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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Fear and Loathing on the Planet of Kitson - Review

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Fear and Loathing on the Planet of Kitson” was written by the team of Brent Fletcher and Craig Titley and was directed by Jesse Bochco. Joel Stoffer (Enoch) really steals this episode. The other highlight is Daisy’s (Chloe Bennet) Drunken Master fight scene. While I enjoyed a lot of this episode, the ‘oh my God, I’m so high’ sequences went on too long.

The episode begins with our new villain – Malachi (Christopher James Baker) – who we later find out is a new kind of Chronicom – he’s a hunter, and he’s hunting Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Enoch! We get yet another suped up ACME hole – this one’s pretty cool.

Daisy, Davis (Maximilian Osinski), and Piper (Briana Venskus) are not happy with Simmons (Elizabeth Hnestridge) for hi-jacking then into deep space. She insists that they didn’t come this far just to give up on the mission – which is Fitz. She even calls them cowards! But Daisy is determined that they are going home. When Simmons says she’s staying, Daisy tells her permission denied.

The discussion is interrupted when they are contacted by Pretorious Pryce (Clark Middleton) – their duly sanctioned customs officer! Daisy tries to tell him that they aren’t visiting the planet after all, but he doesn’t care and comes on board anyway because they are already in the system. Simmons points out that Pryce might have inspected Fitz’s ship and could therefore give them some information./

Enoch and Fitz prepare to sell the snails and then continue on with their mission – after buying a new cyro-chamber. I love the look Fitz gives Enoch when he shares all their information with Boyle (Scott Kruse) and Toad (TJ Alvarado). Toad offers Fitz a bright colored foodstuff, which Enoch catches out of the air and tells Fitz aren’t good for Terrans. They DO look good! Boyle and Toad end up stealing the ship and snails because they know that Fitz and Enoch are wanted and threaten to expose them. In the end, Boyle pays for the ship with a single gambling chip, telling them that fortunes are won and lost on Kitson – hence the name of the episode. Kitson is the galactic equivalent of Las Vegas apparently.

They are welcomed to the House of Games and told to check their weapons and moral high ground! They are also told that robots, cyborgs, synth, etc are strictly forbidden, so Fitz tries to tell Enoch to wait outside but he’s already heading through the scanners at the entrance. Fitz is surprised and happy that Enoch makes it through. Enoch explains that he is a Chronicom – none of the others – and that he was designed with mechanisms to mask his “non-organic” structures! He can easily fool any scanner.

As the two enter the gaming rooms, Enoch tells Fitz that their journey so far has been interesting and informative – a facsimile of what Fitz would call fun! The character on a show who is not quite human and doesn’t quite get human reactions is a bit of a stereotype (I’m thinking Data on STTNG or Castiel on Supernatural), but Stoffer is wonderful in bringing Enoch to life because he’s not simply emotionless. It’s touching when Enoch declares that Fitz has become his best friend. Fitz isn’t feeling it though, and he simply turns the conversation back to their plight. He’s totally focused on getting back to Simmons – just as she’s totally focused on getting to him. It begins to feel like a very unhealthy relationship as both ignore the friends they have helping them.

The House of Games feels pretty much like every other space bar/casino that we’ve seen on screen. Still fun, but not really breaking a lot of new ground here. Enoch, of course, is well-versed in games of chance, but – there’s always a but! – he has not experiential knowledge. Fitz feels like it’s hopeless and he’ll never see Simmons again – so ironic when we then head back to the ship – so close, yet so far!

Pryce assures the team that they will be on their way shortly. They need to surrender their weapons and then submit to inspection. I loved Daisy telling him she doesn’t carry any weapons – because she IS the weapon! Pryce is surprised that they are Terrans and asks the purpose of their visit. Simmons steps up, shows a picture of Fitz, and tells Pryce that they are looking for Leopold Fitz. Pryce freaks out and tells her that she shouldn’t have said the name. Pryce says “he’s here, isn’t he?” And I’m pretty sure he meant on their ship while Simmons thinks he means on the planet. Regardless, Malachi is there and steps out and shoots Daisy immediately.

