Agents of SHIELD Episode 3.05 recap

28 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Elizabeth Henstridge on Simmons’ harrowing journey.

Well, now we know why Jemma Simmons is desperate to get back to that hellish planet. Elizabeth Henstridge was the first billed name on the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. cast list tonight, and regardless of the fact that no other regular cast member appeared in this episode (until the very end), boy did she deserve it.

Instead, she found companionship in another human stranded in the alien land, an astronaut named Will who’d been sent there by N.A.S.A. with three other (now-deceased) space explorers 14 whole years ago. When the show told us that we would finally find out what happened to Simmons when she was pulled into the portal, I expected an episode that worked like most S.H.I.E.L.D. episodes do — a volley of back and forth flashbacks, alternating from past to present, especially given last week’s events. And as we saw, in the six months together, that companionship slowly blossomed into love—a love that was made super-long distance when Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) was able to rescue Jemma () while Will (Dillon Casey) was left behind. Not to make this about me, but when you do this review gig, you can only do one episode at a time, so sometimes, when an episode of something sits isolated from the rest of the season, you can’t review what might be in the future, you have to review what was. We start from the beginning — the actual beginning, as in, six months ago where Simmons and Fitz are making dinner plans before the unfortunate monolith incident — and we pick up right after Simmons lands on the other side of the portal.

She waits for extraction, pacing, making voice notes on her phone (which has been “souped up” by Fitz to have an unrealistically long battery life). 13 hours, she takes a nap. 22 hours, she wakes, finds it is still dark. Will and Simmons spend months trying to figure out the location of the next portal opening, only to miss it because the monster doesn’t want them to leave — which is what finally breaks the usually optimistic Simmons. News. “For right now, they’re putting all the issues in their relationship to the side because there’s a bigger task at hand and the countdown is on to get [Will] back. I mean, The Martian had Mark Watney growing potatoes on Mars, so anything’s possible.) She quickly surmises that she’s on another planet, which throws her into a disbelieving panic.

She leaves markers as she goes, but she is off to find water and food. 99 hours, and instead of water, she finds a sand storm that knocks her out for two hours. At first, Simmons was ever the scientist, charting, positioning, observing, but soon, she turned into a desperate woman whose only connection to her home world was her smartphone. So there isn’t the time to go into the minutiae.” “That’s what’s so amazing about Fitz—and what Simmons can’t believe at the end of the episode—is that he doesn’t even question it.

It can be said that the show’s glue is the love between the two scientists, and when the series is ready to ride off into the sunset, the last thing I want to see is Fitz and Simmons happily sipping wine together. But there was a complication for that desire as this episode also introduced Will Daniels, a NASA astronaut who was sent to explore the inside the monolith in 2001. I think that they’ve been through something so enormous and when she had absolutely lost all hope, not even of getting home, but just of living, he was there and said the right thing. And I think in that moment, everything changed,” she explains. “Their connection is a very visceral one, and it’s about surviving, and it’s very primal.

I was kind of overwhelmed by the whole concept, just thinking it was so cool and I was very honored to be tasked with something like that, but I just didn’t think it was going to happen. Because if she just kind of fancied him, then she would never ask Fitz to do that, but the stakes are very high.” Of course, as in any high stakes situation, a solution won’t be so easily won. “It’s a very rocky road,” Henstridge teases. “There’s a lot going on with S.H.I.E.L.D. at the moment, with the ATCU, and Hunter is on a mission to get Ward. There was some sort of hooded figure that kept hounding the pair, and as I tried to wrack my brain for which if Marvel’s intergalactic rouges that this mysterious, Tusken Raider looking being could be, I came up empty.

There’s just a lot of moving parts that to ask the team to help us with this task is, you know, everyone’s stretched so thinly at the moment…and we destroyed the portal. That’s just the first time our heart is going to be broken this hour regarding these two, because even though Fitz didn’t appear in the episode until later, his presence was very much felt throughout the whole hour. Simmons may be on a different planet, miles away from the entire world, but Fitz is tethering her to Earth — that’s not love so much as it is being the most important part of someone. (Think about that first time Simmons woke up after Fitz rescued her, and how she immediately crawled into Fitz’s arms. At hour 851, she pretends to be sick so he will open the cage, knocks him out with a bowl, and runs. “Definitely real,” he grumbles before giving chase. I remember hearing an interview with her that said she was speaking to Ellen Pompeo from Grey’s Anatomy, and she advised Kerry to treat yourself like an athlete.

Because practical Simmons has realized exactly how long she can be here without food and water, and that deadline is fast approaching. “But if you do show up while I’m away, you’ll know where to find me,” she promises her friend as she leaves her necklace in a formation of rocks near the portal’s original entrance. She finally makes it to the top of a hill and sees what looks like an approaching sandstorm; two hours later finds her passed out and awakening to (miraculously) find a hole filled with water nearby. That contentment doesn’t last long — and Simmons gets her first taste of fighting for survival when a mysterious water plant tries to drag her under. She manages to save herself by cutting off one of its limbs… and then attempts to eat said limb as a way to compensate for the food she’s still looking for. You’d be so proud of me.” (Jemma, WE are so proud of you.) In short, Jemma Simmons could probably go on Survivor right now AND The Amazing Race right after, and beat everyone by a long shot.

Now, I could totally picture that, using the idea of a sentient, murderous egocentric planet, but I can’t imagine they would ever feature the planet with a face and a goatee introduced by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee in the pages of Thor in 1966. Death.) According to Will, the planet has “moods, not rules” and the dust storm called “death” affects the planet (that’s how you can tell it’s coming). As she’s stitching herself up, Rational Scientist and Resident Bad Ass Jemma Simmons refuses to believe Will’s explanation that a planet can be evil — she describes how certain environments can have different scientific properties.

Nearly everything is outdated, however, leading Will to admit how long he’s been here… and Simmons is the first person he’s seen in a very, very long time. He couldn’t turn down the temptation, so he volunteered, along with a team of scientists who were supposed to study the planet’s properties and gather samples to bring home. And while NASA sent them off with a bunch of powerful items, everything is solar powered…and of course, this planet has no sun. (By the way, did you all catch the Easter egg of the name “Brubaker,” a.k.a. famous comic writer Ed Brubaker?) Will and Jemma bond over updated technology, and he’s both surprised that she got here without NASA, and that S.H.I.E.L.D. is a real thing.

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