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The Romantic Pairings of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Checking in on the various doomed love affairs that occupy the agents' time when they're not saving the world.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is pretty good these days. But it's still pretty light on the superhero front, especially in a world where Marvel has just announced another fifty or so movies to come out in the next couple of years. Luckily, the agents have come up with an alternate way to keep people's attention: romantic subplots! So let's set the double-crosses and super-Nazis and alien death machines aside for a moment to see how everyone's doing... bed.

The main relationship, as far as the show is concerned, is Skye and Ward. They've been having some troubles getting along ever since Ward turned out to be a traitor and killed a bunch of people. These days, he's locked in a cell in the basement. And while that could be basis of a fulfilling relationship between consenting adults, neither of them really seems to be into it. Ward spends all his time dropping vague hints about Skye's father, and Skye spends all her time demanding information about whatever the problem of the week is.

But things are looking up for this crazy couple. Skye has opened up enough to learn about her father. And Ward dislocated his own thumb to escape from handcuffs, so now he's able to roam around the countryside and pick flowers to give to Skye. And Skye has said that the next time she sees Ward, she'll kill him, which shows that she's looking forward to their reunion. Okay, so the course of their true love isn't running that smoothly. Let's move on.

Fitz and Simmons started the series as a cute, interchangeable pair of goofy scientists. Pairing them up was easy. Their names even fit together for one of those shipping portmanteaus the internet loves so much. But when the second season started, Fitz had some sort of aphasia that made him stammer a lot. And Simmons was first a hallucination, then a Hydra traitor, then an undercover S.H.I.E.L.D. agent infiltrating Hydra, and now she's back with the team. So there are no more obstacles to their geek love, right?

Well, not quite. It turns out that the presence of Simmons causes Fitz's vaguely defined brain problems to go into overdrive. He's better at science when he's hanging out with Mack, so Simmons has to make herself scarce. This will presumably lead to her watching him wistfully as he relaxes with his new best friend. And what's more romantic than unrequited longing? This relationship gets an A for potential. And before you ask, no, the other relationships aren't getting graded. It just seemed like the nerds would appreciate getting an A. It makes them feel at home.

There's another new relationship this week, and it's between two characters we don't really have any attachment to. Naturally, Lance Hunter and Bobbi "Mockingbird" Morse immediately have the kind of entertaining chemistry that suggests that they broke up for reasons other than incompatibility. She probably just got tired of his nonsense. But his nonsense is fun to watch! And they make a good fighting team, too. They're a lot of fun. So one can only expect that their story will be shoved aside to make room for the tragic couples that are close to the heart of the show. And also the couples who are just tragically boring.

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