Everyone's favorite comic book TV show with literally the worst name to type out, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ,is back for its sophomore season. Maybe you spent the summer wondering if the show title would change to something like, Marvel's Ex-Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Because Of What Happened In Captain American and Stuff. But alas, everyone's still a member of our favorite secret government organization, except for one. Agent Jemma Simmons has gracefully bowed out, and is currently an ex-agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The girl has her reasons. If you remember from last year's season finale, she kind of gets trapped underwater with her best friend, Fitz, thanks to the surprisingly evil Agent Ward. Because Fitz and Simmons are brilliant, they manage to figure out how to escape from their sinking hole, but there's only enough oxygen left for one of them to make it to the surface. Fitz is totally ready to sacrifice himself for Simmons, and she's not ready to let her best friend die for her. He blows the hatch anyway, she scrambles to the surface clutching her unconscious friend, and thankfully, they're rescued. But Fitz has got some pretty bad injuries, and his fate is left up in the air until the season premiere, when we realize that he's fine, is back to working, and it looks like Simmons is back by his side! Hooray!
Wait a second. It's all a hallucination. Fitz is imagining Simmons as his guiding force, asking him questions, telling him to do things, and gently clutching his shoulder as if to tell him he's doing a great job. For the entire episode, it sure seems like she's back with the team. But as Coulson reveals at the end of the episode, she left because she thought it was best for Fitz. But without her, Fitz is really struggling.
But these two are a team! I could barely tell Fitz from Simmons last season, since they were always said together, FitzSimmons! She has to come back, right? She will.... eventually. As actress Elizabeth Henstridge explained to Marvel.com, both Fitz and Simmons need to figure out who they are apart before they can join up again. "The dynamic’s going to change," she said, "and I think we’re going to see how Simmons identifies herself just as Simmons, not as FitzSimmons, and what kind of trouble that brings." Ugh, more trouble for S.H.I.E.L.D.? Didn't they just finish saving the world a hot second ago?
As if my heart isn't already in enough pieces, showrunner Jed Whedon — you know, brother of King Joss — said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that they went this route because it was "sad." Of course it's sad! We should be crying over Parenthood, not S.H.I.E.L.D.! They're using this heart wrenching breakup of our two favorite techs to show us the real sacrifice that was made. In short, Fitz sacrificing his life for Simmons and professing his love to her, and her decision to leave him. As if it isn't obvious enough, both of them really care for each other. Enough to 'ship them? Most definitely. But it just sucks that they believe the only way to help the other is to leave.
As for when Simmons will return as a real person, let alone a real agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., that still remains to be seen. For the time being, she'll continue being a figment of poor Fitz's imagination, and our hearts will continue to break every single time.
Images: ABC, jackdonaghy/tumblr