Nov 18 2015 11:00am

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 3x08 FitzSimmons Heart-to-Heart: Side-by-Side

TV Recap: Agents of Shield 3x08 Fitz and Simmons

Show/Episode: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3, Episode 8, “Many Heads, One Tale”
Ship(s): Fitz/Simmons (Fitzsimmons)

FitzSimmons is one of the few things that kept me attached to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for three seasons, regardless of the fact that 1) I’m not into Marvel comics, and 2) Season 2 was so heart-breaking, what with Fitz’s traumatic brain injuries and Simmons leaving him to save him. That all changed in this season’s second episode, when a buffed up and sexy Fitz figured out how to bring Simmons back six months after the monolith claimed her. And Then He Did. His bravery and those scenes directly after the rescue, when she sought out his comfort and allowed him to comfort her convinced me they would finally be together.

Of course, it all changed again during episode five, Elizabeth Henstridge’s amazing, often-solo episode on the other planet. Fitz’s friendship was her lifeline until she sought solace with NASA astronaut Will Daniels before the pulse-pounding rescue. That episode was traumatic; I ship FitzSimmons, but was practically screaming “No!” at my TV when Fitz rescued her and left the Man from NASA behind. How can I ship FitzSimmons but also kinda like Simmons with her lover from another planet?

As for poor Fitz; his competition is everything he thinks he is not, and yet, newly buff, with his brain back in working order, he is smarter and more brave than all of them. 

So tonight...

TV Recap: Agents of Shield 3x08 Fitz and Simmons
via jemmasimmuns

When Simmons is angry at herself and undeserving of Fitz’s help, he cuts to the chase. He is the stuff of true heroes, Doing What’s Right even if it doesn’t help his suit, by trying to figure out how to save Astronaut Will, even though looking at photo of Simmons and the Man from NASA on her iPad guts him. Now he breaks our hearts and says, “We had years side-by-side, and it never occurred to us. And then when it does, we’re kept apart.” As if that weren’t enough, he out and out asks if she loves Will, believing that if she does, he will be the odd man out in their love triangle.

This being Simmons, this being FitzSimmons, this time she is the one to break our hearts, because she tells Fitz she does love the Man from NASA. But, this being Simmons—this being FitzSimmons, dammit—Fitz “dove through a hole in the universe for me,” which is how she can profess her love for one man and give us The Kiss with another. The Kiss  we’ve waited for since Season 1, way back when FitzSimmons were awkward and in denial. And The Kiss was totally hotter than the heat I thought she had during her “love scene,” if you can call it that, with Astronaut Will.

TV Recap: Agents of Shield 3x08 Fitz and Simmons
TV Recap: Agents of Shield 3x08 Fitz and Simmons
TV Recap: Agents of Shield 3x08 Fitz and Simmons
via agentsofshield

But like the best conflicts in our favorite romances, that’s not all. Fitz may have made the first move, but Simmons is now a woman who knows what fleeting means. She takes what she wants, and she wants Fitz. And so, a second kiss. Too bad they’re both crying, Fitz uttering, “We’re cursed.” Perhaps, but the genie’s out of the bottle now; after all their dancing around, those kisses were declarations. And they won't be the last declarations for this couple. I’m excited to see how it all plays out, assuming, of course, that in the end, FitzSimmons emerges victorious. Astronaut Will may be a hero, but methinks, after tonight’s revelation that NASA sent him through the monolith as a sacrifice, he's a dead man walking.


Laurie Gold has been blabbing online about romance novels for years.  When she’s not reading for  three different book clubs, she takes extensive “walkabouts” in Portland, her new hometown. She welcomes visitors to her blogand to follow her at Twitteror on Pinterest.


