Agents of SHIELD: The Art of Evolution: Mockingbird takes center stage -- exclusive
Despite her kick-ass fighting skills, winning snark, and close history with Coulson, Bobbi Morse has been a bit of an enigma ever since she arrived on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. by way of infiltrating Hydra. Come Tuesday, however, we’ll finally learn a little more about her past—and we’ll also learn some history behind why she and Mack are so loyal to “the real S.H.I.E.L.D.”
Given the fact that Mockingbird’s story and her relationships are the focus of “One Door Closes,” Delicious Design League has chosen to give Bobbi the spotlight in this week’s exclusive art. A Chicago-based company founded in 2006 by friends Jason Teegarden-Downs and Billy Baumann, Delicious Design League has illustrated posters, flyers, and more for everyone from Twitter to Firefox to HBO. And their sharp, clear vision for knowing what to highlight made them a no-brainer for an episode that dives into someone who is more complicated than we might think.
Read below for more in our weekly interview, where executive producer Jeff Bell previews what to expect from Bobbi now that her secret has been officially revealed—and what that might mean for the rest of the season.
EW: Every artist in this initiative has been chosen for a particular reason. What made Delicious Design League the right choice for “One Door Closes”?
JEFF BELL: We try to come up with what would be a good fit based on the artist. And what I like about this image, and what I like about them in general, is if you look at their work … from a distance, it’s a simple, clean graphic. It’s visually striking. And you get close, and there’s just a ton of stuff going on. There’s just lots of detail, lots of little things, lots of movement, and I do love that.
Bobbi is someone who has a lot of layers, and they’re starting to get pulled back in terms of who she’s loyal to, who she works with, and what her feelings are. To me, the colors in this poster represent a lot of those complicated layers that might not be visible on the surface.
Looking at you taking the metaphor and making it better! Yes, 100 percent. And also, in printing, these are process colors: magenta, cyan, black and yellow. Those are the basics of all four-color printing. And the fact they sort of embraced the basics like that, kept the basics there and then threw overlaying and complications and made it so much more than that, I think also speaks to the character—me riffing off your lovely reading of it.
I personally love that we’re spotlighting Bobbi in this art. She’s quickly become a favorite, and I’m excited to see her history explored a little more.
Me too. And I think it’s a great spotlight for her. We’re finally explaining “oh, this is why Bobbi and Mack feel the way they do about this whole thing.” I think we really earn their story. It shows you what they’ve been going through is well-earned, and that will all be revealed next week.
And I love the inclusion of the new S.H.I.E.L.D. logo at the bottom. “The real S.H.I.E.L.D.”
It was actually fun for us to come up with. We talked to Marvel and they said, “these guys should have their own!” And so it’s a throwback to the shape of Cap’s original—the old S.H.I.E.L.D. shape—and there are 3 stars on it. So rebuilding that was a lot of fun, and it was a lot of fun to work with the in-house art design department on that.
I know we’ve talked about this before, but I love how this season is really playing around with the “who you really are” motif. Who is the real S.H.I.E.L.D.? Who is Bobbi? Who is Mack?
We’ve worked hard to sort of set that up at the beginning of the season and to run with it, and now that we’re nearing the end, we’re still running with it—hopefully in fresh ways. And so right now, what’s fun is, “oh, HYDRA isn’t so much the antagonist as much as another faction of S.H.I.E.L.D. seems to be the new antagonist.” And when you’re doing 22 episodes, you do have to make those kinds of moves to keep the audience interested.
Episode 15 explores her history with Gonzales (Edward James Olmos). How much has he had a hand in shaping the Bobbi that we’ve come to know?
I don’t know if it’s so much how Gonzales shaped her so much as who Bobbi might really be. She came in here having been undercover at HYDRA and then we reveal she has this secret agenda, so in many ways, as a spy, you keep going “who is she, really?” And I think in 15, you’ll get the clearest sense of this is who she is—this is what she believes in, this is why she does the things she does. And Gonzales is a piece of it, but she comes in with a very clear singular vision of what things are. And there’s a moment in 15 that really defines the direction of her and Gonzales and Mack and a lot of people, that pivots off of her. So I think more than anything, you’ll get a sense of who she is at her core, which I think people will like.
This was Bobbi’s “big” secret, but is it fair to say that’s not the only secret she’s keeping up her sleeve?
I hope she has other secrets, or we’re out of stories! [laughs] This is the big pressing secret she’s had, but clearly, she and Hunter have been keeping secrets from one another, evidently for years. And one of the things I find interesting about her is she seems to be more of an ideologue—she’s loyal to an idea—and sometimes, the short term of what appears to be betrayal or short term conflict is often because of what she views as the greater good. And that’s an interesting character to have in a world where Coulson is much more “we need to protect or save that person.” Are you loyal to a person? Are you loyal to the guy in the bunker next to you? Or are you loyal to the larger concept of what we’re fighting for? And having her represent that, I think, has generated a lot of interesting discussion and story.
And I imagine that with the other S.H.I.E.L.D. finally out there, her relationships will become more interesting as well.
Well, I think now that that’s come to the front, it seems like in general there are now two S.H.I.E.L.D.s: S.H.I.E.L.D., and what we jokingly refer to as S.H.I.E.L.D. 2.0. And I think different people are going to back different sides, and I think sometimes it’s surprising to see who ends up where.
“One Door Closes” airs Tuesday, March 31 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC. Be sure to check in at EW to see the exclusive reveal of next week’s art for episode 16, “Afterlife.” The art for “One Door Closes” will go on sale on Friday, March 27 at www.marvelshop.com/agentsofshield as a $49.99 print (limited to 100 copies) at 12:30 a.m. PT.
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