That certainly was an emotional hour of TV. Elizabeth Henstridge was riveting.
I've mentioned in the past that S.H.I.E.L.D. is a good show, but it isn't "must watch TV." Well folks, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3 Episode 5 proved me wrong. This series can be compelling enough for us to tune in live. It's no longer a DVR show for me.
It might have taken a couple of seasons, but S.H.I.E.L.D's found its groove baby.
Though that scene with Fitz awkwardly asking Simmons to dinner seems like it took place eons ago, in reality it was just 6 months. So much has gone down in these first few episodes, right?
I (and many Marvel fans) had issues with the pacing of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1, but the series' second run demonstrated a definite improvement in that area. This year, having the magic formula down to a science, the creative team was able to drop us "over there" for an hour and keep us totally engaged.
It was cool to revisit that finale sequence and watch the monolith not only swallow Jemma up, but deposit her on the other side.
The countdown added to Jemma's helplessness, and gave me a real sense of dread as those hours ticked away. Jemma's iPhone proved a real life saver. I honestly think the little device helped her retain some of her sanity. Well, that and Fitz's familiar smiling face.
Documenting her experience was brilliant, but how long would that battery last?
This is Doctor Jemma Simmons updating the file on the monolith Fitz and I have been studying. I now know that it is an alternating matter transportation device. A portal. Quite remarkable really, I've been transported to an unknown planet. In a different solar system.Simmons
Naturally, the next logical question was where would Jemma locate food and water? I mean, she was on that alien world for months. About 101 hours into her ordeal, she found herself in front of a little pond.
I've had this ongoing theory in our Agents of SHIELD Round Tables that Jemma was playing host to an alien parasite. The moment she drank that liquid, I thought okay maybe I was right. Next thing you know, she's floating in the damn pond. I wasn't surprised the creature pulled her under, but the fact she ate it surprised me. Guess you've got to do whatever it takes to survive, right?
Jemma did a fantastic job surviving for a month. I have a newfound respect for her, but it was a good thing Will came along when he did. It was great to see Dillon Casey (Nikita, Backpackers), and once I realized he wasn't a threat I had a feeling Jemma was going to fall for the guy.
The fact he was an astronaut was a nice twist. I thought he might be connected to the Gloucestershire travelers, but not so much. The "no fly zone" might have a Gloucestershire connection. Will claimed the planet had "moods," but I'm still not sure what to make of the evil entity that lives there. I assume we'll learn more about all that when the team goes back there.
Once Jemma and Will started sharing, it didn't take me long to like him.
Will: If you're not with NASA, how did you get into the monolith?
Jemma: It's not with NASA anymore. It's with S.H.I.E.L.D. They've had it for quite some time. I'm not sure how or why.
Will: That's real, S.H.I.E.L.D?
Jemma: It was, I was recruited right out of the academy.
Will: I was a test pilot for the Air Force, recruited by NASA. Now here I am.
Jemma: Here we are. At least you volunteered.
The quick flashback to Will's arrival on the planet was interesting. Jemma's so sharp, she quickly asked how NASA knew there would be a hospitable planet on the other side. Will didn't have an answer, but I'm curious to see if this will come into play at some point. It seemed like Will might have killed his team, but for now let's just assume his story is true. Still, he's been alone on that planet for 14 years, is he 100% sane?
Wasn't it great when Will told Jemma that Fitz's name is like her favorite word? If they manage to bring him back to Earth, I see a major love triangle developing. I'm usually not a fan of those, but in this case I can see it working for the Fitz-Simmons arc. The way Jemma said, "Goodnight Will" was an early give-away. The two definitely bonded over this mutual experience, but who will she ultimately choose?
I'm assuming the artifacts Jemma found near the "no fly zone" (by the way was that a settlement?) belonged to the 1839 English explorers. Will claimed the "evil" entity killed every explorer, do you buy it? The compass (astrolabe?) gave her the answer she was looking for; the stars. I couldn't believe they came so close to sending that bottle through the portal. Would it have appeared at S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters?
Again Elizabeth Henstridge killed it here. Yep, I got teary-eyed on more than one occasion.
Jemma: You were right, there's no hope on this planet.
Will: That's what I used to think. Then you showed up.
Despite their bizarre situation, I was pleased Will and Jemma found each other. Yes, I became invested in this couple in just one hour. Now if that's not wonderful writing, I don't know what is.
I kept waiting for Fitz's flare to appear, and suddenly there it was. Of course, the storm arrived in time to separate the new couple. It didn't take Jemma long to locate Fitz, but poor Will stayed behind.
Fitz ultimately agreed to help Jemma return to that planet, which was a relief. He's such a good guy and loves her so much, her happiness is all that matters. How can you not love Leo Fitz?
I find myself hoping the team rescues Will, and that he's not damaged or a bad guy. Our final glimpse proved he's alive, but for how much longer? Is he connected to the evil entity? Jemma did see a space suit in the storm.
How do you feel about "4,722 Hours"? Is it one of your favorite episodes? Does Jemma make it back to rescue Will? Did you miss the rest of the gang this week?
You're up ladies and gents, go ahead and share your thoughts in the comments below. Look for our Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. round table later this week.
You know you want to see that again. Watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. online via TV Fanatic.
NOTE: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3 Episode 6 is titled "Among Us Hide…" and airs on Tuesday, November 3.