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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Turns Back the Clock With “Rewind”

After the critical hit that was, “4,722 Hours,” it was only a matter of time before the other half of FitzSimmons got an episode devoted to him. Unsurprisingly, “Rewind” showcased Iain de Caestecker’s comedic and dramatic talents in a way that almost makes up for the lack of Fitz in episodes 1-4 of this season. De Caestecker is always a tour-de-force as an actor and this latest episode further proved how much of an asset he is to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. While the show has had its fair share of jaw-dropping moments this season, there’s no denying that Fitz’s absence was greatly felt.

This week’s catch-up was a necessary one, but the return of Fitz was a stark reminder that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a show that thrives best when every character is utilized.

Spoilers ahead!

“Rewind,” starts off back in the diner on the fateful day that most of the S.H.I.E.L.D. team was whisked away through space and time to the year 2091. And if you thought a (seemingly) one-way trip to the Lighthouse was a bummer, turns out that Fitz was the one who really got the short end of the stick. Quickly taken in by the government, Fitz spends six months in solitary confinement deep in a secure military prison/compound. Spending most of his time trying to piece together what happened in that diner, and where the hell his friends are, Fitz winds up irritating his “hosts” to the point where it looks as though what little amenities he has as a cooperative prisoner will be stripped from him.

Luckily, before he can be manhandled back into his windowless cell, Lance Hunter, attorney at law, comes to save the day.

Hunter manages to break Fitz out of the military base and, after putting a few puzzle pieces together through the use of some surveillance footage, the two men manage to track down Enoch, the mysterious baldy who took Team S.H.I.E.L.D. in the first place.

While most of Enoch’s answers to Fitz and Hunter’s questions are, “Unknown,” the 30,000+ year-old alien is able to clue them in on the fact that their friends are floating in space in 2091 and that the reason Fitz isn’t with them is because he wasn’t on, “the Seer’s,” list.

But who is this mysterious Seer?

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. rewound even further this week to Season 3’s, “Spacetime,” for that one. Robin, the young daughter of the future-seeing man who saved Daisy, is another Inhuman with the sight. As it turns out, the reason Fitz didn’t make the trip with his friends is because he’s the one who has to save them. A fact that is revealed through a very ominous picture drawn by the young future-seer that depicts a dead Jemma(?). Naturally, the confirmation that Fitz’s role in the prophecy that’s been (not-so-casually mentioned in every episode of the season) is to save his friends is enough for Enoch to come up with a way to get Fitz to the future.

While the monolith isn’t an option thanks to the fact that it’s controlled from the other side (Enoch just knew the date and time it would liquefy on 2017 Earth) there is a capsule that Enoch is convinced will do the trick. Though, like everything on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., this solution is of the, “easier said than done,” variety… largely because it’s being housed in the very military base that Fitz spent the last six months as a prisoner.

But that’s not really a problem for the man who has jumped through a hole in the universe multiple times to save one Jemma Simmons. In fact, Fitz and Hunter break into the base with relative ease and manage to break out with the Zephyr and Enoch’s pod. Success!

Unfortunately, Fitz’s trip to the Lighthouse won’t be as quick as his friends’ as he will instead be forced to take the long way to 2091: 74 years of cryogenesis.

Yep. Turns out Fitz is the latest Marvel hero to sleep his way to the future.

This episode, though not yet woven into the space plot, was instrumental in terms of catching viewers up with our favorite Scot. Perhaps most importantly is the fact that, “Rewind,” gave Fitz time to catch up with himself. 

One thing that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has gotten a bit of flack for over the years is the amount of self-reflection, personal growth, and mental healing that occurs off screen. Save for a few key moments (Jemma immediately following her return from Maveth, and a few instances during Daisy’s post-Lincoln, goth, phase) S.H.I.E.L.D. has taken a, “fill it in yourself,” approach to many of the traumas our favorites have experienced throughout the five seasons (remember when Jemma was literally tortured by Giyera and was almost immediately hunky-dory afterwards? Or when Phil learned the truth about T.A.H.I.T.I. and was kinda just “eh” after?). “Rewind,” actually gave viewers a first-hand look and understanding of the post-Framework ramifications that Fitz is having to deal with.

Iain de Caestecker did an exceptional job of conveying the overwhelming guilt that Fitz feels for the horrors brought on by AIDA and the Framework and the episode as a whole gave viewers a bit more insight into what our favorite engineer is thinking and feeling in the aftermath. Fitz’s deep fear of becoming the man he was in the Framework is something that he struggled with throughout the course of the episode, as well as the series in general, and actually getting to see him do so was welcome.

The fact that he thinks the reason he wasn’t taken with his friends is because he’d be a danger to them goes to show how willing Fitz is to place the weight of the world, and its burdens, on his shoulders. Which makes the fact that the real reason he wasn’t taken that much more poetic. After 2 seasons lamenting that he and Jemma are cursed, be it by the cosmos or circumstance, it was great to see Fitz proven wrong by the universe itself and learn that the reason he wasn’t taken is because, despite what the darkest parts of his mind are trying to convince him, he’s the hero, not the villain.

Episode Grade: A-

Episode Highs:

  • The Fitz/Hunter bromance is one that fans have loved from the get-go. An entire episode of their shenanigans was a welcome respite from the doom and gloom of the Lighthouse.
  • We’re seeing some actual development with Enoch which has me intrigued. I’m interested to see where the character will go moving forward.

Episode Lows:

  • Is it just me or did this episode fly by?
  • Not a ton of plot-driving. I love a good spy/buddy-comedy but, were this episode featuring anyone other than Fitz (and Hunter), it wouldn’t have been nearly as successful. Luckily it didn’t reach Episode 7 of Stranger Things levels of irrelevance.

Additional Thoughts/Comments:

  • Is the murdery General the real big bad of the season? Perhaps Marvel is delivering the real Crisis on Earth…
  • Thanks to that opener, Elizabeth Henstridge’s Jemma Simmons remains the only character to have physically appeared in every episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • How slowly are the next two weeks going to move? EPISODE 5×06 CAN’T COME SOON ENOUGH!

What did you think of the latest episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D? Sound of with your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments below! Don’t forget to tune in January 6th for the next ep!

About the author

Silje Falck-Pedersen

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