Agents of SHIELD Goes Cyberpunk
In a change of pace, this of episode Agents of SHIELD gives everyone a break from routine and goes full on space cyberpunk neo-noir, complete with robots, neon, hallucinations, breaking glass, existential desperation and the chief investigator’s voiceover narration. As befits a cyberpunk dystopia, irony and gallows humor abound. Because this is Agents of SHIELD and not Blade Runner or Altered Carbon, the result is both deadly serious and tongue in cheek.
Thematically, the episode revolves around friendships and Fitz and Simmons’ deep need to be reunited. The friendship pairings of Fitz and Enoch, and Jemma and Daisy, are closely examined in ways that are overdue. Piper and Davis also get a chance to shine both as individuals and to show their affection for each other as partners, despite their recent grumbles. There’s a glancing nod toward Jaco and Sarge, a fascinating pairing when you consider that Coulson was always drawn to talented outcasts, especially powered people.
Calling it now: Sarge/Fake Coulson is a Chronicom hunter. In episode 1, Benson said that Tinker was cybernetic. Sarge has traveled extensively through time and space and he and his team are clearly hunting for specific targets. This episode went from showing a Chromicon hunter capturing Fitz to Sarge setting off a targeting device in Earth’s sky. Otherwise, Earth wasn’t shown in this episode. That’s a pretty huge hint.
We open on a man who we’ll later discover is a Chronicom hunter sitting at a desk in a dark room, sorting through electronic mug shots. Fitz and Enoch’s photos are attached and set off an alarm. The hunter picks up his weapon and a metal circle that looks like the weapon Ruby used in season 5, which I came to loathe.
This isn’t a weapon, though. It’s a method of transportation, which I believe has been used somewhere in the MCU before, maybe even on SHIELD. Maybe by Ghostrider? It’s some kind of technology that mimics Dr Strange’s sling ring.
The hunter steps into the middle of the circle. It glows, multiplies, then disappears him.
Naro-Atzia Customs Station CI-741
The Zephyr One sits parked and orbiting Naro-Atzia while the crew argues about their next move. Piper and Davis vote to throw Simmons in the brig, except there isn’t one, so the cargo hold will have to suffice. They’re almost out of food, the ship is in bad shape and she jeopardized the mission. Simmons reminds them all that Fitz is the mission, then calls them cowards.
Elizabeth Henstridge is working on her tough Britsh matron impression, à la Judi Dench or Helen Mirren. I’d say it’s coming along nicely.
Daisy tries to take control and be the commanding officer. She says that Simmons is right, Fitz is the mission, but it was Daisy’s job to decide which planet they went to, not Jemma’s. Jemma questions which side Daisy is on. Daisy lists everything they’ve all done for her and Fitz, including going to a fire planet. But then she questions Jemma’s skill by saying they’re in deep space because of a tiny word they can’t even read.
Not the way to defuse the situation. Of course Jemma checked it a dozen times or more to make sure she read it correctly.
Daisy announces that they’re going home after all. Jemma decides to stay in space, but Daisy says she’ll lock Jemma up rather than letting her stay behind alone. Jemma tells her she can try…
Just when it looks like this won’t end well, unless Piper can sedate them both, a message comes up on the monitor from Pretorious Pryce, their duly sanctioned customs officer, who’s ready to come on board for their required customs inspection. Daisy tries to tell him that they won’t be staying, so no inspection is necessary, but his mental and physical health seem to rely on following the rules. Documents have been prepared and are in the system, so they have to go ahead with the inspection.
They give up and invite him aboard. Jemma figures they can ask if he’s seen Fitz. Maybe he inspected Fitz’s ship. The other’s still think she’s grasping at straws.
Fitz and Enoch have arrived at Kitson and are in the process of selling the Xandarian snails. The potential buyers seem friendly, even offering Fitz a snack. Enoch stops him, saying that the colorful puffs are not for human consumption. Enoch is a little too open about who they are and what they are going to do with their profit.
The buyers change their tone, showing Enoch and Fitz their own mug shots. They’ve decided to just take the snails and the ship. Fitz and Enoch can’t go to the local enforcers, since they’re wanted criminals. Fitz tries to get the buyers to leave him and Enoch with the ship, but they give him a single gaming token, instead. He and Enoch will have to use it as their stake to win enough money in the casino to finance a cryo pod and the trip back to Earth.
