It’s hard for an actor to say goodbye to a series that they’ve been a part of for many years, but one of the perks is that they are sometimes allowed to take home some props. Even when it’s not allowed at first, occasionally, an important prop will find it’s way back to it’s rightful bearer. Such is the case with Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and actor Henry Simmons.
Simmons, as Alphonso “Mack” McKenzie, joined the series in Season 2, and for a long while he talked about how a “shotgun axe” would be useful. The item is exactly what it sounds like — it’s a shotgun that is also an axe. After creating a makeshift version of this weapon (and literally saying the words “shotgun axe”), Mack wound up with a fully-functioning and fancy version of it. Even in Season 7, life (and time) found a way to bring Mack’s weapon of choice back to him.
This bears the question — now that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has wrapped (with the series finale almost here), did Simmons get to keep some version of the shotgun axe in real life? SYFY WIRE asked him this highly important question during a round of interviews for the finale episode.
According to Simmons, there were many versions of the prop — there was the full version, as well as many rubber duplicates. He wanted to keep just one of them, but was told that they were all going to auction — he proudly says, “I did hear that the shotgun axe could sell between $10,000 and $15,000.”
That didn’t stop him. “I consistently asked, I said, ‘Can I have one of the shotgun axes?’ Because one of them is really nice, but just like a fake one,” he says. "No, no, no." I always got the no, no, no.”
But that’s not the end. Simmons continues, “Two months after the season wrapped, I got an email and then presented to my door at my house was a shotgun axe. I'm not going to tell you who it was. It wasn't anyone from props. It wasn't any of the executive producers. It was someone who no one would ever guess.”
"This wonderful person gifted me with one of the prototypes of a shotgun axe. So I do in fact have that. That was the only thing I wanted. And now I have it,” he says.
Ming-Na Wen (Agent Melinda May) then added, “You deserve to have that. You made that you made that thing cool because that is not an easy weapon to use … you made it cool. You made it cool.”
So all is right with the world, as Henry Simmons has a version of the shotgun axe to use whenever he needs it, and in 2020, we’ll rest easier knowing that a hero like him has one. But the full mystery remains unsolved.
Who sent Henry Simmons the shotgun axe?
If it wasn’t a prop person, and it wasn’t an executive producer, who was it? We would naturally guess that it was someone involved in the series, or someone from ABC, but those are obvious. To repeat what Simmons said, “It was someone who no one would ever guess.”
Well then, let’s get weird. Was this person MCU related at all? Robert Downey Jr. could have channeled Tony Stark (a character who likes sending weapons and tech to people, such as Peter Parker), and popped a shotgun axe in the mail. This seems too easy, though. Any of the Avengers, hell, anyone connected to the MCU seems too easy.
Betty White, then? Other suspects could include (but are not limited to): Emma Thompson, Viola Davis, Tobias Menzies, John Goodman, that kid from Tik Tok, Ellen Page, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Robb Stark, Paul Revere, and Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Until someone tells us otherwise, we’re going to go with Arnold Vosloo.
Who really sent Henry Simmons a shotgun axe? We’ll never stop guessing. The game, Mr. Simmons, is on.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will teach us how to say goodbye this Wednesday on ABC.