'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' bosses talk Kree, Inhumans and the midseason finale
Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Tuesday’s episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
It’s the moment Marvel fans have been waiting for since pretty much the beginning of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The blue alien that saved Coulson’s (Clark Gregg) life was finally revealed to be Kree, the same aliens seen in Guardians of the Galaxy. While it’s not surprising, since many fans had already surmised as much, it does raise many burning questions, namely whether Skye (Chloe Bennet) is actually an Inhuman.
You’ve probably heard the word Inhuman a lot lately, especially after Marvel announced an Inhumans movie slated for Nov. 2, 2018. While diehard fans are salivating over the possibilities, it left many casual moviegoers confused. What’s an Inhuman? In short, they’re test subjects whose DNAs were tinkered with, combining human and alien traits. Why am I explaining this? Because it seems fairly obvious that Raina (Ruth Negga) revealed to Skye that she is an Inhuman.
After having dreams of the Obelisk petrifying her, Skye helped rescue Raina, who reveals that the Kree wanted to change Earth, so they left the Diviner behind so those who are worthy—like Raina and Skye—could take it to the temple and bring about change. Though Skye thinks she’s alien, Raina says they’re human, they just have the potential to be more. It all just screams Inhuman. Even if Skye doesn’t actually have abilities yet, that just means she needs to go through the Terrigen Mist!
But I digress from this nerdy overture. Let’s take these questions, instead, to executive producers Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen, who also discuss Mack’s (Henry Simmons) fate and what the temple really is… because it’s totally Attilan, right?
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How early on had you guys decided that the alien was Kree?
JED WHEDON: We obviously showed this body a year ago at around this time. When we were breaking that and sussing out what this arc would be, we had to have a lot of the pieces in place from the get go. Yes, we had to talk to features about what their plans were and where they were going. It’s been a while.
Does this count as your tie-in to Guardians of the Galaxy?
MAURISSA TANCHAROEN: There’s more to explore with the Kree.
WHEDON: It is a very far away other galaxy, so it’s a little bit harder to have one of them walk into our set, so a direct tie-in is a little bit more challenging, but it’s all one universe, so there’s always opportunity for more.
What does the alien being Kree mean for the storyline in the future? Are we talking about Inhumans here?
WHEDON: That’s why there’s more episodes to come!
TANCHAROEN: You will see how this Kree fact that we all now know plays out.
WHEDON: It also helps tie us into the cinematic universe. In Guardians, we saw parts in our universe that we hadn’t explored yet, so it shows we’re a part of that too.
Raina tells Skye that she’s human, she just has the potential to be more. Would you say that’s your “Aha!” moment or is there something more definitive coming in the midseason finale?
WHEDON: There’s always stuff coming. Right now, we’re on Skye’s journey with her. Anything she learns, hopefully it resonates with the audience. She doesn’t know what to think. She’s gotten mixed signals. And Raina is not exactly the most trustworthy person, but it seems like she’s telling what she believes.
TANCHAROEN: It’s not like she buys everything. It’s not that she wants to allow herself to believe everything that Raina says. She is listening to these discoveries with some doubt.
Let’s talk about the temple. Fans are theorizing that it is the Inhumans city Attilan. Will this place get a name?
WHEDON: We will know what our characters know. If they get more on this, then yes. Right now, it’s still a big mystery.
During the opening of the episode, Skye was having dreams—or should I call them premonitions? Is this what makes her so fearful of what’s to come?
TANCHAROEN: She’s having some gut feelings and they are manifesting in her dreams. Are the dreams foreshadowing something? Perhaps.
WHEDON: Mainly, they serve to show how afraid she is of all of this. In the audience’s mind, there’s a little bit of a sense of not obsession, but her interest in this lifelong journey of finding her parents. All of this is tied together emotionally.
TANCHAROEN: Everything is coming to a head.
Can you talk about Skye’s mindset when she hugs Coulson before he goes to the temple?
TANCHAROEN: When we first met Skye, she’s always been someone who goes off of instinct and impulse. Through the course of this season, in her training with May, she’s toned that down and learned how to be an agent, suppressed emotion and been there for the fight first. It’s a nice moment that brings us back to the old Skye and the heart of her relationship with Coulson, which will always have elements of a father-daughter relationship. For some reason, she feels more concerned than usual about this mission, so she gives him a hug. It’s just a nice way to see that she’s that old Skye that acts on impulse and wants to show she cares.
Now Skye is with Ward (Brett Dalton) en route to meet her dad (Kyle MacLachlan). Is it safe to assume this meeting will be fraught with tension?
WHEDON: Their relationship is just beginning. We will definitely see it develop in one way or another.
TANCHAROEN: It’s hard to let go of that lifelong hope of meeting your birth parents and having your parents be people that you’ve always wished them to be, but she’s been faced with the reality of who he really is, and she’s seen dead bodies in his wake. She’s still grappling with that inside.
Will Skye and Ward’s relationship also be contentious when we pick up in the next episode?
WHEDON: She’s not his biggest fan. Everybody has a reason for being the way they are. Ward has his. Whether or not she can reconcile that with his actions, that’s the question. Right now, it feels like she can’t.
It feels like Skye is going to be facing some choices in the midseason finale. Is that a fair assumption to make?
WHEDON: It’s an assumption, but it’s a fair one. They’ve been trying to stop Hydra and it’s led them to where they are going, but the question is whether or not they would’ve gone there anyway.
Mack and Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki) said they have some “other thing” going on. Is there anything you can tease?
WHEDON: We cannot comment on that.
Is Mack actually dead or will we see him again in the midseason finale?
WHEDON: You’ll have to tune in. That question will be answered quickly.
Though Fitz said he would vacate his position in the lab so Simmons could take charge, they seemed to work well outside the temple. Will Fitz rethink his declaration?
TANCHAROEN: At the core of their relationship, they will always be the FitzSimmons that we first met. Despite the new boundaries and the shift in the dynamic, they’ll always work well together.
WHEDON: Tense circumstances will either bring you together or push you apart, so we’ll be exploring that with them.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.