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Heather Waters
1. HeatherWaters
Not gonna lie, I haven't watched this show since Season 1, but seeing a gif of that kiss pop up on my Twitter feed gave me alllll the feels. I knew these two had it in them! I'm so proud. Now if only they can get to a less angsty, more happy place, poor kids.
Laurie Gold
2. LaurieGold
Heather, this season has been awesome in terms of relationships. I don't know how the showrunners finally got a clue, but I'd almost given up until this season started. Suddenly even Coulson was sexy. FitzSimmons are so sweet, but now they've got heat. Yay!
Heather Waters
4. HeatherWaters
@Laurie -- I tried to stick it out in Season 1 because Jed & Marissa wrote my favorite episodes of Dollhouse and made me ship Victor/Sierra hardcore, but they wasted so much potential that first year. Glad they seem to be killin' it with those characters and relationships these days. Guess I may need to catch up... after Jessica Jones and The Man in the High Castle.
Heather Waters
5. HeatherWaters
@Jillian Boyd -- Yay! Was it worth the wait? Will the angst kill me if I jump aboard?
Jennifer Proffitt
6. JenniferProffitt
@LaurieGold, I've always loved Coulson! He's got the whole Hot Dad thing going on--like I'm strict out here but I'm secretly really cool!
Jillian Boyd
7. krissieo
I still have a very unlikely hope for Ward and Skye (Daisy). Yes, I am twisted.
Heather Waters
8. HeatherWaters
@krissieo -- Oh, I don't know about that, I still see mentions of SkyeWard fans.
Katherine Bloom
9. lsbloom
They did waste a lot of potential in season 1--mainly waiting for the Captain America movie to come out and change everything. But since then, Shield has been great and doing a very rare thing which is continually improving. One of the big changs is they figured out that Iain de Caestecker could make audiences cry as well if not better than he could make them laugh, and instead of using him for comic relief like in season 1, they used him for heavy lifting drama and character development. And he's had great stories ever since. Henstridge and deCaestecker are phenomenal--alone and together, friends and maybe something mores. They are so good on opposite sides but when they bring them back together it has a huge amount of impact.

I'm still not totally sold on them together romantically. The narrative with "winning" Jemma occassionally strays too close to the "what have you done for me lately" line and that frustrates me, because there is no argument that Fitz has laid down his life for Jemma multiple times, beyond even the saving her from a unknown fate, never giving up on loving her, and supporting her through her loss of another man. And he is a hero beyond the Simmons actions. So putting him against someone and calling him second best, isn't sitting well with me.

They did do a good thing and put in that Jemma thought he was handsome from the start. I usually don't like the friends to lovers trope in that they often overlook an initial attraction and I feel that isn't terribly true to life. That's a first meeting decision, not a 10 years later one. They also did a good thing and had a really engaging first kiss scene. I never would have thought they could pull it off season 1, but I truly underestimated their acting chops.
Heather Waters
10. HeatherWaters
@lsbloom -- I've heard about the Fitz angst here and there and have to say that's what most tempts me to try again, maybe starting with Season 2 or even later rather than trying to start back at the beginning.

Is realizing an attraction later really not true to life? I tend to find myself more attracted to a guy after I get to know him (good looks are all fine and well but a lot of people have those), which is complicated because at that point you have an established friendship you don't want to mess up. I would guess that's similar to what we're talking about with Fitz and Simmons.

I know Fitz thinks he's second best best on the fact that Simmons says she does love Will, but I thought Simmons said it all when she reminded him that Fitz is the one who dove through a hole in the universe for you, basically telling him: Nothing and no one can top that.
Katherine Bloom
11. lsbloom
@HeatherWaters If you are going to start again, I'd suggest watching some season 1 stuff the pilot then 1.06, 1.07, then for sure everything from Turn Turn Turn 1.17 onwards. If you find yourself interested in TAHITI and Coulson then 13, 14, 16. But if you want to understand Fitz and Simmons and the heroism/courage themes don't skip 6 and 7. It's where the show started to make a turn.

I understand the grow to love idea, but if there isn't an initial even acknowledgement of attraction, I never believe it will come with time. Affection and love can grow, but not attraction that's there or it isn't. IMO.

I have to disagree. "I never would have made it without him" topped Fitz jumping through a whole in the universe. I'd expand but it's all spoilers, but this discussion isn't starting this episode it goes back to season 1. And those roots are what give you the "what have you done for me lately" vibe. Fitz has proven himself willing to die to save Simmons and it was never enough. He never gave up on her, through the team telling him to stop, through Iraqi separatists, through one idea after another failing, it wasn't enough 'cause Simmons gave up on him (again) and found comfort in someone else. She gave her love away to Will and Fitz jumped through a whole in the universe for her and it got him nowhere. That more than anything is what makes it so painful. He did everything right and he lost. He wasn't Simmon's hero. And it is hard because we saw his struggle first--her's was completely isolated and shown later, so for two episodes you were like why did all that Fitz went through mean so little for their relationship and it was becuase it was all "too late" (with a difficult for me to separate subtext of "too little").
Jillian Boyd
12. ShieldMaid
I adore FitzSimmons, but I'm afraid to ship or even get slightly hopeful about them. Whedon has burned me to many times.
I know this is really late, but great post Laurie Gold.
Jennifer Proffitt
13. JenniferProffitt
I just binge watched this show over Christmas break. OMG the FitzSimmons feels--especially when they were stuck down in the ocean and when Fitz comes back. Broke my heart!
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