That was just an Emmy-worthy production. Ever since Jemma was sucked into the Monolith in the brilliant season two finale, I’ve wondered if we’d witness her otherworldly journey in detail. And then 4,722 Hours comes along, and showcases her harrowing experience in a most spectacular fashion.
The episode’s production design does a marvellous job of capturing a sense of scope and real isolation, rivalling that of The Martian in some cases. Yes, a big Hollywood blockbuster – that’s how good this episode looks. Of course it would all be for naught if it wasn’t for Elizabeth Henstridge’s absolutely outstanding performance. The actress undergoes a whole spectrum of emotions in the span of forty minutes, and she perfectly conveys Jemma’s desperation, strength and conviction. All of her trials and tribulations throughout the episode are gut-wrenching, and Henstridge more than proves herself as one of the show’s most valuable assets.
The cherry on top is of course Dillon Casey’s superb guest-starring turn. I first saw Casey on Nikita a couple of years back, and he’s even more impressive and likeable here as an astronaut trapped on the planet since 2001. In fact, I was totally sold on his pairing with Jemma (the two have fantastic chemistry) and I’m beyond ecstatic that he’s still alive by episode’s end. Here’s hoping he joins Shield as a full-time cast member in the near future because Casey is a bonafide action star waiting to happen.
Bits & Fitz
– Very nifty use of the title-card this week since it’s such a different kind of episode.
– The sea snake was nasty wasn’t it? I practically cheered when Jemma slaughtered it!
– Adored the blue-ish tint over the entire episode. It completely transported me to the planet’s sun-less world.
– Badass moment: Jemma doing pull-ups inside the cage. Woah!
– It’s also worth mentioning that there’s lot of witty banter and humour in this episode, and they break up the grimness in a very effective manner. I particularly enjoyed Will’s amazement at Jemma’s 120 gb phone.
– Who else is craving truffle fries? Loved Jemma and Will conversing over the food they miss.
– Our only look at the rest of the cast this week is with Jemma watching the video of the gang. It’s appropriate and touching.
– Heartbreaking scene with Jemma sobbing in Will’s arms. It then beautifully culminates with him telling her that she gives him hope before they finally kiss. I genuinely love these two.
– Did anyone else find it strangely romantic to see Jemma and Will toast the sun? They are the only two people on the planet after all.
– So will we ever see the terrifying hooded-creature that was haunting Jemma and Will? Is it Slash?
– Uber creepy moment with Jemma coming face-to-face with the “astronaut” inside the sandstorm.
– So Fitz is going to help bring Will back – awesome, and wonderfully awkward.
– Perfect note to end the episode on: A hopeless Will walking away as the sun leaves him yet again (for 18 years). Come back soon Dillon Casey!
Jemma: You’re dinner biatch!
Jemma: You’d be so proud of me, Fitz. I killed the monster plant, then I made a fire, cooked him, and ate him. And then I burped really loud.
Will: This planet does not have rules. It has moods.
Jemma: Perhaps it’s you who has moods.
Will: We need to sew that up. And maybe your mouth, too, while I’m at it.
Will: It’s a natural source of heat. Keeps the planet warm without sunlight.
Jemma: That sounds very sciencey of you.
Will: I think it’s the fires of hell.
Jemma: Okay, then.
Jemma: I’ll be the voice of hope. You’ll be the voice of doom.
Will: You talk about him a lot; his name is like your favorite word.
Will: I’m glad that thing sent you over here and not the janitor.
Will: Well… I’m gonna shoot this into the wall across the canyon, and we’re gonna slide across on the rope. What, did you think I was gonna build a helicopter?
Jemma: Kind of.
Jemma: Eat, shower, or sleep? What are you gonna do first when we get back?
Will: Eat. Please. Who you talking to? What’re you gonna do?
Jemma: Um, I’m gonna eat in the shower and fall asleep while doing it.
Will: That’s very efficient. I expect nothing less.
Jemma: Will, where did you … is that the wine from the graveyard? You went back for it?
Will: I can’t vouch for the year, but I do know it pairs well with roots and moss.
A breathtaking hour that cements Agents of Shield’s amazing growth over the past year into must-watch television. Stunning.