SDCC 2019: Cast of ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Discuss Season Six

We had the chance to chat with some of the cast of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. at San Diego Comic-Con this year, as well as Jeff Bell and Jeph Loeb. Now that the sixth season has finished airing, check out what these guys have to say about their characters’ development throughout this year, looking back on the show up to now, and teasing a few things about what might be yet to come.

Stars Chloe Bennet (Daisy Johnson/Quake) and Jeff Ward (Deke Shaw) clearly enjoy teasing each other – which is appropriate for their characters. Their characters also both have some struggles with their parent or parent figures on the show, with Deke longing for Fitz’s approval, and Daisy having to deal with someone who wears Coulson’s face. “Those heavy concepts [of loss and longing for family] seep into pretty much everything that these characters do,” said Bennet. Without giving any direct spoilers about what remained of the season, the two then agreed that you could describe Deke’s emotions surrounding his complex (grand)parent-child dynamic with these three emojis: 😏🤨🤪. Seems accurate, especially if Fitz’s and Simmons’ reactions to him are included.

Everyone’s favorite mom and dad of the SHIELD team, Ming-Na Wen (Melinda May) and Clark Gregg (Coulson/Sarge) couldn’t say just how much of Coulson there is in Sarge. Gregg did say he’s honestly not sure what’s left for Philinda after this. Wen said that May is struggling, because she had “resolved her feelings [for Coulson], and was ready to move on” – to which Gregg protested there was no way May would ever move on. Oh, these two. But they both made it clear that the May-Sarge relationship was never going to be anything but tumultuous, with the amount of history May had with Coulson. It will be interesting to see the implications of all that in the next season, for sure.

Natalia Cordova-Buckley (Elena/Yo-Yo) and Henry Simmons (Mack) agreed that it looks like Mackelena relationship is back on track. Cordova-Buckley also said she’s totally behind Mack as the new SHIELD director – in fact, she thinks he’s “the best director we’ve had, ever”. That’s because Mack never acts from ego, or out of a desire for revenge. She also said that the chance for her own character to work more closely with the “legendary” Ming-Na Wen’s May has been one she enjoys. Plus, May is everyone’s mentor, so Yo-Yo relies on her life experience and ability to ground the others on the team.

For Simmons, he said that Mack has had some “growing pains” as he stepped into the role of director, since in the past he’s been reluctant to make quick decisions when people he cared about were in danger. But Simmons also pointed out that a big part of Mack’s strength as a leader comes from the fact that he knows his own capabilities and also empowers everyone else around him. That’s a trait that Simmons is proud of in his character. We hope to see more of that next year!

Show EP Jeff Bell and Marvel TV Exec Jeph Loeb spilled some illuminating details about the timeline of when the decision was made that season seven would be the final season. According to Loeb, they were in the middle of filming season six when ABC called and asked if they wanted to do another season. That was when, collectively, all those involved decided that they would do one final season, “so that we can end it on our terms, so that we can tell the story that we want to tell.” That was in contrast to, for example, how things went with season five. At that point, as Bell pointed out, they “let Agent Coulson die on an island in Tahiti” because they thought that was going to be it. That meant that when the network wanted a sixth season at that point, the writers had to come up with Sarge as “the anti-Coulson”. Loeb joked that their big idea for yet another new direction for the show in season seven will be focused around “Deke Shaw in red leather pants”. Ooh, spoiler!

When asked to name a favorite story arc from the whole show, Bell spoke for the writers in saying that season four was probably their top favorite. The fact that they were able to go from Ghost Rider, to the Darkhold and then LMDs, to the Framework, with each of those as its own self-contained arc but still interconnected, is something they’re proud of from a “geeky writer” standpoint. Loeb, on the other hand, could only narrow it down to “the episodes between the pilot and the last episode.” We see what you’re saying, definitely.

Make sure to watch the full videos for more insights and tidbits – and if you haven’t caught up on every episode of season six of Agents of SHIELD on ABC yet, don’t forget to remedy that as soon as you can!