Official synopsis for 4,722 Hours:
“After her dramatic rescue from another planet, Simmons is still reeling from her ordeal and reveals how she had to fight for her life in a harsh new world.”
The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fans were served up a riveting performance from Elizabeth Henstridge during the series’ most recent outing. Our favorite biologist proved that she’s truly a survivor, holding on to hope that she’d find a way home after arriving through the monolith. I feel that “4,722 Hours” was a definite peak in the series, giving me hope that the show may have found its footing.
“4,722 Hours” boldly set aside the show’s ensemble cast for a more character driven episode. This is something that has never really been done in this show before, but the risky decision paid off. In previous seasons, the pacing of the series has usually suffered after just a few episodes, but this time it felt right. I was engulfed by the storyline immediately and really enjoyed the darker cinematography of the episode. Fans were anxiously anticipating answers about what happened after Jemma Simmons was swallowed up by the monolith and as a result we got a great hour of television.
The episode kicked off with Jemma arriving on another planet and quickly learning that she was, in fact, no longer on earth. What would you do if you were transported to another world and had to learn how to adapt and survive? I don’t think I would even know how to start a fire. Jemma’s survival skills were impressive. After realizing that her beloved Fitz wasn’t coming to her rescue just yet, she set out to survive rather than sitting around to wait. I couldn’t believe that the sweet Simmons we’ve grown to love was willing to do all she could to survive. Watching a character that fans have always rooted for get thrown into an uncontrollable environment pulled on our heart strings.
First off, arriving in a dark, dusty, dry desert planet is terrible. Secondly, having to fend for yourself and find means to survive sucks. Jemma ate RAW alien tentacles, learned how to make a fire, and while she was doing all this, she was always talking to Fitz. The bond between the two has to be one of the best on screen friendships I’ve ever seen. For me, seeing Jemma still hold onto that while in a hopeless situation was fantastic.
What was unexpected and necessary was adding another survivor to the mix: Will Daniels (Dillon Casey). Will was trapped after NASA sent him and other astronauts (none of whom survived) to study the planet… in 2001! Will still had his youthful appearance, so I have to assume that you don’t age normally on this planet, which makes the situation even worse. You’re literally living in hell. That is how Will referred to it too. Will told Jemma that at first he thought she wasn’t real. I mean, being trapped alone on a planet for 14 years will do that to you!
What could the mysterious force on the planet that is killing people who go through the monolith be? If you have any guesses or theories then please let me know. What was terrifying about this “thing” was its appearance. Only catching a brief moment of this monster when Will and Jemma were caught in the dust storm provided enough fear for our minds. As if being isolated in a dark and dry world wasn’t enough, adding a mysterious force that wants to kill you makes things much worse.
Jemma refused to lose hope of a return home, in spite of Will’s doubts. She found a way to track when and where the portal in the monolith would open. The most discouraging and heartbreaking moment for both Will and Jemma was when they were too late to transport a message to the other side. I couldn’t help but love their friendship, even if it is being set up to be a romantic relationship. Why would the series cause a rift between Fitzsimmons? The cynic in me would say there’s an incorrect assumption that it makes for better television. Introducing Will as a romantic interest for Jemma seems a slightly cheap trick, but we’re still hoping that Will’s going to be back this season.
The final moments of this episode were dramatic and a perfect sequence of events. Right before Will and Simmons were about to enjoy a rare sunrise together, Fitz shot a flare through the portal. (We already saw this same moment from his point of view earlier this season.)
Both Will and Jemma struggle to reach the portal because of that mysterious monster in the dust storm. Will ultimately remains behind, sacrificing his chance for escape in order for Simmons to reach the portal and Fitz. We know for a fact that Jemma Simmons will not leave him there so we have to hope he’ll be back. I thought for a brief moment that Fitz would be angry with Jemma for wanting to go back because of Will, but Fitz always puts Jemma first. At the very end of the episode we discover that maybe he knows how to do just that.
I am hoping that this episode won’t be a rare commodity in the season. I’d like to see the show continue to improve. I’ve had my gripes with hypocritical plot lines in the series, such as Hunter’s entire arc with May and Bobbi, but maybe after this episode the overall story will keep moving forward. We don’t need any more filler episodes, writers!
What were your thoughts on “4,722 Hours”? Do you think they’ll save Will in time? Any guesses on what that monster in the dust storm is?
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