Thursday, October 29, 2015

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - 4,722 Hours

After a summer cliffhanger and handful of following episodes teasing what happened, with "4,722 Hours" Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. finally reveals the truth about happened to Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) after she was suck through the monolith and transported to a barren world on the other side of the galaxy. Presented in an extended flashback sequence, the episode centers around Henstridge with other cast members only making token appearances through saved video on the scientist's smartphone. However, that doesn't mean Simmons is alone.

The least surprising aspect of "4,722 Hours" is that after several hundred hours alone on the apparently barren world Simmons ran into another survivor stranded there. Will Daniels (Dillon Casey), a NASA astronaut trapped in hellish landscape for years, is initially distrustful of Jemma and wondering if she is even real or just a hallucination or manifestation of the evil force on the world that killed the other members of his team. The pair eventually become allies, friends, and even lovers until Fitz's (Iain De Caestecker) rescue attempt pulls Jemma home leaving Will alone once again.

So different in structure than any other episode of the series, it's hard to compare "4,722 Hours" to any previous episode. Henstridge is certainly the highlight and is given plenty of time to shine. Casey is well-cast as Daniels, although I think the show could have been a little more vague about his character offering possibilities that he is Jemma's hallucination or a physical manifestation of the force on the planet. And Simmons is very quick to accept his story as fact rather than question its details. Even with these minor quibbles the episode works well and forces the show to break from its usual structure and deliver something new and different to its fans.

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