They head straight to the House of Games. The greeter at the front tells them that weapons and mechanical beings are banned inside the establishment. Enoch walks straight through the scanner, without hesitation. Fitz rushes after him, confused. Enoch explains that he’s not a robot, droid, mech, cyborg or synth. He’s a Chronicom and he can beat any scanner they put in front of him.
Enoch realizes that he’s been having the Chronicom version of fun for the last year, since their ship was attacked, other than that one time with the Maztats. And Fitz has become his best friend during that time. He asks if Fitz feels the same.
Fitz, on the contrary, feels nothing but frustration about their progress. He just wants to find Jemma, and anything that gets in the way of that is an annoyance, not fun.
Fitz, after all, spent months being brainwashed in the Framework, then had the entire team zapped away from him, and then was imprisoned for months. Then he had to work with Robin, who works painfully slowly and communicates cryptically. Enoch refused to help him until Robin drew him, which made him part of the prophecy. He’s not helping Fitz out of friendship. This is a duty for Enoch. And Enoch is the same guy who sent Jemma to the future to begin with. Fitz has the right to some resentment.
The House of Games is a dive bar with gaming tables. Enoch announces that he’s programmed in 10,000 games of chance. However, he’s never played any of them. Fitz decides he’ll probably never see Jemma again.
Pretorious Pryce is still explaining the rules and regulations involved in the customs inspection of the Zephyr. First they have to hand over their weapons. Then he asks their planet of origin and purpose for visiting Naro-Atzia. He seems disturbed when they mention Earth. When Jemma shows him Fitz’s photo and mentions his name, Pryce tells her she shouldn’t have said the name.
Apparently, Fitz has become Voldemort. Someone is listening.
That someone is the hunter, who appears moments later and shoots Daisy and Piper with a stun gun. Jemma hides, then makes an acrobatic run for her gun. Just as she aims it at the hunter, Davis comes up behind him and knocks him out.
Fitz and Enoch are still debating their next move. Enoch orders drinks to help them think, but Fitz says they can’t afford fancy bar drinks while they only have one chip. Enoch casually goes to a gaming table, places a bet, and wins a pile of chips. He explains to Fitz that he was watching the table out of the corner of his eye, and the odds were very good that his bet would win, based on the past 30 rounds.
Fitz finally figures out that Enoch is an advanced computer who has good odds of winning them the money. Now he’s excited and sells it to Enoch as another best friends adventure. Enoch points out that, as a synthetic being, he’s not allowed to gamble, but Fitz tells him it’s part of the adventure. Enoch says he’s aware of besties breaking the law together, even committing murder. Fitz: “What? No. That’s a really worrying thing to have said.”
Sometimes I wonder if Enoch is aware of the future part of the time loop. He did make it to the future, even if he didn’t come back, and you’d think a Chronicom would have a special relationship with time. In retrospect, he seemed to be aware of this part of the timeline when Fitz woke up from cryo in the future. But he either doesn’t know that the Earth was saved in the past after he died, or he’s not sure when the destruction is supposed to happen, so he hasn’t figured out that it didn’t.
On the Zephyr, the crew has the hunter handcuffed to the stairs. He’s definitely from some sort of time organization that likes to make uber serious time puns and thinks it’s in charge of how time works in the universe. He inserts the word time into the conversation everywhere he can, in a voice meant to let them know they’re in trouble now.
Hunter: “You and your friends are out of time… Leopold Fitz is a wanted man.”
Daisy: “Wanted for what?”
Hunter: “Tampering with the universe.”
Huh. Which time got him in trouble, though? Closing the fear dimension? Helping Aida build an Inhuman body? His general involvement with her and the Darkhold? Building a time machine that travels to the past? Helping to break the time loop by dying? (Daisy using the Centipede formula on herself to defeat Graviton was the big event, but with Fitz dead, they couldn’t build the time machine, have Deke’s mom, or complete other necessary parts of the time loop.)
Hunter: “Leopold Fitz should not be here.”
