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January 6, 2018

Neither space nor time can keep the First Couple of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD from being together. The Season 5 winter premiere, “Fun & Games,” not only finally reunited Fitz and Simmons after five episodes apart, but also saw the first engagement of the TV series.

It’s a moment that the cast sees as a long time coming. IGN was on set for the big proposal scene (well, the second one, when Jemma could actually hear Fitz) and spoke to stars Iain de Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge about their reaction to this latest FitzSimmons plot twist.

“I really do like it,” said de Caestecker of Fitz’s determined proposal. “I think that they’ve done a really cool job of building it up in a cool way, and I think it does seem like a natural progression now, kind of where they are, that they start planning about their future together. I don’t see them ever breaking up.”

Though Fitz and Simmons were originally introduced as having a brother/sister dynamic, the show started exploring the romantic nature of their feelings by the end of Season 1. Since then, their relationship as a couple has been interrupted by brain trauma, work woes, interplanetary travel and two monoliths that sent them through space and time, respectively.

Their troubled road to this proposal is one big reason that Henstridge isn’t allowing herself to get her hopes too high for the pair getting married any time soon — especially considering they’re trapped in a future where Earth is destroyed and have no obvious avenue home.

“I never allow myself to enjoy any happy moments in this show, especially with these two,” Henstridge said wryly after filming several takes of Fitz’s rescue and proposal scene. “If we ever actually make it to being happily married, and just happily ever after … I’ll believe it when I see it, you know? Something always seems to happen. I think it’s nice for them. And it’s a nice way that it happens, because there’s no kind of pomp to it.”

Not only did “Fun & Games” feature the FitzSimmons proposal, but that key scene was directed by one of the series’ stars, Clark Gregg. The cast felt that his knowledge of these characters and their dynamic over the past five seasons lent itself to telling this significant development for the series. For Gregg, he was just happy to be the one who directed filming of it.

“I was really kind of honored to be the one who got to do the moment where they finally take that step — and then she can’t hear him,” he told IGN several days before the episode’s premiere. “I thought it was such a tricky but gorgeous conceit, designing the space where they could have a moment together that could have to happen quickly where we’re seeing her and wondering if she’s hearing. … I felt very lucky to be doing that moment, but also to have those two who’ve got this relationship and how to play these permutations of it so down. It was just a thrill to sit at the monitor and watch it.”

Gregg had nothing but praise for Henstridge and de Caestecker’s portrayal of that proposal. “They show up to squeeze every drop of what’s there,” he reflected. “That connection and the discovery of their connection and the lengths that they’ve gone through just feel so earned to me, their closeness. It’s funny, because Iain does make those jokes all that time that he can’t bear when he has to do a kissing scene with her, but I think it’s just classy Iain protecting the vulnerability and the space of what really goes on between them in this false world.”

Chloe Bennet was similarly just thrilled to “actually get to be in the scene when they kiss and get engaged,” even if her character was technically unconscious at the time. “I’m just sitting there like, ‘Hey, guys!’ I don’t have to be a creeper this time,” she said, explaining, “Usually I’m the one who has to come and, like, find them and just watch them [during romantic scenes]. But I keep making really awkward eye contact at the end, and [de Caestecker’s] not stoked with it.”

“If we don’t have a massive wedding episode where I get to be the flower girl, I’m gonna be pissed,” Bennet added.

Whatever the future brings or whatever new horror attempts to keep Fitz and Simmons apart, Henstridge has faith that they will continue to stick through things together. Though they might still be processing the events that took place in the Framework, Henstridge viewed this engagement as the two of them putting the past behind them and agreeing to move on with their life together.

“These two, they’ve already made their life commitment to each other. And they’ve made such a huge commitment to their job. They put their lives on the line every week. So, I think it will happen,” she said of a possible wedding. “I don’t know that it’ll be that big of a deal when it happens, you know? I don’t think they’re into huge kind of showy, fancy stuff.”

So would she be Jemma Fitz? “No, never,” Henstridge said emphatically. “Are you joking? Never. I’d make him be Simmons. Leo Simmons.”


December 5, 2017

Elizabeth Henstridge, Iain DeCaestecker, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. writers share their thoughts on the fate of FitzSimmons, and other spacey ships.

Everyone knows that the course of true love never did run smooth on television, but Fitz and Simmons’ uniquely tortured path to romance might be one for the record books. As Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. enters its fifth season, the pair has been divided by everything from the mundanities of hesitation and the painful guilt of unbalanced scales, to unwilling relocation to a hell-planet and robot body-swapping.

(And let’s not even mention the space-boyfriend.)

In the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 premiere, the trauma continues. Fitz (Iain DeCaestecker) has been left behind on Earth, while Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) and the rest of the team are catapulted into a satellite colony 90 years in the future. Suffice to say, by this point, even the characters have noticed that they seem to be prey to a cosmic grudge.

“You guys are constantly torn apart,” Daisy observes to Simmons in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 premiere.

“Cursed, as he would say,” Simmons replies, though she tries to reject the idea herself.

But with events spiraling ever more wildly out of control (Simmons is now the drone-like servitor of an eccentric Kree overlord, for crying out loud!) we were wondering about that curse ourselves. So we went right to the source to see if the minds behind Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have actually hexed these two star-crossed scientists to eternal misery.

“No,” insist showrunners Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen. “If you stick through the season,” Tancharoen adds, “You will be…”

“Iain’s still on the show,” Whedon interjects. “It’ll be fine!”

Elizabeth Henstridge is just as vehemently optimistic about the couple’s prospects.

“NO!” she says, when asked if she believes that FitzSimmons are cursed. “I don’t! No, I don’t. I think they’re members of S.H.I.E.L.D., is what they are.”

“Not at all,” Ming-Na agrees, cracking “It’s a smooth romance, through and through!”

“I mean, romances in real life are not plain sailing,” Henstridge notes.

Her on-screen love Iain DeCaestecker also insists that he “definitely” does not believe in the curse.

“They’ve faced some real tough shit,” he says. “But no, I think the reason they’re not cursed is because often, through it all, they manage to find a way through it together. And they don’t work as well seperately as they to do together — they kind of complete each other when they’re together. That sounds really cheesy doesn’t it!” he laughs.

Chloe Bennet and Clark Gregg each describe themselves as ardent FitzSimmons shippers (“The universe just tortures people like me,” Gregg says) and encourage fans to look to the future.

“They don’t know what’s happening this season, do they!” Bennet teases of despairing fans. “Listen, friction creates growth, so they are just going to become even better. So the more that they go through, the stronger of a couple [they’re going to be].”

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