Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD Recap – “4,722 Hours”


If you’ve been dying to see Elizabeth Henstridge bust out some serious acting chops, this is the Agents of SHIELD episode for you. Or if you like a lot of shades of blue.

Not-So-Short Summary: With a quick look at last season’s finale when Simmons got sucked into the Monolith, we’re rocketed to a different solar system. Two moons, lots of sand, barren terrain. She starts with a lot of observation, but after 72 hours of zero sun and zero extractions from the Earth side of things, she ventures off for water and leaves landmarks so if people come while she’s gone, they will know the general direction to go.

Three weeks in, her phone is somehow still working (which she explains later: Fitz modified the battery to last). She has to fight for her food against an unseen monster that also thinks she is food (working theories: an aqueous form of a Grabboid or the giant squid from Harry Potter).

One month in, she falls into a trap and finds herself in a cage. Her captor has a very Christian Bale-as-Bruce-Wayne vibe going for him (at least at first, with that gravelly voice). His name is Will, he came to the planet in 2001 on a NASA mission, and he’s thoroughly impressed by her phone capacity of 120 gigs.

His team was sent in and told they could come back within a year, but the possibility of it being a one-way trip was always there. Their job was to collect samples, map the terrain. Will goes on to explain that “It” has a way to mess with your mind; one teammate threw himself off a cliff, one set himself on fire. Whether it’s something in the sandstorm or the planet itself, he leaves that up to us to decide.

“I’d kill for a glass of wine,” Simmons utters at one point, and her breakdown at the glass of wine on her date with Fitz is shown in a brand new light.

3000 hours in and Simmons makes quite a few discoveries: a boneyard, an old timey telescope, “It” in the sandstorm. Will freaks at her because she was close to NASA’s “No Fly Zone,” but she’s figured out how they can find their way home.
The portal is a fixed point; it’s the planet that’s moving. She wants to map the stars long enough to see the rate of rotation and fix the NASA computer, powering it with what’s left of her phone battery. Before the computer dies, she finds the next portal point that will happen in eighteen days, all the way in the No Fly Zone across a canyon Will plans for them to zipline across.

The canyon, however, is much wider than they initially believed. They see the portal open across the canyon, so without the means to get across in time, they fire the message in a bottle to the other side. The portal disappears just before the bottle reaches it.

Simmons loses hope. Honestly, I would, too. And it’s Will that brings her back to earth (pun intended) as she spirals downward. Cue the kiss and the feeling that Will is more than likely doomed.

4720 hours in and our lovebirds are happier than ever, about to see the first sunrise in eighteen years. He breaks out a bottle of wine from the boneyard. Simmons is about to say something super romantic when she catches sight of Fitz’s flare, and they take off running.

The sand storm kicks in. Simmons catches sight of an astronaut and thinks it’s NASA come to the rescue, but Will knows it’s “It” trying to trick her. He tells her to run. There’s a gunshot from the lone bullet. And Fitz comes to the rescue.

We come to the present where Simmons is regaling Fitz with her story. He storms out, only to show Simmons that they’re going to bring Will back because their computers have electricity and aren’t from 2001.

Post-Credits Stinger: As the sun rises and sets in a matter of minutes, Will throws his gun down the hillside and walks away.

Badass Moment of the Week: N/A for this week.

Best One-Liner: “Do you happen to have any alcohol, Will?” Simmons asks angrily.
“Yeah. I’ll run down to the drug store and get it for you,” Will replies.

Two initial thoughts struck me:

  1. Simmons swimming in the water pit at the beginning felt very reminiscent of Life of Pi with that ridiculous fresh water island that eats people.
  2. Anyone else getting The Martian vibes? Especially when Will turns out to be an astronaut? Maybe it’s because I powered through that book and still am desperate to see the movie, but I could definitely see Mark Watney and Simmons getting along quite well.

I may or may not have a working theory about “It” being Death, you know, the one that Thanos is in love with in the comics. A very working theory. Twelve percent of a theory.

This was a very low-key episode for this season, despite it taking place in a completely different solar system. It’s a lot of emotional work. It felt quite a bit like a mini movie, hitting the right beats at the right time, and not entirely feeling out of place for what it brings to the overarching Agents of SHIELD story. All of the props to Elizabeth Henstridge.

My Planet Hulk theories didn’t pan out (there’s still hope!) (I never really had hope), but who knows what will happen if/when they return to the mystery planet. Maybe Will will have caught Hulk in his trap that ensnared Simmons, and he’ll revert back to Bruce Banner.

Next week’s preview shows the return of Agent May to SHIELD HQ, fully believing Andrew is dead. And everyone’s out for revenge on Ward. But that’s nothing new.

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