At long last, Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons are together.
This isn’t really good news, because aliens expect them to be Time Lords to save their world.
Also, Fitz is unaware about some important details.
This sets up a very unusual episode that’s a deep dive into SHIELD’s great love story, but and proves it’s even more potent than anything.
They are finally reunited in a room, and happy to see each other. However, Altarah (Sherri Saum) suddenly shows up and tells them about how her planet Chromica 2 was burned to a cinder. She expects them to figure out a way to reverse that through time travel, like they did for Earth last season. In their virtual prison, they can use each other’s memories, and conjure up anything. If they try to escape, they might go insane.
It’s later revealed they’re in another version of the Framework, and Altarah doesn’t care what it takes to get what she wants. Enoch (Joel Stoffer) mildly protests, or at least warns her the machine could kill Leo and Jemma.
From here, it turns to a pretty surreal story that really gets into what makes Leo and Jemma tick.
At first, they kind of like their prison, enjoying brunch. He even proposes to her, not knowing they got married last year. Then, when the time monolith shows up and he asks what happens in the future that she experienced, she turns into a seven year old girl (Ava Mierelle, who is very cute here) and retreats to her bedroom. This is where the madness, and maybe symbolism, begins.
He follows her, and finds a nice book he reads to her. It’s a kid’s version of what has happened to him and Enoch and the illustrations are cute, but then the cover changes to “Darkhold” and he drops it. That cover still worries him because it caused some major problems a few years back.
After some name-calling because she won’t help, Jemma suddenly reverts to adult mode when he threatens to conjure Aida.
It’s understandable how she became suddenly seven when Leo asked a lot of questions, since she is afraid to tell him what happened while he was in cryo-sleep.
Since they share memories, he soon finds out he died, although in his “present” that hasn’t happened yet. He also finds out Coulson is dead. It freaks Leo out, and it forces her to recall the pain she felt.
Then they find themselves back in their school days. Even then, they seemed to be a couple although she wasn’t sure about it. Also, why does his room have a Manchester United flag, rather than Celtic FC?
They are still aware where they are, and she reveals she knows he’s been hearing his voice. Specifically, the dark side of Leopold that came from the Framework. Eventually, he arrives, complete with an army. Fans have to admit Iain de Caestecker plays “evil in a classy suit” very well, and should do that more often
However, it turns out Jemma also has a dark side….
It emerges from the music box where Jemma put her fears and troubles. The personification of them is pretty creepy and looks like the demon from Ringu. Leo just wonders about how Jenna copes this way, and says “You are so English.”
It’s at this point that a time travel solution won’t be reached. Leo and Jemma are forced to face the dark sides they’d rather hide from each other and themselves.
Eventually, Dark Leopold sets up a torture session with Jemma, while Dark Jemma hangs Leo from a chain, preparing to do some serious cutting. The latter is interesting because the real Jemma did that last month when she did some harsh questioning. It’s proof that Elizabeth Henstridge is very adept at being demonic as well as brainy.
Both Jemma and Leo are in pain because of the demons, until they suddenly realize they can also conjure up the rest of SHIELD to help them out.
Then it really gets strange. The real Leo and Jemma wind up in a containment unit, with the evil versions just outside. Naturally, Leo and Jemma bring up everything in the series, as a couple does. They complain they are always saving each other, because they love each other.
Then they stop yelling, and realize they really are meant for each other.
Then they start kissing….the demon versions, that is. It’s as creepy as it sounds, but this is what these two think of it…
Leo and Jemma tell Altarah they can’t figure out a way to save her planet via time travel. If that means they have to be stuck in a virtual prison, they’ll do it.
Altarah is about to tell them they’ll be sent somewhere else, but she never gets the chance because she’s been hacked.
Someone took bold action, namely Enoch. He borrows Malachi’s transport hoop, and they leave.
Oh, and Leo finds out he’s got a grandson. Jemma will explain it.
This episode is a testimonial to why Fitz and Simmons are an unbreakable couple, despite all they have experienced. The fans wouldn’t want it any other way. They really wouldn’t.
It also reminds us the Chromicoms should have figured out a better way to recover from losing their planet. Expecting someone else to fix things doesn’t work. Besides, as we heard last week, they spent too much time discussing a solution rather than finding one.
Back on Earth, Mack and Daisy discuss Leo and Jemma, and figure they must have escaped from wherever they are. Mack also thinks that Sarge may have been responsible for destroying Chromica 2. If that is the case, there’s a couple of Chromicoms who’ll be very ticked off.
Oh, and Daisy hasn’t met Sarge yet. She will soon enough.
Next week, FitzSimmons is still trying to get home, and soon meet an intergalactic gangster who may be connected with some very nasty birds SHIELD knows about. It’ll lead to the big two-parter in July.