With the threat of Lash, the ACTU, and hunt for Grant Ward, the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are pretty divided right now. Unfortunately, I don't think their attention is going to get more focused just yet. We learned last week that Simmons wants to return to the alien planet on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and she has got some explaining to do. That place was super perilous! Why does she want to go back? What is there to learn about the time Jemma Simmons spent stranded and afraid? I have some questions and some theories, and "time" is the operative word.
Next Tuesday's episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., titled "4,722 Hours," should at least be getting into what Simmons experienced on the planet. According to the official ABC press release, "after her dramatic rescue from another planet, Simmons is still reeling from her ordeal and reveals how she had to fight for her life in a harsh new world." It's better to show than tell, so are you thinking flashback episode? I'm thinking flashback episode. But what's with that title? Is that how long she was surviving on the planet? Because here's the thing: four thousand, seven hundred and twenty-two hours is approximately six and a half months.
That's over twice as long as the time that passed on Earth in the show. Season 2 opened three months after Simmons' disappearance and the spread of terrigen into fish pills. In fact, now that I think about it, it does seem as if she's been gone longer than a summer vacation or a short semester abroad. So, is this an orbit thing where the hours on that planet were shorter than our Earth hours (I've seen The Martian,I know how science works), or a Narnian Time thing and Simmons was on that planet for more perceived time than she was missed?
Another theory from Twitter user @ImMercedesD, which goes along with this, posits that the planet existed in another time altogether, and Simmons needs to return in order to stop something from happening. Not only is that timely (no pun intended) with Back To The Future II Day on Wednesday, but it could use the way time works on whatever planet Simmons got swept to for good use. What if the portal sends you through both space and time? That could cause a lot of damage, and might help to shed light on Simmons' motives.
One of the reasons that I'm interested in how much time passed is that I'm worried Jemma may have met someone there and wants to front a rescue mission. My reasoning for this theory is a bit wild, so bare with me and my gut feelings about what the episode is about for a hot minute. At the moment, there is only one guest star announced for the episode — Dillon Casey as Will Daniels. Of course, he may be an Inhuman who is related to Marcus "Blackout" Daniels, but what if this is someone she left behind on the planet? I wasn't always on board with FitzSimmons as a romantic ship but I am all in now, and it would absolutely break my heart if Simmons has spent seven months in such an intense environment bonding with someone else. If she really was there for that much time, that's a lot of shared history with which to develop a relationship.
In terms of building the mystery, less is definitely more when it comes to Simmons and this crazy hellscape we found her in at the start of the season. I'm enjoying watching the pieces unravel and I truly have no idea what is going to happen next or even whether or not she acquired Inhuman abilities on her trip. If it turns out that she was gone even longer than we thought, that would add a whole other layer of strange when it comes to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Images: Justin Lubin/ABC; Giphy