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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., ‘Fear and Loathing on the Planet of Kitson’ Review: Plot Takes a Backseat for Gags

Photo Credit: ABC/Mitch Haaseth

“Fear and Loathing on the Planet of Kitson” Plot Summary:

Daisy (Chloe Bennet) and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) track Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) down to the gambling planet of Kitson. However, they aren’t the only ones looking for Fitz.

I had high hopes for this episode, given its unique setting. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. hasn’t been afraid to try new things over the years and this is about as far from the initial premise of the show as it’s gotten. Who would have thought the team would be in space for extended periods of time, facing off against aliens? Sounds more like a job for the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Unfortunately, this episode is not as good as I’d hoped. It’s more of a pit stop in terms of progressing the plot; until the end, that is. This week’s storyline is also not all that original, with it essentially boiling down to two buddy comedies between Fitz and Enoch (Joel Stoffer) and Daisy and Simmons. As for the venue, it’s pretty clear to see what the episode is taking inspiration from by its title.

This week’s installment starts out promising enough as Fitz and Enoch hit the casino. Enoch, having no prior personal connections, calls Fitz his best friend, which is funny. But the joke wears thin after he repeats it multiple times. When Fitz later says Enoch is his best friend too, it doesn’t feel earned. Admittedly, Fitz basically says this to get Enoch to cooperate, but usually these kind of moments work best after the other character has done something to redeem themselves.

I honestly wish the episode spent more time focusing on gambling, because it’s interesting when the episode does. It could have really ratcheted up the tension as Enoch and Fitz tried to win while also trying not to give away that Enoch is a robot. At least we get a couple good moments. The standouts are Enoch casually putting Fitz’s freedom up as collateral and one of the losers getting shot with an arrow as punishment for a bad play.

The part where this week really falters is with Daisy and Jemma’s storyline. Instead of them also having an interesting journey on Kitson, they trip out on hallucinogenic alien snails. Again, I get where the episode is going. It’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. But it’s another gag that wears thin very fast. I get that the team is running low on supplies, but for them to eat something on an alien planet without question, especially resident genius Simmons, is ridiculous. I could get it if it was just Agent Davis (Maximilian Osinski) because he’s an idiot, though you’d want someone smarter as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. And despite Davis eating six snails, the effects seem to wear off on him much sooner than Daisy and Jemma.

This week’s saving grace is the Chronicoms after Fitz. They keep the episode from being completely nonsensical. It’s not exactly clear why Malachi (Christopher James Baker) and the others are after Fitz, but it could be because he’s violating the rules of space and time by being out of stasis. That’s my guess.

While not a disaster, “Fear and Loathing on the Planet of Kitson” can’t live up to its potential. The gambling is not in the foreground enough, the CGI of the city is particularly weak, and for an episode based on Vegas, it’s not all that crazy. I know this isn’t HBO, but to tease the brothels and then not show them seems like a missed opportunity. Maybe next week. We get to see Fitz dance on a straw in a literal monkey suit, at least. That’s something.

Rating: 6 out of 10 (Average)

Aaron Sarnecky
Aaron Sarnecky
Aaron Sarnecky is a Senior Writer and Former TV Editor for The Pop Break. He is a TV/Film grad of Rowan University and the fraternal twin of Senior Columnist Josh Sarnecky. The two record retrospective podcasts together. Aaron probably remembers that canceled show you forgot existed.


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