'Agents of SHIELD' EP on Hydra's Goals, 'Age of Ultron' Connection

"We found some nice ways to connect, but nothing will be as nuclear as last year," executive producer Jeffrey Bell tells THR.
ABC/Kelsey McNeal

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Tuesday's Agents of SHIELD, "The Frenemy of My Enemy."]

Tuesday's Agents of SHIELD featured the return of Hydra, as the nefarious organization resurfaced in its attempt to capture powered individuals.

Hydra revealed that it has the ability to track the Inhumans thanks to the disturbance from the remnants of Gordon's (Jaime Harris) teleportations. Using Gordon's last known location, Hydra deployed agents to Cal's (Kyle MacLachlan) former office building where Skye (Chloe Bennet) and Cal were holed up. While Coulson's (Clark Gregg) team was fast to respond, the situation quickly deteriorated, and Gordon took Skye away. Meanwhile, Cal hitched a ride as Lincoln (Luke Mitchell) and Deathlok (J. August Richards) were taken into Hydra custody. With everything falling apart around him, Coulson handed himself over to Gonzales' (Edward James Olmos) SHIELD agents.

The Hollywood Reporter caught up with executive producer Jeffrey Bell to discuss Hydra's resurgence, the safety of the Inhumans and how Age of Ultron will affect the ABC series.

What's behind Hydra and Captain America/Age of Ultron's Strucker's (Thomas Kretschmann) need to capture Inhumans/Miracles?

What our show has been doing from the beginning with Centipede last year was to show that there were powered people in the world — both sides would like to have powered people. In that teaser from Winter Soldier, Hydra has been experimenting and playing with different ways to create more powered people. Last year we had Centipede, but this year we have Inhumans, which are a different form of powered people who are intrinsically gifted, as opposed to enhanced with science, which is what has made most of the powered people in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now that we have this new door to Inhumans, we have people who have powers through this process, so Hydra would be interested in what makes those people special and to see if that is something they can control or replicate for their own uses. As we're getting into these threads of Inhumans and Hydra and SHIELD 2.0, it's a way for all those threads to come together.

Ward (Brett Dalton) uses Bakshi as an introduction to talk to Hydra and get closer to Strucker. At the end of the episode, it seems like Bakshi wasn't under Ward's control as he flipped to Hydra's side. Is Bakshi actually under Ward's control or was he playing a long con?

The question is: Is what Bakshi is doing at the end part of his own separate plan or part of Ward's separate plan? If Bakshi came in and he was trying to show loyalty to Hydra, then his move makes sense. In episode 19, you will see the consequences of what he did and if Bakshi is loyal to Ward or not.

Lincoln and Deathlok have been captured by Hydra. Is their rescue a priority for SHIELD? Will it cause backlash from the Inhumans?

Episode 18 ends with Coulson saying, "Take me to your leader." That promises a reunion of SHIELD or what we call SHIELD 2.0 — Gonzales' SHIELD and Coulson's SHIELD — so we've got those two factions coming back together. Then we have the question of if Coulson were to say, "We have to go save those people," would Gonzales be down with that or think it was a stupid mission? What are the arguments for or against that? Those are the questions that will play out in next week's episode. It is a source of conflict in terms of what do you do with these people and how do you use your resources? Are these people worth saving? Who believes in them?

At the end of season one, when Skye's father was teased, he was dripping blood from his hand. Will we learn the reason behind that?

That was less about what he had just done and more about the fact that he's a surgeon who sometimes slips more into butchery depending on his mood. We saw him get violent earlier this season when he was in his clinic and felt disrespected by the men who were there. It's more about the fact that there are times when he is less "professional" in his surgeon duties than others, rather than a particular story point we're going to revisit.

The Inhumans secret society cover seems to be blown when it comes to SHIELD and Hydra. How will this affect their society moving forward?

In a huge way. Suddenly, what was once a peaceful little group has been found out. So that is going to have a huge impact as we move toward the finale of the season.

Raina (Ruth Negga) has the abilities to dream the future, or precognition. Does this pose a threat or is it an opportunity for those who are in control of her?

It's a little of both for Jiaying, who has always led this group autonomously but then has someone say, "I don't know if you should do it that way." That power would be very seductive for Raina. One of the challenges is, do people believe what she says because in general she's not been someone you wanted to trust.

Last year we had Agents of SHIELD: Uprising leading into The Winter Soldier. Since "everything is connected," what kind of a tie-in can we expect with Avengers: Age of Ultron?

Winter Soldier happened between episodes 16 and 17 last season, which allowed six more episodes, which was kind of its own separate arc. Last year was such a nuclear option on our show where SHIELD was blown up, revealed to be run by Hydra, and how that affected us. Even though this is a big world and we're all connected in a cool way, Avengers: Age of Ultron is happening so late in the season, between episodes 19 and 20, there are only three episodes left after that and it really doesn't lend itself to a separate thing. We looked at this season as the first 10 episodes as one thing and then Agent Carter came on and these last 12 episodes are another separate run.

Can we expect any repercussions from the movie to tie into the world or will that be its own separate thing?

We found some nice ways to connect, but nothing will be as nuclear as last year. It's not like it blows up our show in a completely new dynamic the way it did last year. We've been doing enough blowing up on our own this year.

Agents of SHIELD airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on ABC. 

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