After watching Spacetime a second time, I noticed a lot of FitzSimmons imagery/foreshadowing that I missed the first time through. Although they didn’t have many scenes together, this episode gave us a wealth of information about their thought processes and, in my opinion, the direction the series may be taking them from here on out.
Throughout the episode, Fitz repeatedly states that the future is fixed: that nothing they can do will change anything about it. Although these statements clearly fit within the context of the episode, I think they also reflect his attitude towards his relationship with Simmons. When taken in the context of the “we’re cursed” statement from 3.08, these statements also reveal that Fitz believes that all he will ever have with Jemma is what he’s always had with her: their friendship. From his perspective, he tried to change the inevitable: he tried to pursue a romance with his best friend. But “the universe” did everything in it’s power to come between them. I think this episode shows that he’s resigned himself to the fact that nothing he does is going to change his relationship with Jemma. In his mind, she’s his best friend and will always be his best friend…nothing more.
For Jemma, this episode repeatedly placed her in scenes that concern the possibility of altering the future. She says to Fitz, “I refuse to believe that anything is totally inevitable.” In her scene with May, she asks “Do you really think we can do it? Change the future?” May responds, “Every move we make changes the future. The real feat would be changing the past.” It’s interesting that Fitz, who is not directly involved in that scene between May and Simmons, is deliberately placed in view during their conversation. For that reason, I think the viewer is meant to interpret that dialogue as also relating to Fitz and Simmons. They can’t change their past, but they can still potentially alter their future, both individually and as a pair. And I think that THAT is where the writers are going with Jemma for the remainder of the season. She has been living in the past for so long: bogged down in her regrets over taking the oxygen from Fitz, lying to him about going undercover at Hydra, not being able to keep Trip from dying, being involved with Will, leaving Will behind to die, asking Fitz to help her get Will back, and letting Lash loose. I think this episode is meant to mark the beginning of Jemma moving forward: concerning herself with what she can do about the future instead of what she can’t do about the past. I think that’s what enables her to reach out and take Fitz’s hand at the end of the episode, giving us the first visible indication we’ve had in 3B that she might be ready to move forward with him. Ironically, the billboard that is burning and dropping that oh-so-romantic “snow” ash on FitzSimmons during that scene has the words “Moving you forward” emblazoned on it. I think we will start to see Jemma Simmons, and consequently Leopold Fitz, moving forward from here on out. And I am so here for that.