Spoiler warning: The following discusses last Tuesday's episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and contains teasers about the rest of Season 3.
There are big changes coming for the characters in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and I don't mean just the ones who underwent terragenesis. Instead, both humans and Inhumans will face conflict, romance and potential cures (or curses) during the remaining 10 episodes of Season 3.
But instead of just taking my word for it, let's hear from the cast of the series. Last week, I visited the set of MAOS and hung out in the S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ common room to talk to Chloe Bennet, Ming-Na Wen, Elizabeth Henstridge, Iain De Caestecker, Luke Mitchell, Nick Blood and Henry Simmons about what might be in store for their characters. I also chatted with Clark Gregg, who spoke from the desk in the office set of Agent Phil Coulson -- because he's a boss like that.
Read ahead for teases and reveals, such as who Wen's Melinda May will be taking under her wing and why Bennet thinks this season might ruin our collective pants.
Also, check out our conversation with Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen, and Jeffrey Bell about the remainder of the season. Don't miss our interview with the cast on where they stand in the Captain America: Civil War debate between Team Cap or Team Iron Man. And keep an eye out for more to come from the set -- such as Brett Dalton and cast talking specifically about Hive-Ward.
We had some conflict between Daisy/Skye and Coulson last season. Will that blossom again? Especially with all of the Inhumans tension that's going on?
Clark Gregg (Phil Coulson): Yes! Yes. I mean, certainly there was, I feel like, in a lot of Season 1 and part of Season 2, there was the discovery. I think two people who had been lonely and looking for something their whole lives -- she really knew it more than he did. I don't think he ever expected it, or thought that he needed anything like this, and was quite surprised by how much he came to care about this person, and to feel like she was a daughter...and yet, it's definitely moved into a different phase. One of the things I like about the way Coulson has been written on this show is that he tries to give people more, and more, and more responsibility...she's not a teenager, even if she acts like one, sometimes! And he's trying to give her responsibility, and he has to welcome when she takes the initiative, and hear her objections, and at times push back against them. But if he's just kind of watching over her shoulder, what kind of leader is she going to become?
Can you talk about the hunt for Lash and when everyone will turn their attention back to where he is, since he’s an ever-present threat?
Gregg: I will say that the days are coming where we will need to know exactly where everyone who is Inhuman who has crossed our path are, while we sort out if they’re going to be friend or foe. That’s our version of Civil War, I think. Lash is one of those people we’re going to have to find that out about.
In Episode 312, FitzSimmons make the discovery about a potential vaccine for Inhumans. How will Coulson feel about that?
Gregg: If the things that society considers anomalous, in this moment, could take a shot and be like everybody else, would you take it? That’s a fantastic question. There are those who think, “Oh, yes, this is great! We can stop people from turning into something different.” And Daisy and a lot of people who are already different and are suffering the consequences of it, but who also have new powers, feel like, “That already implies that you think something is wrong with us.” I don’t know, that feels topical to me.
What powers does the new hand have?
Gregg: We’ve already seen that it lights up like Simon. There are a lot of cool games that it can play on a long flight. It can do Snake, it has Tetris, it has Galaga, and it can change TV channels. I really wish there were a few more practical jokes that he was doing with his hand, but that remains to be seen. I don’t know yet, all the things that it can do, but I know that there are more things that it can do than you do, if you’ve only seen up to Episode 312.
With all of this new conflict emerging, is Coulson confident that his house is in order?
Gregg: No! [laughs] But again, that’s just my read. There might have been some part of Coulson that dreamed of being the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., but it wasn’t his driving goal in life. I always felt that he really loved being a field agent, and he was flabbergasted and honored when suddenly Nick Fury was standing there on his base, dressed like a homeless guy and handing him his cool weapon from The Avengers, and being told he was the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. that no longer exists. That was an honor, but it was like, “Here, I’m going to give you this car and it’s going to blow up in nine minutes if you slow down.” This is the hand he’s been dealt...he’s got a certain comfort level, and there are people he feels he can count on. He puts them in incredible situations and they rise to that challenge constantly, but there are also a lot of unknown quantities out there. I think he’s just trying to do the best that he can, and a part of him is really watching the doorway, all the time, hoping Nick Fury is going to show back up and take the job back. That’s just my opinion, though.
What will Daisy’s reaction, emotionally, be when she sees that Hive has the face of Ward?
Chloe Bennet ("Daisy 'Skye' Johnson"): I honestly don’t remember the moment. Here’s the problem, you guys. I’ve been asked a lot about these next couple of episodes. I don’t remember. I’m just going to be completely honest. So much has since the one that you guys saw last night...since 312 that I don’t know.
Bennet: You guys, your pants will be filled with s--- when we get done with this season.
How will Lincoln and Daisy hooking up change the dynamic, because they also have tension between them?
