The Journey for Jemma and Fitz
If William Shakespeare had still been alive today, even he would find angst when writing about the Star-Crossed lovers that are Leopold Fitz and Jemma Simmons. Leopold and Jemma are of course, the ”It” couple on Marvel’s Agents of Shield. Through the six seasons so far, they have been through more trials and tribulations that any couple should have to bare. Through the it all, they have found a way to come together, even if only for a short periods at a time. But it was not always that way. In fact, in the beginning, they were more like squabbling siblings than lovers. So with the7 th and final season of Agents of Shield approaching, let us go back and explore the lovers journey taken by Leopold Fitz and Jemma Simmons.
Love starts with friendship….and bickering.
When Marvel’s Agents of Shield premiered, FitzSimmons ( as they were often called) were Shield wonder kinds. Two of the most accomplished, intelligent and youngest graduates at Shield Academy. Fitz’s specialty was engineering and Simmons expertise was biotech. Together, they formed a scientific duo who could solve almost any problem. Which is why Phil Coulson wanted them on his team. Whether that was what Fitz wanted was debatable. He was comfortable and happy in his lab. Jemma, on the other hand, wanted to see new things and explore the unknown. Field work made that possible so she talked Fitz into agreeing to join her. In the beginning, they began proving their worth while at the same time, debating and arguing over most conclusions. In the end however, they solved the problems that needed solving…together.
A Lover’s Leap…Almost
But as the first season progressed, fans could begin to detect that Fitz’s feelings for Jemma were starting to evolve. This was evident in Episode 6, where Jemma became infected with a virus from a Chitauri helmet. A virus that caused the infected to Flair up and shoot electrical charges that killed them and damaged their surroundings. After Simmons and Fitz rush to find a cure, they think that they have failed. Realizing her time was short and the danger to the team, Jemma jumps from the plane to keep them safe. Much to the horror of Fitz. He then realizes that they HAD succeeded but they didn’t give the antiserum a chance to work. He scrambles to grab a parachute to go after her. But before he can accomplish it, Ward takes the shoot and saves her. Fans knew already that there was more going on here than friendship between FitzSimmons. If only THEY would realize it.
A Love Deeper than the Ocean
That realization finally occurred at the end of Season One, when Ward jettisoned Fitz and Simmons to the bottom of the ocean in a containment pod. As the pair brainstormed how to rescue themselves from this predicament, Fitz comes up with a solution but realizes there is only one oxygen mask available when he sets his plan into motion. He tells Jemma to take it. She refuses saying that he is her best friend. He, for his part, tells her he wouldn’t be able to live with himself if she didn’t survive, because he loves her. Before she can protest or react, he triggers the hatch and the water comes rushing in. Jemma takes the mask and pulls Fitz up to the surface. Unfortunately, the lack of oxygen causes some brain damage for Fitz. How much is yet to be determined. But he saved Jemma, and she saved him.
This where the curse starts of their relationship. Leading into Season Two, Fitz is in a coma for Nine days. Once he wakes he finds difficulty in expressing himself due to the brain damage he suffers. He also begins to have conversations with an imaginary Jemma. Imaginary because Jemma had left to go undercover at Hydra. Fitz did not know this. As far as he knew, Jemma had abandoned him. After he expressed his love for her. This was not true but it was how he saw it.
However, by the end of Season Two, Fitz was getting better, Jemma was back and they gradually began to discuss what had happened and Fitz’s revelation to her. They agree to go on a date. Fans felt like they were finally going to see Fitz and Jemma turn a corner. But then a monolith the team recovered decided to liquify and swallow up Jemma. She was gone. There would have to be a rain check on that date.
Fitz refuses to give up
The team saw the video of Jemma being absorbed into the monolith. After time, the team had began to reconcile themselves that Jemma was gone. But not Fitz. He spent months studying the monolith. He traveled all over following any clues he could find trying to understand it and possibly bring Jemma back. But when it looks like Fitz has hit a dead end, Coulson tells him he must let Jemma go. They should go tell her parents that she is missing and try to move on. Fitz reluctantly agrees but then breaks in to where the monolith is, pounding it with his hands, screaming at it to do something. He is not ready to move on. He will find a way.
Meanwhile, Jemma is on another planet. The monolith transported her across space to a desolate world that is almost constantly dark. There she finds an old earth astronaut who had previously made the journey. He had been alone for many years. In addition, he had been being chased by some alien entity. Now, they depended on each other and found love. All the while Fitz was trying to move heaven and earth to find her. For him, she has been gone for over 6 months. 4,722 hours to be precise. For her, it was a lot longer. Eventually, Fitz used the instrumentation that Hydra found and used it to bring Jemma back. While Jemma is grateful, she still wonders about Will, the man she left behind. Of course, one more obstacle standing between FitzSimmons and happiness. Cursed I tell you!!
