With the team dealing with fellow agents who were forced to depart, in order to survive, a possible Inhuman cure and an enemy whose motives are still unknown, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is forcing the agents to decide what’s most important to them. As they edge closer to their season finale, and with a Season 4 pick-up already announced, co-stars Clark Gregg, Chloe Bennet, Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, Luke Mitchell and Henry Simmons, along with Marvel’s Head of Television Jeph Loeb, chatted with press while they were at WonderCon.
During roundtable interviews, they talked about losing Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki) and Hunter (Nick Blood), what makes Daisy a good leader, Mack’s bond with his brother, Lincoln’s inability to control his powers, Lash, Hive, the show’s connection to Civil War, and the hope for another season of Agent Carter. Here are 15 things to know about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and what’s to come for the remainder of the season.
It was hard for the characters to lose Bobbi and Hunter, and the actors will miss them, even though they’re heading off of the show for their own spin-off, Marvel’s Most Wanted. Because it is a show that needs to continually grow and evolve, they try to shake things up in a way that’s real, grounded and emotional. So, the cast had very real emotions in that final scene in the episode, where they had to send off those actors.
- Chloe Bennet thinks that what makes Daisy a good leader is the fact that she can admit when she doesn’t know what to do. Daisy has grown from someone who was living in her van to dealing with so many interpersonal issues with her family, and then evolving into this new character and this new part of her life. It’s not something she’s had a choice about, it’s just something she was meant to do.
- Henry Simmons said that Mack has a respect for order. He will be in a leadership role, if that’s what he’s called to do, but he is good with accepting any role that’s for the good of the team.
- According to Bennet, fans will be thoroughly satisfied with some of the Secret Warriors action that’s coming up. She said, “It was some of my favorite stuff to shoot, ever, on the show because it’s something that Daisy has wanted. I can’t say how it ends. It’s not going to be like, ‘We’re a team, and this is how it is forever. Happy! Yey!’ But there area couple of really good comic, classic moments that we have with the team.”
As one of the newest additions to the team, Lincoln is constantly being tested. Said Luke Mitchell, “He does get put through a lot of tests. That’s the interesting thing. Just when you think that he’s passed the final test, there’s another seven levels in there that come out of nowhere.” Bennet added, “There’s a great scene coming up, where you get to know Lincoln’s background a little bit more and learn about why he is the way he is. I think fans are really going to like that.”
- Clark Gregg said that Director Coulson has a wariness about Lincoln being a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. He questions his motives and how much is just about him wanting to stay close to Daisy, and whether it’s safe to have a field agent who doesn’t have more control over his powers, as a result of his temper.
- Lincoln’s ability to control his powers when he’s angry will cause him more trouble, in the future. The next few episodes will be exploring that issue for him.
- When it comes to whether Agent May would be able to take out Lash or whether she might hesitate, Ming-Na Wen said, “Well, she did shoot [Andrew] several times, point blank, but in a way to save him from himself. That’s why she doesn’t judge Coulson for what he’s done, in crossing that line between what’s ethical and what’s not, when he kills Ward on that planet. If anything, she understands that sometimes you have to make choices and decisions that are for the greater good. Ultimately, you’ve made those decisions and done those actions, and you have to move on. That’s part of her that’s very clear. And even though she might have PTSD because of it, it’s something that keeps her together, at the same time.”
Up until now, Brett Dalton has gotten to play different iterations and evolutions of Grant Ward, but with Ward dead, Hive is an entirely different character, so he really had to say goodbye to his previous character before forging ahead. He said, “I wanted to really do the character justice. I just wanted it to be right, so I became a little protective towards the end. You really have to be quick on your feet because you become invested one way, and then the character changes. You’re like, ‘This is what this character is.’ And then, it’s like, ‘Hey, just kidding! You were a spy the whole time.’ And then, it’s like, ‘Actually, now, you’re dead and there’s this creature that’s going to walk around in your body.’ And you don’t get a lot of time to adjust.” Adds Wen, “[Dalton has] gone through the most emotional trauma with that. You fall in love with your character and you invest so much time into creating them, along with the writers, but they don’t tell us anything until the next script, so you really have to create very quickly.”
- In regard to Hive, Dalton said he alternates between thinking he understands the character and not knowing what he’s doing in playing him. It’s such a big difference from Ward that it’s not just one step in the other direction, but four or five. What he knows so far is that there is certainly a connection between Hive and other Inhumans, and that Inhuman powers don’t seem to work so well on Hive. Added Wen, “I just love the fact that there’s a character now on our show that shows less emotion than May. It’s awesome!”
- We’ve gotten little glimpses into the family and home life of some of the characters, but it’s something that they’ve been very careful in revealing. Said executive producer Jeph Loeb, “It’s something that we’ve talked about, from the very beginning. One of the interesting things about S.H.I.E.L.D. is that it very much is a show about a family that is very dysfunctional and diverse, and Agent Coulson is the Papa Bear. One of the things that we have played a lot of is what you give up when you join S.H.I.E.L.D. Those personal connections are something you have to give up because, if people knew what you did, you would then become vulnerable, and the people that you care about and love then become vulnerable. So, we’ve been very careful about revealing too much because we wanted to play the reality of what’s happening for them. In many ways, being a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent is a lonely job. What Phil Coulson has been able to do is try to make it a place where you don’t have that feeling where you need to go home.”
- When an actor goes into a TV show, they create their own background for their character because they’re typically not given that information up front since it’s ever-evolving. Simmons didn’t even know his character had a brother, until they did the episode exploring their relationship. He said you just have to roll with the information and use it when you get it.
When it comes to addressing the connection between S.H.I.E.L.D. and Civil War, Loeb said, “The best way of looking at it, as you continually back me into a corner and force me to say #ItsAllConnected, the reality is that we have, in many ways, been dealing with a very similar storyline that’s been going on, since we introduced the Inhumans. This is a show that started with the idea that not all heroes are super, and now one of our team members, Daisy Johnson, is someone who has powers. The idea of the question between humanity and inhumanity, how they’re going to get along, and whether or not they should be controlled or cured, is all leading to that inevitable question, which is, what do you do in the real world when people are different? That is the heart of what Civil War is about, and that’s the heart of what our show is about right now. So, how it affects it, I can’t be very specific about, but you can see it in the themes that are being played out . . . Hopefully, the message you’re getting from watching our show is that tolerance is actually the best answer. But at the same time, there are moments that will break your heart.”
- If she had to choose whether to cross-over with The Avengers or The Defenders, Bennet said she would pick The Avengers. She added, “I think it would be cool to be in the Inhumans movie. Just because of how relevant The Avengers have been in pop culture so far, it would be cool to get to do a fight sequence with them.” Added Gregg, “There’s no part of the Marvel universe that doesn’t seem appealing to me.
- Loeb said he is optimistic about getting a Season 3 for Agent Carter, even though no renewal has been announced yet.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs on Tuesday nights on ABC.