Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Tuesday’s episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Being the hero doesn’t always pay off.
Agent Antoine Triplett (B.J. Britt) learned that the hard way during Tuesday’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. after going back into the city to save Skye (Chloe Bennet). Unfortunately, he paid the price for his heroism when he got caught in the temple just as the Obelisk seemingly petrified Skye and Raina (Ruth Negga). Trip destroyed the crystals from the Obelisk, but was petrified himself in the process. When Skye shook off her transformation, the quaking of the temple caused Trip to crumble—so yes, he’s really dead. EW caught up with Britt to find out how it all went down below. (Read our interview with the showrunners to get the scoop on what’s next.)
EW: When did you find out Trip was actually going to die?
B.J. BRITT: Nooo! I don’t want to die. [Laughs]. I found out a week prior to getting the script that Trip was going to die. We don’t get the scripts ahead of time, we always find out what’s going to happen in the next episode when we show up at the table read, or maybe a day before the table read. I remember it like it was yesterday. I just finished a scene at the end of the day, and I was back to my trailer, and they said, “Hey, B.J.! Producers want to see you at the office.” My stomach just dropped and I was like, “Oh, hell.” So then I’m like, don’t freak out, it might be an arc, keeping my spirits up. You get the butterflies in your stomach. Then I walked up to the office and all the producers were there and it was like, “Oh hell….how does he die?” I knew it; I just knew it when they were all there. They were like “B.J., we’re sorry, so sorry…” They told me ahead of time, which I’m very, very grateful for, because I didn’t want to show up to the table read and find out there. As soon as I left, they told the rest of the cast and everybody started calling me and texting me.
What was your last day like on set?
Tears. Tears. A bunch of tears from just everybody. You never realize how close you get to the cast and to the crew until you find out you’re not going to be there every week. On the last day, everybody came down. When I walked out onto the stage, everybody was there, just showing me so much love, everybody claps, and there was waterworks. At the table read, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. We knew what was going to happen at the end for Trip. We just kept reading and Clark looks up at me and he just comes over and gives me a hug, right in the middle of the table read, and it’s like, “Is Clark really trying to make me cry right now?” When we get to the very end when everyone claps and whatever, Clark says, “I think this would be a really good time for a big cast hug,” and everybody comes over and we hug, one big group hug and everything. I kept it together, I was good! I was real good! I opened my mouth and I was like, “Hey everyone, I just want to thank you so much [crying noises].” Then it just went downhill from there and everyone started to cry.
There’s so much love on that show. As an actor, it’s very rare to find so much love, not only among the actors, but at the top with the producers and the writers and the cast and the crew. Everybody just has fun and we have fun, but we also know we have to get the job done. It makes work that much better, it makes work that much more fun. When you have a job like that, you don’t feel like it’s a job like, “Hey, I’m going to hang out with my friends today. I’m going to kick it with them.” That’s exactly how it felt, that’s another reason why it hurt so much. You see these people on a daily basis and now it’s like, “OK, now I won’t see them until we have a BBQ or maybe if someone has like, a holiday party or something.” It just sucked because I miss them so much. They are so wonderful.
Even though his story is cut short, are you glad he went out a hero?
I’m not glad he went out at all [Laughs]. You know what? I think they did an amazing job of how they let him go out. When he came in on the show, no one knew what his job was. Is he Hydra? From day one, Trip has always been a straightforward guy. Trip has shown his courage and leadership as part of the team. Like, I’m glad that Trip saw Skye starting to turn, and without thinking, Trip is like, “This thing has to go. This thing has to go.” I’m glad that they let him go out the way that he did. That made me feel good. It’s going to hurt, regardless. I feel like the fans are going to be hurt. Even when I watched it, I was hurt when Trip died. I was like a big kid coming to work everyday, getting to invest in this whole Marvel universe. I became just as attached to the character as the fans did. It hurts me just as much as it’s going to hurt the fans.
How do you think Trip’s death with resonate with Skye in particular since she’s partially at fault?
Trip and Skye are friends. Their bond started to grow even more and get even stronger. When I ran into the temple, she was even like, “No, what are you doing, get out!” She’s strong herself, she doesn’t need Trip, but Trip is like, “I got to get her out of here.” If the tables were reversed, I would feel the exact same way. I hope that the audience will see that as well. This wasn’t something that she wanted to happen. I think right then, I was defending Skye. She would have my back like would have her back.
A lot of the fans liked the dynamic between Trip and Simmons. Are you sad that you didn’t get to explore what could have been between those two characters?
It would have been interesting to see where that would have went. I don’t think the FitzSimmons fans would appreciate it [Laughs]. But, I would have loved to see his interaction with any of them. Who knows, maybe Trip would have gotten with Raina? We don’t know. It just hurts. You want to see where Trip could go. In my eyes, I felt it was cut short. Of course, the writers have a timeline for everything.
Is there a chance we could see you come back on the show, maybe via flashback?
That would be great. You might want to talk to the writers and producers about that right now. If you could call them, that would be amazing. You never know, like they say, “When you die in the Marvel universe, are you really dead?” Who knows. Right now, Trip is as dead as he could be.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns Tuesday, March 3 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.