Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has gone in some wild new directions in Season 5. The show picked up after the crazy Season 4 cliffhanger by taking almost the entire cast into both outer space and a future in which the Earth has been destroyed, and some are in more trouble than others. Simmons is probably in the worst shape of any of the folks who made the trip to the Lighthouse. Sure, Daisy has been captured by the Kree, and Coulson, May, Mack, and Elena all have metrics implanted into their wrists, but Simmons was forced into becoming a servant to the Kree, with a gadget in her ear that renders her entirely deaf unless Kasius wants something from her. Performing in at least early Season 5 wasn't easy for actress Elizabeth Henstridge, who plays Simmons, and she revealed some of the frustration of filming the role:
It's really smart how they did it because that's her strongest suit. She still gathers information but she's just so powerless and it's everything that she has never kind of remained to be. She doesn't care about being pretty or being accepted or being liked. She's always been so headstrong and kind of arrogant to a point where she feels like her brain is the best and who cares about anything else. So this is just a completely different realm for her and she hates every second of it. So it's brilliant and it was very frustrating to film because you just can't really do anything. You just have to be still. She has zero power and could be killed at any second.
Three episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 have aired so far, and Simmons spent one full installment dressed up as a Kree servant and only enabled to hear when the Kree required her medical services to help an Inhuman named Abby to master her powers. For a while, Simmons showed shades of her old self as she was able to proactively help somebody in need.
Unfortunately, she got a rude awakening by the end of the episode when she was forced to watch Abby being sold from the Kree to a buyer after Abby was nearly killed in a one-on-one match with a huge warrior. All of her efforts to do the right thing didn't amount to much, and Simmons was stuck in an arguably even more difficult place, only able to watch, guess what was happening, and wait for somebody to give her back her hearing. No wonder Elizabeth Henstridge found filming challenging!
Of course, Elizabeth Henstridge's comments also indicate that this difficult plot twist for Simmons has produced some brilliant material. Her position as a Kree servant is definitely something S.H.I.E.L.D. hadn't done before, and her isolation from her friends means that she has to rely on her own wits. Poor Simmons can't even count on Fitz finding a way to help spring her from Kasius' control and get the deafening gizmo out of her ear, as she doesn't even know when or where he is. For her sake, hopefully we'll get to see Simmons taking control of her own fate in the coming weeks. Who knows? Maybe some of those new characters could become allies.
Tune in to ABC on Friday nights at 9 p.m. ET to see new episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5. Simmons is still in a sticky situation under the control of the Kree, and there's no saying how she'll escape. While you're here, be sure to swing by our midseason TV premiere guide and our 2017 TV cancellation rundown.