Wednesday, September 16, 2015

What's Going on with Simmons?

Everyone who watched the season 2 finale of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. knows that the biggest loose end left at the end of the episode revolved around Simmons.  I remember right after the episode aired this meme was going around:
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And that pretty much sums the ending up.  So… What’s going on with Simmons?

Warning:  this post will contain spoilers for the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 2 finale, so if you haven’t seen it I would recommend that you go, watch it on Netflix, and then come back.

As you know, at the end of the season finale Simmons was sucked into the Kree Monolith weapon (not sure what to call it; “obelisk” has already been used so I’m just going to go with “Monolith” until they name it; that certainly sounds imposing enough!).  As of now not much is known about the Monolith:  it is Kree in origin and very ancient, having been unearthed in a dig.  From Gordon and Jiaying we know that it is a legendary weapon designed to wipe out the Inhumans.  And one small detail which my wife picked up on:  When we see it go liquid and reform, the holes in the Monolith form a slightly different pattern.  Also, we see it turn liquid mostly when Inhumans are around (Gordon and Raina, Gordon and Lincoln).

So based on that last detail, could the Monolith have shown us that Simmons is also of Inhuman lineage?  That is the jumping-off point for my first suggestion.

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Simmons Is Sarah Garza

If you read my “Secret Warriors” series, you may remember my article about new Inhumans [] (and if you didn’t, I’ll wait).  One of the new Inhumans I mentioned is a S.H.I.E.L.D. scientist and computer technician named Sarah Garza.  Garza discovers her Inhuman ancestry following Black Bolt’s activation of the Terrigen Bomb, which spreads the Terrigen Mist all over the world and causes many secret Inhumans to transform.  Garza has the ability to generate and emanate plasma energy, though her powers are uncontrollable.  In the comics she wears a Stark tech suit given to her by James Rhodes, a.k.a. War Machine, which allows her to control her powers.

Now, I’m not suggesting that Simmons is going to get her name changed, but is it possible that Marvel will amalgamate Simmons’ character with Sarah Garza?  In other words, could she be an Inhuman whose latent plasma manipulation powers are unlocked by her time inside the Kree Monolith?

The primary argument in favor of this idea is the similarity between the characters already.  Like Garza, Simmons is primarily a technician and not a field operative.  Both characters similarly share an aversion to violence.

One definite benefit to this option is that it moves Simmons’ story in a new and different direction.  In season 2, Simmons’ initial reaction on discovering Raina’s transformation was that she should be put down to eradicate a possible threat to the ones she loves.  Imagine her reaction to discovering that she herself is a member of that same race and she herself possesses uncontrollable powers which put everyone around her in danger.  I think it would be really interesting to see her struggle to control her powers while Daisy and Lincoln help her through the transformation and help her learn control.  This would also be an organic way to grow the Secret Warriors roster.

However, based on everything they’ve explained so far, I don’t think this is the most likely scenario.  From everything we know, the Monolith comes from the same source race as the Diviners (the Kree), but the two objects are completely distinct.  It is possible that the Monolith could give/unlock abilities which are alien in origin, but I don’t think that they would call it “Terrigenesis.”

The bigger issue in my mind with calling this straight-up Terrigenesis is the long time jump between the end of season 2 and the beginning of season 3.  The showrunners have stated that a significant amount of time will have elapsed between the two seasons, enough time for everyone except Fitz to have moved on and accepted Simmons’ disappearance.  Terrigenesis may not be as instantaneous a process as “What They Become” (2x10) made it appear to be (time lapse or something), but it almost certainly doesn’t take as long as Simmons has been gone.  That doesn’t preclude the possibility of her returning with powers, but it does suggest that if she receives powers, the second option may have to come into play.

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Simmons Transported to Hala

If the Monolith is intended to “wipe out” the Inhumans, one way it could do so is by transporting the person captured to the Kree home world of Hala or to another Kree outpost where they could be imprisoned, experimented on, or pressed into service in the Kree army.  If this is what happened, then it would explain Simmons’ long absence as well as how the Kree intended to use it against the Inhumans.  It may have been left on Earth by the “good” Kree who came to put a stop to the Terrigenesis experiments as a trap to capture any surviving Inhumans and transport them to Hala or another Kree outpost where they could be decommissioned.  Alternatively, the “bad” Kree may have left it behind to “harvest” recruits for their new army.

