[TV] Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Producers Discuss Big Plot Twists, Keeping Secrets (SPOILERS)
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 04.10.2014
Big spoilers for the last episode inside...
Okay, so if you haven't watched Tuesday's episode of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. yet, be warned: there are massive spoilers here. Producers Jeff Loeb and Jeffrey Bell spoke with IGN about the seismic shift that took place in the show following the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and more. Check out the highlights:
Jeffrey Bell on introducing the show knowing that it would change dramatically after Winter Soldier: "Well, you know, we're part of the Marvel Movie Universe, so with respect to that we talked to them when we first started and they said, "Oh, you really should read Captain America: The Winter Soldier. This is what's happening." So we've known about that from the beginning. We knew that was coming down the pipe, so we just jumped in an embraced it."
Loeb on the same: "Yeah, I'm not sure if any of us thought of it as a reset, but simply as where the story was going all along. If you go back and take a look at things we set up in the pilot and that we continue to pay off as we go along, this was always the plan. I think it's what Jeff, Jed and Maurissa like to talk about a lot -- you know, this is the challenge of telling a 22-episode season. You have to make these kinds of bold choices in order to keep your audience off their pins."
Loeb on whether the final five episodes is being viewed as sort of a 'mini-season' or a setup for what's next: "Yes and yes. There's a whole new dynamic. We have revealed to the audience that Ward is Hydra, but our team does not know that yet. So we have many cards to still turn over in the last five episodes."
Bell on the reaction to Ward's betrayal: "In light of The Winter Soldier and the story of The Winter Soldier, we're getting particular pleasure in how divided the very vocal reaction to last night is over whether or not Ward is in fact a bad guy. Is he doing this of his own volition? Is he not doing this of his own volition? What's great is, we are having that debate with our cast -- on the show, not personally.
On whether there were discussions about who might betray the team or if it was always Ward:"You're assuming that's the end of the story."
Loeb on Brett Dalton only knowing two episodes before: "Brett is a terrific actor, and he's so much fun with the "ships" [i.e. Skye & Ward, May & Ward], but it was absolutely something that we spent a great deal of time talking about, because we needed him to be as honest as he could be and be that person for as long as he could be and not have to ever worry about, "Am I lying in this scene? Am I not lying in this scene?" So in a way, when you put an actor through -- particularly when it's a new show and people are getting to know each other and getting to know their relationships with each other -- you want that to be as honest as can be. So it felt like the right thing to do."
Bell on whether Garrett is definitely the Clairvoyant: "We love the fact that you're still questioning it, but let me put it this way: you'll know after next week the answer to that question..."
Bell on whether Victoria Hand and the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are truly dead: "Let's say that Ward definitely killed them...It's the Marvel Universe... But he definitely put three shots in her, and he killed her."
Bell on Hand telling Coulson that they're the highest-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. agents left: "That's as far as they know. Let's make sure that it's clear that they're living in a world where the SHIELD satellites have been compromised. They have very little information in terms of what's going on, and so in many ways they're like the viewers. They don't really know what's coming."
Bell n whether we'll see Coulson deal with all the personal losses in the plot twist: "Yeah, I would say that's what we do well on television, is focus on the interpersonal, the emotional, the psychological of that. In the movie, a giant Helicarrier crashes into the Triskelion -- a giant, awesome fight -- and we really get to deal with the ramifications of that and the interpersonal stuff that comes out of that.
Loeb on Cobie Smulders returning as Maria Hill: "It couldn't happen soon enough, couldn't happen often enough. We're such huge fans of Cobie [Smulders], and she's been such a huge fan. She's stayed in touch with us. It really just came down to, more than anything else, she had to finish that little, tiny, nobody-watched, CBS, comedy, half-hour, gigantic, juggernaut of a show. Really, hats off to the guys at CBS for accommodating us at the time when we needed her to come back into our storyline."
On the chances of Emily VanCamp playing Agent 13 on the show: "Let's just put it this way: everybody in the Marvel Universe is always up for grabs. So we're doing our best to accommodate what's best for story. That's the first place we go. We don't go out and hunt down people based on, "Well, do we wonder whether or not we can get them?" What we do is, we create a story, and then we approach the actor depending upon their schedule and depending upon where they are in the Marvel Universe. Look, that's how Jaimie Alexander happened. We hit on a terrific story for Lady Sif to come into our world. We wanted to have an opportunity to introduce the character Lorelei. It was just the process of trying to figure out when Jaimie could be available to us. Again, she was fantastic. We've had tremendous luck with our guest stars, in how much they not only have told us they want to be on the show, but they want to come back. So that's the kind of thing we love hearing."
Bell on the big secrets not coming out until they happened: "There are literally hundreds of people who managed to keep this a secret. It's so hard to do nowadays. We were thrilled this week, the fact that it started to air, and then, "Okay, this has not gotten out. Spectacular.""
Bell on looking where the Hydra storyline can go from the final episodes of this season and the next: "Absolutely. We have not been able to say the "H" word for 16 episodes. All season long, we didn't even write the "H" word down in case somebody walked into the offices. Our scripts didn't have the "H" word. It was like East Germany during the Cold War...It really was funny, because we would send the scripts to the network, and they'd basically be redacted scripts. There would be other words where other things had to be in there. Then we'd have to have a conversation before they read it and after they read it to remind them, "Well, that's not what really happens in this scene. We just had to write a scene so that we could budget it, but that dialogue's all going to change.""