Sunday, November 1, 2015

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 3.05: “4,722 Hours”

“I will not accept that. There’s always hope.”
- Simmons

Just judging by the episode title, this week’s “Agents of SHIELD’ focuses on Jemma’s time away on the alien planet. It’s rather emotional since we here at More TV, Please are both huge FitzSimmons fans and any time they are sad, we are sad. But enough of an intro, let’s get into the meat of this episode. We see Fitz sweetly ask Simmons out on a date for dinner and then she gets sucked into the portal. Immediately, we pick up with her getting dumped on the other side on the alien planet. After the initial shock wears off, Jemma goes into scientist mode and starts documenting things on her phone. She snaps photos of the desert-like, barren terrain and she notes the air is breathable although the gravity is a bit heavier than Earth. The one thing she isn’t counting on is that it’s basically always night time (which would account for her sensitivity to light when she gets back home).

Before long, Jemma is outfitting herself for rugged living and she notes that she can survive up to three weeks without food but only 100 hours without water. Along the way she’s having a conversation with Fitz about their dinner date and what she should wear and what they’ll talk about. It is really adorable. Just when things are looking absolutely dire for her (including getting nearly buried in a sand storm), she finds water. She even goes swimming in the little pond she’s found but gets attacked by plant/fish thing. She hacks off a piece and ends up eating it raw. Not the best move if you ask me. As time goes on, Jemma continues to talk to the picture of Fitz on her phone which is so sweet because it reminds me of last season with Fitz hallucinating Simmons being there. They really are made for each other. After a month, Jemma manages to kill the plant/fish thing and cook it over a fire. She’s quite proud of herself for this accomplishment until some rustling in what looks like a grove of bamboo catches her attention. She heads off to investigate and ends up falling into a trap below the surface!

After being locked in a cage for a week or two, Jemma finally manages to get free of her human captor (he’s kind of handsome now that I think of it) and races outside but he chases after her. She gets hurt and he drags her back inside to keep her safe. Sure he poked her with a spear and locked her up but he explains he didn’t know if she was real or if he’d gone crazy thanks to the evil thing hunting them on the planet.

As the months pass, we learn that Will is a former astronaut and he came through with three scientists (he’s a former air force pilot). So they’ve got all sorts of scientific equipment but it’s useless without sunlight. It does beg the question how NASA got their hands on the monolith in the first place. Jemma is still focused on getting home but Will is skeptical. After all, he’s been stuck on the planet for 14 years. He also believes the planet is evil and that it kills people and makes them go crazy (which is what happened to the other three NASA folks). Slowly, Will and Jemma find a rhythm and rapport and even begin bonding over what they miss most from Earth (including food and sunlight and Fitz). Jemma is still talking to Fitz as if he were there which just makes it all the more emotional given what Fitz went through. She really does love him and she keeps fighting to get back to him. Again, so sweet.

After Jemma storms off when Will tells her to stay away from what he calls the “no fly zone” she finds a sword and what might be a sextant. This gives her the idea to use the stars to find their way home. But first she needs to make it back to safety before the evil gets her (and she realizes it is real!). Jemma goes into science mode and after some time she manages to figure out when the portal should open again. She and Will make the trek but it’s for naught. They try to send a message through but the canyon they’re at is too long and the bottle shatters in the sand. Jemma breaks down but Will tries to cheer her up and they end up hooking up which made me super sad for Fitz. I mean I can understand why she’d react that way (good looking guy, she thinks they’re never getting home) but still. Ultimately, their domestic bliss can’t last. They head off to see the first sunrise in at least 14 years when Jemma spots Fitz’s flare. They race off in the hopes of getting rescued but the evil shows up in the guise of one of Will’s NASA buddies. Will sacrifices his chance of going home to make sure Jemma gets to Fitz.

It turns out this whole episode has really been Jemma recounting what happened to Fitz to explain why she needs to go back. In hindsight it all makes perfect sense and is kind of heartbreaking. I don’t want any kind of love triangle to really continue but I do want them to find Will and give him something to do. Fitz doesn’t say anything at first when Jemma finishes talking but he’s going to help. Clearly it means something very important to Jemma so of course he’s going to do everything he can to make her happy. And at episode’s end we see that Will is indeed alive although we don’t know if he’s been possessed by the evil or not. We can hope that he’s going to be okay and that FitzSimmons will ride to the rescue. While this episode (clearly) broke from the normal episode structure I really enjoyed it and am glad they were able to present this storyline in such an interesting way.

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