up a gun and shooting a mook that got the drop on her. Fitz's not even remotely cleared for combat, and, judging by the way he tossed away said gun after the deed was done and the floods of tears afterwards, that's probably the first time he's killed someone. Fitz is really stepping up to the plate, no matter how terrified and unwilling he might be.
  • The climactic fight between Coulson and John Garrett, a.k.a. The Clairvoyant, now outed as a top HYDRA operative.
  • Garrett's flying causing the two missiles chasing him to crash into each other. Then later, Coulson shooting down both the UAVs with his and Garrett's coordinated "play dead" maneuver.
  • Hand, pretending to be HYDRA in a Secret Test of Character, approaches Simmons and Trip and gives them the choice to either die or join HYDRA. Trip and Simmons share a small nod, and then Trip takes down the SHIELD agent closest to him and holds him at knifepoint using the knife tossed to him by Simmons. They'd rather die than join HYDRA, and if they're going down, they're taking at least one of them down with them.

    Providence 
  • Coulson's trust in Fury is sound: he and his team, although battered, demoralised and on the run, manage to find Fury's secret base, and Koenig confirms to Coulson that Fury is indeed alive.
  • The mole's explanation of their ongoing deception of Team Coulson is evilly awesome, involving a multifaceted Batman Gambit.

    The Only Light in the Darkness 
  • Ward beat a super-polygraph designed by Nick Fury so that even Black Widow wouldn't be able to beat it, albeit with difficulty, by giving technically factual but out of context responses.
  • Agent Koenig's steely-eyed interrogation of Ward, when the test nears the end—even holding the man at gunpoint when Ward starts evading. Note: He pulls a gun. On Ward. For all his nervous nerdiness in the previous episode, this one moment goes a long way towards making clear the man's a Hidden Badass. Too bad he caught the Idiot Ball soon afterwards.
  • After a few moments of totally breaking after finding out about Ward, Skye gets herself together, resets Ward's penny trap he'd set up to see if anyone had entered the room where he'd stashed the evidence, and completely and totally fools Ward into believing she's none the wiser. She managed to bluff a Hydra spy with Black Widow levels of spy training, despite having found out that the person she trusts most was a spy.
    • Also, she shows just how Properly Paranoid she really is: Not only is the hard drive with every secret from the show's run encrypted so only she can access it, but it's also GPS-locked to one location. And that's what we know so far, there may be more security.

     Nothing Personal 
  • Maria Hill easily identifying the surveillance agents on the street as she walks by.
    • And May neutralizing all of the surveillance agents so that she could speak to Hill without interference.
  • Simmons snapping at Colonel Talbot for going after the whole team when he knows full well who the HYDRA infiltrator was, where he's headed, and the fact that he has a hostage. Made more awesome by the fact that it's the first time in the series Simmons has managed to chew anyone out at length without losing her nerve midway through, and she looks appropriately pissed.
  • Skye's ability to keep her cool after finding out Ward is a HYDRA agent, and setting up several concurrent plans to wait him out and get help.
    • First, she managed to leave a note revealing Ward as a traitor using just the supplies in the bathroom.
    • Second, she stalls Ward by giving him a false location for the hard drive to be encrypted, and tries to sneak a gun along just in case.
    • Then she keeps stalling at the false location — which is the diner from the first episode, a place she would know Coulson should be able to recognize and find — to wait for her team to catch up.
    • And when all else fails, she calls Ward out in the most epic fashion possible — while pretending to decrypt the hard drive, she starts pressing Ward on how he heroically killed Garrett, asking him what he might say to Garrett were he in the diner with them, and coldly offering a few suggestions. Ward is uncomfortable with this line of questioning, and with the police officers who are starting to clear the diner out. She finally turns her laptop towards him: she tipped off the police and presumably every U.S. government agency that Ward is a mole. And as the officers walk over to arrest Ward:
    • She runs out of the diner right after, as the police attempt (unsuccessfully) to apprehend Ward, and even manages to hijack a police car to escape him...but she doesn't get very far before Deathlok shows up and captures her.
    • After she wakes up on the Bus, she immediately tries to attack Ward, and right after he restrains her and says she can't win, she gives him a nice headbutt to the nose.
    • Finally, she gives another epic "The Reason You Suck" Speech in which she becomes the first person to call out HYDRA for being A Nazi by Any Other Name, and she vows that she will never give Ward what he wants.
  • Coulson chewing out Maria Hill for her part in keeping him in the dark about his resurrection, for leading the US military to Fury's secret base, and for selling out Coulson's team and preventing them from going after a known HYDRA agent.
  • Coulson and Hill's epic takedown of Talbot and his troops so they can go after Ward.
  • Hill telling Ward exactly what she thinks of him:
    Ward: Maria Hill. I'd kind of hoped you had gone down with the Triskelion.
    Hill: And I'd kind of hoped that you weren't a duplicitous lowlife, but here we are.
  • Coulson and Skye escaping Ward and Deathlok in Lola. Mid-air.
    • And that's after holding them off with the machine guns hidden in Lola's headlights.
    • He even lands Lola perfectly lined up in the only open parking spot in the immediate area.

