Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Fear and Loathing on the Planet of Kitson

"The mission is ladies' night."

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. leaves its usual heavy storytelling aside and delivers one of its most unique episodes. Very Whedonesque and definitely the funniest one they have ever done. What's not to love?

"Fear and Loathing on the Planet of Kitson" is a well crafted episode: written with confidence, produced with style and very well acted. There is one detail I'd like to address first, because it's the only flaw in an otherwise terrific episode: Simmons' behavior and how it doesn't fracture her friendship with Daisy.

See, last season Simmons tried to stop Fitz from ripping the inhibitor from Daisy's brain, but afterwards she sided with Fitz, didn't show one ounce of sympathy towards her friend and acted against her direct orders. We never saw their friendship recover from that. This season Simmons again acted against what everybody had decided, and in this very episode she challenged (!) Daisy of all people. Yes, she is not emotionally well and her unstoppable drive to find Fitz is clouding her judgement, but her inability to understand Davis' and Piper's perspectives, for instance, is jarring, especially when it leads her to call them cowards. How dare she? She is not confronted nearly enough, though, and the episode proceeds to give her validation, for Fitz is right around the corner. It's not that her jump of faith could not have brought her what she was looking for, but more that her selfishness was not addressed as it should have been. So when Daisy and Simmons are high and professing their love for one another, I can only conclude that Daisy is the best, most patient friend ever, and one that Simmons, at this point, does not deserve.

But enough with that issue, because this was such a great episode that it deserves more happy words than I'm giving it so far, and stoned Simmons was a big part of that greatness.

It's boys' night for Fitz and Enoch when they arrive on the planet of Kitson and must gamble for their tickets back to the orbit of Jupiter. Fitz and Enoch are a great duo, and it makes so much sense that a sentient android (or whatever Enoch is) would end up being Fitz's mate. But is he really? When Enoch professes that Fitz has become his best friend, Fitz doesn't return the sentiment immediately. Only later, when Enoch is depressed and in need of a pep talk, does Fitz say Enoch is his best friend also. Was he being honest or just trying to cheer Enoch up? I'm going with the second option, for Fitz wasn't paying attention to their growing bond at all. He is so focused on the mission (it's all about Simmons) that Enoch's attachment to him flew over his head. Or maybe Fitz didn't expect that someone with such a robotic demeanor would have real feelings.


In any case, it's nice that Enoch is being fleshed out as a character. He is genuine and faithful (let's not forget that his previous version sacrificed himself for the team), which makes him someone easy to root for. I mean, how unbelievably cute was he in this episode? Even his brief existential crisis was cute, and it opens new possibilities for the character. Now that his mission as a chronicon is cancelled, he can just become part of the gang. :)

While Enoch and Fitz were the emotional center of the episode, Daisy and Simmons were the comedic one. And OH MY GOD I LOVED IT SO MUCH. Why, oh why, didn't this show try stuff like this before? I know the one-off stories of season one were more miss than hit, and the show became extremely serialized from season two onward, but episodes like this are gold. Gold, I tell you. Okay, I have a weak spot for episodes where characters are high or under a spell and act all goofy. Still, it's nice to see these characters you've grown fond of just having some fun together. And after the doom and gloom of last season, this was a welcomed change of tone.

It's ladies' night for Daisy and Simmons when they arrive on the planet of Kitson and completely lose focus of their mission after they inadvertently get stoned. Chloe Bennet and Elizabeth Henstridge play off each other really well and dive head first into the silliness of the script. You can tell they had lots of fun shooting this episode. I loved several moments, but my absolute favorite one was Simmons directing Daisy's blast and yelling "Fire." That was totally Whedon-y, wasn't it? Daisy narrating the night to herself was another hoot. Daisy, in general, was awesome, and her fight against the hunters was one of the coolest the show has ever done. I mean, she was high and still got the moves. And what about that music score? All hit, no miss.

Skimmons or Death!
Even though this was not the typical arc heavy episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., it was no filler either, as we got some significant arc progression. See, it's completely possible to design an episode as a standalone that anyone can randomly watch whenever they want too just for the fun of it and still make it relevant to the arc story (not that I have anything against purely one-off stories, they have their value too!). We learned that there are several types of chronicons, one of these types are hunters, who are after Fitz for... reasons. The hunter we met said that Daisy and the others are "out of time," as in out of their original timeline. But Fitz isn't, right? The Fitz who was out of time died, and this Fitz actually belongs to this timeline. So why did the hunter take him?

I know many fans were frustrated that Simmons and Fitz were separated yet again, but I loved that they only saw each other for like five seconds and Fitz was taken. At first, the search for Fitz looked like an unnecessary side plot this season, but now it matters and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next. And it's not only Jemma who wants to find Fitz. His best friend Enoch will want to get him back too.

