I have seen many people being bewildered at why there is such an outcry about the way SHIELD is now treating Fitz. As a person professionally involved in neurorehabilitation, I will try to answer what standards of care a person with brain damage should receive. This is really a topic I know a lot…
I watched the episode with my little sister last night and when Fitz started showing signs of aphasia my sister pointed at me and started laughing. I got a concussion a few months ago and I had some pretty hilarious aphasia going on. (The concussion seemed to temporarily make me completely un-anxious about the whole situation, too, which is weird because I’m one of the most high-strung people I’ve ever met.) I could really identify with the performance. Fitz was totally believable to me.
Having said that, if Fitz was that believable, it made me think that the way the team reacted had to have something more to do with the current situation our heroes are in and much less to do with the idea that they think they’re treating Fitz in the correct way. Coulson is in over his head. He’s disregarding his health and isn’t checking in with May. May is the most senior member of the field operating team, so she has to command Skye and Trip, but she also has to look out for Coulson, too. And it makes absolute sense to me that Fitz would do way worse once Simmons left, but I can’t imagine Simmons leaving Fitz for no reason. I CAN imagine her using her new-found lying capabilities to create some sort of ruse so that she could continue synthesizing the GH 235 without Coulson, et al, knowing about it. I can’t imagine her leaving Fitz when he needs a compatriot most of all.
I don’t understand why Trip wouldn’t be involved with Fitz’s recovery, since Trip has medical training, but maybe he’s just spread too thin like everyone else… Beats me. He’s a smart guy and seems like he’s a natural fit as someone who could both be in the lab AND help Fitz in many different aspects of his recovery.
Ultimately, I felt the way Fitz was treated by the team was supposed to exemplify how the team was NOT functioning. I did not think at any point that the show was trying to model how people recovering with brain injuries were supposed to be treated. It showed how thin spread everyone had become and it really showed how different Coulson had become since last season.
I also wonder if Fitz demanded to stay on with the team. I can’t imagine him admitting defeat, especially if Simmons was still there. He would want to be with her. But I can’t imagine having him around and being both unreliable and frustrated because he knows he’s unreliable at the moment could possibly help the team.
Anyway, I hope no one uses this show to figure out how to treat people with brain injuries! :)