Jemma: “Agreed. He should be with us, back on Earth.”
Hunter: “Earth is where he died. Over a year ago, if I’m not mistaken.”
Jemma: “What are you?”
Hunter: “A hunter. As I said previously, you and you friends are out of time.”
The hunter also tells them that Fitz was on the next ship that was scheduled to dock at Naro-Atzia. Jemma and Daisy share a moment of joy that they’re so close to finding Fitz, then Daisy leaves to question the inspector.
Enoch buys his premium beverages with his winnings. While Enoch drinks two or three questionable cocktails, Fitz examines the room and determines where Enoch should play next. He finds the equivalent of a high rollers Black Jack table. Enoch enthusiastically joins the game, revealing his inexperience to the other players.
Piper checks the inspector’s logs and discovers that the ship that was supposed to dock just before them turned around and went to Kitson instead. Inspector Pryce says that Fitz “must be a man of perverted desire”, since Kitson is absent any scrap of decency. There’s a saying- “What happens on Kitson
stays on Kitson is contagious and burns.”
Enoch thinks he’s making friends with one of the other players, but it turns out that the other man is working him, so that Enoch won’t know when he’s bluffing. The man wins almost all of their money from him. Fitz tries to stop Enoch from placing the losing bet, but he’s too trusting of the other man.
The Zephyr flies to Kitson and quickly catches up to the Controller’s ship. Someone keeps trying to contact the ship, but it’s not clear if it’s Daisy and Jemma, or someone looking for the Controller. The new owners, Fitz and Enoch’s former “buyers”, ignore the calls.
The Zephyr catches up with Fitz’s former ship. The crew board it to question the buyers. They try to take advantage of the agents, but Daisy uses her powers to break a couple of fingers, which gets the leader to start talking. The agents learn that Fitz is traveling with Enoch and that he’s on Kitson. The buyer says that on Kitson, you’ll find someone in either the casinos or the brothels.
Davis spots the multicolored puffs that Enoch warned Fitz away from and takes them to munch on.
Fitz explains bluffing to Enoch, pointing out that he does it all the time, as a robot who passes for human. Enoch protests that he’s not a robot. He asks if they’re still best friends. Then he thinks of ways they can still make money, starting with the brothels. He’s well-versed in over 130… Fitz stops him. They aren’t that desperate yet.
Enoch suggests they try a game based entirely on mathematical odds, with no bluffing. Fitz wonders why they didn’t do that first. Because it’s a high stakes game- So high, that Fitz will be the collateral for the bets. If he loses, he’ll be sold into slavery. Enoch will be his handler, who counts tiles and tells Fitz how to bet. He’ll signal Fitz using tones so high pitched that only a human can hear them. One dog whistle means hold, two means hit.
Fitz is taken to his seat at the table and locked in. Enoch tells him to avoid getting a 14, but doesn’t give any explanation.
Daisy and Jemma go to the casino. Jemma says that they’d better find Fitz in the casino, and not the brothels. Better dead than in the brothels. Both women try to stifle their giggles.
They experience the greeter as weirdly distorted. While they’re removing their weapons, Daisy asks Jemma if she feels strange. Jemma won’t answer. They decide to answer at the same time. Daisy says she’s tripping balls. Jemma is sure there’s a medical explanation for their hallucinations, like a reaction to the atmosphere.
Daisy seems to have felt this hallucinogenic feeling before.
They crawl down the stairs into the casino. On the way, the drug kicks in at full strength and they figure out it was the puffy snacks they ate.
Back on the Zephyr, Davis is also tripping, and so are the giraffes who’ve come over to play. Piper is thankfully sober.
Jemma and Daisy make it to the bar and forget the mission, but decide that it’s ladies night. The addition of alcohol helps their clarity immensely. They have one of the best conversations ever, including a vision of monkey Fitz, as Jemma’s patronus, balancing at the end of a straw. Monkey Fitz reminds Jemma of why she’s there. Daisy tries to tell Jemma that they have a cosmic connection, and are really one person, but she’s disappeared. The sleazebag who won Enoch and Fitz’s money hits on Daisy instead.
