Warning: This article discusses key plot points for tonight’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode Turn, Turn, Turn and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. If you have not seen both we recommend you stop reading until you have. The links below contain minor spoiler for future episodes.
Showruners Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen spoke with comicbookresources.com about how long they have been planning the events that played out in tonight’s episode and what influenced characters like Ward and Hand.
You’ve said from the start that there’s always been a plan and that you’ve been following it — was the massive Hydra infiltration and the fallout therein always part of the show from its original conception?
Maurissa Tancharoen: Yes sir.
Whedon: In our very first conversations with Joss, we were talking about what the show could be, and the challenges and opportunities a S.H.I.E.L.D. show would bring. We were discussing, all sort of on the same page, and there was a moment — “Oh, there is this one other thing.”
Tancharoen: Joss said, “Oh, any by the way, towards the end of your season, this happens. So let’s try and build a season around that.” That’s what we’ve done. So we’ve known about it from the outset. It puts us in a bit of a pickle, but it’s something we found both challenging, and also looked at as a very unique opportunity. It’s been thrilling for us to roll out the back half, now that “Captain America” is out.
With #117 being such an eventful episode, how much bigger and more intense does it get over the last few, towards the season finale?
Whedon: It doesn’t get small.
Tancharoen: It’s pretty much full-throttle until it ends.
Whedon: One of the things that we like about these plot points is that it generated a ton of story for us right away — we could see how at this point in the season, even though it’s a turn, it’s a turn onto a whole new road, which led to all sorts of interesting stuff. We’re really excited about what’s coming up.
Read the full interview at comicbookresources.com
Executive Producers Jeffrey Bell and Jeph Loeb talked about the show with EW
So what does this mean for the team going forward? Trust issues aside, everyone seems like they’re going to be on edge.
BELL: That’s our hope. I believe the team will be split on what does this mean for Ward? Is he a good guy? Is he a bad guy? Is he being controlled? Does he have a reason for doing this? And then we also have divisions within the team, so for us, it’s a chance to tell really compelling stories that focuses on our characters. So with the emotional stuff that Jeph was talking about, the movies blow S.H.I.E.L.D. up and then we get to spend several episodes exploring the consequences of that. And who can you trust,what does it mean to be loyal to S.H.I.E.L.D., what does it mean to work for S.H.I.E.L.D.? What does it mean when everyone you believed in has been a lie? Has it been a lie? Those are the things that are really fun for me to work with.
LOEB: Because we don’t want to start calling the show “Agents of Nothing.”
I’m really impressed at how you set everyone up to get to this point, because once you realize what’s happening, you definitely see how it all ties together.
LOEB: And part of what’s so much fun is being able to go back and look at the pilot and see where Coulson says to Ward, “we haven’t scores like yours since Romanov.” Now, at the time, you probably thought “oh, that’s a really good spy.” But then if you think about what Natasha has done with her life and the number of identities she’s had and the number of people that she’s burned along the way, that may have not been the best compliment to give somebody.
BELL: Let me put this on another level: Ward had put Garrett on this plane for a reason, and so he had to come in and be accepted to this team. And so if you’d look at how he related to everyone — Coulson loves projects. Here is a guy who didn’t have people skills. So Garrett says, can you help this guy Ward round off some of the rough edges? So he comes onto the team. Coulson is now vested, because he’s got a project. Who is Ward’s greatest threat? May. What does he do? He seduces her. Who is the one unknown on the team? Skye. He becomes her S.O. How do you get everyone rally around and trust you? You jump out of a plan trying to save someone else. Now, he had a parachute. Let’s say he failed to save Simmons, he would’ve been fine. Everything he’s done has solidified how people feel about him over the course of the season.
LOEB: And what was the next thing he had to do after he saved Simmons? He had someone on the plane who was jealous of him: Fitz. And what did they do? They went on a mission together and they had a really good time together. And a bromance was started. And that took care of that.
BELL: And then even when he was with Lorelei, and she was talking about the darkness inside of him and the other qualities, she saw something that a lot of other people hadn’t seen. So we feel like we laid things out pretty well. Because you don’t want to over tip your hand, but we think people are pretty smart, and you can look back and go, “oh yeah, it was all there the whole time if I had looked.” And what’s fun now that you’ve seen 17, watch it again, or watch 16 again, and every look Ward does seems to have a double meaning.
Read the full interview at EW.com
Brett Dalton (Agent Ward) chatted with Marvel
Marvel.com: When you found out that this was all happening, were you ultimately glad that you didn’t know this was coming when you were doing the first 15 episodes? Do you think you would have been inclined to tip your hand if you had known?
Brett Dalton: Yes, yes I was very glad I did not know it. I don’t think there was any way I could of gotten that same amount of earnestness in that character. I think the temptation would have been to absolutely tip your hand prior to [this episode]. And TV is about the slow burn. [In] TV we have 22 episodes to tell the story, and I would of absolutely tried to give away too much too quickly. So I’m very happy that it developed as it did.
I’m not used to doing mystery either, because usually I’m doing plays, I’m doing things that are more or less a set story that you have two hours to tell, [where] there’s a beginning, middle and an end and you have a really big rehearsal process. So this whole TV thing is kind of a big opportunity for me to learn a whole [new] way to tell a story.
Marvel.com: Yeah, and what makes it so perfect like you say is that you played Ward so earnestly in those first 15 episodes that his turn came as an even greater shock. But which has been more fun for you? To play the good guy, or the bad guy?
Brett Dalton: Oh man, so much more fun to play the bad guy. So much more fun. Plus my scenes [are with] Bill Paxton, who I think just has more fun in general on set than I typically do. Sometimes I kind of just act [with my] nose to the ground and [just] do it. And this whole thing has just opened up a kind of levity to it, a kind of, I won’t even say freedom–I’d say fun is the right word. There’s a real joy to it, and it’s great.
Read the full interview at Marvel.com