Name: Leopold “Leo” Fitz
TV Show: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Filed Under: Everyday Person/Extraordinary Circumstances
Portrayed By: Iain De Caestecker
Leo Fitz is one-half of Team FitzSimmons—along with fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy graduate Jemma Simmons—and a highly-valued member of the larger organization of S.H.I.E.L.D. When we first meet FitzSimmons, they have been recruited by Phil Coulson to head the science division of Coulson’s newly-formed team. Fitz’s engineering expertise lies in the examination of unknown acquired items and the creation of new technology, weapons, and equipment for Team S.H.I.E.L.D.
Fitz, like Simmons, is a genius. While he certainly has advanced knowledge when it comes to engineering and tech, Fitz has also demonstrated a highly creative ability to solve problems and come up with innovative solutions in other areas. His quick thinking has gotten the agents out of an otherwise lethal situation or two… actually, many… however for awhile—especially in light of Fitz being somewhat socially awkward—it was easy to simply characterize Fitz as “The Boy in the Lab.”
“I was doing just fine tucked away in a safe, indoor, non-mobile lab at The Academy! Then you had to go and drag us into this flying circus!” – Fitz
It is on a mission with fellow agent Grant Ward that Fitz really begins to show his stuff. Fitz’s expertise is certainly not that of a field agent like Ward, however without Fitz on this particular mission it is unlikely either would have survived—and most likely the mission, itself, would have ended in failure. It is at this point that we begin to see a growing respect on behalf of Ward for Fitz. The two develop an interesting sort of friendship and camaraderie that is endearing in spite of their many differences.
Fitz suffers a major blow at the end of Season 1 that has him betrayed, lost, and seemingly broken of both heart and mind. His sincere efforts to sort through all of this—and the complex nature of his situation—do not serve to highlight his weaknesses, instead they speak absolutely to his strength. Fitz will persevere in some way—as viewers we have no doubt of this—and come out stronger in the end. There is a concept in psychology referred to as post-traumatic growth that says that sometimes when people experience a major life crisis, they develop a greater appreciation for themselves and others as well as an increased sense of strength, determination, and overall outlook on life. This is a concept we hope to explore in another article—especially as it applies to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.—but suffice it to say that Fitz has experienced a lot of positive growth in the past few seasons. Not to say that Fitz wasn’t great before, but now… he’s just different. And in a lot of ways, better.
“You’re just different now, and there’s nothing wrong with that.” – Fitz
Strength: Fitz doesn’t have the kind of brute strength that are required by his fellow agents who have been trained for duty out in the field. Not at all, actually. While Fitz will go to the literal ends of the earth–and beyond–to save a colleague whom everyone else has left for dead, he doesn’t (and shouldn’t) rely on his physical strength to get the job done. If Fitz were ever in a situation where he was up against a super-human with juiced-up super-strength with only his own physical capabilities to see him through, well… R.I.P. Fitz, most likely. Let’s just hope that never happens.
As mentioned previously, however, Fitz has an incredibly strong sense of will. He is able to shoulder the burden of a lot of messed-up crazy stuff and it is likely that he would be able to endure quite a lot physically strictly due to his mental and emotional strength. But his physicality overall is not his strong-suit. 2.
Dexterity: While Fitz is adept in the creation of weapons and application of all sorts of cool gadgetry and equipment, it does not necessarily mean he is always completely adept at using them in a fight. Quick-reflexes, agility, and dexterity are not exactly Fitz’s thing, although it can be said that he can somewhat be relied upon in the area if necessary. To be honest, he’s a little bit clumsy and awkward, although over time we are certainly seeing that Fitz is becoming more capable in this area. In the very first episodes of Season 3, Fitz truly shows his stuff in this department—and comes out on the right side of a fight. But we have to admit his plan was super risky, given Fitz’s current capabilities—and it could have easily gone another way. 3.
Intellect: If there were a rating higher than 5, we would certainly like to award it in this area to Fitz. More often than not, Fitz has a way of using his immense capacity for creative thinking to get himself and his fellow agents out of a jam. Also, the fact that Fitz is able to overcome a severe injury—one that has the potential to absolutely destroy any other person—and still possess a keen intellect *even in the midst of it* is a testament to the capacity and fortitude of his overall brain power. 5.
Charisma: While somewhat socially awkward, Fitz has a unique charm. Unlike someone like Agent Ward, Fitz does not rely on his good looks, flashy style, lady-killer attitude—and sometimes threatening demeanor—to negotiate or persuade someone to his side. Instead, it is perhaps the fact that Fitz is underestimated in this area that makes him a force to be reckoned with—although he and others may not totally realize that, yet. Because Fitz, at first glance, seems totally non-threatening and easily out-maneuvered, many do not recognize or even expect that Fitz is already one step ahead. This results in others miscalculating and letting down their guard which Fitz can use to his advantage—especially in a fight.
Beyond all that, Fitz is often given some amazing one-liners which often serve to diffuse an otherwise escalating, stressful situation. He also has, over time, demonstrated an amazing sensitivity and capacity for empathy. At this point, if we were S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and we ever needed someone to talk to, Fitz would be our first choice, because he simply always seems to say and do the right thing. 4.