Nov 6 2013 6:47pm

Shipshape: On Agents of SHIELD’s Fitz/Simmons, Ward/Simmons, and More

Fitz and Simmons in SHIELD**This post contains spoilers for all aired episodes of Agents of SHIELD, including last night’s episode, 1x06, “FZZT.”**

Last night's episode of Marvel's Agents of SHIELD finally started to flesh out two characters I've been very curious about: scientists Jemma Simmons and Leo Fitz. And in doing so, the show also seemed to suggest the potential for a love quadrangle involving Simmons, Fitz, Grant Ward, and Skye.

I'm not sure I'm invested enough in or know enough about the characters to have any real 'ship yet, but I'm me, so I'm always on the lookout for something that'll hook me. And I have to say that “FZZT” at the very least succeeded in making me sit up and pay attention to the wonder twins again after a few weeks of slipping interest due to their lack of screen time (seriously, waaaay to much time given to Ward and Skye—I can already tell you I care not at all if they ever hook up). So, what did we learn?

Fitz had some great moments that endeared him to me. I enjoyed his immitation of Ward, and thought it was cute that he's so clearly pining for Skye (even if I'm not sure why, or how she can be so oblivious to it). His squeamishness about Jemma's dissections gave us another glimpse of his obsession with tidiness/cleanliness (that Jemma clearly gets a bit frustrated with: “It's SCIENCE, Fitz, I have to dissect something!”). I LOVED his desperate attempts to stay with Jemma 'til the very end by locking himself in the lab with his infected friend and, later, preparing to jump out of a plane after her. Dude is loyal as all get-out, and I respect the hell out of that.

Simmons ALSO did a fun impression of Ward (she and Fitz really are pretty adorable) and her handling of what she thought was a death sentence was admirable (what a killer scene, her telling Coulson how to tell her parents), especially 'cause she was so obviously terrified. After that last test failed, she very calmly accepted her fate and moved quickly to tie up all the loose ends. The way she later reassured Fitz that he was the hero, not Ward, says a lot about her devotion to her friend, too.

As for FitzSimmons together, there was how the two of them sat back-to-back after her diagnosis, not to mention Fitz's use of her first name (in any show where last names or callsigns are the norm, you start to equate the use of first names with endearments, ya know?) and that “Just try and keep your hands off me” comment. Oh, and there was the first real fight we ever saw between them, which not only went to show there could be sparks between them but had the side benefit of revealing more of their backstory (“You've been beside me the whole damn time”—is it wrong that I find angry Fitz so hot?). So, yeah...there were some moments that definitely made me want to start for sure 'shipping Fitz/Simmons. Probably not least because they reminded me of my favorite Dollhouse couple, Victor/Sierra. Jury's still out, though, maybe because...

On the other hand,  there's Simmons/Ward. I mean, guys, Ward did JUMP OUT OF A PLANE to rescue his fellow teammate. For that alone I'll have to give serious consideration to that pairing. And, I mean, Jemma's face after Ward drew his gun and tested its weight again was hilarious—he could probably do with someone like her to keep him honest. Skye wants to BE him, sorta, or at least become a competent field agent under his tutelage, so not sure she could fill that position.

Sidenote: I like this Coulson starting to wonder why he feels different after his death. Certainly made for an interesting Coulson/May scene there at the end (along with “Take off your shirt,” oohh) and is helping us get to know the real Phil a bit more.

In short, things are getting complicated! (I like it.) “FZZT” was easily my favorite episode of the series yet—doubt it's a coincidence it's the most focused on the core team rather than guest stars so far—and I honestly feel that this could be the first step in the show finally kicking into gear. How about you guys? Any change in heart about the show, characters, and/or relationships?


Heather Waters is the site manager for H&H and a 24/7 fangirl. Tweet her @redline_

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1. CindyS
I don't have a feel for pairings right now with the show but it definitely shed some light on Fitz and Simmons and I wonder if it's too obvious for them. I did like the idea of Ward and the girl.
And being an older woman I love Coulson - his humor, his strength - I'm hoping for him and Mae but again, we don't know her background either.
I'm enjoying the show and hope it has good ratings so it continues!
Wendy Lewis
2. wsl0612
I'm all for WardSimmons! I think they would be awesomely cute together. I just feel like Fitz and Simmons are best buds, I didn't really get any major romantic vibes from them, just a really great friendship.
Heather Waters (redline_)
3. redline_
@CindyS @wsl0612 -- So maybe Ward/Simmons will be where it's at! My question for you guys: are you feeling more attached to the characters yet? And to the team as a whole? I'm trying to remember how long it took for me to get invested in the Firefly and Dollhouse crews...
Jennifer Proffitt
4. JenniferProffitt
If it's anything, for me it's Ward/Simmons, but I think they might just become BFFs now after he saved her life and so there might be some jealousies between Ward/Fitz/Simmons. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Fitz/Simmons are the main reason I continue to watch the show. They make my heart happy--and not in a gushy romantic way but in an "ah shucks why are you two so cute!" way! I don't hate Skye, I hate that she's angsty and a cliche.

