10:00pm PT by Aaron Couch
'Agents of SHIELD' EPs: Bobbi and Mack's Secret Will Rock The Team
[Warning: Spoilers ahead for Tuesday's midseason premiere of Agents of SHIELD, "Aftershocks."]
Agents of SHIELD returned to a house divided.
The team dealt with loss and fighting within its own ranks in Tuesday's episode. Mack (Henry Simmons) has an extreme outburst against Coulson (Clark Gregg), while Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) speaks out at length against aliens, not knowing Skye has the Kree to thank for some newfound superpowers. Meanwhile Mack and Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki) are looking more and more like they are up to no good as they attempt to unlock Nick Fury's (Samuel L. Jackson) secrets.
"The realities of the world they're living in now are starting to become much more complicated," executive producer Jed Whedon said during a recent set visit attended by The Hollywood Reporter and a select group of media outlets.
Meanwhile, Skye (Chloe Bennet) and Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) have formed an unlikely bond, with the scientist concealing the truth about a her powers from the team.
Below the show's executive producers and stars answer five burning questions from the midseason premiere.
Are Bobby and Mack Hydra?
Bobbi and Mack spent part of the show attempting to gain access to Fury's secrets. There would be many reasons for this, but is it Hydra-related?
"It's not wrong to assume it. We've all been burned by Hydra before. We're a little shell-shocked," said Whedon.
Added Simmons: "This secret that they have is gonna have quite an impact on the team.
Wait … did they just kill all of Hydra?
Multiple Hydra heads were killed thanks to Coulson and May's (Ming-Na Wen) excellent work, which might make some assume Hydra has been crippled. Bu cut off one head and two more shall take its place.
"This was an impressive feat Coulson pulled off, but it doesn't necessarily mean that Hydra is done," said executive producer Jeph Loeb.
Added Whedon: " Yeah, will they ever be done? Their logo's too cool to ever go away."
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While Skye's got some cool new powers, Raina (Ruth Negga) has some not-so-cool spikes. That's going to make it harder to use her good looks to manipulate people.
"Harder to charm when someone's like, 'Ow, you're poking me,' " says Whedon.
But don't count her out of the game. Though she attempted to walk into traffic, she's been enlisted in some mystery task by an eyeless Inhuman.
"We thought it was interesting to take a character who sorta had always succeeded and giving them an apparent setback and see how the character reacts in those situations," said executive producer Jeffrey Bell.
Why did Fitz keep Skye's secret?
Fitz made the decision not to reveal that Skye's readings are off the charts, and De Caestecker theorizes that having gone through his own change via a brain injury, he might have more sympathy for Skye.
"He’s like, 'let’s just take a second,' " said De Caestecker. "At that point I think he feels like he’s the only one that really understands what she must be going through, that change."
Agents of SHIELD will deliver three guest stars during the rest of the season, with Edward James Olmos, Drea de Matteo and Blair Underwood (as May ex husband) announced. The producers are tightlipped on their roles or when they will appear, but they did give word that De Matteo will play someone "on the index" described as "a dark character" by Loeb, though Whedon said she is more "misunderstood" than dark.
The executive producers also tackled what a potential third season would look like, saying they said they are expecting it to be 22 episodes, should they receive the order, and that season two could be a model for how it was divided — with their being an arc in the fall and an arc in the spring.
"We've managed to find a way that we think is both exciting and digestible," said Loeb.
Agents of SHIELD returns Tuesday at 9 p.m. on ABC.