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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. postmortem: Was Price really working with Hydra?

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John Fleenor/ABC

Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Tuesday’s episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

After quite literally sleeping with the enemy, Coulson (Clark Gregg) set out to uncover the truth about the ATCU during Tuesday’s episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

There’s some good news and bad news on that front. The good is that Price (Constance Zimmer) did not know the ATCU was working under the guidance of Hydra. But the bad is that Hydra has been administering the terrigen-tainted fish oil to the ATCU employees to amass an army of Inhumans to be led by the scary monster Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) encountered on that other planet. Malick (Powers Boothe) even promises to help kill Coulson if Ward (Brett Dalton) works toward bringing that Inhuman back to rule Earth — NBD. How will Coulson and his team prevent that? EW turned to Gregg to get the scoop:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY How does confronting Price this way affect their relationship? Are they basically done on the romantic front?

CLARK GREGG: I would not say that it’s done. Certainly their relationship got put to a pretty severe test, but it all shakes down in a way that their motives stand up to that kind of scrutiny. There’s nobody more likely to understand the need to get to the bottom of the truth about this kind of thing more than each other.

Hydra is known playing the long game — thousands of years long! Can he really trust Price now or is there a part of him that is still wary?

I would like to say that unlike all the other members of my species — being males — that Coulson is going to let his reasonable, rational mind govern his actions when it comes to this kind of thing, but I don’t think he’s that much different than everybody else. He has very strong feelings about her, perhaps feelings that surprise him. What we discover in Tuesday’s episode is that even those kind of feelings don’t top his dedication to protecting the people he’s tasked with protecting. It would take a lot to make him just walk away.

Will the team trust his judgment still working with Price?

They’ve been giving me sh– about it since the beginning of the season. Between Mack (Henry Simmons) and Daisy (Chloe Bennet), I get all these sideways glances like I don’t have the sense that God gave a chicken, that I’m just getting my head turned and throwing caution to the wind. That’s one of the things that I enjoy about this episode. That’s the look they’ve all been giving me, and they think Coulson has invited Rosalind to the base just because he’s just lost his mind. In fact, it turns out I’m the worst new boyfriend ever, because I’m invading her home while she’s visiting me. I don’t feel like Coulson comes out of this episode feeling that she’s Hydra. In his gut, he feels like she’s another person who has been used and duped by Hydra. Whether that turns out to be true or not is not something I can say, unless I want to suddenly find myself turning Hydra and getting knocked off.

Through Price, will Coulson deduce that he’s become a major target for Hydra?

It’s hard to separate how much they want to infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D. and how much it’s anybody having a personal vendetta against him. When I saw that, I thought it’s kind of flattering. Going from the destruction of S.H.I.E.L.D. at the end of season 2 to not quite midway into season 3 and everybody wants Coulson dead, in a way, that’s very flattering for a director of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Knowing what they do about the ATCU’s plans to amass an Inhuman army, what is S.H.I.E.L.D. facing in going up against them?

It’s very bad news. All of these Inhumans that Rosalind and the ATCU have been collecting and putting in stasis were just immediately shipped out to Hydra. It certainly suggests they’re building an Inhuman army of their own with perhaps the opposite objective to the Secret Warriors that Coulson is trying to build. Suddenly you’re looking at the potential of very powered forces and enhanced Inhuman forces representing polar opposite objectives. That sounds like it could be a war of some kind that will not be civil in nature, while at the same time being very civil in nature. Now we’ve got enhanced individuals on both sides — on S.H.I.E.L.D.’s side and Hydra’s side — and that just sounds terrifying to the director of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Does this all ramp up the need to get Secret Warriors up and running?

It certainly has been sidetracked a little bit because of the need to deal with getting Simmons back from the planet, and deal with the ATCU and this outbreak of Inhumans, which wasn’t really even something that we were aware of when Coulson started to build Secret Warriors. It feels to me that the task of building Secret Warriors will have to go into overdrive now.

What steps will S.H.I.E.L.D. take to prevent the ATCU from bringing this Inhuman back from that planet?

The It! That’s a big problem coming up. They want whatever It is.

What can you tease about It and how big of a bad guy he really is?

Biggest ever.

Do you even know what It is at this point?

I know a lot more than I did a week ago. All I can tell you is of all the things we’ve done on this show, and all the scripts I’ve read, this one — for a fan of the comics — had a couple of images and ideas in terms of that, that blew my mind more than anything I’ve read. I was like, “Wait a minute! What?!” I’m really personally very excited about what’s going on leading into the midseason finale and afterwards. It ties the Hydra-Inhuman elements together in a way that I think makes a lot of the questions that you’re asking make a lot of sense.

Could the stone that Malick possesses be the key for Fitz and Simmons to get back to that planet?

Hey, there’s a smart idea. Getting warmer!

We know that Ward is desperate to kill Coulson. What does their next face-to-face look like?

Come on, bro! I can’t say anything about that. [Laughs]

Are May (Ming-Na Wen) and Coulson OK at this point?

Hard to say. We’ve both been quite absorbed in our own very separate and very different extremely dysfunctional romantic relationships. I look forward to the point — which should come at some point in the not-too-distant future — where they reconnect.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.