Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. got off to a rocky start earlier this year, with pretty much mixed reactions from fans, but we can all admit now that they have improved greatly. Now the Marvel show is one of the best shows on TV at the moment. And... wow, that finale, right? Jeph Loeb and Jeffrey Bell sat down with IGN after the show to talk a bit about it (spoilers). First off, they were asked about the decision to make Clark Gregg's Agent Coulson the new director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and if they thought it was right. "It seemed like a good fit in our combined universes," Bell said, "because SHIELD has gone down, and we have a show called Marvel's Agents of SHIELD. What we like about the new paradigm is, we truly are an underdog team now, and Coulson has to step up. That will give us a chance to play with new relationships and new story paradigms. But SHIELD really is an underdog in this. They're considered terrorists by the government, by the world. So the fact that Coulson gets to put his imprint and try and build a SHIELD that he has been nostalgic about all season -- the good old days, it seems to have been -- I think that offers a lot of story fun." Also, as you know, Fitz and Simmons both had a near death experience, and many expected Fitz to have died for his brave act to save Simmons. They were asked if there was debate over whether or not to kill off any of them. Loeb says: "No, we've always had worked out what's going to happen, but that story clearly is not finished, so don't assume anything."
They also talked a bit about Agent Ward, and if they feel they made the right choice of having him arrested by the end instead of getting killed or escaping. "You always consider all your options, but we think there's more story to be told with Agent Grant Ward," said Bell. "Him being caught at the end gave our team a tangible win. Whereas I think if there were other loose ends still and if he had died, you know, it just felt right that it was a win for us, it kept him alive and it promised more story. Honestly, everything we're doing, we're thinking, 'How can we generate more cool stories?'" Loeb also talked about the same thing, saying "And, you know, is that story over? We talk a lot about the villains in the Marvel Universe, and when you look at Bucky Barnes, who went on to become the Winter Soldier... The Winter Soldier -- particularly in the movies -- has done incredibly terrible things, far many more than what we've seen Ward do, or at least what we know about Ward. And yet, everyone wants him redeemed. So is that story over?" Ward's story clearly isn't done yet, and even though he may not be a main cast member in the second season, it is possible he will be a strong supporting character.
Bell also briefly talked about the strange twist of seeing what appears to be Agent Eric Koenig who clearly died in a previous episode. "…All we know is that when he met Eric, he talked about playing video games with his brother, and we met his brother." And that is a perfectly good explanation, which may work more than the "life model decoy" theory. Loeb talked briefly about the reveal of Skye's father at the very end, and how that may be a potential major plot point in season 2 this fall. "That’s certainly one of the ongoing stories that we'll talking about -- her origins and her parents and things like that... Here's what we're pretty sure of: when people hear the story, they'll be surprised." Another major plot point throughout the season is Deathlok. On the chances of seeing Peterson turn back into Deathlok again, Bell says "I think what's cool about Deathlok is he's always transforming both emotionally and physically. If we had a Season 2 and if J. August Richards was available, I think there might be something interesting with Deathlok that people hadn't seen before."
Finally, Loeb talked about the future of Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. and what we can expect from the second season. "Well, in the 'What If?' of it all, looking at our world, where SHIELD is in tatters, Hydra is spread out all across the globe, and all of this has landed squarely in the lap of the man who we've been following from the very beginning: Agent Coulson. Now the challenge is, what's next? The very question of the show becomes the very question that we give to Coulson to solve -- that is, what is Agents of SHIELD? That's very exciting to be able to reinvent the world. When you think about that, one of the themes that we've been dealing with a lot and, as you brought up, how Raina's been asking questions about how SHIELD will evolve. You know, what is evolution, and how important is that to our characters and to the Marvel Universe?"Did you enjoy the season finale as much as I did? And what were your thoughts on Nick Fury's big appearance? Sound off below, as you wait for the second season of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the premiere of Marvel's Agent Carter.
Starring Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson, Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May, Brett Dalton as Grant Ward, Chloe Bennet as Skye, Iain De Caestecker as Leopold "Leo" Fitz, Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmons, J. August Richards as Mike Peterson/Deathlok, Bill Paxton as John Garrett/Clairvoyant, and B.J. Britt as Antoine Triplett, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. has officially ended its first season, but you can catch season 2 this fall on ABC.