The until-just-recently AWOL Fitz returns in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 5×05! Here are a few hints for what to expect.

As promised, “Rewind” gives Iain DeCaestecker center stage, and plenty of room in which to exercise the full range of Fitz’s agony. (And trust me, there is agony.) Being left behind on Earth while Simmons and the rest of the team is whisked away to parts unknown isn’t easy on our missing genius — but there may be a little bit of light on the horizon!

You know, if you squint.

Old Fitz, New Fitz (Red Fitz, Blue Fitz)

Like all of his counterparts on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Leo Fitz has undergone multiple transformations throughout the series’ run. The events of “Rewind” allow Fitz to revisit many of those stages of his identity, from his most vulnerable moments to points of truly formidable resolve.

Related: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. cast and crew weigh in: Are FitzSimmons really cursed?

If Simmons’ journey in “4,722 Hours” was almost all physical, Fitz’s trials in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 5×05 are mostly mental — but no less painful and exhausting for all that. And don’t forget (because “Rewind” does not), our dear Scot had plenty of psychological hurdles to leap even before he blinked and was left alone in a diner.

Hunter is back and BAE

The return of Lance Hunter is by far the brightest spot in the grim game of catch-up that is Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 5×05. It’s been more than a full year since Nick Blood last appeared on the series, but Hunter’s return is so funny, irreverent, and authentic that it hardly even feels like he’s been gone.

And Hunter’s familiar face does more than provide a bit of nostalgia. Fitz is in a dark place in “Rewind,” but the return of his friend is not only a source of skill and resources. Hunter is a much-needed reminder to Fitz that he is not alone, whether the space that divides him from his friends is made of moments or decades.

Brush up on your history

And by that, I mean your Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. history. This week’s episode revives a promise left by the show in the past, one that careful viewers will snap to immediately. This unexpected consistency provides a critical piece of “Rewind’s” puzzle.

But this story isn’t just about the past. Not by a long shot.

Something is afoot on Earth

While everyone’s attentions are focused on the Great Lighthouse in the Sky, it’s important to take stock of what’s going on in the here and now. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 5×05 doesn’t just lay out a set of clues for Fitz, but also offers a few signaling flags as to what might be awaiting our agents, should they succeed in returning to Earth. These, of course, are problems for a later date (in the past), but as always, signs point toward the formidable.

Send me a postcard when you get there

Postcards are a great and affordable way to keep in touch with friends and family in distant locations! And I’m just saying, it would be nice to hear from you.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 5×05, “Rewind,” airs Friday, Dec 22 at 9:00 p.m. on ABC.

What do you think will happen to Fitz in ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ 5×05?

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