SHIELD’s Earthbound contingent gets a break this week as we focus on the Very Far Away Team. The saga of Fitz and Enoch, as well as Daisy’s group, both continue as they have adventures that veer a lot more comedic than usual this episode. Maybe that’s why May wasn’t in this one: she might sprain a face muscle if she had to smile. It’s a wild ride in “Fear and Loathing on the Planet Kitson.”
The show starts with a new player going through what appear to be wanted posters of the high-tech, outer space kind. Besides Fitz and Enoch showing up, there’s the briefest glimpse of a green skinned woman who figures a lot more prominently in the movies. On the Zephyr, Piper and Davis are furious at Simmons for taking them so far into space instead of back home. Daisy plays referee, but does call Simmons out for not obeying orders. Their argument gets interrupted by the sudden arrival of planetary customs. Even this doesn’t shake Simmons from staying zeroed in on Fitz.
On Kitson, Fitz and Enoch continue their string of bad luck, largely due to being too trusting on their part. You’d think an experienced SHIELD agent and an anthropologist observer would have a better idea how people work. They end up at a casino with an intriguing opening line. Enoch has an idea how to improve their fortunes, after ignoring some of the basic house rules. There are a few surprising, and entertaining, revelations from Enoch as they make their plan. Fitz is not confident about their chances.
Daisy’s team ends up dealing with Pryce, a customs inspector for the planet they ended up at. Pryce is amusingly played by Clark Middleton, who is better known as Glen, one of Red Reddington’s odder contacts on The Blacklist. The customs paperwork gets derailed when Simmons presses on with questions about Fitz that attract some surprising attention. The ensuing fight gets ended when Davis shows up with a sneak attack and decent one-liner. Maybe he’s a Hero In Training.
Fitz and Enoch talk about gambling, friendship, and a disturbing sidetrack that Fitz decides to skip over. The team deals with their new enemy, getting a few answers that sound more and more ominous. One phrase he uses a few times I suspect means more what it actually says than what it sounds like. Enoch and Fitz start playing, and doing well for themselves. Daisy and the others get the clue about Kitson, and Pryce isn’t encouraging about the place.
Enoch learns a hard lesson which, again, he should have known already. How can someone(thing) be that old and see so much and be so surprised by how people act? The others catch up with the people Fitz was traveling with, and get a really dramatic entrance. Daisy has definitely been taking hard core lessons from May, and has a very unusual interrogation technique. They get a lead, but don’t have an Enoch to give the warning Fitz got about some of the snacks.
Fitz is crushed by their newest reversal, and not happy about Enoch’s next suggestion. Since Fitz won’t pursue that route, Enoch guides him to a much higher-stakes game, briefing Fitz on the plan to cheat, but not the game itself. Daisy and Simmons manage to actually arrive at the right building, which is the closest they’ve been to Fitz in a long time (in many senses). That’s about when some side effects kick in and they start having some trouble. As bad as they are, Davis is worse, and he has some major problems, going from hero on the rise to comic relief, leaving Piper to handle things on the Zephyr.
Simmons and Daisy continue their less-than-excellent adventure, and talk about a lot of random things. They hear something and manage to put a few pieces together and try and follow the lead. Fitz’s game takes a few dramatic turns as someone plays red shirt and shows what happens when you get the wrong hand. It’s a dramatic bit, but doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, big picture-wise. Things get worse as Enoch starts having some problems and leaves Fitz on his own without a clue what he’s doing. Enoch’s condition gets weirder and there’s some disturbing mention of “Mr. Kitson.” Considering the planet and city both have the same name, it’s a safe bet he’s a powerful man.
Piper tries to handle the problem on the Zephyr with “help” from Davis. Their target gets away, and they wonder where he’s going. Fitz helps Enoch get back under control, and the Chromicon has some disturbing news. This is about when the other problems start making themselves known at the casino’s entryway. What follows is some moaning and whining from Enoch, a decent escape plan from Fitz, and a really entertaining fight scene with Daisy and Simmons using a different kind of team work. Eventually, all the bad guys get beaten, and Simmons and Fitz see each other… for about a second. Something unexpected happens and the hunt is going to go on a bit longer. There’s a slightly different reunion than most were hoping for. The episode wraps with Sarge and Jaco continuing on whatever their odd mission is.
What I liked: SHIELD doesn’t go for comedy a lot, but they did it well. Daisy and Simmons together were really entertaining, especially the fight scene (FIRE!). Joel Stoffer, who plays Enoch, has a fantastic deadpan delivery that really made some of his scenes with Fitz work. Davis was funny, and poor Piper had to play straight man, which isn’t easy but she pulled it off. The phrase the hunter used several times about Fitz has me thinking I might know some of what’s going on, especially when put together with a particular title. Clark Middleton/Pryce is consistently fun to watch no matter where he turns up.
What I didn’t: I’m really hoping the entire season isn’t The Search for Fitz. I’d like to see them do some other stuff. Fitz and Enoch both were naïve enough to be almost unbelievable. As fun as this was, I’d like to get back to the mystery of Sarge.
I enjoyed this. I’ll give it a 4 out of 5. Hopefully things go smoother for the agents next time.