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Recap / Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S6 E06 "Inescapable"

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FitzSimmons are finally reunited, (again). But much to their horror, they find out that the Chronicoms have uplinked their minds together into one mind prison so they can work on inventing time travel to save the Chronicoms.


Tropes in this episode:

  • Always Save the Girl: Deconstructed as FitzSimmons hash out this aspect of their relationship. Fitz feels patronized by Simmons always coming to his rescue and Simmons hates Fitz always sacrificing himself and leaving her to mourn. They eventually work out that they'll both always do that because of how deeply they love each other.
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  • And Show It to You: Nightmare Simmons uses a bone knife to cut out Fitz's heart and show it to him. This being a simulation, not having a heart is more disturbing than fatal, and he recovers once he spawns Mack as backup.
  • Badass Boast: Enoch after freeing FitzSimmons and taking out the other Chronicoms.
    Enoch: I have taken bold action.
  • Bait-and-Switch: After their highly emotional argument in the containment pod, Fitz and Simmons resolve their differences and agree to face their nightmare selves together, only to find that the Doctor and Nightmare Simmons are...otherwise engaged.
  • Berserk Button: Fitz is able to coax Jemma into aging back into her adult self by mentioning that he could casually bring back Aida.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Fitz and Simmons think up versions of Mack and Daisy saving them from the Doctor and Jemma's evil self.
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    • Enoch ultimately rebels against Altarah, frees Fitz and Jemma from their mind prison, and teleports them off of the Chronicoms' starship.
  • Bottle Episode: Played with; most of the episode takes place in the mind prison but the fact that it's a mental projection means all kinds of sets and characters as FitzSimmons explores their memories.
  • The Bus Came Back: The Doctor/Leopold makes his first appearance since Season 5.
  • Call-Back:
    • FitzSimmons's "cursed" love is brought up again.
    • The brief Running Gag of everyone assuming FitzSimmons were one person is brought back.
    • The hoodie Simmons wore after her return from Maveth shows up in a flashback. Turns out it originally belonged to Fitz.
    • When Nightmare Simmons tortures Fitz, she starts by having him chained upside down in the Quinjet docking bay and wondering aloud which part of him will suffer first like it's a biological experiment. This is just like a few episodes ago where she tortured aliens in a similar manner, exploiting the fact that their biology was used to lighter gravity than Earth's.
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    • When a 7-year old Simmons asks Fitz to read her a bedtime story, it briefly transforms into the Darkhold.
    • Once again, Jemma enters a simulated world with someone she loves, while their bodies in the real world are lying next to each other on tables. Last time it was with Daisy in the Framework, now it's with Fitz in the Chronicom mind-prison.
    • Noah described Enoch as being "quite reckless" by Chronicom standards. Here, we get to see quite how reckless - as in betraying the other Chronicoms to save FitzSimmons.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Mack makes this rationalization as to why FitzSimmons will be fine with the Chronicoms. Little does he know that Altarah is irrational enough to potentially get them killed in search of the information she needs.
  • Character Development: Enoch realizes that he cares more about protecting Fitz and Simmons than he does about being a good Chronicom, and breaks them out of Altarah's mind prison.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Altarah informs FitzSimmons that the mind prison can be used to conjure about anything that their mind wants. FitzSimmons eventually figures out they can conjure their friends to help them: Daisy for Jemma and Mack for Fitz.
  • Continuity Nod: Oh, several of them, especially during FitzSimmons's blazing row in the containment pod.
  • A Day in the Limelight: For Jemma and Fitz.
  • Didn't See That Coming: After resolving their differences in the containment pod and declaring they love each other once more, FitzSimmons fully expected Leopold and Nightmare Simmons to attack them both. Instead, they're making out with each other. Cue the Head Tilt. Seems Nightmare Simmons is a Brains and Bondage type of... monster.
  • Discovering Your Own Dead Body: The real Fitz discovers his future self's dead body during Simmons's memory of the team planning to head into space and find his body.
  • Drowning Pit: When Simmons recalls her and Fitz's near-drowning in the ocean as they bicker in the containment unit, it starts filling up with water.
  • Emotional Regression: Simmons reverts to her seven (and a half!) year old self in the beginning of the episode at the stress of their situation. To a lesser extent, FitzSimmons both regress to their SHIELD Academy selves as they go through their memories there.
  • Emotion Suppression: Ever since she was a little girl, Simmons has shoved away any negative emotions that might trouble her into a little music box — or, as she puts it, keep things nice and tidy. The Scottish Fitz has the perfect response to it.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: During The Stinger, Mack is trying to tell Daisy about how the beings who destroyed the Chromicons' world are on Earth, with very dramatic music playing... and just before he can say "they're here", she cuts to the point, leaving the music to stop and Mack looking disappointed.
    Mack: Kinda stole my thunder there.
  • Fighting Down Memory Lane: The Chronicoms put FitzSimmons into a machine that combines their minds so that their combined intellect can work out time travel. Unfortunately, it was meant for Chronicoms, not humans (whose emotional problems can disrupt the process and cause great risk of destroying them). This manifests in FitzSimmons's darker alter-egos, who actively threaten each other as they lay out all their issues from their tumultuous relationship. They manage to save themselves when they realize they're not alone and conjure memories of their respective closest friends to fend of each other's dark sides, buying them enough time to reconcile with each other.
  • Five Stages of Grief: Jemma searching for past Fitz is revealed to be stage 1, denial; at least that's what her teammates sans Coulson felt.
  • Flashback: We see the first time FitzSimmons met Coulson. Turns out they initially thought they were being Reassigned to Antarctica for an unauthorized experiment to provide better fuel for a Quinjet.
  • Head-Tiltingly Kinky: Fitz and Simmons react this way to Leopold and Nightmare Simmons getting freaky:
    Fitz: Didn't know you liked that.
