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Love it or hate it, romance is an essential part of #superhero stories: Clark Kent and Lois Lane, Peter Parker and Mary Jane (or Gwen Stacy), Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter, even Thor and Jane Foster. The same is true for current TV superhero adaptations: #TheFlash has Iris West, #Arrow had Laurel Lance (and still has Felicity Smoak) and #Supergirl has Mon-El.
But #AgentsofSHIELD has the best relationship on superhero TV at the moment. I'm not talking about Coulson and May's blossoming romance, nor am I talking about Mack and Yo-yo, because there's one relationship that rises above all others: Fitz and Simmons.
Agents Of S.H.I.P.
Since the beginning of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Leopold Fitz and Jemma Simmons have been a huge part of Coulson's team. Affectionally known as FitzSimmons, the two have combined their abilities to become the team's technical support. If science is required to stop a villain, you can count on FitzSimmons to come up with the goods, with endearing dialogue like this:
Fitz: "So, uh, uh, when... When you get back, I'll show you my thing. A thing. It's not—I—it's my hardware. My equipment! Let's...hang up."
Simmons: "You wanna make something awkward. Copy, Fitz."
But not only that, the two always shared a special bond, something beyond a mutual love of science. Fitz harbored feelings for Simmons from the very beginning of the series, but these weren't reciprocated for quite some time.
It Was A Long Time Coming
After a whole season of flirting and awkward comments from Fitz, he finally admits that he loves Simmons in the Season 1 finale ("The Beginning of the End"). But when the show returned for its second season, Simmons was absent from the base. The Simmons we saw on screen was a figment of Fitz's imagination as he tried to recover from the hypoxia that he suffered in saving her life.
When she eventually returned from her time undercover at HYDRA, things weren't so rosy for the two; they had a rather frosty reunion. Coulson had assigned Simmons the undercover mission, as he believed her absence would help Fitz focus on his recovery, but instead this caused Fitz to withdraw into himself; Fitz believed that Simmons had left because she didn't share his romantic feelings for her. Throughout the rest of Season 2, Simmons wrestled with her own feelings and guilt over his injury.
In the finale of Season 2, Simmons realized that she does deeply care for Fitz and decides to tell him, but she does so just as Fitz is being sent away on a mission. She tells him to come back, as there might be something to discuss — and when he does return, he asks her out. In doing so, Fitz accidentally unlocks the container holding the Kree monolith, which then swallows Simmons and transports her across the galaxy.
'4,722 Hours' Couldn't Keep Them Apart
Fitz's story arc at the beginning of Season 3 featured his desperate search for Simmons. After years of pining after her, she had finally agreed to a date with him, only to be taken away. He became more and more frustrated as he tried to figure out just how to activate the monolith, even resorting to giving terrorists S.H.I.E.L.D. weaponry to gain information about it.
His desperation grew when he translated a scroll about the monolith — it said, simply, "Death." He then broke down, fearing that the monolith had killed Simmons. Driven by grief, he grabbed a shotgun and headed to the monolith:
He realized that the monolith is a portal and began looking for a way to activate it. After receiving the help of an Asgardian, Fitz and the team discover a chamber that can open the portal. Fitz jumps straight in and finds himself on an alien planet, barely able to see. Desperate, he shouts Simmons' name and is stunned when he gets a reply. Finally, after so long apart, the two are reunited and Fitz manages to bring her home.
However, while away from S.H.I.E.L.D., Simmons found another castaway by the name of Will Daniels and fell in love. We see this play out in the series' best episode up to that point, "4,722 Hours," which showed Simmons' time — and struggles to survive — while stranded on a strange world. She was alone for so long, but one thing kept her going: Fitz.
This was the first moment that we realized that these two were made for each other. No matter how much space was between them, they would find a way to be together eventually. Even though she found love on the alien planet, she soon found her way back into Fitz's arms.
They Have Natural Chemistry
One of the reasons the pair work so well is that nothing seems forced between them; their interplay is very natural, and the chemistry between the two actors is clear. It's seemed obvious from the start that their characters would end up together, but as any good writer knows, the essence of drama is conflict — so there had to be a lot of bumps along the road!
Their relationship was tested in Season 4's "Self Control," in which it's revealed that four of the top-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. agents had been replaced by LMDs. It seemed that Fitz and Simmons were the only ones left, until they begin to doubt each other.
Despite all of this, we now have a couple who get along and respect each other's opinions. There's no massive arguments between them, and they allow each other to make mistakes — it's really very mature.
Maybe you like Coulson and May, Mack and Yo-yo, Oliver and Felicity on Arrow or Barry and Iris on The Flash — but I'm sorry, shippers (oh god I hate myself for using that term), there's one relationship that's just better: FitzSimmons is the cutest couple on superhero TV.