this is less fleshed out than my last post but
Ok, so I haven’t seen the second episode of shield yet (tonight!) and I haven’t been looking around the aos or marvel tags at all, so I only have the context of the first episode.
But I want to talk about Fitz, Coulson, and May.
Fitz is not ‘broken’. That’s a really loaded term. I have been in Fitz’ position – not exactly, but experientially pretty similar.
Fitz is withdrawn. No one is talking to him. May is the only person on the bus who has tried to stick with him, but she’s not the talkative type, she’s not a scientist. And it’s not that her efforts aren’t wanted, it’s that fitz has lost so much. He’s lost ward. He’s lost simmons, now. And he’s basically lost everyone else, because no one is acting like he’s fully there.
I think fitz appreciates May’s attempts to be there for him, on some level, but that must seem like so little when nothing else is there anymore. The image of simmons that he’s conjuring up is much more comforting and he’s not in a place where he can actively reach out to people.
What Fitz is doing is coping. I’m going to try to walk through this very carefully, because a lot of people have preconceptions about what coping means and I want to try to avoid them:
Fitz is having difficulty focusing. A lot of it. It’s a relatively new experience to him because of the triggering event/sudden onset. His normal methods of focusing and remembering something don’t seem to be working.
He is leaning on ‘what would simmons say?’ It is a tool. He can use that to fill in the blanks. I think people see fitz and simmons interacting in the episode and think ‘oh no, poor fitz, he’s having difficulty with focusing and simmons is helping him do that’
The important thing to remember is that he is imagining simmons. She is not there; she is not helping him. He is helping himself. No one else is talking to him and he needs that feedback to focus and so he is supplying the focus – just in a way he’s not used to doing.
Coulson, if you want Fitz to be a part of the team treat him as a part of the team. Fitz is right. You think he’s broken; you said he was someone we ‘had lost.’
Fitz is right there. You just need to actually engage with him.