Clark Gregg and Henry Simmons talk Agents of SHIELD

We had the chance to catch up with Agents of SHIELD stars Clark Gregg and Henry Simmons to talk the Marvel Universe and what's next.

Last week, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD had to say goodbye to agents Bobbi Morse (Adrianne Palicki) and Lance Hunter (Nick Blood). But don’t worry, they’ll be back; they’re getting their own show, Marvel’s Most Wanted, next year on ABC. But in the meantime, Agents of SHIELD will have to deal with the fallout of their departure.

The cast of Agents of SHIELD was at WonderCon last weekend for a panel and we got to sit in a roundtable with Clark Gregg and Henry Simmons. This week’s episode will show Mack (Simmons) try to reconnect with his family, while Coulson (Gregg) has more tests in store for Lincoln (Luke Mitchell). Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD airs Tuesdays at 9PM on ABC.

Den of Geek: With Hunter and Bobbi gone, do you think Mack will take a leadership role?

Simmons: I think there are flashes of him in a leadership role, but the thing is, even when we saw Mack step up, he’s very reluctant to do so because I think Mack has a respect of order. If he’s called upon to be in a leadership role, he can do so but I think he has no problem doing what’s best for the team in whatever service that may be.

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Gregg: I love it, I love it. I think he was such an amazing director. I was watching the episode going, “Man, he’s really good at this. I better get back off that planet. This guy’s gonna move into my room.”

What can you tell us about Mack and his brother?

Simmons: We both die.

Gregg: Come on, Henry, no, Henry! Come on, but I bring you back using the TAHITI protocol.

Simmons: I can say the one thing we talked about before is SHIELD is like being in the CIA. The thing is you can’t tell people, “Oh, I’m in SHIELD I’m part of SHIELD” So what the writers wanted to do is explore the other side of SHIELD when you’re not working. Your personal history with your families, things of that nature.

Gregg: And the toll it takes on your family when you vanish for months at a time. What you miss, the weddings, the funerals.

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Simmons: You’re gone for a long time. Everything. And then you have to come up with some poor excuse as to why. It causes strained relationships and that’s what you see. Mack goes back because he’s wounded, because Bobbi and Hunter left. I think he wants to repair some other relationships and I don’t know if it really happens.

Would you rather see Agent Coulson go back to The Avengers world or maybe check out Hell’s Kitchen?

Gregg: You know, I like what’s going on. I was watching the new Daredevil season this morning before I came here. I’m watching Charlie Cox and Jon Bernthal tearing it up as The Punisher and Daredevil. There’s no part of the Marvel universe that doesn’t seem appealing to me, but we’re shooting our last three or four episodes of season three which for my money has been our best season. I really like what the writers are doing there. Especially going into those last couple episodes, that’s where our focus is right now. It’s pretty cool what’s going on there. I’m happy there.

Coulson keeps testing Lincoln. Will there be a point where Lincoln proves himself, or is it fun to keep testing him?

Gregg: That becomes a big part of the episode that’s on this coming week. You’re right, there’s a wariness that Coulson has about Lincoln. It’s funny, he’s dealing with a guy who responds to his emotions. This guy wants to be a SHIELD agent but he questions his motives. How much of it is just to stay close to Daisy and how safe is he having a field agent with powers with a temper like that? It’s ironic that Coulson is dealing with that when he’s only at some point going to learn how much he has unleashed on the planet by his own response to his own emotions. I like that Coulson doesn’t just give up on him right out of the gate, but seems interested in working with him, trying to help him get to a place where he can trust him.

Will we see any more cameos from the Marvel world?

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Gregg: There will be a returning SHIELD agent who’s been involved in our show and the Marvel universe outside of our show in the episode on Tuesday. That I can say. More than that I cannot say.

Will Coulson be recruiting new members to fill in for Bobbi and Huner?

Gregg: It’s hard to say. You know, it’s always a balancing act. He’s trying to keep it light and fast moving, small enough that it can get in and out of places and take care of business with professionals he trusts. He’s certainly got a really powerful right hand in Mack but it’s no good to have another team member who you can’t trust, who’s volatile. So it’s about what is that ideal number? I think it really depends. When you’ve got someone like Daisy who can, it seems like, knock a building down if she really gets pushed far enough, I don’t know how many more he needs.

Did meeting Mack’s family make you see Mack any differently?

Simmons: A little bit, a little bit. Clark said something earlier. It’s funny because when you go into a show, you create your own background, things of that nature. The unique thing about television is they create your background for you but things you didn’t even know about. Like I didn’t even know I had a brother. It does make me look at things differently.

Gregg: Yeah, you can just get a script one day. “Oh, I was in the circus. Apparently I juggle. I guess I better get a juggling coach by Wednesday. I should’ve been juggling all around, dammit. I would’ve had some clown makeup in my thing.”

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Simmons: Seriously. You have to roll with it and you have to absorb that and keep moving forward and use it.