Well, this week begins with us revisiting Jemma being transported to the blue planet at the end of last season. At first she is as ever the perky, and scientifically enthusiastic Jemma Simmons as she always was, and finds being on another planet quite fascinating...and besides, she knew Fitz would figure out a way to save her! She begins recording her notes on her surroundings on her phone (wondering how her battery lasts? They do answer that...Fitz souped up her battery to last a long time! Oh that Fitz!), but as the hours pile up she realizes that she just may be there much longer than she thought!
Hours turn into days...well, maybe...there is no day or night on this planet. To say the least, Jemma begins to lose it. Eventually she finds a small pond to drink from and bathe in. But still no sign of wildlife or vegetation to eat...until a plantlike tentacle tries to pull her into the pond! She breaks free by severing the tentacle...and she realizes it’s good to eat! She manages to build a fire and munches on some BBQ tentacle! Yum!
Jemma does eventually discover she is not alone when she gets trapped and captured by someone. That “someone” she soon discovers is a human man! His name is Will and he is an astronaut who was part of a team by NASA through the monolith on a discovery mission in 2001. Things turned sour when everyone in Will’s party went mad and turned on each other...he was the last survivor.
Will doesn’t trust her to be “real” right away but she eventually convinces him by using her wits to try to escape. The two don’t get along immediately, but eventually realize they may be the only two living beings on the planet and they form an alliance (and eventually more than that) to figure out a way back to Earth in Will's underground cave. Will thinks escaping the planet is impossible, and that the world won’t LET them leave. Because the world has “moods”. Diehard Marvel fans ears should have perked up upon hearing that.
They may not be alone on this world...they see visions of a reaper-like figure amidst the sandstorms that periodically happen on the ground level, but it's never clear if it's actually real or illusions. Sorry, Star Trek fans...it isn't a Gorn...even though seeing Jemma fight a Gorn would be pretty awesome. The show did feel like an old Trek episode.
I don’t really want to spoil the rest of the happenings in the episode for everyone any further because, well, THIS EPISODE ROCKED and EVERYONE should check it out for themselves!
It possibly could be one of the best single story episodes Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has ever done. It was just far-out sci-fi at its best, with a bit of Castaway thrown in there (without Jemma needing to talk to a volleyball, of course...although the guy’s name WAS Will...hmm)! And we got to spend a whole hour with one of the most endearing characters in the show: Jemma Simmons. We need to hope that this experience does not take her happy-go-lucky science nerd nature in-tact...and her relationship with Fitz as well. It would be a shame that after all this time, they don't actually end up together.
I would very much like to see more stand-alone solo episodes starring the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, since they have all grown to be really engaging and relatable. This episode showed that any of them can handle their own story, and this season’s approach with almost every character having their own storyline is really paying off.
This was the first real foray into space with AoS and I can’t wait to see more stuff like this in the future heading towards Avengers: Infinity War and the more cosmically themed MCU films. I’m just not quite sure where they’re going with the “Will”situation, but at any rate he’s an interesting(if not frusterating) wrench in the Fitz-Simmons relationship. Just when we think they could actually hook up...this handsomely rugged astronaut dude shows up! I feel ya, Fitz. Story of my life, bro.
The world having “moods” COULD be a reference to Ego The Living Planet, which is...well, a LIVING PLANET in the Marvel Universe, first appearing in Thor #132 (1966). Of course, in the comics Ego literally talks and has a giant face and all that...so, this is all up in the air. But knowing how AoS loves throwing in Marvel easter eggs, we can only assume they are yet again giving us a little wink here. The multiple moons thing also seems to be an indication that we are dealing with Ego, as he has many moons. If Simmons does find a way to go back, maybe even with the rest of the team, they can shed some light on these theories...or put them to rest.
Storyline wise, I think this episode showed just how good Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. can be, and just how far they can go with the series. An I love the use of color in the episode, except for her time in Will's cave, Jemma is mostly surrounded by a dismal blue light...this played the hopeless mod when she's alone against the hope she had when she finds human interaction with Will. Great stuff, and it really showed Elizabeth Henstridge's acting chops.
Let’s hope they continue the pace and take more genre risks too. It doesn’t HAVE to be a spy show every week!
Looks like we go back to the rest of the storylines next week and find out if May’s ex, Andrew Garner actually got exploded in that gas station by Ward’s Hydra goons and the mystery of who Lash really is! There's so much going on in this show now, and it's all awesome! Be sure to come back next week for my review!