Davis grounds himself by recalling that he’s a secret agent in space. But then the hunter he’s supposed to be watching slides his hand out of the handcuffs and Davis’ mind is blown. It’s not his fault, really. Piper finds him passed out on the floor and the hunter missing. Davis tells her that the hunter is like a shape-shifting contortionist-assassin. She deduces that he’s not the most reliable witness.
Daisy wanders the bar, searching for Jemma and doing a classic noir voiceover. She finds Jemma’s sock feet sticking out from under a table, like the Wicked Witch of the East in The Wizard of Oz. Daisy tells the crowd that she’ll take care of it. They don’t care.
Daisy joins Jemma under the table. Jemma says that her parents are mice, which makes pefect sense to Daisy. They are the same person.
Jemma sincerely apologizes for dragging Daisy across the universe. Daisy forgives her, because it’s only made them closer. Jemma says that she couldn’t help it, she just misses Fitz so much. Daisy is sad for her and wishes she had her own Fitz except, not Fitz, you know?
Jemma, crying: “You’ve had just awful luck in that department. It’s so sad. But you’re so strong now and so confident. I’m so proud of you.”
They grab each other’s faces. Both are crying now.
Daisy: “Really? That means so much, coming from you.”
Jemma: “You just mean so much, you’re my best friend.”
Daisy: “I love you, too.”
Jemma: “Your skin is so soft.”
When this is what comes out in stoned conversations, the relationship is fundamentally okay. This little trip has been great therapy for them, allowing them to let down their guards for a little while and be honest with each other, without the burdens of SHIELD getting in the way.
They pause the conversation, because they hear high pitched sounds. It’s Enoch’s signal to Fitz. They realize that they’re the only ones who can hear it, which means it’s meant for humans, which means it’s for Fitz. They jump up to head to the room the sound is coming from. Except they’re still under the table, so, ouch. They don’t get very far.
With Enoch’s coaching, Fitz is winning. The guy next to him asks for a hit. The dealer cautions him, but he goes ahead. Within moments, a weapon rises from the table and shoots the man in the heart with an arrow. The dealer tells Fitz, “Never hit on 4.”
Because there are so many cards worth 10 in the deck, there’s a good chance you’ll get 14. And someone must hate the number 14.
The body is dragged from the table and play resumes. It’s time for Fitz to place a bet, but Enoch appears to have dozed off while standing. Fitz tries to stall and to wake up Enoch by loudly talking to himself. He asks, “What are the odds of me getting a 7 or less?”
The dealer thinks Fitz is asking him, and says, “Any dealer caught giving odds is fed to Mr Kitson’s Vrellnexian.” Fitz speaks even slower and tries not to ask questions that will cause trouble.
Who knew there was an actual Mr Kitson who owns his own pleasure planet? That explains a lot. If it’s all privately owned, then the rules are made and enforced according to one man’s desires. What else does Kitson own?
Enoch let’s out an alarm siren and collapses. The dealer figures out that he’s a synth and recalls that Fitz was with Enoch. He clears the room, detaining Fitz and Enoch. He says that Mr Kitson will want to deal with them personally. Yikes.
The hunter is hooked up to the Zephyr’s computer and is using his finger like a flash drive. The light wave of information looks like it’s flowing into the Zephyr, but it would make more sense for him to extract their logs. Maybe he’s putting a tracking program in.
When Piper surprises the hunter, he tosses his sling ring down and disappears. She wonders who he was trying to contact using their computer. Davis helpfully shoots out the Zephyr’s fuse box while trying to aim at the hunter.
Enoch regains consciouness to find Fitz messing with his parts in order to reboot him. He says that he’s “not comfortable with this level of intimacy”, even with his best friend.
Says the guy who was ready to make his fortune in a brothel a few minutes ago.
Enoch realizes that the alarm was a remote override of his system, which will have been done to him by another Chronicom. He figures out that they’re in trouble, because the other Chronicoms are after them. Fitz thinks that Chronicoms won’t be a big problem, but Enoch explains that while he’s an anthropologist who’s programmed for research and sensual gratification, there are other varieties who are more dangerous. Hunters, for example.
Three hunters, none of whom were the one on the Zephyr, enter the club. Daisy and Jemma are just now climbing out from under the table. They recognize what the hunters are and why they’re there. Daisy takes them on, but her aim is way off.
