TV REVIEW: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – 4722 Hours | FanboysInc

TV REVIEW: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – 4722 Hours

By Jeff Ayers

TV REVIEW: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - 4722 Hours

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has developed and improved exponentially since its first season. Now in its third season, the show took a huge leap in programming with this new episode, “4722 Hours”. That is a reference to the length of time that Jemma Simmons was stranded on the alien world, and if you run the calculation, the math on that works out to be just over six months.

Six. Whole. Months. That is an insurmountable amount of time to be separated from your team, let alone be separated from your galaxy. Even thought we didn’t learn exactly where this planet is, or what planet it might be (I previously speculated it might be the Kree home world, but it looks like I was wrong), but this episode did give us a lot of answers as to what really happened to Simmons in those months while she was missing. Fitz, back on earth, never gave up on the slim chance that she would still be out there after being swallowed by the monolith at the end of last season, yet many on the team feared the worst.

TV REVIEW: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - 4722 Hours

One of the biggest strengths of this episode was the gamble it took on presenting itself. It started with a cold open, no fanfare, and and a silent wipe to the “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” title over the action, instead of its normal opening. Also, after weeks of setting up all these mini plot lines intersecting with the main story of finding the Inhumans, this episode took a hard left turn and focused solely on the plight of Simmons, and her subsequent rescue from the alien planet. An episode like this might not work on a different show, and it might not have worked on this show even a season prior. Yet, “4722 Hours” came across as one of the strongest, story driven episodes to date in this series, and solidified the already complex and growing relationship between Fitz and Simmons.

TV REVIEW: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - 4722 Hours

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That is the true power of an episode like this one; sure, it was intense to see Simmons get dropped onto that planet, and then have to figure out a way to survive. She immediately tries to look at her problem from a scientific point of view, as per her character, but that slowly deteriorates as time passes. The one thing that doesn’t deteriorate is her inherent love for Fitz. Their relationship has been rocky at best, but true fans of this series have known from season one that these two characters are inseparable, and they are meant for one another. She talks to him, revisits photographs and pictures on her phone, and uses her hope that he will save her as motivation to keep surviving. All of that is powerful stuff in a show that doesn’t normally deal with personal relationships as a central focus.

Simmons’s peril is accented by the alien world she knows nothing about, and also there is absolutely no sunshine, which can make anyone a little crazy. As the episode goes on, she finds out that she isn’t alone, and ends up working together with a stranded astronaut named Will. The pair are a great foil for one another, as Simmons desperately tries to cling to any shred of hope she can for being rescued, while Will is the skeptic, due in part that he has been stranded on that planet for 14 years. That is more than enough time for anyone to lose hope. The show finds Simmons devising a last ditch effort for rescue, only to see it dashed upon the rocks, and she begins to succumb to despair. In this moment, she realizes that she feels a kinship to Will, as they are the last two humans in this expanse of space, and the two start a romantic relationship. But this is where the show truly shows its big guns, because not once does the viewer believe Simmons has forgotten about Fitz. Her love for him is a constant, and she is looking for some ray of solace in this doomed existence, hence why she finds happiness with Will. But, the writing and pacing of this show proves that she was still pining for Fitz throughout it all, and is eventually rescued by Fitz near the end of the episode. This is the reason she wants to return, to see if Will sacrificed himself for her escape, or if he is still surviving. She is seen explaining all of this to Fitz in the present, and asks him for his help again, as he gets up without a word. She immediately thinks he is mad and jealous, and tries to reason with him, to only find out that he rushed away to show her that he has knowledge of how to get back.

Throughout everything that happened, and even after hearing all the details of her story, Fitz does the right thing for the woman he cares for, without consequence. In this final moment of the show, you truly see Simmons realize just how deeply Fitz cares for her, and the feeling can only be more than mutual.

Final thought: If NASA knew about the monolith, and sent a team there to study it, what does S.H.I.E.L.D. know? Or rather, what information is out there that hasn’t been uncovered by the team?

FBI Score: 10 out of 10. This episode had everything you want in entertaining television. It had a crazy, mind-blowing adventure on another planet, a fight for survival, multiple twists and turns that are not telegraphed because of the superb pacing and writing of the show. Finally, it had a truly powerful relationship laid bare on the screen between two people, a bond that has been shown to grow as the seasons progressed, and now has finally come into the potential that the fans of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Fitz and Simmons themselves, have always wanted. Epic programming at its finest from a show that many have panned or written off altogether.

Jeff Ayers

Both my parents instilled in me at an early age the awesome power and incredible wonder of the written word. My father sat with me when I was four years old and taught me to enjoy reading with classic comic strips like SPIDERMAN, PEANUTS, B.C. and, later, CALVIN AND HOBBES. My mother exposed me to such classics of literature as Poe, Tolkien, Stoker and Doyle, and I started my own comic collection with allowance money from mowing lawns. I liked Wolverine before it was cool, I watched as Superman died and returned, and huddled under the covers as I turned the pages of SANDMAN. Reading is like oxygen to me, and all genres and formats are welcome and devoured equally. I am the co-host of The DW and Incredible Jeff Show, CEO of Permian Productions, and a reviewer at Graphic Novel Reporter. I am 34 and live in scenic Saratoga Springs New York, where I haunt coffee shops and dive bars and the best comic shop anywhere, The Comic Depot.

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