Spoiler Warning: The following post contains spoilers for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Episode 3×02.
Last night on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Fitz finally achieved his goal. That’s right, after a long search, Fitz was able to figure out how to rescue Simmons and was successful in doing so. As Simmons is now back with S.H.I.E.L.D., the monolith which took her is now destroyed and could mean we never get a real chance to see where she was.
After the debut of the episode, EW released an interview with Elizabeth Henstridge where they talk about everything from who came back, to where she went, and how she is dealing with it all.
To ease some very unlikely fan theories, Henstridge started off by confirming that who came back is in fact Simmons as far as she knows but it’s clear what she experienced has changed her.
She has PTSD. She’s been through something, which, for her especially, was just unthinkable. She’s not been sure about any of the Inhuman stuff or the alien everything. Now all of a sudden she experiences it. Not to say that she’s an Inhuman, but she has experienced alien things first hand and it has changed her. It transported her to another place and she doesn’t understand how that’s possible. Maybe we’ll find out what happened while she was there. She’s been in survival mode. We see her and her clothes are tattered, she’s dirty, and she’s obviously been through it. She’s reliving those nightmares.
Last time Fitz saved Simmons life, he suffered brain damage from a lack of oxygen. Now that he’s done it again, he got through it unscathed as far as we can tell, but Simmons will need him more than ever.
I think she’ll be leaning on him even more. The first word she says when she comes back is Fitz. All she wants to do is be close to him. She has a nightmare and he’s by her bedside. She crawls over and then can fall asleep because she’s close to him. It’s so far away from being romantic at the moment. He’s just there for pure comfort.
This makes a lot of sense based on their old relationship and given the fact that Fitz was the only one to not stop looking for her.
At this point, she doesn’t know that, but she’s a pragmatist. It’s because of their close relationship, she just knew Fitz would never give up. I’m not sure if she’ll ever really know, but she’s a scientist too, and she would’ve looked at the evidence and gone, “We’ve tried every avenue, it translates as death, so she’s probably dead.” I don’t think she’s too concerned about that. She’s just all swept up in what she’s been through, being back and trying to piece together what happened to her.
Right now, we don’t know what she went through on that planet but it clearly wasn’t good for Simmons. Henstridge says “we might” see more of her during her time away and she’s terrified that whatever else was on the planet (Lash anyone?) will come back to hunt her down.
She’s definitely afraid of that. That will for sure feature. Now that she’s back, it’s not like, “I’m fine, moving on!” It will have a huge impact on the rest of the season. Psychologically, she’s petrified that she’s not safe.
Because of her current mental instability, it will take Simmons some time to get re-acquainted within S.H.I.E.L.D.
It will take her a while, by her own choice. Her whole identity is her work, science and experimenting. She just can’t string a sentence together at the moment. She’s completely back to square one trying to almost learn how to walk again, learn how to sleep again, learn how to eat normal food. She’s completely at zero, so it’s going to take a second. She’s really struggling. We’ll definitely find out why she’s struggling so much in later episodes.
If Simmons does turn out to be an Inhuman, it would mean a drastic change in the way shes views powered people or a crippling amount of self-hate. This will all be based on how she deals with what happened to her, but it could be a long process.
Where she is at the moment, she’s just trying to function and trying to sleep through the night. We’re going to see her really struggle with every day activities and people thinking she can’t really handle stuff now because she’s been traumatized. Hopefully out of that will come strength. I would think having experienced something that she would be potentially more inclined to empathize with alien tech and alien experiences. Maybe once she starts wading through the trauma, she’s potentially going to be really fascinated by it, but that’s a ways off. At the moment, when we see her back, she’s a shell of her former self and she’s just trying to process everything that happened to her.
Marvel brought Simmons back a little bit sooner than I expected. Hopefully, there will be a big payoff for losing her to the monolith and bring some really fascinating stories for Simmons to go through. Oh, and she better finally go on a date with Fitz after all of this.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be back Tuesday at 9 p.m. EST on ABC with “A Wanted (Inhu)man.” Check out the promo for the episode here.