Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD Character Review: Fitz


Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD’s second season can almost be thought of as two separate seasons. The first half covered the deterioration of Hydra and Coulson’s psyche, ending with a huge bang — or, if you will, shake. The second half covered the discovery of the Inhumans and superpowered people.

Because there’s been so much character development this season (and since we have the time to kill), let’s dive in and take a trip down Agents of SHIELD memory lane, character by character.

Miss a post? Get caught up: Melinda May  |  Grant Ward

[Mid-Season Report: FitzSimmons]

The Positive: Much like Melinda May, the two halves of Season 2 saw two different Fitzes. He started the season as a shell of the person he had once been, shying away from any person, retreating into himself, and relying on an imaginary Simmons to keep him company and finish his sentences. Fans worried his mental struggles would bog down the character and be written off completely.

It wasn’t until Mack treated him like a normal human being that he started on the road to recovery. Coulson put more faith in him, and he even managed to save the day on an early mission. As soon as he got that burst of confidence, he was headed in the right direction. Even the return of Simmons didn’t seem to hinder him.

What came in the second half of the season was a more confident, more sarcastic, more hilarious Fitz we’ve never seen before. Season 1, it was always FitzSimmons; Season 2 made them separate entities. No longer did Fitz play second fiddle (or second nerd). He doled out zingers right and left, including the season finale highlight, “Science, biatch.”

This is Fitz like we’ve never seen. His mental struggles faded to the background, and instead of hindering him, helped him grow into one of the scene relief characters. He took it upon himself not to overlook other people who were different, because he knew how it felt to be looked at like that. Case in point: Skye’s transformation.

Fitz discovers Skye’s powers and obviously freaks out. But instead of ratting her out, he keeps her secret and covers for her on multiple occasions. When his coworkers try to chide him for endangering lives, he doesn’t let it affect him or change his feelings on what he did.

Fitz became a subtle scene-stealer the further we made it into Season 2. He and Simmons smuggled Fury’s Toolbox out of HQ under fake!SHIELD’s (and May’s) nose only to meet up with on-the-run Coulson and Hunter, and I think we all applauded from our respective couches.

The Negative: Let’s start with the biggest one: His mental struggles. It took him most of the first 11 episodes to get to a functioning lab tech. In the last 11 episodes, there’s barely a mention of it. Fitz is back to being all sciency, though making more mistakes before, and no longer socially awkward. It’s good to see that Fitz has made strides to get to a new normal, but it feels as though the writers just forgot about it. No, we didn’t need a relapse, but something other than comedic throwaway lines about finishing Hunter’s sentences would have been nice.

Likewise, his relationships have felt a little all over the place, Mack notwithstanding. He was on the fritz with Simmons for most of the season and all it takes is one little fake!SHIELD invasion to unite them and keep them united? For all the crucifying she did of Specials, you would think there would be at least a little bit of a fallout after the reuniting. And with how close he became with Skye in those few episodes … well, maybe that one doesn’t count because when he and Skye were under the same roof, more important things were going on.

It’s understandable that the dynamics of his friendships would change. But their portrayal could have been a little more thorough.

Next Season: Things were lining up for ol’ Fitz at the end of the Agents of SHIELD finale, what with his bromance buddy Mack sticking around, successfully asking Simmons on a date, and his SHIELD family seeming reunited. Then Simmons got sucked into the Kree weapon.

Fitz already lost her once (in more ways than one), and it didn’t help him very much then. But he’s different than before. My gut feeling is that he won’t be devastated by her disappearance, but rather dedicated to finding her as soon s possible. He’ll rope Mack into helping him despite all of Mack’s misgivings about alien technology.

Whenever Simmons returns will be a catalyst for Fitz’s character. But the mystery remains as to whether it will be positive or negative.

Where He Started: B
Where He Ended: A-
Overall Grade: B+. After a shaky start, this new iteration of Fitz is both more down to earth and more hilarious.

Next: Agents of SHIELD Character Review: Grant Ward

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