How Agents of SHIELD Just Fundamentally Changed Simmons

SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major "Orientation," the Season 5 premiere of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

In "Orientation," the Season 5 premiere of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Simmons got up close and personal with the Kree. When she was inadvertently enlisted as one of their servants, she learned about their harsh practices firsthand. By the end of the episode, Kasius -- the Kree running the Lighthouse -- implanted her with a device that rendered her deaf and unable to speak.

The S.H.I.E.L.D. agents first encountered the Kree's servants on the human levels of the ship. "Sometimes the Kree take humans to their levels to serve, call it an honor, but when they visit, they don't talk much," Tess explained.

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Simmons got firsthand knowledge of what goes on in the Kree levels of the Lighthouse when she was taken there by Sanara, one of the higher Kree guards. She was brought before Kasius after she treated the wounds of one of his servants. He demanded to know where she was from and how she knew to cauterize the man's injury; she lied, saying she was from processing and that her mother had taught her healing skills. When he pressed her on why she interfered in his affairs, she offered him a forced smile and told him, "I only did what I thought would make you happiest in the end."

When Kasius learned his servant had been injured over a fight for food, he ordered a renewal -- a ceremony where the metrics of low-earning humans turn red, meaning they owed a life: someone else's or their own. "Life is a fragile thing," he said. "We must cultivate the beauty and prune back the rest."

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He offered her some grapes, which she took after a moment of hesitation. When she reached towards him, he took her hand and looked at her wrist, discovering that she had no metric. He praised the perfection of her skin, saying, "Such marvels make me wonder if you're from a place as tough as processing."

He then brought the injured servant out to examine Simmons' handiwork. "My servitors must symbolize perfection when they represent me," he explained. When he discovered a scratch on the servant's face, he added, "I demand perfection. He is now marred, whereas you remain immaculate."

After Sanara murdered the injured servant on his command, Kasius bent over the body. He removed something fluid and silver from the man's ear, then returned to Simmons. "You are a beauty worth cultivating, but you must learn silence," he whispered, slipping the device into her ear.

When the device took effect, Simmons' world changed. Her vision took on an odd haze, and she found herself unable to speak. What's more, she could no longer hear -- but only when Kasius doesn't want her to. She watched him speak to Sanara, but couldn't hear him. However, that changed at the very end of the episode when he addressed her directly.

"Jemma, you look wonderful," he said regarding her white servitor garb and makeup. "And I hear you're learning well. That's good. Just in time for my guests," he added, watching a ship pull up outside his window.

Of course, the device in Jemma's head is removable. However, it is unclear what kind of side effects there will be if and when said device is removed. Further, only the Kree know how to remove it. For now, it looks like she's stuck where she is, despite Daisy's plans to rescue her.

Airing Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 stars Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Henry Simmons, Ian De Caestecker, Natalia Cordova-Buckley, Elizabeth Henstridge, Nick Blood, Jeff Ward, Eve Harlow, Pruitt Taylor Vince and Coy Stewart.

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