Enoch works out that the remote shutdown means that he’s been decommissioned. He goes into a depression monologue about his worthlessness and shame, while Fitz tries to get them out of the room they’re locked in before someone shows up with a Vrellnexian to punish them for gaming violations. Fitz tries to tell Enoch that he’s still useful, and Enoch proves it by telling Fitz that the dead guy in the corner smells so bad because his blood is 75% sulfur. Fitz breaks off an arm (the Doctor isn’t completely gone from this version either) and rubs the open stump all over the door frame.
Meanwhile, Jemma helps Daisy aim her quake arm. Then Daisy sends Jemma to find Fitz, while she has the most awesome bar fight ever. She tells Jemma, “If I can’t quake it, I’ll break it.” And she does. She makes excellent use of a Daisy-sized turntable.
Enoch questions his existence, since he’s nothing but a speck of dust in the infinite, an afterthought in the worm-ridden mind of the black void. Fitz finishes with his arm stump and asks Enoch to take a break from being infinite nothing to set the door on fire. Enoch questions why he’d bother, when there’s no purpose and they’ll all soon be dust. Fitz says, “Because you’re my best friend. Remember? That’s your purpose.”
You have no idea how much I loved writing those last two paragraphs.
Enoch thinks Fitz is bluffing. Fitz has to be sincere to convince Enoch that they’re best friends now. Enoch decides he’ll do anything for his best friend.
Jemma finds the room where Fitz and Enoch are being held. The dealer is standing guard outside. She explains her situation to the guard, who tells her to lay off the puffs. He thinks she should go home, because Kitson isn’t a place for a nice girl like her.
She’s about to leave when Fitz and Enoch blow the door. Fitz emerges from the smoky doorway, and they look at each other in surprise for a few seconds before the main hunter rings in, grabs Fitz, and rings back out again, all in about 3 seconds.
The other hunters were there to distract Daisy, so she couldn’t protect Fitz.
Enoch comes through the doorway next. He sees Jemma and says, “You should not be here.”
On Earth, Sarge and Jaco bring the big gun that runs on PEGs outside. They put on their sunglasses, Sarge points the weapon at the sky, and fires an energy beam toward the stars. It creates hundreds of points of light. After a minute, Jaco looks at a map of North America on his tablet and finds at least 5 targets identified.
Sarge says he’s seen better and he’s seen worse. He and Jaco get ready to make a mess.
If we’re going to have duplicates running around and continue to play with time, isn’t it about time to find a reason to bring back Ward and Trip again? We don’t need a reason to bring back Ward, he belongs with the gang. And I really need a fix of Trip showing up with his confident charm and connection to the Howlies to make it seem like everything will be fine. If Deke doesn’t work out, he’d still be an excellent boyfriend for Daisy. I would also accept a resurrected Lincoln as a distant third choice, but only if he learned how to have fun while he was dead.
Just who is the mysterious Mr Kitson, owner of the planet named after him? Is he the galactic Tony Stark? Someone we’ve met before? We’ll probably meet him, sooner or later, since they mentioned him more than once. It’s Ward or Lincoln brought back to life, right?
The Vrellnexians live! In our time period!
Quite a few Harry Potter references this week, after Mack and May hired Benson to restart the Academy. Maybe the Disney streaming service will give us two spinoffs- SHIELD meets Hogwarts and Spies in Space. Mack and Yo-Yo can keep SHIELD, while May and Benson can start up the Academy (May has McGonagall written all over her).
Once the kids swing back home to pick up Deke and drop off Davis, they can continue their deep space adventures. Regular SHIELD and the Lighthouse will seem stuffy and boring in comparison to visiting fire planets.
My Take on the Chronicoms and the Time Authority
Chronicoms are probably made by starting with corpses of whatever species, then turning them into very sophisticated cyborgs and thoroughly wiping their memories. Any parts that are prone to breaking are replaced, which would include all internal organs and the circulatory system. Bones and brain would be reinforced.
Or maybe the Chronicoms are robots, but they always vehemently insist they aren’t. The show and the Chronicoms have been cagey about what, exactly, they are, from the beginning, which means there’s a twist coming up.