This episode was the first time that I actually like Agent Ward. I kind of wish they would recast him. Maybe with this guy:

Also I threw this out on Twitter last night, but I think I would ship Coulson and May more than anyone else yet!
Wendy Lewis
5. wsl0612
@redline, yes I am feeling somewhat more attached to the characters, but sadly not so much for Skye. I could go entire episodes without encountering her and be content. It's not the actress' fault, I do like her well enough, but Skye doesn't seem "believable" given the character bible we've been shown to date.
6. Ms. M
Fits and Simmons seem more like siblings than potential lovers. I don't know what possessed the creative powers to put two such similar characters on the show, though both actors are fine. I would support Grant/Simmons - heaven knows he and Skye aren't creating sparks and a match between a cute nerdy lady scientist and an action- oriented agent could be lots of fun. But the couple I really want more development of is Coulson and May.

I feel like the cast is all right on this show, but it needs strong continuing villains and a sense of purpose. I do anticipate that it will grow as a show past this somewhat shaky start.
Heather Waters (redline_)
7. redline_
@wsl0612 -- I feel the same about Skye. Everything the writers have tried to do to make her seem relatable just seems hackneyed and been-there-done-that. Kinda boring and also annoying.

@Ms. M -- I agree, I feel like it's finding its legs, but that it does need more of a driving force (like continuing villains, as you suggested) to really band the team together and give them all, again as you said, a sense of purpose from week to week.
Heather Waters (redline_)
8. redline_
@JenniferProffitt -- That guy would make an attractive Ward! I'm fine with the actor playing him now, just think he needs some better material (he still seems pretty one-dimensional as the by-the-book field agent).
Jennifer Proffitt
9. JenniferProffitt
@redline_ Ugh, maybe if he had better material, Ward would be better. But I feel like the actor himself is kind o flat. I don't love him.
10. Because It's Obvious...
Some of you guys may see some potential between ward and simmons because of the whole "he did jump out of a plane" thing and I get that it's heroic, but seriously? they barely even talk...ever. Ok, I know that's a lame excuse...So i'm gonna give a logical one...actually I think I'm gonna give three (and forgive me heather if this gets ridiculously too long lol).

First of all, jumping out of a plane is exactly what you'd expect Ward to do and I salute the guy's confidence, I really do. And I'm sure as you all know, he'd have done the same for any other of his fellow teammates. But if there ever was to be any significant romantic entanglement between him and simmons, I'm certain the writers would have made sure it got portrayed on screen BEFORE embarking into such an intense moment rather than making it look like he stole Fitz' thunder off from what could have been a perfect Fitzsimmons moment. They didn't cook up anything romantic whatsoever between ward and simmons prior to this incident or after...Why? Well I guess that's classified lol.

And as far as heroism goes, I'd rather say it was Fitz who was more heroic when he locked himself with Simmons inside the lab to figure out the anti syrume, willing to sacrifice his life by giving into the risk of getting infected himself...Now that says somethin'! And Jemma righfully, gave him full credit. Because it was clearly conveyed that if it wasn't for Fitz figuring out the anti syrume, Simmons would actually have died regardless and Ward's heroic "jumping out of the plane at the nick of time" stunt would have brought nothing but her corpse back on the plane...Thanks to Fitz that last part didn't happen!!

Secondly, Fitzsimmons shared, probably the most passionate non verbal gestures (gazing) & intimate moments (oblique confessions) this series has ever had, "Every minute of every day you've been stuck at the lab right beside me, at the academy, at syops, this plane...You've been beside me the whole damn time!" followed by the moment of silence and the heartbreaking *I can't bare the thought of living a life without you* look on their faces...Or did that skip all your sight? I'm not trying to be a smartass here but this episode was easily the strongest episode of the series so far where the people mattered more than the mission. And not only that, we we're also given great insight about Fitzsimmons' relationship in that they are, always, together...they've always been and always will...It's what defines their bond. And I, as do many, admire how they are almost indispensible to each other...

And finally, Fitz nearly had a heart attack when she jumped. I mean, seeing someone you've been so close with your whole life, jump out of a plane with no parachute on...I'd say that's pretty horrifying (and even worse when you didn't even get the chance for the "last second confession/kiss before death" cliche). And while being under all that emotional stress and with no prior physycal training on skydiving, Fitz nevertheless almost jumped right after her!! I think that makes it an even more romantic gesture than an expert like Ward doing the same thing. For Ward, he was doing his job, saving an innocent victim using his skills just like a lifeguard would save someone from drowning...But for Fitz, it was an entirely different sensation and an extremely terrifying thing to do!

