'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.': Elizabeth Henstridge dissects Simmons' Hydra bombshell
Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Tuesday’s episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has turned the tables on Hydra.
After the big reveal last season that Hydra had infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. at the very highest of levels, it seemed impossible to figure out who to trust—which Coulson (Clark Gregg) finally used to their advantage. When the show returned for its sophomore run, Agent Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) was no longer with the team, though audiences still saw her as a manifestation of Fitz’s (Iain De Caestecker) damaged brain. This week, we learned that Simmons was not only working for Hydra, but she was actually doing so under Coulson’s orders.
It wasn’t long before the team discovered the truth that she had left their family to gain access to intel from Hydra as both organizations raced to get their hands on Donnie Gill (Dylan Minnette), otherwise known as Blizzard, who first appeared last season. It turns out, however, that Blizzard was already an agent of Hydra who had been brainwashed—a fate that could befall Simmons if Hydra discovers the truth that she’s actually still working for S.H.I.E.L.D. What’s next for the wily scientist? EW caught up with Henstridge to get the scoop:
How did you feel when you found out Simmons was actually undercover as a Hydra agent?
They sent us all the first episode and it was revealed that Simmons was imaginary. They took me aside and said she’s coming back, but she’s just gone for a second and roughly explained that she would be working undercover in Hydra. You just never know because they could tell you, “Oh, don’t worry, you’re undercover,” but then they could turn it around and say, “Oh, you’re not actually undercover. You’re a triple agent.” They tell you what you need to know to act your scenes, but anything after that, you never know. Any of us could still be Hydra. You can never relax too much on that, but I knew she would be undercover straight away.
Did you get a lot of hate tweets after it was insinuated in the promo last week that she was a Hydra agent?
Some people thought it was cool, but a lot of people guessed what they’re trying to do. I didn’t know that they were going to make the promotion look like she was Hydra. I was like, “No! They can’t make people think she is.” I felt bad for her that people were thinking she was something that she isn’t. I was definitely one of the ones like, “No, she can’t be!”
The team now knows the truth, but there’s probably still hurt feelings over her leaving without an explanation. When she does reunite with them, will it be rough going?
Definitely. Right now, after seeing episode three, Fitz doesn’t know where she is. So whoever was on the mission knows, but Fitz doesn’t. He’s left in the dark. When she does eventually return, it’s going to be different for everyone. It will be difficult for her to acclimate back into that environment. Routine is very important to her and she’s gotten used to being in a different routine, so when she goes back, that will be a whole new challenge. She was away for a while, so there’s bonding that potentially happens and experiences that she’s not going to been apart of, so it’ll be difficult for sure.
Will we find out how her going under cover all went down, like whether it was her choice or just an assignment?
We find out how that came about in some respect. I’m not sure how much depth we’ll go into it, but the reason as to why she left becomes apparent.
Does she feel a sense of guilt over what happened to Fitz, who sacrificed himself to save her life?
Oh yeah. She feels a huge amount of guilt. There’s a lot of emotions happening. A lot of it revolves around Fitz and Ward (Brett Dalton). She feels a lot of anger and resentment at the situation. When something catastrophic happens to someone you love, or a situation arises that affects people you love the most, if that’s the first time you’ve been in that position, you never really know what to do. She left thinking that was the right thing to do, but you never really know if it is or not. There’s a lot to be repaired in that relationship.
After Fitz admitted his feelings for her, she didn’t really reciprocate. Will however she feels back ever be addressed and do you think they can ever repair their relationship?
I don’t think they’ll ever get back to the way they were before. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. Life moves forward and you have to deal with whatever it throws at you. It will be addressed as to how she feels. Right now, Fitz isn’t really in a mental state to be able to take on that burden. He has to concentrate on getting better and healing. Simmons will keep a lot of stuff to herself just because she doesn’t want to put that burden on him. The most important thing right now is that he gets better. If she’s going to have to sacrifice herself for that, then she’ll do that. Whether that will get resolved now or further down the line when Fitz is more able to have that conversation, that’s to be seen.
Simmons has never been a particularly great liar. Will she continue to struggle being at Hydra?
This is where we see that actually she is quite a good liar these days. She’s worked on her weaknesses and can turn them around to work for her. It’s not that she’s necessarily comfortable being undercover. It’s a necessity that she wouldn’t choose if she had to. She’s worked at it, and the fact that everybody thinks she’s a terrible liar is working for her at this point because they won’t be suspecting that she’s undercover or that she has ulterior motives. She’s a smart cookie and she’s figured out what her weaknesses are and figured out how to use them to her advantage.
She’s now moving up the ranks at Hydra, but there is the threat that if anyone did figure her out, they could ultimately brainwash her.
You should be worried. She’s wanted to move up in Hydra and be in a position where she can provide more information. She’s achieving that at the end of this episode. Whether she’s fully realized it or not, that’s going to come with an awful lot more danger and potential brain washing. She doesn’t know exactly what it is that they’ve done to Donnie Gill, but she knows it’s something mental that he can’t control. She’s now in a very dangerous situation, but she has Agent Coulson on her side, who knows that she’s there, so it’s not like she’s alone.
Because she’s with Hydra, is there a chance she might cross paths with Skye’s father (Kyle MacLachlan)?
Maybe. [Laughs] That would be fun.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.