MIS­SION DE­BRIEF

Who’s who in Agents Of SHIELD

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Agents of Shield -

her In­hu­man mother, Ji­ay­ing, for SHIELD while Grant Ward ( Brett Dal­ton) took over the lead­er­ship of Hy­dra with the in­tent to wipe out SHIELD. Coul­son, mean­while, lost his hand to the fight against evil. His hand! The poor guy has al­ready been killed by Loki, brought back with an alien drug and al­most de­posed by a ri­val shadow SHIELD. Will he catch a break ( aside from his cool ro­botic hand) in sea­son three?

Showrun­ners Whe­don and Tan­charoen say don’t count on it. The new sea­son will launch quite some time af­ter the events of the fi­nale, but lit­tle will be re­solved. “With each sea­son we do leave you with a cliffhanger and ba­si­cally present the prob­lem for the next sea­son,” Tan­charoen ex­plains. “Ter­ri­gen is out in the ecosys­tem, so will In­hu­mans be pop­ping up ev­ery­where? And what does that mean for our team?”

“What we’re try­ing to do is take that as a seed no­tion,” says Whe­don, “and ex­plore what would hap­pen. What ac­tion- packed or emo­tional things could be gen­er­ated just from that no­tion? What would the rip­ple ef­fect be for our char­ac­ters?”

“We also ex­plore that prob­lem the­mat­i­cally,” Tan­charoen adds. “The ques­tion of what it means to be In­hu­man and all as­pects of that word. We can dive into that ques­tion with each char­ac­ter. Daisy is an ac­tual In­hu­man, so how does she now func­tion in the world? Coul­son has taken quite a jour­ney and now not only does he have alien DNA in his sys­tem, he was brought back from the dead and he’s now miss­ing a hand. And then how does our whole team feel about their hu­man­ity with all these other peo­ple with gifts pop­ping up?”

As to just how many In­hu­mans will be flood­ing the se­ries, Whe­don says it will be a steady roll out. “We will not come into the sea­son with In­hu­mans ev­ery­where,” he laughs. “We’ll take it slow to re­spect what was al­ready es­tab­lished, but also be­cause Skye/ Daisy had

a year and a half ori­gin story that landed so hard and hit you right in the heart be­cause of the time you spent with her on the jour­ney.”

“Her process of com­ing to terms with be­ing an In­hu­man is not easy,” Tan­charoen con­tin­ues. “So we will take our time to look into what kind of jour­ney it is for each in­di­vid­ual.”

lost con­nec­tions

In the mean­time, Coul­son will con­tinue to move SHIELD and their new di­rec­tives for­ward. “When we first met Coul­son, he prided him­self on be­ing the every­man,” Tan­charoen ex­plains. “He was on the ground, re­lat­ing to peo­ple, help­ing them through what­ever tran­si­tion they may be go­ing through. But the more he changes, the more he might feel like he’s los­ing touch with be­ing that every­man.”

“He may try to re­con­nect on a hu­man level with peo­ple around him,” Whe­don con­tin­ues. “And then on a gen­eral level, Coul­son’s job has been very re­ac­tionary. He can’t pos­si­bly an­tic­i­pate the things hap­pen­ing and [ the In­hu­mans] is again a sit­u­a­tion where he was try­ing to get ahead of it. He said at the end of last year, ‘ Let’s put a team to­gether be­cause we’re go­ing to need it.’ But he didn’t have a chance to do that be­fore a new curve­ball hit. What we’ll see this year is him try­ing to get ahead of it and an­tic­i­pate just how dras­tic ev­ery­thing will be. It makes him more of a hard- core thinker and more cut­throat.”

And that’s a good state of mind to be in be­cause the showrun­ners are throw­ing him a new ad­ver­sary in ac­tress Con­stance Zim­mer, who will play the head of a new anti- In­hu­man or­gan­i­sa­tion known as the Ad­vanced Threat Con­tain­ment Unit. “With Con­stance’s char­ac­ter, we’ve given Coul­son an equal foil on the turf he’s used to play­ing on,” Whe­don teases.

Plus there is for­mer SHIELD mem­ber Ward hov­er­ing and ready to pounce as the new vanguard of Hy­dra. Tan­charoen says they’re go­ing to ex­plore “the as­pect of in­hu­man­ity in Ward and what it means to pos­si­bly just be evil.”

Ward’s done some dirty deeds over two sea­sons, but we haven’t seen him be truly evil just yet. Is his de­scent into dark­ness upon us?

“I think that dual­ity is al­ways there,” Whe­don of­fers. “Ward is the hero of his own story. We love the de­bate amongst fans about whether they hate to love him, love to hate him, or hate to hate him…”

“Or whether he’s even a vil­lain,” Tan­charoen in­ter­jects. “The fact that’s even in ques­tion, hope­fully, means we are telling his story well.” “If he em­braces cer­tain as­pects of his per­son­al­ity or not, is yet to be seen,” Whe­don con­tin­ues. “But I think, for­ever, Ward will al­ways be­lieve he is do­ing the right thing.” And as to the spin- off se­ries re­cently picked up fea­tur­ing Bobbi “Mock­ing­bird” Morse and her ex Lance Hunter, the showrun­ners won’t con­firm if that show – Marvel’s Most Wanted – will launch in an episode of their se­ries. Un­til that’s an­nounced, Tan­charoen says the duo is “very much a part of our ensem­ble. We knew that se­ries was a pos­si­bil­ity go­ing into this sea­son but they are a part of the team and we’ll see how it all plays out.”

Agents Of SHIELD airs on ABC in the US, and will air on Chan­nel 4 in the UK.

I think Ward will al­ways be­lieve he is do­ing the right thing

There’s some qual­ity shirt/ jacket co­or­di­na­tion go­ing on here. This episode of ER was get­ting ever more sur­real.

Coul­son is back – and with a cool ro­botic hand!

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