Jemma Simmons and Leo Fitz. FitzSimmons. Introduced as a portmanteau before they were introduced as individuals, that’s how quickly and strongly they were linked. At first they were just close friends from the academy, but did anyone think it would actually stay that way? Surely the cute British biologist and the awkward Scottish engineer were meant for each other?
The writers seem to think so, but also created a world in which they were split apart minimum once per year by increasingly baffling circumstances. It took until the end of season one for Fitz to admit he loved Simmons (because he was pretty sure he was about to die saving her), and all of season two for Simmons to decide she loved him back and ask him out. Once that happened, here’s a quick rundown of Things That Pulled FitzSimmons Apart.
- Simmons was swallowed by a giant stone monolith and thrown to a distant planet.
- Fitz rescued Simmons from the distant planet, but by that point she was shagging an astronaut who had also been tossed here, and wasn’t sure who she liked more.
- Fitz had to kill the astronaut Simmons liked, but not really because he was already dead and infected with an alien parasite. Hive. I mentioned him.
- Director Mace assigned Fitz and Simmons to separate divisions preventing them from working together (that one wasn’t terrible for their relationship, they still saw each other, but it did give Fitz too much time to hang around Radcliffe and talk robots, leading to…)
- An emerging AI named Aida (Mallory Jansen, Silver Medallist, Best Villain, 2017), that gained sentience from reading a spellbook (season four covered a lot of ground), stuck Fitz but not Simmons in a digital world called the Framework.
- Simmons went into the Framework to get Fitz, but in his digital life, he was cold, cruel, running Hydra, and didn’t know Simmons at all.
- A different giant stone monolith swallowed Simmons and most of the team, sending them to a post-apocalyptic future.
- Fitz went to prison in the present, and had to escape, meet up with a Chronicom named Enoch, and get to the 2090s the long way.
- Fitz died.
- No, we are still going, “Fitz died” was one of the easier ones, that’s how crazy this list is.
- Jemma and Daisy had to go into space to find the past version of Fitz that was somewhere in space, in cryo-sleep, heading for a future that would never be.
- Fitz and Enoch got knocked off their original course, making them tricky to find.
- Fitz and Simmons get kidnapped by Chronicoms, as it turns out Enoch is the only cool one.
- Enoch helps FitzSimmons turn the team plane into a time machine to stop the Chronicoms; Jemma goes on the mission, Fitz does not. Fitz is… somewhere, Jemma has an implant in her brain to ensure she doesn’t know.
- They imply pretty heavily that maybe Fitz is already dead.*
Which means that after years of fighting the odds, being torn apart and crossing decades of time and oceans of space (twice!) to be together, season seven they’re just apart again, and Fitz is written out for nearly all of the season.
This… isn’t entirely the writers’ fault. Apparently Iain De Caestecker got another gig or had a conflict, which seems weird because they’d been greenlit for season seven before season six even aired, how did they not manage to keep the cast together, but still, it wasn’t entirely their fault that Fitz couldn’t be in more of the season.
It is their fault that they thought they could split FitzSimmons up and get them back together over and over and still have the same impact each time. Honestly, they were never going to get a better reunion than season six, that time Fitz and Simmons were stuck in another virtual world and had to hash out their every issue while also confronting manifestations of their dark sides. That was as good as it was gonna get and still only mostly landed because we’d been around this particular maypole so many times already.
Which meant that there were two options for this latest separation. 1) Fitz was dead, and they risk fan revolt for putting FitzSimmons through all that grief and not giving them their own blue heaven; 2) FitzSimmons reunite, and it’s anticlimactic because we had been there and done that so many times.
Honestly it began to feel like the only interesting thing they could think of to do with this couple was force them apart. And if the only interesting thing you can do with a couple is keep them apart, you have no business writing romance arcs.
That’s dealt with, let’s talk about something they did well.
Next Page: Something old, something new
*Honestly the heavier they implied it the more I thought it was a mislead, but I thought that about Green Arrow dying in Crisis on Infinite Earths after Elseworlds and I was wrong that time.