TV Show Review

TV Review: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 3, Episode 05: 4,722 Hours [ABC]

Elizabeth Henstridge Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4,722 Hours

ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4, 722 Hours TV Show Review.  Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., season 3, episode 05, ‘4, 722,’ closed the Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) gap, between seasons 2 & 3, while opening any number of doors for Agents to wander around or through. It may not have provided the kind of answers some fans may have wanted, and it certainly wasn’t the kind of closure Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) had hoped for; but it was one more peripheral bit gotten out of the way, moving forward with season 3.

Meanwhile, back at the abduction, Simmons took her own sweet time allowing for the possibility that rescue would not be imminent (and that noting a lack of essential resources was kind of an important detail to get around to). More importantly, I guess, she established that A: Fitz cooks up a mean smart phone battery (of course she abuses it, to her future regret), and B: there were a number of rhymes & reasons to her just not dying, in fairly short order.

Beyond the inter-personal element (more on that, later), I had a few qualms over some petty details to the story as it was sold. Frankly, I was expecting a survivalist ordeal worthy of Cast Away. What we got, instead, was Simmons learning how to function well outside of her comfort zone (so far out of her comfort zone, that even the series header & logo was different). Breathable air, no parasite, toxic, or poisonous elements to her only source of food & water, a stronger gravity that didn’t slow her down too much – I’ve seen people have rougher times of roughing it on Discovery Network reality shows. Not that it wasn’t entertaining – turning the tables on an ironic predator (“I made a vegetarian meal of a carnivore, ask me how”) was kind of a highlight. Being Cast Away lite meant talking to herself a lot (no strange, there), and talking to her Fitz screen-saver a lot (along with her phone journaling) was a more convenient version of Cast Away’s rock wall etching; but what’s a Cast Away comparison without Wilson?

The episode turned on its axis, when survival became a team sport. Instead of Wilson, she got Will Daniels (Dillon Casey) – a not very sciencey Astronaut Robinson Crusoe, instead of a volleyball. The volleyball was more upbeat. Still, Simmons declared their partnership complementary, setting up the inevitable role reversal motivational moment.

The episode made it clear that there was no intent to the portal’s openings; but allowed for a twisted form of intelligence to the world on the other side. This troubled me, a bit. Besides being relatively young & current, for a 15 year anachronism (his backpack, for instance, sported a digital camo that wasn’t issued back then; and I don’t think U.S. military personnel have come through, since), it was left a little vague as to Will’s ratio of professional E & E (escape & evasion) competence, versus solitary insanity. This, in turn, left it a little vague as to how much of his take, on the supposed nature of the environment, could be taken literally.

A good case was made for the ‘Sandwalker’ being both a figure of deliberate intent, and seemingly mystical & malevolent in that regard. It was also a useful distraction from any misgivings Simmons might have had about Will, giving them a common threat, to go with their shared scenario. I will admit, however, that it did keep my Annihilus dreams alive (despite Fox).

The writing was on the wall, for Will & Simmons, from the get go (no doubt to the consternation of Fitz-Simmons shippers). If the nature of their situation didn’t make it clear, it was already prefaced by Simmons’ previously stated intent to return. Fitz’s reaction, to this episode’s reasoning to that intent, was meant to cast doubt; but really didn’t. They’re still the Wonder Twins, after all. Even if Fitz has now gone from rubbing magic lamps, to rubbing another man’s rhubarb, it would be hard to imagine him going full brakes on such a singular obsession as getting Simmons back – even if that meant retrieving a part she had left with another man.

As for that man… I’m not sold. I’m not about to go Iago, to Fitz’s Othello; I’m not even going to point out that he seemed to manage Sandman encounters pretty well; I’d just as soon place him in the ‘identity fluid’ section of the show’s core themes. His biggest contribution may have been a possible Easter Egg, in the form of the U.S. military being in possession of the monolith, at one point, and having prior knowledge about the world on the other side. There may be a backstory to the source of GH325 coming out of this….

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About the author

Sam Joseph

Sam is an Avid consumer/observer of Geek culture, and collector of Fanboy media from earliest memory. Armchair sociologist and futurist. Honest critic with satirical if not absurdist­­ wit with some experience in comics/ animation production.

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