Where there’s a “Will,” There’s a Way
So Fitz has saved Jemma but she is still pining a bit for Will. And what does Fitz do? He plans to try to go back and save Will to bring him back for Jemma. Why? Because I think the man is still brain damaged. But he loves Jemma, and if being with Will will bring her happiness, then he is willing to make that sacrifice. Brain Damage!! Of course, it just so happens that Hydra ALSO wants to go through the monolith. Their goal though is to bring back the creature that had been pursuing Will. To do so, they need the help of someone who has went through and returned: Jemma and Fitz. Hydra begins to torture Jemma to get one of them to agree to assist them. Fitz volunteers to go to protect Jemma and to possibly get Will back.
Together for Now
So Fitz goes through the portal with Ward and his men and they find Will. At least it LOOKS like him. In reality it is the creature that has taken his body. Will had been killed by the creature after Jemma escaped. For his part, Fitz fought the Will/Creature back enough so he could escape, along with Coulson. Phil had went through the portal at the last minute to help Fitz and stop Ward. So when they returned, Jemma was happy that Fitz had returned to her, but was sad that Will was dead. Fortunately she still had Fitz, and they were together…for now. But will it last? By now, you know the answer.
Navigating Love through the Framework
The bad thing about being a genius is that it makes you want to make things. Sometimes things better left unmade. Such is the case in Season Four where Fitz and Dr. Holden Radcliffe make a lifelike robot. An LMD short for Life Model Decoy. As Mac and a Yo-yo tried to tell them, nothing good would come from it. They were right. Soon most of the team is trapped in a network called the framework while LMD’s have taken their places. Jemma and Daisy discover this and have to enter the digital world and attempt to save everyone.
In the Framework, Fitz is an evil scientist known as “The Doctor.” He experiments on Inhumans at the bequest of Aida, who is the original LMD Fitz and Radcliffe created. He also attempts to kill Jemma in that virtual world. While this eventually fails and everyone is brought back to reality, Fitz has to deal with the guilt of helping to create the world. As well as his actions in that world which includes the killing of an innocent woman. Jemma supports him and tries to help him cope with his guilt. They will get through it…as always together. However…
Back to the Future
Yep, you guessed it. They no sooner get through the whole framework fiasco when a stranger approaches the team in a diner. The next thing you know, they are sent through yet another monolith. This one deposits the team into the future. Well, everyone except for Fitz. He is left behind. Once again, he finds himself separated from Jemma. By now, Fitz is probably wondering what he ever did to the Universe for it to pick on him. It brings up the line from Fiddler on the Roof. Tevye asks a similar question as he prays to God.
Dear God, I know, I know. We are Your chosen people. But, once in a while, can’t You choose someone else?
Sorry Fitz. No such luck in the world of FitzSimmons. So once again, Leopold is faced with the task of trying to locate and save her as well as the rest of the team. But first, he needs to escape from the military prison he finds himself in. They have retained him for questioning about the location of his team. For that matter, he would like to know as well where they are. This was the storyline for Season Five.
Planning the “Big Chill”
As Fitz “pretends” to assist General Hale to locate the team, he uses the time to get a message to his former Shield comrade Lance Hunter. He pretends to be his Lawyer and promptly helps Fitz to escape. Between them they locate Enoch, the Chronicom responsible for Jemma and the teams disappearance. With Enoch’s help, Fitz plans to go into a cryogenic chamber and sleep for over 70 years to reach the time frame the team is in. Drastic times call for drastic measures. 70 years later, he proceeds with a plan along with Enoch to reunite the team and get back to their own time. During which, he once again finds Gemma. She has been recruited into the service of a Kree named Kasius. Upon seeing her, he walks up behind her, re-confesses his love and asks her to marry him. However, he failed to realize that part of the job description that comes with working for Kasius is remote controlled hearing. She didn’t hear a word of the proposal. Figures. Foiled again!
Back in time, but not out of danger
However, if Leopold Fitz has proven anything, he is resilient. He helps to stage a rescue for Jemma from Kasius and removes the device in her ear that was controlling her hearing. Once gone, Jemma asks Fitz to marry her. He agrees but assures her he had already asked her first, she just didn’t hear him. But before any of that could happen, they needed to get back to their own time. Eventually the whole team gets back together and they find a way to make that happen. It’s Miller Time! But things are never that simple and they still have troubles brewing back in their own time. Such as a General Hale and her daughter Ruby, as well as General Talbot, who after absorbing Gravitonium, becomes Graviton, a powerful being with delusions of being a superhero.
