Clark Gregg Shares the 6 Reasons to Watch ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’


Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. may all be back on the same planet, but as Tuesday’s midseason premiere reveals, there’s still a lot of work left to be done before the world is considered “saved.”

Not only did Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) go rogue and kill Grant Ward (Brett Dalton)—in front of Fitz (Iain de Caestecker) no lessbut unbeknownst to the S.H.I.E.L.D. team, the Inhuman on the blue planet where Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) was trapped took Ward’s form and returned to Earth to partner up with Hydra’s latest head, Gideon Malick (Powers Booth).

With the next half of the season kicking off tonight, we caught up with the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. himself, Clark Gregg and asked him what’s coming up. Here’s what he had to say:

1. Killing Ward will have a “deep” and “profound” effect on Coulson… “From the moment Ward took out Rosalind Price, it was a different Coulson than I’ve ever seen,” says Gregg. “As Coulson, I have very complex feelings that could really defend killing Ward on that planet. I could really condemn [it] for the simple reason that, when the people who are entrusted with protection and justice take the law into their own hands, they forfeit that trust. It’s something we keep playing out in our culture, and it’s a line that Coulson has crossed.” The effects will play out for quite some time. “[Coulson] is trying to make sense of what has happened and who he is and what he’s entitled to anymore.”

2. …And it will play out in his relationship with Fitz.“The fact that Fitz saw and knows what [Coulson] has done creates a very complex dynamic in their relationship,” Gregg explains. “What I like about the way this season’s been written is that there’s no simple resolutions for this stuff. There’s episodes coming up in the back half where Coulson seems really haunted and messed up. Then there’s times he seems to be in denial and pushing it away. And yet I feel that it’s lurking out there waiting to blow up in his face. That’s very much manifested in how willing or able either he or Fitz are able to talk about it.”

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3. The rest of the team will sense this change in Coulson.
“Going into the episode, everybody is really clear that on some level he snapped,” Gregg shares. “On some level, he was pushed too far. It’s why he gave the directorship temporarily to Mack. He needed to act not as a director but as a man, as more like a field agent who had a score to settle. [The team] will have their own different feelings about that probably inflected by how much pain, betrayal, physical damage that Ward’s inflicted on them directly.”

4. Coulson will still focus on taking down Hydra—more specifically, Gideon Malick.
Says Gregg, “Malick’s the last score he has to settle on his radar. He has no idea that Malick has already realigned himself with whatever ‘It’ is walking around with him like Grant Ward.” But that’s not all the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be working on. “At the same time, he knows there are Inhumans popping up all over the planet from Terrigenesis and they don’t know what they are, and some are good and some are bad. At some point, he’s got to get around to supporting Daisy’s efforts to create the Secret Warriors.”

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5. Everyone else will be working on the Secret Warriors.
“We’re busy pretty quickly with restarting the process of Secret Warriors and incorporating some of the people that we’ve met, and that we’ll soon meet, who are Inhumans and seem like they might be a good fit,” reveals Gregg. “In the first couple of episodes back we get a more active presence within S.H.I.E.L.D. from Juan Pablo Raba, who plays Joey. I suspect that will continue.”

6. The philosophy behind why Inhumans exist will be explored.
“There are [Inhumans] who were students of Jiaying, Daisy’s mom, who feel that it’s a fabric and that they are all complementary and that they’re meant to fulfill some unified effort,” says Gregg, of how some of the Inhumans will view their newfound powers. “And suddenly there are people who are Inhumans who are very dangerous, and [other Inhumans] are the only way to deal with them. It puts Daisy in a very uncomfortable position and it creates an ‘us’ and ‘them’ vibe on the team that puts every character in a complex position.”

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns tonight at 9/8c on ABC.