Warning: major spoilers ahead for Episode 6 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 6, called "Inescapable."
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has made it to Season 6 against all odds, and about five and a half of those seasons have been spent putting poor Fitz and Simmons through some very difficult times. In fact, their lives and love story have put them through so much that even the fact-loving Fitz once announced that they had to be cursed. Well, "Inescapable" managed to find a new way to torment FitzSimmons by delivering a terrifying Simmons twist.
For once, though, this dark twist on the FitzSimmons front doesn't spell immediate heartache. Nobody died or was sent to another planet with no hope of returning or trapped in a Framework. No, there is now reason to be hopeful that they both can recover. Who would have guessed that a super dark Simmons would be the means to a possibly happy ending? Here's how it all went down.
The Chronicoms made good on their threat to imprison Fitz and Simmons until they discovered the secret to time travel so they could go back and prevent their planet from being destroyed, and it just so happened to be a prison of their own minds. Through some tech, the Chronicoms linked their brains, and what happened was a wild ride through memories and constructs that could have destroyed FitzSimmons individually and as a couple.
In the process of trying to figure out how to handle their situations, Simmons regressed into her 7-year-old self in her childhood bedroom, and Fitz chased her there and tried to get her to grow back up. Young Simmons told Fitz that she locks her troubles away in a music box so she can solve her problems, which initially struck Fitz as a good way to compartmentalize. Later, however, he realized that Simmons really could have used a better way to cope.
Why? Well, when Fitz's Doctor side turned up in their mind prison, they had to flee from him, and they returned to Simmons' childhood bedroom, where Fitz was surprised to see Simmons' music box jumping around like something was trying to escape. He called Simmons' attention to it, and she wasn't happy when she realized what was going to happen. The music box burst open, and a Demon Simmons escaped.
Demon Simmons was the personification of all the pain and bad thoughts that Simmons locked away over the years to avoid dealing with, which prompted Fitz to call her "so English!" as they ran away from the demonic version. Unfortunately, FitzSimmons were split up, with Demon Simmons getting her hands on Fitz and the Doctor capturing Simmons.
Demon Simmons strung Fitz upside down from the ceiling and pulled his heart out of his body with her bone knife, while the Doctor used a mind torture device on Simmons. At this point, even I was pretty much ready to admit that FitzSimmons are cursed.
Fortunately they escaped and reunited in one of the pods Fitz designed, but it wasn't a happy reunion. They started yelling at each other about everything from the decision to join Coulson's team to their hidden dark sides to who caused whom more pain. The Doctor and Demon Simmons lurked outside, waiting for FitzSimmons to emerge.
When Simmons mentioned when they were trapped at the bottom of the Atlantic, water began pouring, and I immediately became concerned that S.H.I.E.L.D. was going to send me on the emotional rollercoaster of watching Fitz and Simmons relive those awful final moments before the water came rushing in at the end of Season 1. Luckily, they realized through their shouting that they loved each other more than anything. They would leave the pod and face their dark sides, because they were unstoppable. Aww!
When they left the pod, the Doctor and Demon Simmons were nowhere to be found. Did they disappear because of Fitz and Simmons' breakthrough? Nope! They were instead so busy making out with each other that they forgot their mission to kill FitzSimmons.
The making out turned into something more, but the camera cut away. Watching, Fitz commented that he didn't know Simmons would like that, and Simmons responded that she didn't know he would do that. How racy for the 8 p.m. ET time slot!
As it turns out, Fitz and Simmons' dark sides are just as made for each other as their good sides are. Now that the truth about Simmons repressing her bad thoughts is out, she can begin to process her feelings more healthily (I hope) and they can try to rebuild their life together in the knowledge that their bad sides balance each other as much as their good sides do.
Could the reveal that Simmons has a deeply dark side be what breaks the FitzSimmons curse? And are Demon Simmons and the Doctor gone for good? Well, we'll have to wait and see on that front, but Elizabeth Henstridge enjoyed her time playing this new side of her character. Here's what she had to say to TVLine about her favorite version of Simmons to play in this episode:
Oh, Demon Simmons. She was my favorite by far, I’m so obsessed with her. I’m trying to work on maybe a one-woman show with her, after playing her for a day. [Laughs] It was really freeing, and it was the perfect representation of what it is to create a character, because it was so much about all the other elements as well — the writing, the wardrobe, the makeup…. R.J. McCasland, the special effects makeup guy, he is just so smart and sensitive. We spoke a lot about how this was a collection of all the things that have traumatized Simmons, so what part do we use from which episodes? It was such a collaborative thing, to get to what she looks like in the end, but it really felt like I was part of it.
What's next for FitzSimmons? Well, the episode concluded with Enoch taking out the Chronicoms who were tormenting FitzSimmons, and they escaped. It ended on a surprisingly light note; just before Enoch zapped them away, Simmons casually mentioned that she'd forgotten to tell Fitz that he was a grandfather. The scene closed before we could see much of his reaction, but it was certainly less devastating than when he learned that he'd died on Earth, he'd missed his own wedding, and Coulson had died as well!
Find out what's in store next for all the agents when new episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. air Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC in the summer TV lineup.