SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for "Code Yellow," the latest episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
For the last year, Deke Shaw has lived the good life. As revealed in "Code Yellow," the latest episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the time-displaced grandson of Jemma Simmons and Leo Fitz has built himself a company. As an entrepreneur, he used the Framework to create a VR gaming system, which funds his new tech initiatives. Of course, he stole those tech initiatives from S.H.I.E.L.D., who were none too pleased to learn about his little project. Now, following an ambush by Coulson doppelganger Sarge and an emergency rescue by S.H.I.E.L.D., Deke has to deal with the consequences of his actions -- and his very existence.
Speaking to CBR, Deke actor Jeff Ward offered some insight into how the events of "Code Yellow" will impact his character moving forward. He explained why Deke was so suited to becoming an entrepreneur and what that experience taught him about the modern world. He also teased more culture shock moments, upcoming interactions with Sarge, his reunion with Daisy, how he learns about Fitz's death and more.
CBR: I can't imagine S.H.I.E.L.D. is going to let him live this one down. What kind of ramifications does Deke face now that the team is fully aware of what he's been up to?
Ward: You're definitely right, and I think that kind of because he's been caught a little bit red-handed that he probably owes them one a little bit. [laughs] I don't know if Deke necessarily thought he was going to get away with it. I think he knew that this confrontation was coming at some point, but I think he thought he'd be able to kind of talk his way out of it -- you know, slap on the wrist, it's all good, I'll keep my company, we're fine. Now that everything has unraveled the way that it has, I think it'll probably have more of an effect on him and on the team and how much exactly they're going to -- as you said -- let him get away with. So it'll have ramifications throughout.
What has Deke's time as an entrepreneur taught him?
Good question. I think it taught me exactly how this world works. It taught Deke that the universal language is money, that he is very good at getting whatever he needs to get in order to get where he needs or wants to go, how to survive. So I think it taught him a great deal about people and about this world and how to live in it. You know, he's great at people. It's something he's very good at. That's what makes him a good liar and a good con man, so that's something that will continue to serve him in both of the next two seasons.
I was surprised at how seamlessly Deke appeared to adapt to life in the early 21st century. Will we get to see any more culture shock moments from him?
No, definitely! I think it's interesting, because where most people would have been a bit more shocked, that he's kind of like, "Alright! Roll with it." He was alone in the Lighthouse and he's alone here, so he's kind of like, "Well, I don't want to die! So I'm just going to kind of figure it out, I guess." I think in that way, he is supremely adaptable, probably more so than a lot of people would be, because he can, because he's good at it.
You will [see more culture shock moments]! It's fun, because there are kind of these blind spots. You just don't know what is a blind spot and what isn't and it's fun to see. He has learned a lot. There are still these gaps in his knowledge of societal and historical norms, so you'll see that in Season 6 and 7. Yeah, he does get it, but then there will be random things that are like, "How does somebody not understand this convention?" But that's what makes him enigmatic in his own right. It's very fun for me.
Clark Gregg is, of course, playing a completely different character this season. What has that been like for you?
It's been so fun! Clark is such a fantastic actor. You know, those scenes where him and I are facing off in the conference room at my company were some of my favorite that I got to film last year because it's such a fun mistaken identity scene, and really thinking that he knows what the stakes are and not realizing how much higher they actually are. Clark did such a great job at playing that scene and playing this kind of guy that's understanding that he can benefit from being mistaken for this Coulson character and seeing him trying to do that. One of my favorite lines last year was when I was like, "But I really want to know is how's Agent Doug?" He's like, "Eh, Doug's Doug." [laughs] He did such a great job of playing that guy.
Sincerely, Clark is just such a great actor. Sarge is so different from Coulson in how he carries himself, how he speaks, his morality, his compass. All those things are very different. So it was fun to play with the same actor, who is coming at life from a very different place. So it was a blast. I loved it. He did a great job, that you'll continue to see throughout the season.
Tell me more about Deke's dynamic with Sarge, because I have a feeling we'll see more of that down the line.
Yes, you will. Sarge, I think, has very little time for Deke's BS, as it were. I think that Sarge is a guy that basically just, if you're bothering him or if he's finished with you, he kills you, basically. So seeing how those two fit in and if they have to get along or if they do get along. You'll see a bunch more of their interactions -- sometimes by choice, sometimes by necessity -- and it's interesting because it's so different and it was really fun to play.
What is Deke's inevitable reunion with Daisy going to look like?
Well, I would imagine that Deke is pretty excited for it, and Daisy is also excited. She likes Deke. She likes him! I don't know if it's the same. I told Chloe [Bennet], and I mean this -- one of my very favorite things in the episode is when I say, "Sorry, babe, traffic's a bitch," and she has this kind of sharp inhale that is the perfect male fantasy ingénue reaction to saying that. Chloe just nailed it and it's one of my favorite things in the episode. [laughs] It makes me laugh so hard! I love it. I think that Deke is extremely excited to see Daisy again and will do everything that he can to kind of show her that he's changed and evolved and isn't necessarily the same guy that she left. But gosh, I really just hope she's nice to him, because he really likes her.
We learn in the episode that Deke isn't aware that Fitz died in the Season 5 finale. How is he going to react to that piece of information?
I would imagine he'd be pretty upset that no one told him, because -- as much as Fitz and him had their fun, playful banter -- I think that Fitz and Simmons are very, very important to Deke. His family was ripped away from him at a very young age, obviously. His parents were murdered. So I think that Deke gave up on having a family and then, when he was introduced to this new information, I think it completely changed who he was, was finding out that he did still had a family. I think it softened him a lot. So, for him to now not know the truth about Fitz and also for it to be hidden from him, I would imagine he'd be pretty pissed off when he found out, and it seems inevitable that he'll find out. I think you'll have an answer to that question at some point.
I have to know: does Deke still have a thing with lemons?
There are pictures of lemons and cases of lemons. There are lemons all over the entire office! It's still very much a thing that will come back. I promise. It's one of my favorite elements to his character, so I'm glad it's coming back.
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Fridays at 8 pm ET/PT on ABC. The series stars Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Henry Simmons, Iain De Caestecker, Natalia Cordova-Buckley, Elizabeth Henstridge and Clark Gregg.