By The Nerdling
FitzSimmons are trapped in a Chronicon mind palace.
The Best Part of Sharing a Mind…
Waking up in a white room, Jemma and Fitz are finally reunited! But the room is more than it seems. The two are hooked to a cerebral fusion machine by Atarah. The Chronicon leader materializes to show them the destruction of Chronica II. She demands they use their shared knowledge to recreate the machine they used to stop the destruction of Earth. But she warns them, any attempts at escape will result in their own madness.
At first, Jemma and Fitz are happy to just be reunited. They have tea, cakes, and recap how they ended up here when Fitz proposes. Of course, he doesn’t know he has done it once before. And that his speech is nearly identical to the one he gave Jemma 70ish years in the future. But Jemma happily accepts all the same.
Will Always Lead to the Worst Parts
Fitz wants to get down to the mechanics of how she and the others traveled to the future, returned to the present, and stopped the Earth ending event. Jemma is so determined about not talking about it, she reverts to her 7(and a half)-year-old self and escapes to her childhood bedroom. Fitz brings up AIDA to revert a jealous Jemma back to her old self. In the process, he triggers her into revealing Fitz and Coulson’s deaths in the wake of the battle with Gravitron.
Seeing his own dead body and realizing his true father figure was gone summons the worst part of Fitz, Leopold. Jemma and Fitz run thru a few more of their memories from their time at the academy and when they first met Coulson while the Hydra doctor stalks the two back into Jemma’s childhood bedroom. The distress releases Jemma’s own personal demon from her music box. A Samara-like embodiment of all Jemma’s bottled-up anxiety and anger.
Fitz is captured by evil-Jemma and strung upside down to be eviscerated. Jemma ends up strapped to the memory machine and tortured by Leopold.
Being punished by the worst parts of their loved one, Jemma and Fitz come to realize they can summon help from their friends. Jemma calls upon Daisy. Fitz brings in Mac with his shotgun ax. While their best friends take on their monsters, Jemma and Fitz hash out their anger at one another in a containment pod. They scream and yell about all the pain they caused one another. Fitz sacrificing himself to save Jemma and the subsequent brain damage. Her leaving immediately after for an undercover assignment. Her time on Maveth with Will. Fitz secretly building AIDA. His persona in the Framework.
All of their worst moments were caused by one another. But they come to the conclusion they will sacrifice anything to rescue one another. They are each other’s greatest pain because they are each other’s greatest love. They exit the pod together (leaving the worst parts of themselves to their own sexy times) and head back to the white room.
Atarah returns to the white room to intimidate them into solving the problem, but the two refuse. Messing with time will only lead to more problems and paradoxes. The Chronicon begins to threaten again when she freezes and falls. Jemma and Fitz wake from the cerebral fusion machine to find Enoch surrounded by a deactivated Atarah and other Chronicons.
The three-step into a breach Enoch creates to go home. Just before they disappear, Jemma informs Fitz he is a grandfather.
Stepping on the Moment
Back at the Lighthouse, Daisy fills Mac in on the FitzSimmons situation. Mac is not worried. He knows when the two are together, they are unstoppable. He even guesses (correctly) they probably have already escaped.
Daisy also tells Mac about the destruction of Chronica II. Mac says he saw the footage and starts to warn the threat is here on Earth. But Daisy already made that leap in logic.
The best Agents of SHIELD episodes are the ones based around FitzSimmons. There was no advancement of the plot, but there was strong character development. You can never go wrong with that.
The use of the cerebral machine is very debatable. Enoch claims it is too dangerous for humans, but Atarah feels the machine will be faster. If Atarah really wanted results, she would have just stuck the two in a room together to work it out and not risked frying their only hope’s brain. But the flimsy excuse is forgiven. It gave us a reason to have this episode.
So much has happened to this couple over the past six and a half seasons. And they have had hardly a breath to catch up and hash everything out. At least, not on screen. This is the first time they two have even had a chance to truly address AIDA since leaving the Framework.
But it is so nice to have it all in the open, not to be used as a cheap ploy in the future to create tension between the two. Another reason why AoS does character development better than most series’ out there.
Fitz yelling Jemma’s repression-monster is “so British” of her might have been my favorite thing. My second favorite is those two goobers love each other so much, even their evil alter-egos fall for one another.
The bond between Jemma and Daisy has always been very apparent, so I wasn’t surprised Jemma was saved by Quake. But I love that Fitz called upon his memory of Mac (who still calls him Turbo) to save him from Evil-Jemma. When Jemma left to infiltrate Hydra, it was Mac who patiently helped Fitz re-train his brain and become a stronger, more confident version of himself. To me, that was a wonderful and subtle callback to the bond those two men developed.
Next week is going to be a hell of a rollercoaster ride as Daisy, Fitz, and Jemma get to meet Sarge for the first time. Also, Sarge challenges Mac in who should lead in the fight against the shrikes.
The Nerdling was born in the majestic land known as Texas and currently resides there after several years of journeying through Middle Earth in a failed attempt to steal the one Ring from that annoying hobbit, serving the Galactic Empire for a time, and then a short stint as a crew member on the Serenity. Since moving back to her homeland, Nerdling flirted with a hero reputation. Saving children from the dangers of adoring domineering, sparkly vampires (champions with souls are the only vampires worth loving) and teaching normals the value of nerdom, all while rooting for her beloved Dallas Stars. Then came the Sokovia Accords and her short spell of saving others came to an end. With Darth Vader’s reputation rightfully returning to badass status, Nerdling is making her way back to the Empire. They do have cookies, you know. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram.