Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD brought their cast to Wondercon this weekend and the cast and executive producer Jeph Loeb got a chance to talk about the show so far while we tried to pry some answers from them about the upcoming episodes.
Chloe Bennet’s Daisy Johnson has gone through multiple changes in the past three seasons, from the hacktivist Skye who squatted in her van into the full blown Inhuman and leader of the Secret Warriors Daisy Johnson. In response to these changes, Bennet agrees that, “She’s a completely different character than she was in season one. […] It’s kind of organically happened for me, being an actress parallel to Daisy growing into her role as a leader on the show.”
Highlighting her relationship with May, Bennet jokes, “I think how much they care about each other goes without being spoken, obviously because we’re dealing with May, here.” But on a more serious note, she comments on SHIELD and how they’re a group of people who need to learn to communicate a little bit and hints that things will happen towards the end of the season that will really test their trust for one another.
Given the choice between using her powers or using her fists, Bennet sides with the physical, saying that while it’s easy on a lazy day to use the powers and leave the finer details to the editing team and crew, she loves fighting and “I think it’s a really fun way to get my aggression out. […] It’s like you’re in a real life video game.”
Luke Mitchell’s Lincoln Campbell has taken a bit of a backseat in the most recent episodes, with even Mitchell referring to his own character as a “bench player”, but he explains he doesn’t begrudge this moniker. In fact, he likes that Lincoln has been “in development”, but that we will see more from him in the upcoming episode, especially in his relationship with Coulson.
Brett Dalton’s new character Hive is still shrouded in mystery, we haven’t seen him do much of anything other than terrify some really bad guys. When asked if there was any sense of Ward still being in there, since his body is now host to Hive, Dalton notes that Hive has been around for centuries. “He has a lot of access to people’s life stories,” and that includes both Will and Grant Ward.
He says that while Hive can pull from Ward’s strengths, he also might be influenced by some of Ward’s weaknesses, quote: “Ward has his own strengths and weaknesses, Daisy Johnson being one or both of those.” To which, both Dalton and Ming-Na Wen joke about Ward’s past with May, though Dalton mentions again that Ward has a weakness for Daisy Johnson.
Episode 19 has been previously teased in a couple of interviews on being a mind-blowing episode, but Wen and Dalton were both tight-lipped on it, using typical Marvel-evasive measures. With Hive getting his “rebirth” and potentially being able to get out of that room, Dalton says, “people should be scared, because he’s incredibly capable. […] We don’t know what his powers are, but we know he’s a force to be reckoned with.”
In the preview for this week’s episode, we see Simmons and May working together, and Wen comments that it’s another indicator of May’s maternal side always showing up. This was also mentioned with during our talk with Chloe Bennet about Daisy’s relationship with May. “[It’s] not in words or in hugs or even a smile or a kind word, but in her actions. She wants to make sure that Simmons is able to protect herself and have the confidence to continue serving SHIELD.”
In teasing the next episode with the arrival of Mack’s brother, Henry Simmons says that the episode suggests that the writers want to show the other side of SHIELD, the personal side with families that are left behind. “It’s going to cause strained relationships when you’re gone for long periods of time and not really forthcoming with what you’re doing.”
With Coulson having crossed the line back on Maveth, wherein he killed Ward, we wondered if his character might take a darker turn as a consequence of such a drastic measure. Clark Gregg responds that, “it’s a line he doesn’t cross, and it’s the difference between him and Nick Fury.”
He compares SHIELD’s powers and responsibilities to that of real world police who are expected to be held to a higher standard and not ruled by their emotions,saying, “He takes that very seriously, and I believe he’s very ambivalent about whether it was okay for him to do that. And that’s before he even realizes what it is he unleashed.”
Simmons adds on that the one question that carries on from this point forward is, “Who can you trust?”, which gives us a little more insight along with Bennet’s comment that the relationships will be tested and something might cause a deep rift between the SHIELD agents.
With the departure of Bobbi and Hunter, Simmons, who had the close relationship to Bobbi, joined in on the emotional goodbye to the two at the end of last episode, but we were curious about how Bobbi leaving would affect Simmons. Elizabeth Henstridge said that, “There’s really not a lot of time to lament. They’ve chosen this really tough life. They don’t really get the luxury of grieving for a long time.” However, Bobbi leaving would raise the stakes for Simmons going forward as they face the much bigger conflicts that they are confronted with.
In mentioning May and Simmons training, Simmons reiterates the idea of tough love that Wen and Bennet commented on, saying that “the way that may shows love is to be hard on you so that you can protect yourself,: and that May wants to make Simmons someone strong. “Simmons is in a stage where she’s feeling a lot of guilt for always having to be saved by men, in particular, and not being able to protect herself, and in that moment, having to ask for help.”
And Henstridge says that despite Simmons’ dislike of guns, “she now realizes that she has to educate herself a bit more, because she doesn’t really want to be put in that position again.”
The time spent on Maveth with Will will be informing her every decision she’s going to make from here on out, and that after that experience “she feels more independent than ever at this moment, just being able to get through that.”
With the premiere of Civil War months away, we wondered if we would be seeing more parallels between the film and within the SHIELD world, especially with the rise of Inhumans. Executive Producer Jeph Loeb compared the situation within the MCU to the real world; “there’s never been a time where man’s intolerance towards other men, where humanity and inhumanity are so closely related to each other, whether it’s about race or gender or about religion, we’ve got to somehow figure it out. […] That’s really the story of ‘what do we do about inhumans?'”
It’s a vague answer, though he did mention once again that #ItsAllConnected which you all know I’ve had some laughs about before. It remains to be seen how connected Agents of SHIELD will be after the Civil War event. One show we do predict seeing more tie-ins with will be the upcoming Marvel’s Most Wanted.
Loeb says that the show will get into more moral greys with the characters that are presented. Bobbi and Hunter can be referred to as the Mr. and Mrs. Smith of the Marvel world, but they’re not assassins. The show itself will be something entirely different from what we’ve seen so far. “It doesn’t look like SHIELD, it doesn’t look like any of our other televisions shows. It has an entirely different score, and it’s got an amazing cast.”
We’re excited for the prospect of Most Wanted right now, but it seems that with the loss of their muscle and with the growing threat of Hydra and Inhuman politics, the final episodes of season 3 are rife with conflict and action.