INTERVIEW: Cast and Producers of ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Discuss S5

We had the great opportunity to sit down with the producers and cast of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (minus Clark Gregg, who was unable to attend) at WonderCon this year. Check out the videos below to see what they each had to say about season five, the characters and their various key relationships, what effects the Avengers: Infinity War movie might have on the show, and what might lie ahead for many of the characters.

Starting out with showrunners Jeffrey Bell, Jed Whedon, and Maurissa Tancharoen, we begin with their answer to the question of how much of an effect Infinity War will have on SHIELD as a show. As we’ve heard in the past regarding the MCU versus Marvel TV shows, they assure us that the show will “reflect” the events of the movie. How much? That, Tancharoen says, they’re “not at liberty to say.”

As far as the importance of the father/daughter relationship between Coulson and Daisy, the producers stress that it will continue to be key. We’ll see Daisy stepping into the leadership role Coulson has envisioned for her while he’s in General Hale’s custody, but that doesn’t mean she (or May) will just let him die. And speaking of things that go all the way back to the pilot, Tancharoen shares that bringing back Mike Peterson for the one hundredth episode was one of the best parts for her. It was a way to bring the show full circle, as well as a way to have both Mike and Daisy emphasize that there is no SHIELD without Coulson.

Whedon says they weren’t surprised that fans guessed Deke’s relationship to Fitz and Simmons ahead of the reveal, since there was that element of time travel to hint at such a thing. As far as whether or not Simmons throwing up when she learned the truth means that she’s pregnant, no surprise: we don’t get a direct answer there. All they will tell us for sure is that she was extremely overwhelmed by all the upheaval of the day, and then got this revelation on top of all of that.

Our interview with Elizabeth Henstridge and Iain De Caestecker focuses heavily on the FitzSimmons relationship, of course. When asked how they’re doing as a married couple, Henstridge says, “All the romance is gone and all we do is argue,” to which De Caestecker immediately replies, “No, we don’t.” Hee. Jokes aside, all is not rosy in their characters’ relationship right now, after Fitz’s actions in the latest episode. But Henstridge believes they’ll be able to work through it. After all, Jemma has mellowed a lot from the beginning, back when she had a very cut and dried, black-and-white view of everything. We’ve already seen her change and become more pragmatic – especially when there’s so much on the line!

When asked about Jemma’s reaction to learning about Deke, both actors agree that a woman throwing up on-screen usually means the character is pregnant. De Caestecker even points out that Jemma was snacking on a lot of odd things at the beginning of the episode, so that could be another hint! But of course there’s no confirmation or outright denial. Meanwhile, De Caestecker is sure that when Fitz learns that Deke is his grandson, Fitz will throw up, too.

Natalia Cordova-Buckley and Henry Simmons also have plenty to say about their characters’ relationship. Cordova-Buckley tells us that she believes Yo-Yo losing her arms will of course cause difficulties for her and Mack, but that ultimately their bond is strong enough to withstand them. When asked if she was relieved when it seemed like Yo-Yo would be leaving the armless thing in the future, Cordova-Buckley reveals that she has actually wanted this storyline for her character ever since seeing what Yo-Yo is like in the comics. She’s looking forward to the challenges this story will bring for her as an actor. She also hints that we’ll be seeing more of Elena’s “darker” elements now that she’s the one on the show who knows the most about the timeloop the team is stuck in.

In response to a question about whether Yo-Yo and Mack will ever have a family like the one they were developing with Flint, Simmons says he’d actually love to see the two of them adopt Flint somehow in this timeline. The actor says he thinks it would be fascinating to explore their characters’ differing attitudes toward parenting: Mack would want to raise Flint “in as much normalcy as possible” without any focus on his powers, while Yo-Yo would see his powers as a key part of his identity. Both Simmons and Cordova-Buckley praise Coy Stewart as a wonderful person and actor.

The first question posed for Chloe Bennet was how her character is going to deal with all the betrayals she’s weathered already this season. Bennet says she thinks Daisy understands – as does everyone else on the team – that sometimes personal wishes are outweighed by larger considerations, like saving the world. So she understands why Coulson brought her back to the present … and even why Fitz did what he did, though that’s going to be harder to work through. But in a recurring theme for the interview – teasing Jeff Ward – everyone else agrees there’s no love or understanding for Deke.

Jeff Ward tells us that he didn’t know about his relationship to Fitz and Simmons when he joined the show. Interestingly, it was Bennet who was the first to bring rumors that he was their grandson to his attention. Ward shares that he sees this revelation as absolutely crucial to his character’s growth. Since Deke’s mother was everything to him, knowing that Jemma is his mom’s mom changes everything for him. And knowing all of that, jokes Marvel TV producer Jeph Loeb, is really “going to make [his] death so much more” poignant and painful!

When asked about Philinda and if she can do anything to make it finally happen, Ming-Na Wen says it’s not up to her – it’s up to the writers. But after such a “long, slow, lingering” build for that relationship, she’d really like to see it happen! Meanwhile, there’s a new element of tension in May’s love for Coulson and Daisy’s love for him as well: they’re both hugely unwilling to follow his wishes and let him die. And then, of course, there’s the fact that the writers love to torture Philinda fans. Ha!

With all of this footage to whet your appetite, don’t forget to catch the next episode of Agents of SHIELD this Friday (tonight!) on ABC at 9pm.