     Ragtag 
  • Fitz hits Garrett with a short-range EMP in an attempt to kill him, and brags about it to his face while still at his mercy. The Dog Bites Back, indeed.
  • The fact that Triplett has in his possession a collection of fully-functional seventy-year old SHIELD tech.
  • Deathlok calls out Raina for giving his son over to HYDRA. She tries to argue that she was Just Following Orders, just like him. He counters by asking if someone is waiting to blow a hole in her head if she doesn't obey. Also a CMOH, since it shows that even as he's being forced to murder people, Mike Peterson, the guy who loves his son more than anything in the world, is still in there somewhere.
  • Ward taking a moment to give Garrett hell for ordering Deathlok to shoot him.
  • May blackflipping down a corridor and incapacitating a guard before he can use the phone. As soon as he's out, the phone flies into the air, and May calmly catches it and hangs it back up.
  • Garrett had his guts blown open by an explosion, and when SHIELD wasn't able to extract him, he stuffed them back in, closed the wound with duct tape, and rescued himself.
  • Fitz manages to free himself and Simmons from the HYDRA agents guarding them by throwing his office chair at them.

     The Beginning of The End 
  • Nick Fury showing up and not only rescuing FitzSimmons from the ocean, but backing up Coulson by bringing him the Destroyer Gun and joining him for some Snark-to-Snark Combat with Garrett during the latter's Motive Rant.
  • The entirety of May and Ward's fight.
    • May's reaction to Ward taunting her that the fight was like their relationship all over again:
      "You were never on top."
    • The nail gun
    • May crushing his larynx.
  • Mike/Deathlok, after learning that his son was safe, immediately blasts Garrett, the man who ruined his life, with a missile before delivering a brutal Finishing Stomp.
  • Coulson's To the Pain speech to Ward.
    "Your attempt to cross off Fitz and Simmons failed. But Fitz may never be the same again. So I'm going to invent new ways to ruin the rest of your life. I will do whatever's necessary to get HYDRA intel from you, but your torture? That's gonna be internal. [May: And a little bit external] Sure, some of that. But you devoted your entire life to a deranged narcissist who never gave a damn about anyone, and now he's dead. You've the rest of your life to wrestle with the question, 'Who are you without him?'"
  • May against the super-soldier holding the Berserker Staff:
    Kaminsky: Well, if it isn't The Cavalry.
    May: (beats him down) Don't ever call me that.
    • Then she promptly gets the Berserker Staff and (unsurprisingly) delivers an epic beatdown to the half-dozen other super-soldiers in the room.
  • Skye giving Ward a "The Reason You Suck" Speech while he holds her at gunpoint:
    "You're not the evil I was referring to; Garrett is evil. You're just...weak. Doing whatever you're told. I hope Garrett orders you to walk into traffic."
  • Coulson being named new Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • Fitz is ready to sacrifice his own life to save Simmons. Simmons in turn basically goes "screw that" and hauls both of them 90 feet up through ocean water, with Fitz unconscious the whole time, and then keeps both of them treading at the surface long enough for Fury to play Big Damn Heroes and haul them out.
    • In both cases, the fact that they come up with workable plans in a short space of time and under incredible pressure just adds to the awesomeness of the execution, and there's a hint of Guile Hero at play for both of them. Fitz is able to fashion a breathing device and detonator out of whatever happens to be lying around a standard S.H.I.E.L.D. medical pod, simultaneously keeping Simmons in the dark as to the fact that he doesn't plan on going with her to ensure she continues to help him. Meanwhile, Simmons must have had to do some pretty quick planning on how to curtail Fitz's Heroic Sacrifice, even as she's breaking down completely listening to his Dying Declaration of Love.
  • Samuel L. Jackson appearing again as Nick Fury is as awesome as it comes, especially since this time, it's for a hell of a lot more than a cameo to lecture Coulson about wrecking a plane.
    • Once again, practically every word out of his mouth is both awesome and hilarious.
  • Fury delivers the Destroyer Gun and this time, Coulson knows what it does.
  • Garret begs Coulson to stop Mike from killing him. Coulson's response?
  • Coulson killing Garrett; nonchalant and with the HYDRA Hand Cannon.
    • Especially great considering how Garret was right in the middle of an awesome "I Am Back!!!" moment.... and Coulson acts like he barely noticed anything.
    • The fact that Joss Whedon and company effectively teases the viewers with effectively giving Garret the equivalent of "hand springing up out of the grave"...only to pull the rug out with a big Mood Whiplash, courtesy of Coulson.
  • What did Fitz do after Ward ejected the pod from the plane? Strap both Simmons and him to one of the backboards to avoid impact of hitting the bottom of the ocean, calculated how deep they had sank and why, rig the wireless signals on the EKG to send distress call, checked and organized most of their inventory and did the math for every posibile way out of the pod. All of this with arm broken in two places, which he put in sling all by himself. No sign of panic, even when he understood that there's no way out. Quite impressive for someone who didn't pass their field assessment and was probably still very shaken by his friend trying to kill him.

Meta

  • Clark Gregg made such an impact in the MCU, despite playing a supporting role to colorful superheroes, that Coulson's death in The Avengers led to a fan campaign to somehow resurrect the character that actually worked.
  • Joss Whedon claiming that Disney wouldn't let them show any new clips at Comic-Con... so "all [they could] show" was the entire first episode.
  • Despite being put in the same time slot as the #1 show on network television, which could make one think this show had been Screwed by the Network, it did well enough to be renewed. That's right: Agent Philip J. Coulson (Team ABC) went 22 rounds with Special Agent Leroy J. Gibbs (Team CBS), and while Coulson lost on points, he managed to avoid a total knockout. note 

Phil CoulsonAwesome/Marvel Cinematic Universe    
The Adventures of Pete & PeteAwesome/Live-Action TVAirwolf

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