Although the fourth season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. comes to an end tomorrow night, it’ll be hard to see the outstanding Framework story arc (and the season itself) come to an end. As the third story “pod” of the season, the Framework arc found the agents trapped in an artificial reality created by the nefarious Aida (Mallory Jansen). Recently, TVLine caught up with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. showrunner Jed Whedon and executive producer Jeffrey Bell to talk about how the pod came about.
“I will say that going in we knew that it would be rewarding for longtime viewers to be able to flip things on their head,” Whedon said. “We knew we were going to have fun with it, because we’re in our fourth season, we’ve done a lot of stories and we knew we’d get to play in a new world. So, we knew it would at least be fun, and usually that leads to stuff that the audience loves. We did have a sense that we were going to enjoy it, and we’re glad the viewers did as well.”
When the writers first started tackling the arc, both Whedon and Bell were delighted that their focus was on making choices that would resonate not only with the audience but with the characters as well.
“What you choose for the ‘What if?’ is really what it’s all about,” Bell said. ‘What if?’ can be crazy or whatever, but I will give the writers room credit that everything that was chosen had an emotional resonance. It was something you hadn’t seen, or wanted to see or wondered about, so for us it was really rich territory to mine.”
“And there’s the fact that it was rooted in our own characters’ choices, not to mention characters the audience has spent many years with now,” Whedon added. “It wasn’t just, ‘OK, let’s go Wacky World!’ It was, ‘What if you’d made different decisions?’ That made it for us a much more fun puzzle. And as Jeff said, it gave it resonance.”
As for the actors? Bell and Whedon had the opportunity to see their excitement at what was to come.
BELL: One of the nice things about shooting in Los Angeles is our offices are right down the studio from the stages, so it was fun to see. They were excited for each script, to see what’s going to happen next.
WHEDON: It’s funny seeing the different reactions. For Clark [Gregg], it was just so fun to get to play a fish out of water, a bit of a bumbling history teacher. And Iain [ De Caestecker], he was very uncomfortable at first trying to play someone with such a stillness and taking such a dark turn, but he definitely started to enjoy it the more he got into it — which was scary in its own way!
BELL: One of the fun things was we got a photo one day — “Iain would like to wear his hair like this” — and we were like, “Oh God, that alone is a huge change!”
WHEDON: It turns out he’s a Nazi. Who knew!
BELL: For the actors to find little physical things like that…. For Clark to be wearing glasses, and at the end when he comes out as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. he takes them off, that for him was a key to the character.
Although the Framework storyline is about to wrap up, there’s the end of the season and a look toward the fifth season to consider. Whedon and Bell said that there is indeed a tease of what’s to come in tomorrow night’s season finale.
BELL: Each year we’ve tried to reinvent the series in some way, in concept. And we will try to do that again. Without talking about characters, I think the end [of Tuesday’s finale] really does suggest something quite different….
WHEDON: … and we’ll see what that means. But yes, there’ll be a little bit of a tease.
“GHOST RIDER RETURNS ON THE EXPLOSIVE SEASON FINALE OF ‘MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.,’ ON ABC
Gabriel Luna Guest Stars as Robbie Reyes/Ghost Rider
“World’s End” – With the surprising emergence of Ghost Rider, Coulson and the team attempt to stop Aida from ending the world on the exciting season finale of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” TUESDAY, MAY 16 (10:00–11:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network.
“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” stars Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson, Ming-Na Wen as Agent Melinda May, Chloe Bennet as Daisy Johnson, Iain De Caestecker as Agent Leo Fitz, Elizabeth Henstridge as Agent Jemma Simmons, Henry Simmons as Agent Alphonso “Mack” MacKenzie and John Hannah as Holden Radcliffe.
Guest starring are Natalia Cordova-Buckley as Elena “Yo-Yo” Rodriguez, Gabriel Luna as Robbie Reyes/Ghost Rider, Mallory Jansen as Aida, Adrian Pasdar as Brigadier General Glenn Talbot, Jordan Rivera as Hope Mackenzie, Patrick Cavanaugh as Burrows, Zach McGowan as The Superior, Joris Jarsky as Sergei, Zibby Allen as Lt. Evans, Joel Stoffer as silhouetted man and Karole Foreman as waitress.
”World’s End” was written by Jeffrey Bell and directed by Billy Gierhart.”
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs on Tuesday nights at 10/9c on ABC. Make sure to check back at Heroic Hollywood after every single episode of Season 4 for our weekly review.
10 Marvel Shows We’d Like to See Made
As the “golden age of television” continues, one genre that has been on the uptick has been superhero TV shows. The CW almost has every day on lock with many DC Comics-centric TV shows like Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, as well as shows like iZombie, and the upcoming Riverdale. Other networks such as AMC and Fox (among others) have Preacher and The Walking Dead, Gotham, and Lucifer, respectively.
Marvel has been diversifying their portfolio as well. When they first introduced Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., they only slightly-connected their television universe with their cinematic universe. While recent corporate changes in their business structure have distanced their properties from each other, they still maintain a continuity. Shows like Agent Carter as well as the many Netflix shows (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, the upcoming Iron Fist, The Punisher, and The Defenders) all have events connected to their big screen counterparts. Currently, Marvel has Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Inhumans (coming next year) on ABC along with Damage Control (TBD) while Cloak and Dagger (airing on Freeform next year), and Runaways (developed for Hulu) are in development.
With such a large assortment of comic books and comic book characters, Marvel has barely scratched the surface. Here are a few comic book characters that could definitely use their own show…