Tonight is the third season premiere of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” and in what’s become something of a tradition, showrunners Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon have answered questions submitted by you, the CBR readers.
Of course, there’s a lot of questions to be asked — what’s up with Skye (Chloe Bennet) now that she’s officially the superpowered Daisy Johnson, and tasked with seeking out her fellow Inhumans? How does S.H.I.E.L.D. agent-turned-secret Hydra traitor Ward (Brett Dalton) figure into the new season? Does 2016’s “Doctor Strange” film from Marvel Studios portend supernatural threats entering the “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” world?
With the season premiere, “Laws of Nature,” on ABC tonight, read on for answers to many of your questions, and thanks to all who submitted.
Let’s start with Audrey J., who is curious about the former Skye’s new name: “Changing a lead character’s name in the third season is a bold move. What gave you the confidence that the audience would stay with you and accept this change?”
Maurissa Tancharoen: Fortunately, Daisy Johnson is a beloved character in [Marvel Comics], so we had that working for us. But for some, Daisy Johnson will always remain Skye in their hearts. People have grown attached to Skye as a character because of the journey she’s endured and the spirit she maintains in the face of all of it. She was searching for a history, a connection, and though it turned out differently than she had hoped, she found that with her parents. So she has now taken her given name as an homage to her parents, as an end to that journey, and the beginning of a new one. But she will always be the same young woman we fell in love with from the beginning, regardless of what she calls herself.
Lindsay K. looks to get reflective, and asks: “What was one scene or moment out of the series that you feel most satisfied with after two seasons?”
Jed Whedon: We love Ward’s turn, the moments with Fitz and Simmons on the bottom of the ocean, Garrett’s death, May’s backstory, Mockingbird’s entrance, Skye’s moment of transformation, Cal’s goodbye, Mack’s axe… so I guess the answer is no. There are a bunch.
Thea L. has an intriguing theory: “Will we get to find out who recruited May to S.H.I.E.L.D. in the first place? Her S.O. perhaps is a valiant Englishwoman we know?”
Tancharoen: In case we do that, we are going to pretend we never read this question.
Alexis is one of many fans curious about the future of Grant Ward: “Are we gonna see Ward in season 3 as much as we did in season 2 or more?”
Whedon: Yes. In fact, after losing Agent 33 you will see a kinder, gentler more forgiving… we kid. You will see plenty of Ward in Season 3.
Marcus K. seeks a further comic book connection: “Besides Daisy Johnson will we see any other Secret Warriors characters from the comic book appear on the show?”
Tancharoen: Trying to get us to reveal more. Love the attempt… but we have to keep quiet about any plans, and hold a few things up our sleeves. So we will say this — yes.
With the former Skye now in more of a leadership position within S.H.I.E.L.D., Katie S. asks: “Many people, myself included, love the father/daughter dynamic between Coulson and Skye (now Daisy) on the show and find it to be one of the most compelling things about the series. With the more equal ground Chloe and Clark have teased them to be on this season, how will that dynamic be affected? Is that element being transitioned out of their relationship altogether?”
Whedon: We love their dynamic as well. It allowed both characters to reveal so much about themselves to each other, and Clark and Chloe are wonderful together.
Tancharoen: It also led to some great moments between Coulson, Daisy and her father, Cal. I don’t believe that, given their history, you can ever remove the bond between them.
Lindsey L. asks: “Which characters are the easiest to write or resonate with your own personality the most?”
Tancharoen: All the characters are fun to write for. As far as personalities go, Jed’s basically Hunter.
Whedon: Maurissa is basically Mack.
“Dusk from Whedonesque” has an unsurprisingly Whedon-centric question: “To borrow from another Whedon project, do you plan the show around seasonal Big Bads like Buffy’s The Mayor, Glory etc., or do you see each half of the season before and after the hiatus as it’s own plot arc, like ABC’s ‘Once Upon A Time’? Last year seemed to be the latter with Whitehall in first half and Jiaying in the other. Any teases you can give us?”
Whedon: We do think of the season in two parts. There is always carry over, but we try to tell two distinct stories now that we divide the airing schedule in that way. It also helps us tackle the daunting task of 22 episodes without being paralyzed with fear at the thought of generating over a thousand pages of material each year. A tease? Coulson has Mack’s red axe mounted in his office.
Giovanna has Deathlok on the mind: “Will Mike Peterson come back? Why is he not on Daisy’s gifted team?”
Tancharoen: He will be back someday. We love the character and J. August [Richards] is amazing to work with. Ugly as sin, but a good guy.
Michael N. has an eye towards the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s near-future: “With characters like Doctor Strange getting introduced into the MCU, is there any chance that the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D will start encountering more supernatural threats?”
Whedon: I think it is safe to say that, yes.
Let’s wrap with James H., who wonders about the darkside of the growing population of Inhumans: “Will Ward be looking to recruit any of the new Inhumans to HYDRA?”
Tancharoen: Great question.
The season premiere of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” airs 9 p.m. tonight, Sept. 29 on ABC.
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