If this is the case, then I can see at least three potential story benefits which could follow from it.  The first is the opportunity to further explore the Kree as a race by bringing them into the series on a more regular basis.  We have already seen one Kree appear on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Vin Tak, the Kree in “Who You Really Are,” 2x12), but this would give them the opportunity to show what Hala looks like and even introduce a few additional Kree characters.

The second possible benefit (which ties into the first) is for one of those Kree characters to be Mar-Vell… as in the original Captain Marvel.  In the comics, Mar-Vell is a Kree scientist who comes to earth to study humanity; as a result of his study he gains sympathy for humanity and works to protect it as a superhero.  If Simmons was transported to Hala, one of the Kree scientists assigned to study her might be Mar-Vell, who decides that she belongs on Earth with her people rather than on Hala.  He then helps her to escape and brings her to Earth.  For his actions he is banished to earth, where he becomes a hero alongside the Secret Warriors.  This would establish him as the first “Captain Marvel” in the MCU, whose story would lead directly into the Captain Marvel movie in 2018.

The third possibility is for Simmons’ transportation to Hala to trigger an event similar to the Kree invasion of Attilan from the comics, in which Ronan the Accuser learned of the existence of the Inhumans, took over Attilan, and began using the Inhumans as soldiers in the Kree-Shi’ar War.  Black Bolt eventually challenged Ronan for leadership of the Inhumans and defeated him in combat, restoring the Inhumans’ independence.  Something similar could play out on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., where the Kree learn from Simmons of the survival of the Inhumans and choose to go to earth to reclaim the Inhumans for themselves to use as soldiers in another galactic war.  This could lead to the emergence of a unified Inhuman civilization as all the Inhumans join together to repel the Kree and regain their right of self-determination.  If Attilan and the Inhuman Royal Family do not yet exist in the MCU, this storyline could see the emergence of the Royal Family as leaders and Attilan as a rallying point for the newly-united Inhumans.

This idea seems like a good possibility, though it all depends on how cosmic Marvel wants to go with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  I can’t really see them filming a lot of Hala scenes on a TV budget (especially with the major Earthbound stories they are also going to be telling), though an episode showing Simmons on Hala and her escape would certainly be feasible.

If they decide not to go quite to this extreme, the Monolith could still have transported Simmons somewhere, but not to Hala.

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Simmons Transported to Attilan

If Attilan and the Inhuman Royal Family are already a part of the MCU, this could be an unexpected way to introduce them.  The Kree Monolith could be the other end of the gateway by which Inhumans travel out of Attilan.  And if that is the case, then Black Bolt himself could appear on the series as the leader of the Inhumans and take an interest in the various groups of Inhumans scattered around the world.  When Simmons returns to S.H.I.E.L.D., she could have a couple members of the Royal Family in tow, who report back to Black Bolt with everything they learn about the spread of Terrigenesis via fish oil tablets.

One issue which a lot of people will probably have with this idea is the appearance of Attilan and the Royal Family on TV.  And while I can see the argument for saving them to debut in the movies, I’ve already made an argument [] for why there is no budgetary or effects-related reason they cannot appear on the small screen.  In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if one or two members of the Inhuman Royal Family (Karnak or Crystal) make their debut on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as part of this Inhumans storyline.  However, if this happens this season, I think it is more likely to occur as a result of the spread of these Terrigen fish oil tablets—the Attilan Inhumans investigating and looking to recruit new Inhumans—rather than as a result of Simmons’ disappearance.


Of the three possibilities presented, I think the most likely is for Simmons to have been transported to Hala or another Kree location.  However, that is really just a guess.  Fortunately, we will learn the answer to this question very early on, as they have hinted that one of the first two episodes will deal with the question of what happened to Simmons.  Whatever the answer turns out to be, you can be sure that it will be interesting!

Which option do you like best?  What do you think happened to Simmons?  Do you have a theory that I missed?  Let me know in the comments!

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