To say Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been inconsistent during its brief life would be an understatement, but the series was finally firing on all cylinders before it went on hiatus a few months ago — and it sounds like Marvel definitely plans to capitalize on the momentum.
Potential spoilers ahead for the back half of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s second season!
After spinning its wheels for much of the first season waiting for all hell to break loose in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Marvel’s small-screen flagship series found its footing after the downfall of S.H.I.E.L.D. and has become an extremely fun, if still a bit uneven, series as of late. The stellar Agent Carter filled the hiatus void nicely, but S.H.I.E.L.D. returns from its midseason break on Tuesday night, and the cast and crew have a whole lot to say about what’s coming next.
Considering that the most recent arc served as a backdoor introduction to the Inhumans — a comic property expected to play a much bigger role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe over the next few years — S.H.I.E.L.D. finally has an opportunity to lead the charge and establish some exciting new territory that could actually have implications back onto the film side.
Clark Gregg, aka Agent Phil Coulson, told IGN the Inhumans story will play a huge role in where they’re taking the story in the back half of season two, and that will also lead down some darker streets than what fans have come to expect from the series (though, admittedly, S.H.I.E.L.D. has pulled off some nice dark twists this season):
“There’s a way that stuff like the Inhumans… Whether it’s in X-Men or whether it’s inhumans, they always represented people who evolved in a different way where some of them were outcasts or treated like something was wrong with them and yet, perhaps, in many ways represented a vital new part of what we’re supposed to be. You can’t read the news or watch society change without seeing fertile ways that that represents who we are. All the ways that you watch the headlines, and people are part of super secret organizations slaughtering people on the street... It makes the kind of fight to protect us from them something that’s not just a fantasy comic world but connects to real life.
Inhumans are a really important part of that for me. I’m really excited to see how they use that part of it on our show. It’s one of the things that’s fun about being on this show. When you understand what it is, you see Winter Solider and it’s “Agents of Nothing.” Right when you think you know what that is, there’s the attack at the end of the season and he can’t stop carving [symbols]. It keeps adding new elements to it. That said, we’re at nine o’clock, with a darker tone - less ICERS, more bullets. I think it’s finding its way to be more and more; its own central self that can withstand having things brought into it.”
A big part of the puzzle will continue to be Chloe Bennet's Skye, who we now know is the Marvel comic character Daisy “Quake” Johnson, who was revealed to be an Inhuman in the midseason cliffhanger. Producer Jeffrey Bell told ComicBook.com that Skye’s origin story will be a major thread going forward, as we get to follow a known character becoming an Inhuman and learning how to handle her powers:
“Instead of doing a montage of Spider-Man on the subway having fun for about three minutes learning his powers, we can actually explore what it means to go through that. At the beginning of the season, we tried to take Skye, who wasn't a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent at beginning of last year and, coming in this season, really grow her up as a character and as an agent and I think Chloe did a lovely job of that through the first 10 and then, birth of a superhero, now there's a whole new start and sorta entering us into whole new world of Inhumans and what that means for her and what that means, how it effects other characters, those are all really fun stories for us to explore. We think people get a kick out of that."
Bennett actually spoke with ComicBook.com about how the Inhumans twist will affect her character (not to mention the Daisy reveal), and said she'll be dealing with the guilt over Tripp's death that was tied in to the activation of her powers. She also revealed that she read some Inhumans comics for inspiration (but wouldn't say which arcs, exactly) and also geeked out over Daisy Johnson's history:
"We’ll see her dealing with the loss of Trip. I think she feels extremely guilty over that considering he went down there to save her and then he died. It’s a lot of her figuring out that, 'Oh, when I got upset down there, an earthquake happened, and I keep getting upset and that may be happening again.' It’s her exploring whether or not it is her that is creating these things, and then her dealing with what she has to tell the team, because people who have powers, from S.H.I.E.L.D.’s perspective, are put on the Index. That’s not really a place she wants to be, I don’t think. It’s dealing with admitting to her family. It’s kind of like she’s coming out almost as a superhero to her S.H.I.E.L.D. family and moving forward from there."
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns Tuesday, March 3, on ABC with 12 all-new episodes. Will you be tuning in?