Agents of SHIELD’s imminently arriving seventh and final season is already looking like a welcome reprieve for our current corona-combating civilization; a notion that has just been affirmed with news that should please fans of its former Marvel sister series on ABC, the gone-but-not-forgotten Agent Carter, with the return of that show’s cast member, Enver Gjokaj, who will reprise his role as Daniel Sousa.
Gjokaj will guest-star as Sousa at some point in Agents of SHIELD Season 7, as EW confirms with a photo. The return of Sousa will be something that’s four years in the making after the actor played the character as part of the main cast of Agent Carter throughout its two season, 18-episode run from 2015 to 2016. As Gjokaj—who confesses his surprise—tells the outlet of the long-awaited return:
“It wasn’t anywhere near my brain,” adding, “I would’ve been thrilled at any moment for it to come back, but I think as an actor you don’t have time. You just have to move on to the next project.”
On the 1940s-set Agent Carter, Sousa was a cohort of Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) at the New York offices of the SHIELD precursor organization, the Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR). Having lost one of his legs during World War II, Sousa—ambulatory with a prosthetic leg and single crutch—was typically underestimated by his cohorts; an experience that caused him to bond with Carter, who, as a woman, was dismissed by default by the male-dominated office. Indeed, their relationship on the series was defined by Sousa’s challenges and insecurity over his pursuit of a potential relationship with Peggy, especially since the ex for whom she still pined was the one and only Captain America. Yet, the “will they or won’t they?” romantic dynamic would ultimately reach a crescendo in the Season 2/series finale, in which they finally had their long-awaited kiss.
Of course the arrival of Sousa on Agents of SHIELD Season 7 will be facilitated by events of the closing moments of Season 6, in which the titular crew—now joined by an LMD facsimile of their late leader, Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg)—were transported back to 1931 during the course of their ongoing battle with members of alien A.I. species the Chronicoms, who, in contrast to their more helpful member, Enoch, are waging a war across time against humanity. Indeed, as Gjokaj—who recently fielded runs on fellow ABC shows The Rookie and Emergence—teases of Sousa’s role:
“What’s unexpected, for me, really fun is that we realized once we got Coulson and [Sousa] in the same scene that they’re very similar.”
Intriguingly, co-showrunner Jeff Bell also teases of Sousa’s return, stating:
“We get to see him in a different light,” adding, [Sousa] had a particular role on [Agent Carter], and so we were able to show another color of him that you hadn’t necessarily seen on the show.”
However, Sousa’s Agents of SHIELD appearance also brings about some key questions, especially since the team’s arrival in 1930s New York would potentially put them in the orbit of a pre-War (pre-injury) version of Sousa. However, it’s possible that a little more timey-wimey could see the team jump ahead to the early post-Agent Carter era of the late-1940s or early-1950s, which leads us to an unavoidably notable question: Will we see Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter at some point?
While Agent Carter wrapped things up with what seemed to be a “Hollywood Ending” (as the 2016 finale was titled,) for Peggy, one of the aspects of her later life teased in the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies was that (barring the Avengers: Endgame-created alternate timeline, in which Cap returned to her,) she eventually moved on from Cap and enjoyed a long marriage to a mysterious husband, whose identity was never revealed. Might this SHIELD guest appearance be a chance to finally confirm said husband as Sousa (or someone else if they just didn’t work out)?
Regardless, Agents of SHIELD kicks off its final season on ABC Wednesday, May 27 at 10/9c.