In this episode we learn that there are a variety of types of Chronicoms, with different personalities, and that Chronicom hunters exist and hunt down time anomalies. We discover that both Fitz and Deke are being hunted (if you include next week’s promo). What do they have in common? From a certain perspective, they shouldn’t be here. They are time remnants.
Hopefully eventually we’ll be told why that means they need to be hunted down and executed, as opposed to humans powered by infinity stones, humans infused with the DNA of another species, and all of the other types of powered people who are technically unnatural.
We don’t know much about the MCU Chronicoms yet, despite how long Enoch’s been on the show. We don’t know if they work for a private or government organization, if it’s a planetary or galaxy-wide group, what the goals and purposes of their employers are, or even if we’d should consider their employers good guys or bad guys. We also don’t know Why there are anthropologists studying Earth or hunters maintaining certain timelines. Who benefits from this?
Enoch is now a rogue Chronicom. Are the hunters rogue bounty hunters free-lancing for a time authority or is the time authority the main organization that the Chronicoms work for? They do have “chron” in their name, from the Greek root word Khronos, meaning time.
But Enoch wasn’t supposed to interfere with the timeline and the hunters don’t care what they disrupt, so it doesn’t seem like they work for the same group. Enoch was on Earth for 30,000 years, which means the system that placed him here is very old.
It seems like that system has grown corrupt and possibly broken down into rival or warring factions. At the very least, the timeline enforcement arm has become inflexible and overly conservative about stopping timeline disruption, while the research arm has become out of touch with the realities and implications of disruptions. As observers, some of them don’t see the harm in a little experimentation and flexibility with the rules.
Themes of Casablanca and This Episode
This episode is pure fun combined with noir genius, Casablanca in space. It’s full of heart and new information slipped in during seemingly trivial moments.
Unlikely friendships– Fitz and Enoch practically say, “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” Casablanca ends where Fitz and Enoch’s friendship begins- with a couple of reluctant friends on the run.
Scrappy, not too respectable underdogs vs an authoritarian enemy– Casablanca takes place in WW2, against the ultimate real life evil, the Nazis. We’re not completely sure who this season’s enemy is yet, but, as I’ve been predicting in various places, the MCU is now Legends of Tomorrow, with a universe that’s been thrown out of whack by various time hijinks. The MCU time authority, whoever that is, will be stepping in to fix those anomalies, punish the wrongdoers, snuff out the broken timestream, or whatever draconian measures they normally take, that the agents need to fight against this season and probably next.
Rick’s Cafe Americain vs The Kitson House of Games– Both casino/bars are Vegas-like dens of sin which foster an “anything goes” atmosphere. Sex, drugs, gambling, alcohol, a diverse clientele and powerful music are all important to the experience. The casino/bars take a neutral stance toward the politics and allegiances of the outside
world galaxy forcing patrons to leave their disputes at the door. Until the characters of this story show up, of course. (Where do you think George Lucas got the idea for his Star Wars cantina?)
The Individual vs The Greater Good– “Ilsa, I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.” This is one of SHIELD’s favorite themes and it’s at the center of Casablanca. The lead character, Rick, looks out for himself first, because he’s been burned too many times by doing otherwise. By the end of the film, he learns that there are still things that are worth fighting for.
Enoch goes through an accelerated version of this process in the episode. He moves from being a disengaged Chronicom, to realizing he cares about Fitz and has enjoyed their time together, to losing his job. By the end, he accepts his status as Fitz’s partner in crime and Fitz’s causes as his own. He’s left with the setup to join the Zephyr’s crew and hunt for Fitz. Once he has another meltdown, undoubtedly.
Jemma’s is a modified version of Rick, since she hasn’t given up, but she has become ruthless. The rest of the Zephyr crew try to be there for her, even though they are exhausted in every way possible. Her actions seem selfish on the surface, but, as with Rick, there are deeper reasons for why she seems to take advantage of them.
Romance vs The Bigger Picture– “We’ll always have Paris.” Both SHIELD and Casablanca have set romance against the bigger picture of conflict, and asked if it’s important enough to fight for when there are so many other problems that are more important in the grand scheme of things.