And though he was prevented from the opportunity to doing just that, we all know he would have jumped...And so does Ward, and so does Simmons...Because true heroism is not about saving someone in a situation where you know the odds are in your favor. True heroism is about taking risks and the will to sacrifice your life for another while being completely uncertain of any outcomes except the fact that you may die...And that's exactly what Fitz did for Jemma, twice!! He locked himself inside the lab and then he was ready to jump out of the plane - in both these situations he was prepared to die than live a life without her. His only concern was saving Jemma and there can't be a more romantic gesture about confessing your love for someone than to do what Fitz did for Jemma. What more will it take for you to get it :'-)

These two literally finish each other's sentences for God's sake! I'm telling you, the guy may appear funny and innocent with a lot of vulnerabilities but he's got some serious guts! And Jemma always somehow happens to bring that out in him in a magnitude so endearing that I don't think merely a friend or bff could ever do. Fitzsimmons read each other's faces...they just click! And in any fandom, there's always that group who say they have a brother sister relationship or "just friends" or bffs at most. I say that's ridiculous...To me, it's sounds cliche to say that they are best friends but they are best friends more than what lovers could ever know what I mean? Taking into account all the romantic buildup and high emotional stakes in this episode, she definitely became "more than just a friend" to Fitz and vice versa...Though she merely kisses him on the cheek rather than an actual kiss which is what you'd usually expect after having a brush with death and not getting to say goodbye, it was more affectionate and tender than a kiss on another show...Honestly. It was such a great defining moment for them to realize how much they mean to one another. And for me that was the perfect chemistry buildup ensuring we've got a whole lot of marvel-ous Tuesdays coming up ahead!!

So yeah to answer your question, I'm as hardcore a Fitzsimmons shipper can ever be...Well, until that epic moment arrives where my heart would melt, I'll sit tight for however long it takes for them to get there :) because it's obvious...Fitzsimmons are worth the wait.
Heather Waters (redline_)
11. redline_
@Because It's Obvious -- Long comments are always welcome, thanks for weighing in. :) I agree that Ward jumping out of the plane says more about his nature/job than any feelings toward Jemma, though I think if anything did happen between them in future, it would be cute to refer back to that moment.

That said, like you I have a soft spot for FitzSimmons finishing each other's sentences and generally being amazing best friends to each other. And I do think Fitz made the bigger potential sacrifice by locking himself in with Simmons. That was pretty swoonworthy.

Hope you'll be back to chat about future episodes! Loved getting your thoughts.
12. Food For Thought
I must admit I wasn't going to watch this show as it seemed more suitable for my pre-teens. While they enjoy it, I also enjoy it. Why? Because of the two characters everyone else seems to dislike: Sky and Ward. Perhaps it seems cliche that there would be the orphan girl trying to find her past and the by the book agent, yet those sort of characters have a history of cementing a show. Take Sky for instance. Her parents...her mother at least....are some how tied into Shield. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if we didn't discover May wasn't tied into that some how. Coulson as well....there is so much he doesn't recall about the past...specifically his own. Seeing how there is an unspoken history between him and does make you wonder. I believe Sky is being written this way on purpose. This is Joss Whedon folks. He doesn't create blah characters. As for Ward...I read an interview with the actor. He IS portraying Ward in a specific manner so that when they delve into Ward's past it will all make sense and make the audience take notice. That being said...I LOVE Fitz and Simmons. They are one of those pairings destined to be together.
Heather Waters (redline_)
13. redline_
@Food For Thought -- Coulson and May's convo about keeping things from Skye was definitely intriguing. I immediately wondered if Coulson had brought Skye onto the team for a whole 'nother reason than we'd always thought. Could he be her father???
14. missgupta9
Im really starting to ship ward/simmons.
I love fitz/simmons, but they are too alike to be a romatic couple for me, Fitz/simmons seem like they are twins or have a sibling relationship, as far as romantic pairings go, I really like Ward/Simmons
15. Cautious shipper
When I first started watching the show I loved fitzsimmons as a purely platonic dynamic duo. I wasn't too desperate to start shipping them as a couple as I found their bond to be refreshing in a way, completely best friends, nothing more.

Then came FZZT. To be perfectly honest I hadn't been too invested in the show until this point, but I've always been a sucker for that really angsty she's-gonna-die moment, and it drew me in.

The best thing in that episode, for me, was Fitz's character development. His progression from his 'why does everyone think we're a couple?'moment when he was attempting to flirt with Skye, to his "You've been by my side the whole damn time" and thinly veiled 'don't leave me.'
for me, it's in this episode that he actually realises how much Jemma means to him, and how he doesn't really know how to be the Fitz without the Simmons anymore.

Take that platonically or romantically (I choose to take it romantically now), it's pretty powerful writing in my opinion.

still I'm all up for Ward/Simmons, or Skyeward, or Fitz/Skye, I'm happy to see where the show takes us.
As long as it isn't Ward/May. Not the biggest fan of that ship.
16. Jehphg
Now that the season is over and the second is almost here, what do you think about them?
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