Intel and Assets

- After saying "Expecto Patronum," Simmons hallucinated a tiny monkey Fitz. Of course the image of Fitz would appear as her patron.

- I loved that Simmons, even stoned, was able to tell that the sound they were listening to wasn't part of the hallucination. Girl is smart.

- So, is Daisy cool with the use of torture now? I wonder if this will be explored in depth later or if we are just supposed to accept that a year in space has led her to this point.

- The planet of Kitson has only one city, apparently, also called Kitson, and it's ruled by a man named... Kitson. Boy, is he self-centered or what?

- The title of this episode is a reference to "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."

- Did the hunters really need to kill the hostess? She seemed so nice.

Quotes

Enoch: "I'm well-versed in over 10,000 intergalactic games of chance, several of which are being played in this casino."
Fitz: "And you're only just telling me that now? Which games are you good at?"
Enoch: "Approximately none."

Inspector: "The planet Kitson is a nasty place, absent any basic scrap of decency."
Piper: "Somebody just described Florida."

Inspector: "'What happens on the planet of Kitson...'"
Daisy: "Stays on Kitson?"
Inspector: "No. 'Is contagious and burns.'"

Enoch: "There are other ways to earn money."
Fitz: "How?"
Enoch: "The brothels of Kitson. We are both healthy and not unattractive specimens, and I am well-versed in over one hundred and thirt-"
Fitz: "Stop."

Daisy: "Are you feeling okay?"
Simmons: "Are you?"
Daisy: "I asked you first."
Simmons: "I asked you second."
Daisy: "On three. One, two, three..."
Simmons: "I'm not okay at all."
Daisy: "I'm tripping balls."

Daisy: "I don't think it's the atmosphere."
Simmons: "No, that was silly. It's clearly psychopharmacological expiali-"
Skimmons: "-docious."

Simmons: "You had big hair."
Daisy: "You had big... nerd face. What house are you in? Gryffindor?"
Simmons: "Ravenclaw, girl, please."

Simmons: "I think my parents are mice."
Daisy: "That makes sense."

Enoch: "What are you doing?"
Fitz: "I'm rebooting you."
Enoch: "I'm not comfortable with this level of intimacy."

Daisy: "If I can't quake it, I'll break it."

Simmons: "I have reason to believe that my future husband is behind that door."
Guard: "And what reason is that?"
Simmons: "The dolphin told me in a secret signal only I can hear that was meant just for me."


I loved it and I'm grading it according to the amount of fun I had. Four out of four bad little puffies.
--
Lamounier

Note: I'm so, so very sorry for the lateness of this review.

3 comments:

Billie Doux said...

Absolutely terrific episode title.

televisionandotherrantings said...

I'm with you on your point that Simmons has been a real crappy friend and to apparently have resolved all their issues this way feels kind of annoying. Like if they had dealt with their S5 deal last season and then resorted to this it might not be so bad but it's kind of this black cloud looming over everything. Hopefully once they actually get closer to Fitz some of the lingering trauma might actually get addressed.

I also kind of wish this episode was funnier than it was. Honestly the GIFs of the episode are more amusing to me since you can appreciate the wacky expressions more out of context. (High Daisy is definitely the best of the three). I mean high humour can be funny but I think a stronger foundation was needed. But definitely that stuff with Simmons didn't quite let this whole thing be as free as it wanted. Like at least with something like Tabula Rasa/Spin the Bottle the characters lose their memories so the ensuing hijinks feel more justified and when they do get them back they still got that baggage for the rest of the season.

Also there's a fair bit in the plot that doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. Them taking those puffs definitely could have been justified more since taking some alien food from people you just messed with might not be the best idea (and yeah thanks for bringing up the casual torture, the more people point it out the more it's starting to bother me, hopefully they'll cut that out when they get back to Earth). I'm also not really sure why the Chronicom guy didn't just to Kitson right away if he could have just gotten the information on where Fitz and Enoch were headed from that one dude. And apparently the guy knew about Fitz dying on Earth but it somehow took a year for him to realize/find out that Fitz was out doing space stuff this whole time? And yeah killing that person at the front seemed kind of unnecessary when Chronicoms apparently have teleporting rings they could have used to bypass the entrance. What jerks!

I do find it ironic that this episode has a dig from Florida when it was apparently pre-empted there.

Glad the review is finally out and I'm interested in the next one cause...boy is there a lot to say on certain things.

Anonymous said...

For what its worth i dont think Daisy or the writers have forgotten about Fitzsimmons dark turn they are just waiting for the right time for it to have the most impact. When the trio are gathered again and Fitz needs a dramatic way to be brought up to speed. If you think about it theres been an unspoken tension between Daisy and Simmons that has threatened to spill overa few times already. This brilliant drug fueled romp made them and us forget that. Also i think Daisy has become a little arrogant with her power upgrade which will become a concern later