Casablanca found romance to be crucial, but decided it’s okay to settle for friendship when the free world is at stake and selflessness is required. Rick sent his true love, Ilsa, to provide romance, love and support for her husband, a Resistance fighter, in his work, after deciding that Laszlo needed her more than Rick did.
(Why Rick thinks that’s his decision to make is another whole discussion, but we have to live with the misogyny of the time period.)
FitzSimmons have always needed each other to function at their best, even before they became romantic partners. Their scientific partnership is balanced by their complementary skills, and their personal partnership is balanced by their complementary personalities. Not everyone gets a romantic partner like that, but some really do find their soulmate.
For them, the romance is the bigger picture. When it comes to FitzSimmons, SHIELD has always comes down on the side of their romance, while also addressing the larger issues at hand. Let’s hope that continues.
In seasons 4 & 5, FitzSimmons learned that they needed to put their relationship first if they were going to have any chance of being together and swore to never leave each other’s sides. They broke that vow, and Fitz died. Jemma didn’t even get to say goodbye.
That’s essential to remember in order to understand what’s driving Jemma right now, while she’ll stop at nothing and simply couldn’t turn her back on jumping to Naro-Atzia. Fitz is her Rick and her Laszlo, her soulmate and her lifelong best friend who she has a beautiful friendship with. She’s always been selfless, always fought for the greater good and always kept the bigger picture in mind. She and Fitz have almost died too many times to count, and been separated as many times.
They deserve to put their partnership first. The world owes them, and they’ll be better at continuing to save the world if they’re together. Rick made the choice in Casablanca that would give the Resistance the best chance against the Nazis. Giving FitzSimmons the best chance for survival also gives Earth its best chance for survival.
(The fact that Mack and May have been unable to find replacements for them proves this.)
Relationships That Are Filled with Resentment Because of the Past– In Casablanca, the resentment lies between Rick and Ilsa, because she chose her husband over him. (When she started her relationship with Rick, she thought Laszlo had died in prison.) In the end, they all come to terms with the way things have to be, because the war forces their decisions.
In SHIELD, there’s resentment amongst the entire crew of the Zephyr because they’ve been cooped up together for so long. But the significant resentment lies between Daisy and Jemma. Each feels they were shown disrespect by the other one during season 5.
This season picked up one year after the events of season 5, so they’ve had time to work through the issues that built up in the Lighthouse, but there is still tension. Jemma still disobeys orders. Daisy still doesn’t really treat Jemma with empathy.
In this episode, Daisy discovered that Jemma was right about Naro-Atzia and Fitz being nearby. We learned that in addition to her resentment of Jemma and Fitz for their actions with the fear dimension and Ruby/General Hale, jealousy may also be a subtle underlying motivation for the way she’s worked against them. Daisy wants a Fitz of her own, since her relationships never work out, bringing us into Casablanca territory again.
The good news is, once they find and save original flavor Fitz, Daisy can have Deke, Fitz 3.0. She just has to get back to Earth in time to save him from the hunters.
More on Friendship
Enoch has been healing for Fitz because he’s honest, undemanding and non judgemental. Like a really smart therapy dog, he has no hidden agenda. Fitz needed someone like Enoch after Aida and Radcliffe messed him up, and he was imprisoned and held in solitary confinement for months by Hale. His adventures in space with Enoch gave him time away from his “normal” life to take a breath, even though they were on the run.
Fitz has abandonment and trust issues because his father abandoned him as a child and he’s always had bad luck with best friend types. They tend to die, turn evil and then die, or turn their backs on him. There’s been too much betrayal involved. Fitz is understandably nervous about having another best friend who’s not Jemma.
Daisy and Jemma have had all year on the Zephyr to relearn how to work together day-to-day, despite the betrayal and disagreements of S5. They are like sisters, and they’ll always work these things out. But there was still tension between them, especially from the disagreement over whether to go back to earth or on to Naro-Atzia. Once it became clear that Jemma was right, they put their differences aside.
Daisy and Jemma really needed their girls night of fun and bonding to re-establish the core of their friendship. And they did. They reminded themselves and each other how much they’ve been through together and how much they just plain love each other and want to be there for each other.
Images courtesy of ABC/Marvel.