Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. star breaks down those shocking twists from the alien world

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Oct 30, 2015, 7:52 PM EDT (Updated)

We already had a feeling this season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was on the right track, and it just delivered one of the best episodes in the history of the series.

Major spoilers ahead for last night’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.!

After keeping us hanging for a few weeks, we finally get the full story in regards to Simmons’ (Elizabeth Henstridge) several months spent living on an alien world. After being sucked into the portal at the end of Season 2, we eventually realized Simmons was sent to a dark, alien planet where she apparently survived all that time alone. Turns out, she wasn’t alone.

As we learned last night, she spent much of the time working with a NASA astronaut who had been stranded there for 14 years, following a botched attempt at an exploratory mission. Which, yeah — that raises a ton of questions in itself. Namely: If NASA knew this was a portal 14 years ago, how did S.H.I.E.L.D. have no clue what it did in 2015? Sorry, back on topic.

During their time on the planet, the two grew very close … and eventually became romantically involved once Simmons accepted that she probably wasn’t getting off this rock. At least, until Fitz punches a hole through spacetime to get her back, and she barely makes it home alive (while being forced to leave her astronaut pal Will behind). Now that she’s home, Simmons is desperate to get back and finish the rescue mission.

Here’s what Henstridge had to say in an interview with Entertainment Weekly about the emotions Simmons is facing at the moment:

“It’s a very different type of love [for Will] than what she has for Fitz. It only turned romantic when she had lost all hope, and she was ready to just fall off the edge of that cliff. She gets back, and she’s just done. She’s never been this way before. She’s never been in a situation where she didn’t think she could intellectually solve it. He lifts her up and that moment is so pure and primal. That’s the basis of their romantic relationship. From then on, it’s more about survival than getting back, because they think there’s no hope for that. She does love him. It’s a very different love. Whether it’s a love that would survive in the real world, I don’t think they would’ve fallen in love in the real world.

But, at the same time, throughout all of it, she’s still so connected to Fitz. At the end, when they’re going to see the sunrise and it’s a romantic time for them, as soon as she sees that flare, she’s right back to Fitz. She knows it’s him. She’s so deeply entrenched in everything about him that she can be in love with Will, but she belongs with Fitz. When she comes back, it’s just so complicated. She’s never experienced feelings like this. It’s messy and it’s human. As an actor, it’s great to play, but for her, I feel bad for her and I feel bad for Fitz and Will. It’s not a fun set of emotions for any of them.”

As for what comes next? Henstridge says the rest of Coulson’s team will be looped in to the rescue plan, and that mysterious baddie on the planet will “have an impact” going forward. As for exactly what that means? We have no clue, but we’re dying to find out:

“They’ve got a big task, really, because they destroyed the portal. We don’t know that there is another way back. Really we’re starting over. There’s so much other stuff going on as well with Hunter trying to chase down Ward, the ATCU, Daisy trying to put together this group of Inhumans. We can’t give all the resources to try and get Will back. Simmons is really the person who wants it. It’s not like lives are in danger. It’s a really hard task and there’s no obvious answer, and that creates more conflict between Fitz and Simmons. The longer they leave it, the more danger Will is in. She doesn’t even know if Will is alive. Who knows if the monster got him? They let the tension drag out.”

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesday nights on ABC.

What did you think of last night’s episode? A nice twist on the stranded-on-a-planet trope?

(Via Entertainment Weekly)