NYCC 2017: Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD is back…in space!

The new season of Agents of SHIELD is upon us! At New York Comic Con this year, we had the chance to sit down with the cast and showrunner to discuss what is next for our slightly-traumatized team this season. 

Jeph Loeb discussed the decision to break the season into “pods” to cope with breaks in a 22 episode season. Being one of the few remaining serialized shows that does 22 episodes, they had to figure out how to adjust and keep it fresh. Last season they employed the “pod” method, breaking the season into a “three course meal” and audiences responded well. They plan to do the same thing with season five. 

The first ten episodes, as those watching the show might have already realized, are going to follow with the team ending up in space! Loeb also shared that this season the audience will be in the same boat as the team for the first time. Previously the audience always knew more than the main characters, they always had the bigger picture. In season five, all of that is changing and Loeb said it will be “the first time where the audience and the team are both unraveling the mystery… side by side.” 

Ming-Na Wen pointed out that this season will also go darker, which is possible because the audience has grown with the show. Everyone is already invested in the world and the characters, so it becomes a little easier to introduce the characters to more difficult challenges as the seasons go by. She also said that the accelerated story arcs from the “pod” format has helped her as an actor really dig into her character’s experience. 

Season five will bring Agents of SHIELD its 100th episode, and Loeb is very proud of the milestone. Another reported at the table asked if the Inhumans would be joining in with the Agents of SHIELD crew anytime soon, but Loeb said for the time being they want to get the characters from Inhumans established in their own show first before trying to blend. It does not look like we will be getting any DC-Level cross-overs anytime soon. 

Not to mention, current news hints that Inhumans might not be long for this world

Iain De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge shared a little bit about their characters being back in space. According to Henstridge, Simmons is less phased by the whole thing because of a “been there, done that” mentality. De Caestecker hinted that Fitz is not actually in space right away with the rest of the team, so his reaction should be interesting. They agreed that being in space is going to be different from the last time, too, because they have “reinvented the style of the show.” 

De Caestecker also shared that audiences will get to see Fitz come to terms with what happened last season with the Framework. 

Henstridge talked about how much she enjoyed her increased filming schedule during season four and being upgraded to a main player in the Framework plot line. There were some dicy situations with environmental conditions that made it rough, but even into season five she enjoys getting scripts for the newest episodes. As they get into season five and 100 episodes, she is still excited to be working on Agents of SHIELD

Chloe Bennet and Clark Gregg sat down and discussed what is to come in the next season. While Bennet said she really enjoyed last season, Gregg shared that they are going to “do something very different” this season, which lined up with what De Caestecker shared earlier in the interview. Regarding the 100th episode, Gregg said he hopes it will showcase just how much Agents of SHIELD has “come into its own” and said that there will be some great characters coming in this season. 

Everyone wanted to know if there would be any crossovers or special characters coming in for the 100th episode but Bennet pointed out that Agents of SHIELD is doing well on their own, and “something special” does not need to be someone showing up from the cinematic universe. They have created their own space. 

Natalia Cordova-Buckley said she was excited to be a regular character starting in season five. Neither she or Henry Simmons’ characters have ever been to space before, so it will be an interesting experience. Someone at the table asked about coming into an established cast and Simmons shared he a hard time when he came into the series midstream, saying with such a huge cast and so much backstory it took a lot to integrate. 

Regarding last season’s story lines, both actors said they really enjoyed the work. Cordova-Buckley said that she really likes it “when the writers raise the bar that high” in regard to the depth of emotions both their characters experienced. It was the first time the two of them got to really flex their deeper character acting muscles since joining the show. Season five will bring us some processing of Mac’s feelings about this daughter, but he said he enjoys the challenge. 

You can check out more with our full NYCC 2017 cast interview playlist below.