Warning: This story contains major spoilers from the midseason finale of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Read at your own risk!
It’s been two seasons in the making, but Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. finally rid the world of a great evil: Ward. But, naturally, there was a twist!
In the midseason finale, Ward (Brett Dalton) and Fitz (Iain de Caestecker) set out to find the portal home on the ancient planet, enlisting Simmons’ (Elizabeth Henstridge) lost love Will (Dillon Casey) to help. Unfortunately, Will wasn’t actually Will, but It, the evil Inhuman whom Hydra was desperate to bring back to Earth.
Fitz was able to light It up, preventing his return to earth, but unable to stop Coulson (Clark Gregg) from enacting his revenge on Ward by killing him. Twist! It wasn’t dead, so he took on Ward’s body — much like he did with Will — and returned to Earth ready to… well, it’s unclear what exactly the personification of evil plans to do. That’s why EW tracked down executive producer Jed Whedon, who very vaguely teased what’s next:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Is the Ward that we knew really truly officially dead?
JED WHEDON: It’s safe to say that he didn’t make it out of there the same. He was definitely left for dead and not breathing when Coulson walked away from him, so take from that what you will.
Obviously Brett Dalton is sticking around, but what came with the decision to kill off or say goodbye to the Ward that we’ve known since the series started?
We certainly don’t think of it as removing him. We think of it as a change. He’s one of our favorite characters and will continue to be.
Speaking of villains that Marvel likes to keep around, even the movie guys know they can’t always go back to the Loki well. At what point is this delaying the inevitable that you can’t always have Ward there as a villain?
That’s a tricky question. One of the things that’s great about Brett is that every challenge that we’ve thrown at him, he seems to become more and more interesting. This is a wrinkle for him. Where it will go, we cannot say.
What are we supposed to call It?
It. You will soon discover what It is.
What can you say of what It does want or how powerful It really is?
We do know certain things. We know that at least Will and Simmons believed that It had caused the desolation on the other planet. We know that It was able to inhabit Will. We know that It was able to remember things that Will knew. That’s the ammo that we go in knowing. Where that will go and what that means, we’ll have to wait and see.
Are we going to learn more about these ancient cities that were on this planet? Maybe get some flashbacks to see how It drove them to civil war?
Anything’s a possibility. But we did blow up the portal. There is a history there and perhaps we will unravel it. I guess I can just say “Maybe?!”
How much will Malick (Powers Boothe) play a role in the second half of the season?
We’d be fools not to use him more. We couldn’t be bigger fans of his portrayal of the role. We knew going in that we were going to get some bang for our buck, and we’ve been loving writing the character. We love the way he’s attacking the scenes. We plan on keeping him around, because we’d be idiots not to.
Since Lash killed all of Hydra’s Inhumans, will they be searching for new ones?
Inhumans are in the world. Hydra is a bad organization that wants to do bad things. I have a feeling they’re not going to give up that agenda, but they’ll have some new objectives as well.
Are we finally going to see more of the Secret Warriors coming in?
You’ll get an answer to that question when we come back in 900 months. Pretty quickly we’ll see how the team is being approached and how they plan on managing this. We’ll maybe meet some new characters.
How does killing Ward change Coulson?
I think you could get the notion from that final frame that it’s not sitting well. Ward even calls him out saying, “I used to be just like you.” He, a little bit, became what he always fights against. That’ll inform the way that Coulson approaches things moving forward. Ward got what he wanted. He proved himself right when he said to Coulson, “We’re not that different.” But Coulson, in that moment, the emotion got to him.
Will Coulson spend his time trying to repent or has he fallen down a well, so to speak?
Part of being a spy is moving forward. He will have no choice but to continue as though nothing has happened, but it’s a question of how it affects him emotionally. It’s fair to say that every week something bad happens to these people. He’s not going to have a chance to dwell on it, but it’s definitely going to be something that rattles him.
Fitz has a lot of blood on his hands as well. What are we seeing for him moving forward?
That’s what we love about the look between them at the end, it feels like a victory, but neither of them feel it was. I don’t think that Fitz had as much of a choice that Coulson did, but he’s certainly not happy about it. That’s why we love that last moment. Everyone is greeting them, it’s a triumph, but for them — and partially, of course, for Simmons — it doesn’t feel like a victory.
How will Simmons deal with Will’s death, especially knowing that he died saving her?
She’s a good person, so she’ll have the appropriate reaction. To say that [Fitz and Simmons’] relationship got complicated this year would be a little bit of an understatement. It’s a huge loss for her, but it’s more of a question of how it’ll affect her and Fitz moving forward when there are so many conflicting feelings between them at all times, and now there’s even more.
Can Simmons let Will go?
We’ll see. She sure did like him. He was a nice fella.
Even though Fitz didn’t kill Will per se, he did kill the Will that was inhabited by It. Will he be forthcoming to Simmons about that?
It is a little bit of a technicality. He did get to shoot his rival with multiple objects, but I don’t think he had a choice. He wishes it could’ve gone another way, but I don’t think he sees another way that it could’ve gone. Hopefully Simmons will be understanding of that, but we’ll see.
Are May and Coulson finally on good terms?
Nothing brings people together like suffering. They’ve both suffered almost unimaginable losses. They’ve always been close. Those are the sort of things that bring people back together. Their friendship is very special, both to them and to us. Their scenes together, you can feel the history, and feel their friendship. Having both suffered so much, it only follows logic that they would end up being driven together by it.
What role is Andrew playing in the second half of the season? Is May trying to track him down?
It’s not being put to rest, I’ll say that.
We have a big bad Inhuman in It and we have a big bad Inhuman hunter in Lash. Could Andrew be the saving grace?
These are all very good questions. You should do this for a living. [Laughs] I can’t really answer that, but that’s a very interesting theory.
What does that Lincoln-Daisy kiss mean moving forward?
There’s nothing like sacrificing yourself for the good of the entire team, but making it to show a little affection. It’s at long last.
Will we see them dating?
We just might see some dating. It’s about time someone had a decent time.
Can you talk about some of the themes that you’re going to be exploring in the second half?
Even though we do break the season up, we feel that the season as a whole is one arc. We are still exploring the themes of what it means to be human and Inhuman. What does it mean to all these people when they have to live with their actions? Are they capable of the things their enemies are capable of? We’ve answered some of those questions, but we’ll continue asking them. What is the true nature of a person? Is everybody capable of everything if put in a terrible position? Or is there true good and a true evil?
You’ve given a lot of can’t say answers, so what’s one thing you can say?
I can say that we will see more Secret Warriors.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns Tuesday, March 8 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.