This year at Wondercon, I was fortunate enough to be able to sit down with most of the cast of ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ and Head of Marvel TV Jeph Loeb for some roundtable interviews, which were much more fun and enlightening than even I expected. I’ve broken the interviews down by the order in which the Marvel folks sat down at our table:
CHLOE BENNET and LUKE MITCHELL
Chloe and Luke sat down with us first, and were both seemingly very excited about being there to discuss the show, which Chloe felt was a lot of work to build up over the past 3 years, especially her own character who has undergone many changes, going from a hacker named Sky to an InHuman team leader known as Quake/ Daisy Johnson. She felt the majority of the changes to her character took place between seasons 1 and 2, when May took her under her wing and taught her how to fight. When asked about her current relationship to Agent May, Chloe briefly mentioned that it would be tested before the season was over.
We also asked Luke and Chloe whether they preferred to do action in scenes or use their “powers,” and we were told a story about one of the first action scenes shot for this season, in which Chloe and Luke were both figuring out the hand gestures that would accompany the use of their powers. Chloe basically describes it as being similar to 7 years old running around an abandoned hospital play fighting with imaginary powers. They also commented on the reverse trajectory of their characters in terms of fighting, in that Daisy learned how to fight first and then learned to incorporate her powers, while Lincoln learned to use his powers first, and is just now beginning to incorporate hand-to-hand fighting into his repertoire. They both enjoy the choreography, but commented that it can be intense, often ending with them leaving the set with bruises, and one time, a broken bone (as happened to Chloe last season).
When asked about their relationship, Chloe explained that Daisy and Lincoln share a bond in that she understands Lincoln’s struggles with darkness, and does not judge the way other members of the team might. They hinted that the two characters would get closer as the season progresses, before things take a turn. As for Lincoln’s progression this season, after the comment that he has been kind of a bench-player so far, we learned he really shines in episode 14, which is a heavy Lincoln/ Coulson episode, where Coulson tests the man’s loyalty and commitment to S.H.I.E.L.D., and Lincoln struggles with figuring out who Coulson is, always just knowing him as a father figure to Daisy and a government man.
The final question of the interview involves whether they would be Team Cap or Team Iron-Man, and both definitely felt their characters would side with Cap.
MING-NA WEN and BRETT DALTON
When Ming-Na and Brett came to our table, they brought an entirely new energy to their interview, with Ming-Na being particularly friendly and jokey, getting Brett to open up as well (enough so that he even gave me grief for taking notes the old-fashioned way. What can I say, I like a pad and paper!) Ming-Na even took a video of our table! And then she followed that by showing us her charm bracelet, complete with a S.H.I.E.L.D. charm, HYDRA charm, and a Mulan charm (pictured right).
We asked Brett whether HIVE still had any parts of Grant Ward inside him, and Brett explained that HIVE has access to all of Grant’s memories, and his personality. Ming-Na of course interjected by saying she is sure HIVE is replaying memories of Grant’s private time with Agent May over and over again. Brett also hinted that HIVE might still have a soft spot for Daisy, in much the same way that Grant did. They commented that episode 19 will show May and HIVE interacting with one-another, though whether or not HIVE will react the same way Grant did around her is yet to be seen. Brett also stated that now that HIVE has been fully reborn, with Grant’s body back in lively shape, “people should be scared.”
Ming-Na also spoke of an upcoming arc where Agent May starts training Agent Symmons, helping her learn to protect herself, which is how May shows her maternal side to characters. According to Ming-Na, her character may not talk much or really show her emotions, but her determination to train those around her to be able to defend themselves against danger is how May shows that she cares.
CLARK GREGG and HENRY SIMMONS
Next we had Clark and Henry sit down with us, and I was very excited to speak to both of them, especially in light of current events on the series. We will soon learn about Mac’s family in an upcoming episode (namely a brother), and that the idea was to show the other side of being a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, namely that these people have to give up their personal lives entirely, including family, in order to serve and keep people safe. When asked about losing Bobby and Hunter in last week’s episode, Henry commented that while the S.H.I.E.L.D. team is a family, his relationship to Bobby and Hunter was like “a family within a family,” and that Mac will be feeling a little lost now that they have left.
We then asked Clark about Coulson’s decision to kill Grant, and Clark commented on the fact that up till that point, Coulson tried to be a S.H.I.E.L.D. Director different from Nick Fury, in that he respected the line saying not to kill enemies, as Coulson is trying to hold himself to a higher standard. He claims the decision to kill Grant is still weighing heavily on Coulson, and will cause even more guilt once he realizes what he unleashed by killing Grant and allowing HIVE to take over the man’s corpse. Clearly he is hinting that when Coulson meets HIVE, things are going to get very interesting for the Director.
When asked whether Coulson and S.H.I.E.L.D. will ever tie into the movies of the MCU again, Gregg commented that he believes that ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ is currently a bit of an island in the MCU that is working well, but may eventually connect back into the larger universe, even hinting that the events of ‘Captain America: Civil War’ might change things on the show as well. When asked who they would side with, Gregg believes that Coulson would definitely side with Cap, while Henry believes Mac might actually side with Iron-Man, based on what has happened to him so far on the series (though Henry did say he personally would side with Cap). The interview concluded with Henry saying a big question this season is “Who can you trust?”, hinting that some twists and betrayals may yet be in line on the show.
ELIZABETH HENSTRIDGE and JEPH LOEB
When Elizabeth and Jeph sat down, we immediately asked Elizabeth about her upcoming training with May, and she re-iterated that it is May showing that she cares, that her tough love is to help make those around her stronger, and that the training will be tough on Symmons. However, it is something Symmons wants, as she is tired of being saved by the people around her, and feels guilty for all the danger others have put themselves in to save her, especially after what happened with Will earlier this season.
As far as her and Fitz’s relationship right now, she says things are good, but threw Jeph under the bus by basically claiming that Jeph and the writers always find a way to make things difficult for the duo again.
Jeph was then asked about any upcoming connections to ‘Civil War,’ and he went on to talk about how the movies and the shows try to reflect current politics, which is what the Marvel comics have always done, and says that a lot going on in ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ right now how to do with intolerance, and people learning to live with one another despite their differences.
When asked about ‘Marvel’s Most Wanted,’ Jeph was relatively quiet about what story-wise is coming, but did speak on how they are trying to make it it’s own show, and not just “S.H.I.E.L.D.: Miami.” He says the new show will have a lot more globe trotting, and characters who live in the grey area between morality and self-preservation, which has not been seen much in the MCU so far. He also commented on how things will change on ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,’ saying “…now that we’re down 2 people, how will the characters react to that? Do the Secret Warriors fill that void?” He also hinted that other characters might have to deal with being InHuman, claiming that anyone could still go through terragenisis, even Symmons.
It was an amazing time at these roundtables, and definitely got me very excited for where the show is going in the second half of Season 3! Are you as excited about what is coming as I am? Share your thoughts on the statements and theories of the stars down in the comments section below!