Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Tuesday’s episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Read at your own risk!
Man, Coulson truly is unlucky-in-love.
Just when S.H.I.E.L.D.’s fearless leader was finally starting to find happiness with Rosalind Price (Constance Zimmer), she was assassinated in cold blood by Ward (Brett Dalton) as payback for the death of Agent 33. Desperate to get revenge, Coulson (Clark Gregg) targeted Ward’s brother, which ultimately helped in locating where Hydra was holding Fitz (Iain de Caestecker) and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge).
Unfortunately, Hydra sent Ward and Fitz through the portal to bring back the monstrous Inhuman from the other side — and Coulson hitched a ride, too! EW caught up with Zimmer to get the scoop on Price’s untimely death:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When you joined the show, did you always know Rosalind’s fate?
CONSTANCE ZIMMER: No, not at all. We did know that we had a rough estimate of how many episodes I was going to do, because I’m on another show, [Lifetime’s UnREAL]. But we never knew if I was going to die, or if I was going to write a Dear John letter. I had no idea. Please, I didn’t even know if I was good or bad. I didn’t know what was happening. I was just like, “Okay, I’m just here to be mysterious, so that’s what I’m going to do.”
What was it like filming her death? Was there a little part of you that was sad to say goodbye to this character?
A little part? It was absolutely devastating. Clark and I, those are real tears. It was devastating. It was super sad, especially because the date is so sweet, and then it just turns into a bloody death. It’s horrifying. It’s like your worst nightmare.
How do you think Price felt in learning that she’d been working for Hydra?
Incredibly guilty, because I believe that she thought, “Oh, sh–, have I now given them information that Coulson gave to me secretly, and not knowing that they were bad, I might’ve given them something that weakens S.H.I.E.L.D.” I think there was a lot of guilt in that realization. “Oh no, what have I done?” Which is why it’s such a bummer, because I feel like from here on out, they could’ve formed such a great team against them. Ultimately, it’s still good because it gave Coulson the strength he needed to take down Ward.
Do you ultimately see her as a good guy?
Yes, I do. She had to be good, because there are good people in the world. Not everybody is out to stab somebody in the back. For me, Rosalind was always good. It was a matter of her trying to figure out if what Coulson was doing was good. When she realized they were both working for the same cause is when it became more of, “Oh, I really like you. You’re kind of like me, but you’re a boy.” [Laughs]
Was it challenging for you as an actor not knowing whether she was good or bad?
It was a fun challenge, because it allowed me to play certain lines in a way I wouldn’t do them. Looking back, I probably would’ve done lines differently, like if I knew she was good. But in the beginning, when I really had no idea, it allowed me to do things the opposite. Something that could’ve been perceived as a line of somebody being bad, I made super sweet or flirty, causing it to constantly be a questioning character. I never wanted to people to know, because I didn’t know. I wanted all of us to be in this mysterious world of, “Well, that could be bad, but she’s so honest, so maybe it’s not bad.”
How does Price’s death reverberate with everyone moving forward?
Oy. We know what it does to Coulson. We see that immediately, as far as what it does to his soul, and how I think it gives him that super strength that you hear about when people are faced with horrific situations. It affecting him will then affect everybody else. They have a lot to deal with. It’s going to be bigger than all of them coming up. I think the power of love is something that we don’t get to see very much in that Marvel world because a lot of them are so scared. I love that Rosalind and Coulson kind of started that, to show that good can come from love and trusting people and breaking down your barriers.
So you think they really did love each other?
I do. I really do. She loved him when she brought those burgers in when her house was burglarized. He just didn’t get it, because he was like, “Why is this person being so nice to me? There must be something wrong.” He’s that guy. There are guys and girls that when sometimes somebody is too nice to you, you’re like, “Oh, there must be something wrong with you.” We always are looking for the person that’s the challenge, that’s mean to us. For some reason, we like that. When you find that person that’s just 100 percent nice to you for no reason except that they like you, it’s always a bit of a shock. I think that’s why Rosalind was always good. It’s fun that the audience got to believe it at the same time that Coulson got to believe it, which is why I think [the episode] is very sad.
Is there a chance we’ll see Rosalind back via flashback at any point?
Anything is possible. It’s Marvel. I feel like — I’ll keep it at that. I’ll put a period after that statement.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.