Finally! We know what happened to Simmons on that planet. Turns out, not a whole lot (which is good because I have a plane to catch in a couple of hours).
The title of this week’s episode stands for how many hours Simmons spent on the alien planet. Oh look at that, James Franco. A girl lasted way longer than you did, and she didn’t have to cut off her own arm to get out. 127 hours is NOTHING!
In the first month that Simmons was alone, she found little to no food or water. The place is a complete wasteland. She does happen upon a pool of drinkable water, but it’s inhabited by a scary tentacle plant monster. That’s okay. It thinks she’s food, she thinks it’s food, the only successor here is Simmons diving in as bait and harvesting tentacle after tentacle.
Then she stumbles upon another human, Will, who has been on the planet for 14 friggin’ years! He came with a team of NASA astronauts who wanted to explore the planet and see if it could be a viable resource for “cheap” space travel. His teammates didn’t last very long. Something drove the others crazy — two committed suicide while a third destroyed most of their equipment and tried to kill Will, only to be killed himself. The cause of this mania, according to Will, was not mania from being isolated for so long but “It.” Another name he has for “It” is “Death.” Sound familiar?
Simmons and Will spend the next five months surviving together and developing feelings for each other in the process. During that time, Simmons also discovered a graveyard of others who’ve traveled through the Monolith for centuries. There she found a sextant that will help her chart the stars and figure out a way back home.
The way Simmons explains it, the Monolith opens and closes at specific times according to how the planet’s moons are positioned. The problem for them is that while the planet itself moves, the portal opens and closes at a fixed point — like if you hang a laser pointer over a globe and you only move the globe.
Simmons calculates that the portal will open in the next eight days at a location that’s nearly impossible to reach. They try anyone, but make one small error: the ridge they thought was only a few meters wide was now hundreds of meters. “It” doesn’t want them to leave. Plan B was to shoot a literal message in a bottle through the portal in case neither of them could reach it in time. At the very last second, however, the portal closes and the bottle doesn’t make it through.
All hope of ever getting back home is gone, and (eventually) the pair start bunking together for the long haul. One day, while waiting for the sun rise (it hasn’t actually risen in the six months we’ve followed Simmons around), they see Fitz’ flare. They rush over but are impeded by “It” who causes a sand storm. Will tries to hold “It” off while Simmons’ gets away to find Fitz.
Now we’re back to present day where Simmons’ has just ended recounting her time spent on the alien planet. Judging by the expression on his face, he’s still hanging on to the fact that Simmons fell in love with someone else, not him. But with some quiet resolve, he’s willing to help Simmons reopen the portal to bring Will back.
One question still remains. What the heck is “It,” and what is its purpose if not just to kill everyone who comes through the portal?
- This was a cool character moment for Simmons. During the time she was alone, she transitioned from this scientist who spent most of her time in the lab to one tough survivalist. There was one scene where we actually see her do pull-ups just to pass the time away. Now she’s brains and brawn.