A Marriage of Destiny
As one might expect, the team finds a way to resolve most of these issues, and they even find some time during the craziness for Fitz and Jemma to marry…at least symbolically. Coulson asks Fitz to go through with this ceremony, if nothing else to bring some normalcy and perhaps, happiness to the team. After everything they had been through, they needed this. And everyone knew from the beginning, that this was the path that FitzSimmons were heading to. So Coulson performed the ceremony and at least for a moment, all was right with the world.
But… by now, we know how this goes.
The End of FitzSimmons
More danger was still lurking in the form of Graviton. In addition, the team had to come to grips with the fact that Coulson was dying. This was a matter that came about after making a deal with the Ghost Rider in Season 4. Coulson knew what the future held for him and he wanted to see it through, including the wedding of Fitz and Jemma. But as his situation worsened, the team still had a job to do: Defeat Graviton.
Coulson, who was too weak to confront Talbot/Graviton, put Mac in charge. Mac sent the team to rescue those in danger. Coulson sent Daisy to confront Graviton. It was during this rescue mission that Fitz was injured while saving people from a collapsing building. His wounds were beyond hope and he died. Not with Jemma, who was still at their base, but with his friend Mac. And although Daisy defeated Graviton, they had taken a mortal blow.
Not the way the story should end
This was NOT the way the story of FitzSimmons was supposed to end. I won’t have it! But there was a light at the end of that dark tunnel. This scenario involves a time paradox loop that I still cannot fathom, but makes perfect sense in comic book land. It goes like this. Even though the team came back from the future with the Fitz from the past, they are at a time when the Fitz from the past is still in the Cryogenic chamber in the middle of his 70 year nap. It is their intention for Jemma and Daisy to take the now space worthy Zephyr to try to find the frozen Fitz.
They make these plans while knowing that Coulson is still dying and has little time left. He decides to send Mac and the team on while he lives out his final days on a sandy beach with Melinda May. This was originally supposed to be the end of the series. I’m pretty sure I would have rioted. A strongly worded petition would be forth coming. But the folks at ABC, decided to not pull the plug and give the show not one, but two more seasons. A stay of execution and the saga and curse of FitzSimmons could continue.
In Search of Fitz
Season Six found the main team dealing with a band of strangers, one of which looked like the recently departed Phil Coulson. But that is a story for another time. This is still all about FitzSimmons. Daisy, Jemma, Piper and Davis were still following any and all leads to try to find the frozen Fitz. As driven as Leopold has been to find Jemma in the past, she is just as committed to find him. When they find the ship that once contained his Cryogenic Pod, they find it destroyed and the pod, while intact, empty. This is a devastating discovery and the rest of the team want to go back home and regroup. Jemma does not. She refuses to give up. It is while laying in the empty Cryogenic Chamber trying to reconcile her feelings, that she finds a plate telling where the pod was made. She theorizes that Fitz also would have discovered this and would make an attempt to locate another pod to finish what remained of his 70 year sleep. This gave her a possible destination.
Just Missing Each Other
While the team was sympathetic to her plight, they were exhausted and still felt they needed to regroup and start again. During an attack by another ship, Jemma in her desperation uses the jump drive to send them toward her suggested destination. While the team was upset that she made this choice against their wishes, they decide to investigate the new lead on Naro-Atzia.
Meanwhile, Fitz and Enoch are trying to survive as best they can until they are able to locate another Cryo Pod. They had hired on as crew members on a cargo ship traveling to Naro-Atzia. However, when threatened with being ejected into space, they tricked the ship’s controller and ejected HIM into space. They then planned to take the remaining ships crew to Planet Kitson to find employment. Once they were dropped off, they would continue to try to find another cryo-pod. So as Enoch and Fitz we’re leaving toward one direction, Daisy and Jemma were arriving fro the opposite direction. Just missing each other. Typical!
So close, but yet so far
Once on Planet Kitson, Enoch and Fitz find trouble when they attempt to gamble their way for more funds for their trip. Those plans are spoiled when the casino discovers that Enoch is a “Synth” which is not allowed on Kitson. In the meantime, Jemma and Daisy learn Fitz and Enoch’s destination and also arrive on Kitson. They have the misfortune of trying colorful snack that turns out to be a hallucinogenic for humans. Both women stumble around the casino in what is perhaps one of the most humorous scenes of the series. Somehow, during their psychedelic trip, Jemma stumbles into Fitz. Before she can do anything however, a Chronicom Hunter appears and takes Fitz away. Once again the FitzSimmons curse returns.
