They’ve travelled through time, journeyed through different dimensions and realities, survived the bottom of the Atlantic, and crossed the bloody universe for each other – for my final installment in my S.H.I.E.L.D. appreciation series, I’ll be focusing on Fitz and Simmons, and (some) of their greatest hits.
When FitzSimmons first joined Coulson’s team on the Bus, they hadn’t even passed their field assessments. They were adorkable, skittish nerds who were attached at each other’s hip, and behaved like a married couple.
Flash forward several seasons and many traumatic events later, Fitz and Simmons have gone through a hell of a lot of development: they’re not just kids who weren’t cleared for combat anymore, they’re agents of S.H.I.E.L.D – compassionate, ruthless when they need to be, and willing to sacrifice their lives for the world.
1×06 “FZZT” by Paul Zbyszewski
If you’re a FitzSimmons shipper, chances are you fell for this ship during this episode – probably during Fitz’s “you’ve been beside me the whole damn time” speech. I know I did.
For the first five episodes of the show, I liked FitzSimmons. They were cute, and funny, but I didn’t love them the way the fandom did. For the most part, I was mainly focused on Daisy, then going by Skye.
Then FZZT happened.
Some shows make you wait at least a season or two before rendering you a blubbering mess, but Agents held no punches, and rendered my thirteen year old self a sobbing mess over two scientists she really hadn’t paid attention to before.
FZZT humanized FitzSimmons for me – for the first time, I saw them as well-rounded human beings, and I fell in love with them.
But it was during their argument in the lab – both terrified out of their minds because Jemma was literally running out of time, due to an alien virus she was exposed to – that I began to ship them. Specifically somewhere during this:
Jemma: “And don’t you dare act like these past few months haven’t been the highlight of your entire pasty life.”
Fitz: “Pasty? Oh really? Well, when did you become so sunkissed? Because I’m pretty sure that every minute of every day, you’ve been stuck in a lab right beside me – at the Academy, at Sci-Ops, this plane! You’ve been beside me the whole damn time.”
I specifically remember – and mind you, this was before I truly grasped shipping as a whole – thinking “I ship it.”
In a lot of ways, you could say FZZT isn’t the strongest S.H.I.E.L.D. episode by any means, and you’d probably be right. But it’s special to me, because in many ways, it changed my life – I’ve shipped FitzSimmons since November 2013, and my experiences in that fandom has, in many ways, shaped me to become who I am today, and best of all – it led me to meet some of the kindest and most talented people that I’m lucky enough to call friends.
5×06 “Fun and Games” by Brent Fletcher
After an eternity’s wait for season five, and then waiting for four episodes for Fitz to return from war (Iain de Caestecker was filming JJ Abram’s Overlord at the time, so the writers worked the first few episodes to accommodate that), and then finding what Fitz did while the team were busy galavanting in the future (hint: it involved a mercenary and ferrets), when episode six finally arrived, I was ready for some FitzSimmonsing.
And hooo buddy, I was not prepared.
My expectations, once upon a time fairly moderate, had gone through the roof from the glimpses we got of FitzSimmons in the promo, and then the first sneak peek they released of the episode (Fitz seeing Jemma for the very first time in six months).
But never in my wildest dreams had I imagined Leopold James Fitz – who, an episode ago, was so caught up in post-Framework self loathing that he had fallen back into old beliefs that the cosmos were determined to keep them apart, and maybe that was a good thing – proposing to Jemma in a room full of evil aliens who enslave people for fun.
Of course, nothing can be easy and Jemma heard none of it – damn you Kasius – which sucks because it was probably the most romantic/epic proposal in the history of proposals.
My hopes were thoroughly dashed – surely, that would be it? Another failed reunion also further dashed away my expectations (but I’m still in awe that the scene in the hallway is only a few seconds long with no dialogue, because so much is said between the look Fitz and Jemma share).
So, you could probably imagine that the last thing I expected to happen would be Leopold “once defeated by a door” Fitz doing a James Bond in mid-air, Jemma “accidentally shot a superior officer” Simmons to slice open Kasius’s cheek with a butter knife – and then openly snogging in front of everyone.
As if that wasn’t enough to render me a puddle of feels on the floor, Jemma proposed to Fitz, who quickly agreed. God bless these psychically linked nerds.
4×12 “Hot Potato Soup” by Craig Titley
This episode falls squarely on my list of “Best FitzSimmons episodes” because it’s so good.
After the team realizes that Radcliffe betrayed them, and the one they captured was in fact an LMD, it’s up to Fitz, Jemma, and Mack to try and get some answers from the awfully chatty android – and leads to some of the best FitzSimmons scenes of the season, and finally gives us some back story on our favorite grumpy engineer.
LMD! Radcliffe tries to distract Fitz from breaking through its programming by mentioning Fitz’s father after Fitz admits he isn’t clever enough to figure out how to crack into the LMD’s software. LMD!Radcliffe also admits the real Radcliffe was once friends with Fitz’s father. Fitz, overwhelmed by frustration and the talk of his father, leaves for some quiet time in his and Simmons’ bunk.
