“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s” resident science brains, Fitz and Simmons, have one of the most confounding television “Will they?/Won’t they?” dynamics. They kinda did, but also haven’t yet, exactly.
With Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) now returned from the dark alien planet Maveth and Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) responsible for engineering her daring rescue at a tremendous cost, they’ve reaced a point where they certainly can, but… Will they? Won’t they?
If the actors who play them were playing it straight with reporters including CBR News during a recent press session on the top-secret set of the series, the answers aren’t entirely apparent to Elizabeth Henstridge and Iain De Caestecker either. Yet the paper were more than prepared to share their own thoughts on the future of the maybe-couple’s relationship, plus some hints as to what’s ahead for FitzSimmons together and apart. (Hint: She’s getting more badass. He’s going to to need network friendly swear words when he sees Hive.)
On the fact that there’s nothing standing in the way of their characters making out more:
Iain De Caestecker: I’ve not been enjoying it very much. No. Me and Elizabeth are, like, really good friends, so it’s weird that side of it. It’s like kissing my sister — not that I would! But having seen the evolution of their relationship, it does seem quite fitting that eventually they [did]. It always seemed like it was going in a romantic direction.
On the fact that they’re not yet making out on the show more:
Elizabeth Henstridge: In a way, it feels to me like we’ve earned this moment of calm a little bit; that you can’t have too much volatility in a relationship and you can’t ask too much of the audience to be like, “Okay, now you need to care about this massive argument too.” You need to earn that.
They’ve been through so much and have nearly lost each other so many times that for them where they are at the moment, we don’t know what’s happening, we don’t know what our relationship is going to turn into, or if we’re going to be friends or more, any of that stuff, but it doesn’t really matter because at least we’re both alive and on the same planet.Â
On how the actors’ long “just friends” stance never deterred FitzSimmons ‘shippers:
Henstridge: We said that so many times.
De Caestecker: We even said that after Season One If someone went, “Do you think you’re in love with her?” I went, “I don’t think he is.” “But he did declare his love for her at the bottom of the ocean.” I went, “Yeah, but…”
Henstridge: I’ve always felt like they should get together. I just think you’ve seen them go through so much. The further down the road we get, the more they are too suited for each other and way unsuited to anybody else they’re ever going to meet having been through so much together. They owe it to themselves to at least explore that. This is “Agents of SHIELD” — who knows how long a good, functional relationship lasts. I think they had to at least try.
When they finally had their first kiss, some of that was just to get it out of the way so they could see what was on the other side of that. It could be that they just stay friends, but they’ve tried every other option at this point, so I understand why they’re at least exploring the more romantic options.
On how long before the first romantic scene happened the actors knew it was going to happen:
Henstridge: Like the day before we shot it! The Season One finale — I didn’t know that you were going to say that you loved me.
De Caestecker: Even now, I’m still sure that it’s like bro-love.
Henstridge: I don’t think they know. I think it’s just a day by day thing. What we saw in last night’s episode is that their dynamic is that they kind of bicker and they don’t’ really address the elephant in the room, and then, at some point, it becomes too much, and then they say it.
In [a recent] episode, Simmons just said, “I miss you. There it is. I don’t know what comes after that. I just miss you, so what do we do about it?” I think they’re just going to be constantly taking the next steps and seeing what they can handle and what they can’t.
De Caestecker: Also, the main thing as well is being good friends and working well as a team. They work better with each other than without.
On Simmons’ feeling responsible for Lash being at large:
Henstridge: She does just feel incredibly guilty. It’s a recurring theme for her that she needs a man to save her. On the planet, she only got back because Will sacrificed himself for her. Now, she let Lash out because she wanted to save herself, and she didn’t know how she was going to do it. She knows she doesn’t have the combat skills to be able to take on all those Hydra soldiers. Selfishly, in hindsight, she sacrificed all of those Inhuman lives to save her own. She’s just done with not being able to look after herself in that way.
She didn’t know that that was going to happen, she didn’t know he was going to kill the Inhumans. She trusted him in that moment. She was speaking to Andrew rather than to Lash, but she definitely feels very guilty.
I also think she’s beating up on herself that she allowed herself to make an emotional decision with someone she felt like she trusted who then betrayed her, because making emotional decisions, she’s still kind of new at it. She doesn’t trust that instinct in her as much as she trusts the scientific side, and it came around to bite her in the bum a little bit.Â
On how the knowledge that Ward is now the vessel for Hive may compound that:
Henstridge: I think she’s going to feel so guilty, because it was her that aided that all to happen. If she hadn’t of got sucked into the monolith, if she hadn’t been on that planet, if Fitz hadn’t risked everything to save her, he would never be back here. She didn’t think Ward could get any worse, but he did, and it’s kind of her fault, in a way. She definitely feels guilt for that.
On Fitz’s expected reaction to seeing Hive wearing Ward’s body:
De Caestecker: If the show was at 11 p.m. at night, he’d probably go, “Fucking hell!” But since he won’t, he’d probably go, “Oh sh–,” and not actually swear. It would be very confusing since he saw him die and there’s all those different conflicting emotions that surround that character and his face for a long time, so it would all boil up to the surface, I think.
On the possibility that Will Daniels’ consciousness may exist within Hive’s hive-mind:
Henstridge: It would just be so weird! I think that she’s worked so hard to get to this point where she’s able to function and has compartmentalized that crazy, traumatic period of her life. I think that would just bring more trauma, honestly, than comfort. But I guess it’s a possibility.
On how Simmons will be momentarily setting science aside in favor of combat training:
Henstridge: She’s going to try to better arm herself against those situations happening again, but I think it’s also a case of how Agent May has said throughout the different seasons that failing at something is never easy. Killing someone, even if they’re bad, never feels good. We’re seeing that now with Coulson.
Yes, she’s going to try to arm herself, but also it’s a period of growth for her to realize you make mistakes and you make decisions in an instant. It’s another thing she’s got to carry on her back. It’s another motivating factor to keep being a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and keep trying.
On whether Simmons could actually pull the trigger on someone:
Henstridge: It just depends on who it is. She harbors hate for certain people. Bakshi was one of them, then Ward is the other person. There are very specific people that she’d have no problem.
With Bakshi, she didn’t even think about it. I hated reading that scene, because we all loved [actor] Simon [Kassianides] so much — I see him all the time and I still feel guilty about it! Yeah, she has a part of herself that’s very pragmatic, very black-and-white. I think that aspect of her makes her a pretty good killer, really. But then there’s certain ones like Lash where she can really be swayed, so I think it just depends who it is.
On whether the debate over the Inhuman vaccine will cause friction between FitzSimmons:
De Caestecker: They usually agree on most things, but they have clashed in the past, certainly when it came to Inhumans. But they seem to be able to get over most obstacles. I think throughout their relationship as well, which I think has always been quite nice, is they can always have a big fight and shout at each other, and then 10 minutes later be all right. It’s that kind of relationship.
Henstridge: That makes sense, but I do think that would be something that they would disagree on.
On Fitz’s gradually improving cognitive functions:
De Caestecker: If you were to look at that character before and since that accident happened to him, they’re two different people. After that kind of injury, you’d never be able to go back to exactly the way you are, but you find new ways around things. The uplifting part, I suppose, is he’s come out almost a new side of himself — but a better side of himself in lots of ways.
“Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.
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