Bennet: I think, overall, it’s probably a good thing. Being Inhuman and being a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, it’s not just work, it’s so personal, because it’s her blood, it’s who she is. I think having him on the team helps her open her eyes to seeing other aspects, because he’s been an Inhuman longer and he’s kind of not as sensitive to it, or used to, maybe, the criticism and is able to handle it in a less emotional way, so I think maybe it helps her a little bit.
How does the question of what to do with Inhuman allies and what to do with Inhuman enemies impact her as she assembles her Secret Warriors team?
Bennet: I think it’s really just about being wary about who she picks for this team. Obviously, they have a few trust issues with some people … it just makes it harder to find people who are going to be able to fit the team vibe, the stress levels, and want to have the same mission that S.H.I.E.L.D. does — and weeding out the bad out people.
In the episodes ahead, does May’s relationship with any of the other members of the team evolve?
Ming-Na Wen ("Melinda May"): Yeah. I think now that she's been S.O. to Daisy and, in some ways, she and Ward were on the same level. She still wants to protect her family. I think one of the bonds with some of the...less skilled, but really smart characters on the show, will change. She has a maternal role in wanting to protect them because, as things get more dangerous and heightened, she feels they need to learn some new skills.
Does she feel particularly connected to Simmons because they both feel this connection to Lash?
Wen: Yes. Yes. Ding ding ding.
With their connection to Lash, will they think about hunting him down?
Wen: Hmm. I don't know if I can answer that question. I think right now, May's main objective is to make sure every S.H.I.E.L.D. member can protect themselves against the Inhumans or Hydra. There's just too many threats out there right now. They don't have enough man-power or resources. Every person has to contribute.
What would you say is the driving momentum for the back half of this season? It seems inevitable the S.H.I.E.L.D. team will find out about Hive.
Wen: the main challenge is learning about who we can recruit as the Inhumans continue to grow in numbers and who we might need to put down...
Can you tease how Simmons will get some combat training?
Elizabeth Henstridge ("Jemma Simmons"): She's going to try to better arm herself against those situations happening again, but I think it's also a case of, Agent May has said throughout the different seasons that it's never easy. Failing at something is never easy. Killing someone, even if they're bad, never feels good. We're seeing that now, with Coulson. Yes, she's going to try to arm herself, but also, it's a period of growth for her to realize you make mistakes and you make decisions in an instant.
There's potential for this vaccine for the Inhumans. Will FitzSimmons be on the same page as far as its potential application?
Iain De Caestecker ("Leo Fitz"): They usually agree on most things, but they have clashed in the past, certainly when it came to Inhumans. But they seem to be able to get over most obstacles. I think, throughout their relationship, as well, which I think has always been quite nice, is they can always have a big fight and shout at each other, and then, 10 minutes later, be alright. It's that kind of relationship.
Henstridge: That makes sense, but I do think that would be something that they would disagree on.
Will there be more follow-up on Fitz and Coulson both being killers on that planet?
De Caestecker: Yeah. They have a secret, in a weird way. I'm sure that will be explored somehow. He saw a side of Coulson that he probably had never seen before.
How much trouble is Lincoln going to be in the back half of this season? We’ve been teased we’re going to get more darkness from him and we see him butting heads with Daisy.
Luke Mitchell ("Lincoln Campbell"): What can I tease about what’s ahead? Not much. What have we just shot...look, I think we’re going to see a lot more of Lincoln’s issues with his past pop up, in particular possibly some anger issues that have been unresolved. They pop their heads up from time to time. Certainly, in matters of conflict, in pressure situations, moreso, which I find very interesting.
Henry, can you talk about what’s ahead for Mack this season?
Henry Simmons ("Mack"): I think they’re exploring a little bit of his life outside of S.H.I.E.L.D....there is the opportunity where they explore how lives are affected, families are affected, by if someone is S.H.I.E.L.D. and they aren’t allowed to tell, “Hey, I’m in S.H.I.E.L.D..” They’re not allowed to talk about that, and just how relationships are delicate and strained when you’re in S.H.I.E.L.D. and you can’t really tell anyone what you’re doing. It’s difficult.
Where is Hunter and Bobbi’s dynamic as they go off on this adventure?
Nick Blood ("Lance Hunter"): Hunter prefers it when he’s not working under the jurisdiction of S.H.I.E.L.D., and this is an opportunity where they’re on their own, they can make up their own rules, just turn their phones onto airplane mode and ignore the calls from back home. I think Hunter’s probably the one that’s more inclined to put focus on their future and their relationship, whereas Bobbi kind of sees the greater good as a more important focus for her. I think, when they’re off on their own together, you see how they complement each other. You start to see in Episode 13 how the goodness in Hunter isn’t necessary linked to S.H.I.E.L.D.. Not everything S.H.I.E.L.D. does is necessarily the right thing or the moral thing to do, so disagreeing with it doesn’t make you immoral or ungood or whatever. He’s willing to ignore the rules and regulations to get the right thing done, and that sometimes Bobbi needs a little bit of that kick in the backside to send her in that direction. By the same token, Hunter needs Bobbi’s rationale to make sure he doesn’t go and get himself in trouble again.