Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ending gives characters “a really good send-off”

MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. - ÒCollision Course (Part II)Ó Ð No time for the team to play catch-up, thereÕs a planet to save on ÒMarvelÕs Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,Ó airing FRIDAY, JULY 12 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (ABC/Mitch Haaseth)IAIN DE CAESTECKER, ELIZABETH HENSTRIDGE
MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. - ÒCollision Course (Part II)Ó Ð No time for the team to play catch-up, thereÕs a planet to save on ÒMarvelÕs Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,Ó airing FRIDAY, JULY 12 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (ABC/Mitch Haaseth)IAIN DE CAESTECKER, ELIZABETH HENSTRIDGE /

For seven seasons of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Iain De Caestecker’s Leo Fitz has been put through the wringer. He started the series as a timid scientist. Later, he faced his fears, fell in love, married his best friend Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), became a Hydra agent, died and was brought back. No character on the show has had as much growth as him.

The romance between Fitz and Simmons spawned the good ship Fitzsimmons, and now that the show is in its final season, everyone is pulling for the pair to have a happily-ever-after ending. Speaking to SyFy Wire, De Caestecker mercilessly teased that fans shouldn’t “watch the final episode” if they’re hoping for a feelgood finale. “One thing I will say is that as a fan of the show myself and those characters and stuff… I think it’s a very satisfying ending for people that stuck with the show this long, in my opinion. If you don’t like it, I apologize. But I think you’ll like it.”

Okay, so maybe he’s just yanking our chains and Fitzsimmons will have that happy ending after all? One can hope.

“Originally, me and Elizabeth [Henstridge] were really great mates in real life, and we constantly said in interviews, ‘Oh, they’re like brother and sister, they have that kind of relationship, it could almost be incestuous.’ And then… we kind of didn’t find out too much in advance… but I think at the start, we were denying it for so long because it would make it awkward for us to be romantic with each other.”

Even in seasons when they’re separated by alternate realities and massive time jumps, Fitz’s story has always been tied in some way to Simmons. De Caestecker thinks that’s one of the reasons his character has had so much growth.

“I think the really cool thing about a show like this is that I have the opportunity to get into a character, and that means small moments and long storylines,” he said. “I suppose that stuff happens quite organically. I think that with those decisions a lot of those are made for you in a good way by the writers. They push your characters — specifically the ones in the S.H.I.E.L.D., which always had the urge to keep the momentum going in new directions for the characters, which is really cool and great for the actors on set.”

"So I suppose that journey has been quite a slow and gradual one and that’s the kind of beauty of having a show run for so long and we’re lucky to have it run for six, seven seasons. I think at the start, if you’d said to me or the writers or producers we would get to that point, we probably wouldn’t have thought that. With each kind of decision Fitz is faced with… sometimes I suppose we’d probably surprise ourselves with how we’d react which is a cool thing as well."

In season 4, Fitz spent time in the Framework as an evil Nazi-like doctor who basically ran S.H.I.E.L.D.’s greatest nemesis, Hydra. Even though that wasn’t the real version of his character, De Caestecker thinks Fitz-Prime and Framework-Fitz share some common attributes.

“There’s definitely the Fitz-Prime in there,” he said. “I think that character is more nature. Nurture versus nature, what happens to that character in his upbringing, he’s raised in a very different world, [with] a very different patriarchal figure, and that kind of led him to a lot of his evilness. At the same time, the show is fantasy, but you try to view it in reality, in that context as much as possible.”

At the moment, the agents are visiting the past to ensure that Hydra is created, which might seem counter-intuitive, but if Hydra isn’t created, S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn’t exist, so they have to do what they can. Time travel is hard.

Anyway, Fitz is going to be working through some worrisome memories of his time in the Framework. “Hydra brings up bad memories. I think he always has to be conscious that that is a side of him… a possible side that lives inside of him. Essentially that’s something he always has to keep under check in a very vigilant way.”

As for what will happen after the series finale, if ABC offered De Caestecker and Henstridge a Fitzsimmons Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spinoff, Caestecker would be up for it, as long as it made sense. “I’ll tell you what, if somebody came to me and said, ‘We’ll give you a show with Fitz and his monkey…’ and Simmons, Simmons would have to be a requirement… but yeah, then, of course, I would jump on it.”

"At the same time I really do think that as I said to you earlier, I think that they do give these characters a really good send-off. All the characters in the show are very satisfying and I think that they’ve had a very good journey. And so if it was something that didn’t compromise that, and if it was something that extended that story in a cool way, then, of course, I’d be open to it."

If you haven’t had a chance to get into this final season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that’s okay, because it’s only four episodes in. Each new episode airs on Wednesday nights on ABC.

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