Simmons goes to Daisy and also almost gets shot. Piper goes for Malachi and does get shot. Pryce tries to stop Malachi, but it’s Davis who steps up and knocks him out from behind.

On the planet, Enoch orders fancy drinks and when Fitz questions how they are going to pay for them with one chip, Enoch immediately places a bet and wins them more! He’s been watching the game – like roulette – and has computed the likeliest spot for the next win. Fitz calls Enoch an advanced computer, and Enoch is clearly insulted when he calls it “reductive!” Fitz is now sure Enoch can win them the money, but Enoch points out that he shouldn’t have gambled because the rules on synthetic beings are quite clear! LOL! He seems to be forgetting that he broke the rules just by coming in. But Fitz tells him that that’s what best friends are for! Enoch takes up the thread – but moves from capers to committing murder together, which hilariously freaks Fitz out, who suggests that they stick to gambling.

Back on the ship, Malachi tells them that they are “out of time” – but I don’t think he means it the way they think. I think he means that they are all not where they are supposed to be according to the timeline, hence out of time. After all, Fitz is supposed to be dead – and I’m betting that’s why Malachi is hunting him – that’s how Fitz is “tampering with the universe.” Malachi confirms that Fitz is there. When he says that Fitz doesn’t belong there, Simmons insists that Fitz belongs with them on Earth – but Malachi points out that that is where Fitz died… a year ago.

On the planet, Fitz doesn’t think much of his drink with the super ugly garnish. He’s determined that the best odds are playing galactic poker, and Enoch proves to be very good at it. Once again, Enoch shares too much. Fitz tries to stop Enoch from making a bad bet, but Enoch insists, mistaking the other gambler (Douglas Bennett) completely. Fitz, of course, realized that the gambler was bluffing. The other gambler had realized that Enoch was great at cards but dumb as hell about people! Enoch loses it all.

Pryce tells the team that Fitz’s ship didn’t land there after all but turned around and went to Kitson. He tells them that their friend must have very perverted desires because Kitson is a very nasty place. It’s pretty hilarious that Piper says he just described Florida! Nice dig, writers! I also loved him starting the well-known saying about Vegas – “What happens on Kitson” – and Daisy finishes “stays on Kitson” – only to have Pryce correct her – “is contagious and burns!” Yep. That’s worse!

The team catches up with the ship, and Daisy blasts their way in. Boyle tries to bargain for information on Fitz, and Daisy – who really has tight control on her powers now! – grossly breaks one of his fingers! Boyle tells them that they didn’t hurt them. They just took the ship and let them go – he also tells them about Enoch. Simmons feels slightly better knowing that Fitz is not alone. And then Davis snatches up the colorful puffs and starts eating them – as do Daisy and Simmons. Boyle tells them to look in the casinos or the brothels.

Fitz is understandably distraught. He tells Enoch that he should have been better at bluffing because that’s what he does all the time – he bluffs that he’s human! Enoch suddenly realizes that Fitz might have been “bluffing” about being best friends. Fitz doesn’t deny or confirm it. Then Enoch hilariously suggests that they could make money another way – in the brothels of Kitson! They are both healthy and not unattractive – and Enoch is well versed in over 130… at which point Fitz stops him. Brothels are not an option!

Enoch suggests another game that is based entirely on mathematical chance. Fitz is upset he didn’t start there – but Enoch tells him the stakes are very high. It turns out that Fitz, himself is the collateral. Enoch is impressed at the price Fitz earned. Enoch insists that Fitz play so he can count the tiles. He will send a high pitched sound to tell Fitz whether to hit or hold. And at the last second, tells him not to get a 14!

