Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? More like Agents of T.W.E.E.T.I.N.G. Last night, we watched Marvel’s season two premiere with the cast and creators — Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, and the whole team, as well as creators Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen and head of Marvel TV, Jeph Loeb — and it was all about what was trending (Skye’s bangs, Ward’s beard) and RTing (lots of 0-8-4 puns). Reporters also had a chance to Q&A about what’s to come this season. Here’s everything we found out:
The State of S.H.I.E.L.D.: “Shadows” introduced us to the new world of S.H.I.E.L.D., with new bunkers, new protocols, and new agents. Exec producer Jeffrey Bell says, “For us, it’s really hard to cheer for the NSA. Yay! They can listen to every phone! So we really feel like the team is much more underdogs this year. They really do have to [ask], ‘This is what we have, how can we make it work?’ The stakes are much higher.”
As for the new agents — Nick Blood’s mercenary Lance Hunter, Henry Simmons’ mechanic Mac, and B.J. Britt's Agent Trip — Maurissa explained, “It may seem like we’re adding a lot of new people, but it’s just an example of what S.H.I.E.L.D. is now. We’re seeing a guy like Mac, who might have been a mechanic at the Triskelion. but we would never have heard from him before. But now he’s a part of our team.”
Jeffrey: “We have all these characters and new relationships...So that’s really fun, to come up with new combinations and conflicts. ‘I’d like to see these two fight or these two hook up or...’”
To which Ming chimed in, “Who’s hooking up?!"
But don’t get too comfortable. After the HYDRA reveal, trust no one.
Jed: “Always be worried. I wouldn’t trust anyone, man.”
Who’s in Love With Hannibal Lector? The premiere saw HYDRA double agent Ward (Brett Dalton) locked away in a S.H.I.E.L.D. cell, with plenty of time to grow a beard and attempt suicide...a few times. How much will we see him?
Brett: “Uhhh, I don’t know. Can I throw this to the writers?”
Clark: “I would!”
Jed: “He will appear and things will happen.”
Ming: “But he’ll keep growing that beard! He’ll be like Rumpelstiltskin!”
Maurissa: “I mean, you saw that he was in our basement.”
Jeph: “So when you have a monster in the basement, generally there’s a problem.”
So does Ward still have feelings for Skye? Brett was asked whether he played the scene sincerely or as manipulation: “As truthfully as possible. That’s one of the really wonderful things about this season, is that there’s so much complexity. He’s gone — all of us have gone — through so much. So I’m going to say yes. All of the above. There’s a lot going on there.”
But could love be blooming elsewhere? Perhaps between Skye and Agent Trip? “I’m not stepping on Simmons’ territory,” Chloe exclaimed. “It's weird to kiss Brett too. It's like kissing my brother. That's gross.”
All in the Family: The season one finale was the first time we (finally!) got a glimpse of Skye’s deadly daddy: we saw the back of his head and his hands dripping in...something. Now we know Kyle MacLachlan has been cast in the part. But that’s pretty much all we know.
Chloe: "Yeah, I can't tell you anything! Kyle's great. I've met him. And that's about it! Honestly, I don't even know anything about it either! I have no idea!"
Maurissa: "Coulson is essentially Skye's father so it will be interesting to see what happens when her actual father comes into play.”
As for how Skye has changed, Chloe had plenty to say: “It's really just the bangs,” she laughed. “It's really weird to see the pilot and then 201 since Skye is just completely different. She's gone from this hippie living in her van going up against S.H.I.E.L.D. and everything it stands for, then now she's a full-blown S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, dropping from the ceiling in the beginning of the episode. It’s been really nice, I feel like I've grown with Skye.”
Something Weird This Way Comes: The episode started with Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) and the Howling Commandos retrieving an 0-8-4 from the last HYRDRA stronghold in 1945. But if you were paying attention there was a brief moment where Agent Dum Dum opened another box and revealed something...blue? Blue like the alien corpse from season one?
Jeph: “Good eye! I think you know us well enough to know that we don’t put anything there by accident.”
Maurissa: “It’s not just for kicks.”
Clark: “That’s amazing that you picked up on that. That’s un-Kree-lievable.”
As for the mysterious unaging Dr. Whitehall, who was seen in 1945 Austria and then again in the episode’s tag: in the comics, he’s called the Kraken and is associated with Baron von Strucker (who we saw in the post-credits scene of Captain America: The Winter Soldier). Is there an Age of Ultron connection there?
Jed: “That’s a great question! It’s all connected, it’s one universe.”
Clark: “It’s a crossover with Avengers 4!”
Either way, Jeph says we’ll get answers soon: “I think what you’ll see is by the time we get to, let’s call it the winter break [when Agent Carter airs], a lot of the story that we have picked, you will see resolved in a wonderful way. That doesn’t mean that won’t have new things that are surprising and different and God knows what else.”
Where in the World is Simmons?! The most heartbreaking, heartwrenching, pass-us-a-tissue-we-can’t-stop-crying moment of the episode was when we learned Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) had been hallucinating seeing Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), who had apparently left S.H.I.E.L.D. altogether. Where is she?!
That question will get no answers...for now. “I guess wait and see,” Elizabeth teased.