An agreement to work together
Before long, it is revealed that the home planet of the Chronicom’s had been destroyed. They want to go back in time to prevent that from happening. And who knows about how time travel works? Fitz. At least that is what the Chronicoms hope. To facilitate this, they also capture Daisy and Jemma. Why? Because Enoch tells them that if anyone can solve the problem, it’s Leopold Fitz. And the best way to motivate Fitz is to put Jemma in danger. With friends like Enoch, who needs an enemy. Fitz, for his part, is furious at Enoch for even suggesting using Jemma in that manner. But when it is announced that they plan to eliminate the rest of Jemma’s party, she offers herself. She will stay and work with Fitz and attempt to help the Chronicoms IF they let the rest of the team go home. Enoch tells them that Fitz and Jemma are a great team and they should accept this offer. They do and although the rest of the team leaves to go home, Fitz and Jemma are together again. As it should be. But…Why is there ALWAYS a but?
Self Exploration in the Minds of FitzSimmons
It doesn’t take rocket science to realize that NOTHING ever goes like it is supposed to in the world of FitzSimmons. Even after agreeing to assist them, the Chronicoms put the cerebral pair into a machine that locks them into a mind prison. They hope to use the information they obtain to resolve their time travel dilemma. What it also does is allow Jemma and Fitz to explore their relationship from each other’s perspective. Through Jemma’s mind, Fitz finds out that his past self made it to the future and came back. He also learns that Jemma and him (he) were married. And that he died. Even worse, he learned that Coulson had died. This was a hard to take. Jemma revealed that she had learned at an early age to bottle up all her fears and negative emotions. She kept them in a music box that she kept on her dresser as a child. This was revealed when Fitz asked her something that she didn’t want to talk about so she regressed back to her childhood.
Facing their Dark Sides
As it turned out, they both had darker sides they kept in check. His was the Doctor from the framework. Hers was a vicious combination of all her fears and anger that she kept in the music box. Both were manifested as actual people. The Doctor and a Jemma/Zombie composite that barely looked like her. Jemma and Fitz tried to escape them but they were relentless. However, they soon realized that this was all in their heads and they had control of what happened. So they brought in reinforcements in the form of their friends. Mac came for Fitz and Daisy showed up for Jemma.
In the end they realized that even with their dark sides, the one constant they had was they could not live without one another. Upon realizing this, their dark side manifestations started kissing and making out in an agressive way. They both gaped as they watched. With the realization that they were always safe as long as they were together, they now were left with how to escape. This was resolved by Enoch who, feeling badly for betraying them, helped them. Using a teleportation device the hunters use, Enoch, Jemma and Fitz vanished. They ended up back at Kitson.
Returning to Kitson,
So what’s wrong with going back to Kitson? Only a small matter of Fitz and Enoch’s cheating at the gaming tables. But before Enoch can use the transportation device to get away, another bar patron picked it up and vanished. They were stranded and soon surrounded by Kitson’s men. As punishment, they were entered into a different type of game. Along with another gambler who obviously ended up on the wrong end of Kitson’s wrath. The game required all three participants to lay on a bench with a guillotine at the head. They were given a chain to hold that kept the heavy blade from falling. If you lost your grip on the chain, the blade dropped and you lost. Permanently.
So there they were, our star crossed lovers, once again facing mortal peril…together. And once again, fate intervened in the form of Izel, a stranger who bought their freedom in exchange for their help in finding an artifact on Earth. Three artifacts in fact. She calls them the Di’Allas. Fitz and Jemma know them as the Monoliths. While on the way to Earth, they worked to contact Shield. They eventually did and through a series of circumstances that are for another tale, they were liberated by Mac and Yo-Yo.
Just When You’re Together, You’re Apart
So finally Jemma and Leopold are back with the team, much to the relief of all involved. But as always, there is still a job to do. So while the team is dealing with Izel and the Coulson Doppelgänger Sarge, our dynamic duo are dealing with another issue. The Chronicoms have invaded the Shield base. Using the knowledge of Shield they gained from Jemma and Fitz, they anticipate every move. Methodically eliminating the Shield agents with machine like precision. Eventually, Jemma and Fitz are faced with the decision to destroy their base, sacrificing themselves in the process to stop the Chronicoms. But they are spared this choice by Enoch who once again comes to the rescue. He tells them he has a plan to thwart the Chronicom threat, but it will mean changing their lives…forever. So what ELSE is new?
As it turns out, the plan involves more time travel. It also involves once again separating Jemma and Fitz. For what eventual purpose and for how long is anyone’s guess. That is what the 7th and final season will eventually reveal. All I know is the writers had better found a way to get them back together for good once the series ends. To do any less would be unacceptable to FitzSimmons “shippers” everywhere. Although, it would probably be typical. Such is the romantic journey of Jemma Simmons and Leopold Fitz.
I am a 50 something child of the 70’s who admits to being a Star Trek/Star Wars/Comic Book junkie who once dove head first over a cliff (Ok, it was a small hill) to try to rescue his Fantastic Four comic from a watery grave. I am married to a lovely woman who is as crazy as I am and the proud parent of a 17 year old boy with autism. My wife and son are my real heroes.