Humanity's last stand against the Kree has only just begun. In "Best Laid Plans," tonight's new episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Alphonso "Mack" Mackenzie and Elena "Yo-Yo" Rodriquez will lead the citizens of the Lighthouse in a rebellion against Kasius' rule. With NuHuman Flint at their side, Mack and Yo-Yo will have to unite a disillusioned group of survivors and get them into fighting shape before Kasius and his forces incinerate the Lighthouse with a touch of a button.
Speaking to CBR, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. stars Henry Simmons and Natalia Cordova-Buckley weighed in on the deadly road ahead. They offered some insight into the way their characters' mindsets have evolved, how the life-or-death situation impacts their relationship and whether or not this experience will make them S.H.I.E.L.D. director material. They also teased Mack and Yo-Yo's "paternal" attitude towards Flint, their favorite moment in the episode and more.
CBR: Mack and Yo-Yo have one hell of a challenge ahead of them. What's their mindset heading into this revolution?
Simmons: In the beginning, their mindset was survival, then it shifted to getting home and the mindset is now to take down Kasius, if that's possible. I don't know if that's possible, but to try to do that. The whole purpose -- if they get home, if they have to leave, whatever it may be -- is to just leave things in a better place for not only the human race, but also for Flint, who Mack and Yo-Yo have taken a paternal care for.
They seem to have some fundamental disagreements about their approach to this future. How does that impact them in this episode?
Simmons: Just at the core of Mack and Yo-Yo, Mack is a very methodical individual that likes to plan, then act. Yo-Yo is the exact opposite. She likes to act without planning. So that creates a problem, because they want to start this revolution. They want to have the human race fight back against these blue beings [the Kree], Kasius and his people. They're both leaders and they're leading this revolution, but the problem is you have to get on the same page in order to move forward. So that can present a problem, which they have to solve very quickly.
Like you mentioned, Mack and Yo-Yo have started to take on leadership roles within the Lighthouse. How does that continue to evolve as the revolution gets underway?
Cordova-Buckley: Well, as you know, they're left in the Lighthouse without the team, so I think both Mack and Yo-Yo have a leadership sort of thing in them. They both could be leaders, but it's different. I think Mack is more team driven than Yo-Yo is. I think we're going to see a little bit of how they're bantering, who makes what decision, him not being very happy that she doesn't follow orders. I think, after Coulson, if anyone should be the lead of S.H.I.E.L.D., it should be Mack. I think he would make a great director. So I don't know! Let's see if this leads us to that, if we win the war with Kasius then maybe Mack deserves that position. I don't know!
Simmons: Well, we co-direct!
Cordova-Buckley: You and Coulson?
Simmons: No, me and you!
Cordova-Buckley: No, Yo-Yo doesn't want to be a leader or director of S.H.I.E.l.D.
Simmons: I don't think Mack does either, honestly. Mack doesn't want that either.
Cordova-Buckley: No, I don't think Mack would want it. I think he would make a great director. It's interesting that we're taking in this episode such a leadership when I don't think either of us actually enjoy being directors of S.H.I.E.L.D., but I think the leadership position that we take is also because of Flint. I think a lot of the things that we're doing right now come out not because we're leaders or anything, but because the mother and father in us is coming out and we're really wanting to protect this kid.
For me, as an actor, that was the strongest reason while I was doing any of this, why we were lifting up in arms and creating the revolution or whatever. It was, yeah, because Yo-Yo likes justice and hates men who take power over others -- she clearly dislikes Kasius -- but I think, for me, my choice was mostly Flint. It was because she had fallen for this kid and really sees herself in him and doesn't want him to have a horrible existence or to die or to be hurt. So, more than because we're leaders and we want to lead people into their freedom or revolution, I think the main instinct comes from wanting to protect a child and wanting to give him something better. I think you're going to see a lot of that motherly and fatherly thing coming from Yo-Yo and Mack.
How does this relationship with Flint progress?
Simmons: I think Natalia touched on it, where you're going to see the paternal instincts for both Mack and Yo-Yo kick in regarding Flint. Mack is moreso trying to keep him out of the line of fire, doesn't want him to fight, where Yo-Yo is more like, "I need to prepare you to fight." So they're both well-intentioned, and I think -- in some ways -- they're both right in trying to prepare this young man for the future. I think, ultimately, the revolution starts because of our feelings for this young man. We need to save him, and -- like I said before -- in order to do that, we have to not only prepare him but prepare what's left of the human race to rise up and rebel against the Kree and Kasius. That's what it's going to take in order to leave -- if we are able to leave, whenever that may be -- just to have society better and not under oppression. Wow! I like that! I just thought of that! These people of color rising up to defeat oppression. That's the headline right there! I like that.
Cordova-Buckley: Oh, totally. And the others escape as we stay to cast off the chains of the people.