In a rare scene between one of my favorite dynamics on the show, Jemma explains to Mack over tea what’s the deal between Fitz and his father – and we learn that other than disgracing the name Alistair (this season was out to ruin Doctor Who for Fitz, I swear), Fitz’s father is also guilty of being a horrible person who constantly put Fitz through emotional abuse (and possibly also physical, since Fitz has referenced a broken arm in second grade before), constantly telling Fitz he was worthless and stupid, before ultimately walking out on Fitz and his mom when Fitz was ten.
Following this, we have a tender scene between Jemma and Fitz, when Fitz recalls all the times he’s been abandoned or betrayed – and wonders if he should’ve put up his own firewalls to avoid getting hurt again, instead of giving everyone the benefit of the doubt. Jemma tells him that she fell in love with him for his kindness, and gives him a pep talk that ends up making Fitz realize the missing key he needed to crack into the LMD’s programming.
With a quick and adorable kiss, Fitz thanks Jemma, then rushes to solve the problem – crediting Jemma as the source of the solution when Mack questions him about it.
God, this episode. The backstory, finally, that made so much of Fitz’s characterization – especially in season four, which is still sometimes an enigma to me – fall into place. And on top of that, you have Jemma’s smile as she explains to Fitz why she fell in love with him, a Jemma and Mack scene, and an adorable FitzSimmons kiss – what more do you really need?
1×07 “the Hub” by Rafe Judkins & Lauren LeFranc
If FZZT humanized FitzSimmons, made me fall in love with Jemma, and start shipping FitzSimmons, then the Hub is the episode that I fell in love with Fitz.
To put it in a nutshell, Fitz and Ward are sent on a super sketchy mission by themselves, leaving behind a suspicious Daisy and a worried Jemma to try and find out what exactly S.H.I.E.L.D is hiding from the team about the mission.
This episode is my comfort episode – if I’m down, or if I’m sick, I watch it to feel better, and by the time the credits roll, my spirits are lighter.
It’s an absolutely hilarious episode, highlighting Iain de Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge’s talent at comedy, but it’s not all laughs – the episode focuses mainly on Fitz’s insecurities following not being able to save Jemma himself after she tried to sacrifice herself to save the team, by jumping out of a plane, and how he wants to prove himself as every bit the S.H.I.E.L.D agent as Ward.
Meanwhile, Jemma and Daisy get into some “bad girl shenanigans” by hacking into the S.H.I.E.L.D mainframe to find out what they’re not being told about Fitz and Ward’s mission – and we learn that Jemma doesn’t do well with improvising or stressful situations, but we do get the wonderfulness of Jemma shooting Sitwell (a secret Hydra agent) with the Night-Night pistol in a panic.
Despite this, she does get into the mainframe, and Daisy learns that there’s no extraction plan for the boys, which leads to the team swooping in at the last second to rescue them.
Honestly, this episode also proves how much Jemma loves Fitz, even back before she realized it: packing his favorite sandwich for him, asking him to be careful, and agreeing to help Daisy with illegal activity once Daisy mentions the possibility of Fitz maybe being tortured – Jemma, mind you, who could face massive consequences for that.
In a lot of ways, this episode cemented my love of FitzSimmons, and made me appreciate Fitz more – who has become one of my favorite male characters of all time. Plus…it introduced the FitzSimmons Sandwich.
3×17 “the Team” by DJ Doyle
And then there’s this iconic episode. Granted, it’s not the FitzSimmons fanfic feast that was the Singularity, but this episode has some of the best FitzSimmons scenes ever, in my opinion.
While a lot of time is spent focused on the team trying to figure out which Inhuman has been infected (see: brainwashed) by Hive, there’s a lot of FitzSimmonsing, including Jemma being fascinated by a dead-ish Inhuman, Fitz being horrified by her enthusiasm by this and exasperatedly demanding a quarantine. And, of course, the most FitzSimmons thing to happen ever: flirting over a dead body while Jemma saws into its head.
I’m not even kidding. I couldn’t make that up even if I tried.
The last thing I really expected though, despite tantalizing hints before the episode aired that either Fitz or Jemma were tired of the will they won’t they they were stuck in, was FitzSimmons actually getting together.
The scene they share in the bunk is one of the softest FitzSimmons scenes in the series; both sitting on the floor, pouring over notes trying to help their friends, until a discussion about finding something magnificent in space that doesn’t want to kill them leads to Jemma leaning her head on Fitz’s shoulder, which leads to kissing!
After a brief freak out on Fitz’s end about he was moving too quickly and he shouldn’t have kissed her yet, they’d just gotten their friendship back on track – Jemma tells him it’s been ten years, and that they’ve waited long enough.
After a quick bickering fest about being cursed, Jemma tells Fitz she doesn’t want life to tear them apart, to which he vows “[they] won’t let it.” Oh, if only it were that easy, Fitzy.
Don’t even get me started on the space poster, and Jemma kissing him to shut him up. Literally don’t, because I’ll never stop talking.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will return in 2019.