    Simmons: Didn't know you'd do that!
  • Insecure Love Interest: Fitz's issues in his relationship with Simmons is that he feels like he has to be looked after by her, making him feel pitied in the relationship and resentful that she left when he was brain damaged and she found someone else when they were physically separated. His Doctor persona liked Aida in the Framework because his ego was satisfied with someone he felt didn't have to constantly do that.
  • Internal Reveal:
    • Fitz finds out that his alternative future self died, that Coulson also died, that he and Jemma are/were married, and that he has a grandson (Jemma doesn't have time to get to the details on that one).
    • Mack learns that Fitz survived and is with the Chronicoms.
    • Daisy is told about the Shrike, which are responsible for the destruction of the Chronicom homeworld.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: The Doctor and Nightmare Simmons have trapped their normal selves in the containment pod, and he sternly warns her to stay out of his way, to which she responds by brandishing her bone-knife-a and the shotgun axe at him. The next time we see them (after their regular selves have just had a very intense shouting match), the Doctor and Evil Simmons are making out like wild animals (and possibly doing much more than just "making out.")
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: When he realizes that she's not going to listen to reason, Enoch somehow incapacitates Altarah, the Chronicom Hunter, and any other guards that might have been there. By himself. And unarmed.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Jemma and Fitz have several arguments like this throughout the episode, coincidentally involving his discovery that she married an alternate timeline version of him, culminating in their heated shouting match in the containment pod.
  • Locked in a Room: Played with; FitzSimmons are imprisoned for the episode in a mental construct so they are forced to work out time travel. It starts out as a mostly featureless room where they can freely manifest whatever they can conceive. This becomes a problem as they touch upon the emotional issues their relationship has developed over the years but they eventually reconcile their feelings and come out all the stronger for it.
  • Love Hurts: A running theme of the episode, as FitzSimmons's highly tragic relationship is reviewed: Simmons has a deeply repressed resentment of Fitz for all the pain loving him has caused her, and Fitz feels equal resentment for Simmons usually having to be his constant caretaker when he gets in trouble or feels vulnerable.
  • Mental Fusion: The Chronicoms are using a machine that explicitly does this so FitzSimmons can combine their intellect and hash out time travel together.
  • Mood Whiplash: The very serious moment where Fitz and Jemma hash out their problems and prepare to face off with Leopold and Nightmare Simmons comes to a screeching halt when they find their dark selves heavily making out.
  • Not So Different: It turns out Jemma has her own inner monster, born of all the issues she's suppressed over the years. Fitz doesn't hesitate to point this out during their argument.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Before freeing Fitz and Simmons from the mental prison, Enoch single-handedly neutralized every Chronicom in the room, somehow. That large gun he was holding when the duo woke up may have played a part in it, or perhaps use of the sound signal that incapacitated Enoch a few episodes ago (we hear it briefly when Aldarah is in the simulation).
  • Ominous Music Box Tune: The natural herald of Nightmare Simmons, since she was suppressed within a music box and released when it opened.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Fitz's reaction to seeing Nightmare Simmons and Leopold making out: "What...the Hell?"
  • The Reveal: Coulson was the one who gave Simmons the go ahead to find Fitz.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Fitz lets out an especially high-pitched squeal when he turns around and sees Jemma as a seven year-old girl.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Enoch turns against his people in order to save Fitz and Simmons.
  • Self-Deprecation: The S.H.I.E.L.D acronym gets poked fun at by FitzSimmons:
    Fitz: Oh, perfect, there's no better place to lay low than the Strategic Homeland Interventi—
    Simmons: Yeah, it's an awful acronym.
    Fitz: Yeah, I agree.
  • Shout-Out: Simmons' dark side resembles Sadako Yamamura/Samara Morgan, as Fitz himself points out. He also compares it to Night of the Living Dead (1968).
  • Spot of Tea: FitzSimmons manifest some very British afternoon tea to share space adventures over.
  • The Stinger: Mack and Daisy talking about how unstoppable Fitz and Simmons are and filling her in on what's she missed. It should be noted that representations of both of them were used by Fitz and Simmons to assist them in their mind prison.
  • Stupid Evil: Altarah, again. She hooks Fitz and Simmons in a mind prison, similar to the Framework, allowing them to share brains and memories. She knows the effects could possibly kill them — and if that would happen she'd lose the Chronicoms' only chance of getting time travel — but she doesn't care.
  • Trying Not to Cry: Fitz is trying—and failing—to suppress tears upon learning that Coulson—the one father figure that didn't betray him in some way—died while he was off planet.
  • Unholy Matrimony: The Doctor and Nightmare Simmons both seem to hate their respective counterparts' lovers, but after a few moments of staring each other down, as FitzSimmons resolve their issues over their relationship, they're found passionately making out with each other and engaging in Head-Tiltingly Kinky activities off-screen.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Both Fitz and Simmons let out their anger and frustrations with one another.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: The Doctor tricks Jemma by crying for help, pretending to be the real Fitz, causing her to run to him and being apprehended.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: Fitz and Jemma spend the majority of the episode's 42 minute runtime in the simulation, and from their point of view it must have been even longer than that, but after they resolve their issues, we learn from Altarah that it's only been 5 minutes and 33 seconds in the real world.
  • You Just Had to Say It: Fitz when Jemma bringing up their time at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean turns the containment pod into a Drowning Pit.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Jemma's and Leopold's suppressed thoughts pose a serious damage to them within the mind prison. This later becomes a Chekhov's Skill where they use these thoughts to summon representations of Mack and Daisy to help them against The Doctor and Nightmare Simmons.

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