Daisy and Simmons arrive at the House of Games. Simmons says that Fitz better not be in the brothels – and the two giggle as the drug they inadvertently ate takes effect. While I thought this sequence was amusing, it really went on for far too long. As a scientist, you’d think that Simmons might have thought it was something they ate rather than the atmosphere. The special effects are fun, but watching drunk people gets old pretty fast… I did like tiny hallucinated Fitz in a monkey suit dancing on Simmons’ straw…

Davis knows immediately that it was the yummies he ate that caused his trip. Piper tries to contact Daisy and Simmons. Davis is supposed to be watching Malachi, who distorts his hand to get out of the cuffs – and leaves. Piper comes back to find the handcuffs on the floor, and Davis unconscious. She doesn’t think he’s a reliable witness though when he tells her Malachi is a shapeshifting contortionist.

Enoch’s high pitched signals are also heard by Daisy and Simmons, who thinks it’s a dolphin. Right after one of the players is harpooned, Enoch suddenly shuts down! Fitz tries to stall, but when Enoch suddenly topples over and is exposed as a synth, things go badly for both of them.

Back on the ship, Malachi seems to be downloading all their information. Piper interrupts him, and he uses his ACME hole to escape. Davis shoots the fusebox – so will they be able to leave? Piper is more interested in who he was trying to contact.

Fitz reboots Enoch – leading him to remark that he’s “not comfortable with this level of intimacy!” Really, Enoch got all the funniest lines in this episode. The air raid signal stopped with the re-boot, but Enoch tells him that the sound was a remote override of his system from another Chronicom and they are in danger. Fitz dismisses the danger, but Enoch tells him that Fitz doesn’t know about the variety of Chronicoms. He is an anthropologist – whose primary functions are intended for research AND SENSUAL GRATIFICATION!! He tells Fitz about the Hunters who are coming – and there are more than just Malachi!

Simmons realizes that the air raid signal is perceptible only to humans. Daisy and Simmons get it together enough to realize that the Hunters are there for Fitz when they arrive in the casino. Daisy’s aim is way off – and it was fun to watch Simmons help her aim. It is a really great fight scene as Daisy tells Simmons to go after Fitz – she’ll stay behind and break whatever she can’t shake!

Meanwhile, Enoch is consumed with guilt. Being decommissioned means that he has soiled the reputation of Chronicoms! Fitz is looking for a way out while Enoch wallows in his shame. Fitz discovers that the harpooned player is actually 75% Sulphur, which leads to a way out. Fitz tries to give Enoch a new purpose in life – to be his best friend. Enoch accuses him of bluffing, but Fitz tells Enoch that he’s grown on him and IS his best friend. And that leads Enoch to tell Fitz that he’d do anything for him because he’s his best friend.

Simmons arrives on the other side of the door and tells the Guard (Bubba Ganter) that her husband/future husband is behind the door. She tells him the dolphin told her in a secret signal that only she could hear that he was in there – and the guard immediately tells her to lay off the puffs!

Simmons is almost convinced to leave, when Fitz and Enoch succeed in blowing open the door and Fitz emerges in a cloud of smoke. Fitz only has time to say “Jemma?” before Malachi shows up and grabs Fitz, spiriting him away in his ACME hole! Really? We couldn’t even get a hug??? Enoch then arrives out of the smoke and tells Simmons she shouldn’t be there. He’s clearly unaware of the new timeline on Earth!

In the final scene, Sarge (Clark Gregg) finally shoots off his mysterious weapon into the sky. He and Jaco (Winston James Francis) look at a grid on their tablet. Sarge says he’s seen better and he’s seen worse, and then says “Let’s go make a mess.” Is that a grid of satellites in orbit? Are they neutralizing weapons’ systems? What is their ultimate goal – to destroy the earth as they destroyed the last planet they were on? Is this the way time gets corrected?

This wasn’t my favorite episode of the series by a long shot. It was a great performance by Stoffer who is a terrific addition to the cast. Another epic fight scene with Daisy. Will they simply kill Fitz for being out of time? Unlikely, as that would mean no rescue – and clearly the others will go after him. What did you think of the episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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