Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Elizabeth Henstridge And Iain De Caestecker Talk The FitzSimmons Finale Twist And More

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(Image credit: ABC)

Spoilers ahead for the two-hour series finale event for Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E..L.D.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has finally come to an end after seven seasons, bringing a close to an era of MCU action. The finale didn't deliver a TV version of a Thanos snap or a devastating cliffhanger to leave fans craving closure, and all the heroes even survived. That doesn't mean it was an uneventful or anticlimactic ending, especially on the FitzSimmons front. Iain de Caestecker's Fitz finally showed up in the present to reunite with Elizabeth Henstridge's Jemma Simmons, and the result was a game-changing FitzSimmons twist.

The series finale revealed that all those fans who were speculating that Fitz was hiding a bigger secret than Simmons was saying were on the money. Yes, the theories about a secret FitzSimmons daughter were correct, although the finale waited toward almost the very end to reveal their adorable (and very blonde) little girl, Alya, who was naturally named after a star. They seemingly broke their "curse" to raise a daughter in safety, and their complex plan to save the original timeline paid off.

Luckily, Fitz and Simmons with their daughter survived the events of the finale, although they lost a member of the FitzSimmons family when Deke stayed behind in the 1980s timeline to guarantee their safe return. Even better, they apparently retired after they saved the world this time around to raise Alya. Since this was the series finale and fans would be losing them whether or not they retired, I think it's safe to say that this was just about the happiest ending FitzSimmons could have hoped for.

Fortunately, Elizabeth Henstridge and Iain De Caestecker spoke with CinemaBlend and other outlets about the series finale, and they weighed in on FitzSimmons' ending with their daughter. De Caestecker said:

Yeah, it's a pretty fitting end. Elizabeth was talking about this earlier. Those characters, there's a connection with two of our showrunners and co-creators, Mo [Tancharoen] and Jed [Whedon]. And they have a young daughter and, she in herself was a certain type of miracle and that's kind of the similar thing with the show, and so it's a very fitting thing but also for the evolution of those characters. You said a nice thing, Elizabeth, that it's kind of a fitting end but also a start. I'm stealing your stuff. The beginning of something as well. The beginning of another life for them.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. co-creators and co-showrunners Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon are married with a little girl of their own, and they delivered a similar happy development for Fitz and Simmons. Considering the FitzSimmons journey has been so fraught with danger and despair that the scientific Fitz even declared them "cursed" and that the universe wanted them apart, their happy ending was more than earned.

And honestly, Alya sounds like exactly what fans could expect of a FitzSimmons daughter. She even wanted to design her own fish! As long as she focuses her efforts on fish and fun rather than Framework code and monolith transport, she could be the best of both worlds. Elizabeth Henstridge picked up on Iain De Caestecker's comments on the FitzSimmons ending, saying:

Well, that's probably why I think it's right. No, it was a lovely ending for them and it helped to explain why Fitz was away and you know, it had to be something. It had to be something bigger than them. And for them that would be their daughter. And it was just so lovely to get to play characters that at the start, were just kind of, you know, doing everything they could not to think of each other romantically to ending at Season 7 with them having this daughter that they've both laid their lives on the line for is, as an actor, that's just amazing.

If there was one quality that defined Fitz through S.H.I.E.L.D., it would have to be his willingness to cross time and space and the depths of the Atlantic to try and save Simmons, so it was more than a little curious that he was MIA throughout Season 7. The reveal that they had a daughter certainly explains why they suddenly had a higher personal stake than just each other in the fight to save their timeline, and why Fitz had to stay away.

Of course, while FitzSimmons is pretty firmly established as the epic love story of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. now, they were once no more than best friends and colleagues who may or may not have been psychically linked. The romance took a while to start, but it didn't stop once it started! The stars weighed in on FitzSimmons' journey from the comic relief scientists to parents at the heart of it all, with Elizabeth Henstridge saying:

Yeah, it was crazy. I mean, I think as an actor, I was just so happy to have Iain back. So I was hoping that he would show up at some point. It's been such a joy to play these characters and to be in a double act... We were the comic relief at the start and there was so much pressure on the show when we first started filming and to be able to be in a duo and go through that experience with somebody else was so wonderful on so many levels.

Fitz's long absence was due to Iain De Caestecker's unavailability, so his return for the flashbacks in Episode 11 and then Fitz's grand entrance for the two-part series finale brought the show's longest-running double act back together. After all, partnerships have changed and team-ups have shifted, but FitzSimmons have almost always been FitzSimmons from the very beginning despite everything.

The stars went on to explain how their real-life evolution paralleled what their characters were going through on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:

Elizabeth Henstridge: I think our friendship in a way, as we got to know each other, FitzSimmons kind of started to see each other in a different light and it's just a really cool, it's such a wonderful journey to have been on with someone and I don't know that either of us will be in this position again, where we get to experience that being so brand new to TV in America and then end it with being married and having a little baby.Iain De Caestecker: Yeah, I agree. I couldn't imagine that experience without Elizabeth.

Even though Elizabeth Henstridge and Iain De Caestecker of course didn't have to go through everything FitzSimmons did, their friendship was an important part of crafting the FitzSimmons dynamic. As longtime Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fans undoubtedly remember, these actors were brand new to the MCU and not exactly familiar faces in the American entertainment industry back when the show launched in 2013. Who knew then that so many S.H.I.E.L.D. fans would become diehard FitzSimmons fans?

In a fun twist, viewers watching from home weren't the only ones who became big fans of the Fitz and Simmons relationship. Jeff Ward, who joined the FitzSimmons family in Season 5 with the reveal that Deke was actually FitzSimmons' grandson thanks to some time travel shenanigans, revealed that he counts himself as a fan of what Elizabeth Henstridge and Iain De Caestecker delivered as the duo. Ward said:

I always tell them this but it's funny because I started watching the show and I became a big FitzSimmons fan. I just loved their scenes and it was funny because I would have weird times where Deke would be in the first half of a scene. There was this one scene specifically, I think it was Season 5. I was in the first half of the scene. And then the second half of the scene was just the two of them. And I walked out of the scene. And I was like with my friends, Iain and Elizabeth and we were messing around. We were talking, we did the scene, and I walked out and I walked past the monitor. And I looked at the monitor and I was like, 'It's FitzSimmons!' I just as a viewer grew very attached to them.

What could be more fitting than for a FitzSimmons fan to join the FitzSimmons fam? Sadly, Jeff Ward's Deke said goodbye to his grandparents and the rest of the S.H.I.E.L.D. team when he stayed behind in the alternate timeline so they'd all make it back, so Deke never got to meet Alya. Honestly, my only disappointment about my long-running belief in a secret daughter reveal is that Fitz and Simmons' adult grandson won't get to meet their young daughter.

Still, Deke got a reasonably happy ending, so it's hard to feel too sad about the situation. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. rewarded fans with a finale that didn't kill any beloved characters off, and it definitely wasn't a Game of Thrones situation. There was some bittersweetness in the fact that they mostly went in different directions following the fight against the Chronicoms, and Enoch's foreboding statement that the team had been on their last mission together proved true.

The good news is that the door is very much open for these characters to return in a future MCU project, perhaps even a spinoff. That said, despite the fact that I've been a major fan of Fitz and Simmons from the beginning, I hope the MCU lets them stay retired and peaceful.

If you're ready for a blast to the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. past now that the series finale has aired on ABC, you can find the first six seasons streaming on Netflix. Be sure to weigh in our poll below about FitzSimmons, and don't forget to check out our 2020 fall TV premiere schedule!

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Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).