After a fall premiere that left some fans underwhelmed, ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been working hard to try and prove that it has a place in Marvel’s cinematic universe. Episode 2 of the series saw a notable drop off in viewership but, for many TV watchers, episode 3 finally saw the show begin to realize its potential. Now that the network has picked up Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for a full season order, we can only hope that the series will take a few suggestions from our 4 Ways to Improve Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. editorial (as well as get to the bottom of that Agent Coulson mystery).

There’s reason to be optimistic though, since a new villain has helped the show gain some momentum – and with the cast and crew attending New York Comic Con 2013, we’re hoping for fresh and encouraging details on what’s to come.

[NOTE: This Panel has been locked down tight by Marvel. No info getting in or out during the panel. Stay tuned as details will be coming soon!]

Q&A

  • Elizabeth Henstridge (who plays Jemma Simmons) and Iain De Caestecker (who plays Leo Fitz) say they have a brother and sister relationship but are not related – or in a relationship.
  • Henstridge says that they’re excited to explore the backstory of the characters – and that there are a lot of mysteries yet to be revealed. Executive producer Jeph Loeb promises that, since it’s a Joss Whedon show, that they’ll be developing and exploring arcs more and more as time goes on.
  • Henstridge says being on a Joss Whedon show – you never know how it’s going to end (no one is safe). So enjoy it while it lasts (and then watch the reruns).
  • Loeb says that the Marvel universe is a small place and works very closely with the studio. A delicate place – to tell stories that are brand new while also winking and nodding to the larger universe.
  • Loeb: Trying to tell stories about people – the new voices of the Marvel universe.
  • De Caestecker says he’s excited to see the Fitz-Simmons dynamic grow. Loeb promises that they’ll be exploring Agent May and other characters in the coming episodes – including the Coulson mystery.
  • Loeb: There isn’t anything that Whedon has created that they’re not going to mine all the way down to the bottom of the mine.
  • Loeb answering the question of whether the team will appear in Phase 2 or 3 movies, “Wouldn’t that be great?” The longer the show is on the air, the more likely that is a possibility. Says they did not come here to defend or hype the show – thinks that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. stands on its own.
  • Loeb says that there are cross-over possibilities down the line (cites Maria Hill and Agent Blake prior cameos as an example of what to expect) – if they are seamless. “If someone wants to come play, we’re more than happy to make that happen.” Asserts that they’re not going to draw-out mysteries (then makes a dig at LOST).
  • De Caestecker wants Fitz to have a monkey assistant (a brave one).
  • Henstridge says Loki is her favorite superhero – and thinks he needs someone to talk to (and wants to be the person do it). De Caestecker likes the Hulk because he wants to grow muscly in a few seconds – but if he had a super power he’d want to be able to look like Brett Dalton (who plays Ward on the show).
  • Loeb says an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. comic is possible – if the fans want it.
  • Henstridge’s favorite part of the show is getting to know each other and the team. De Caestecker enjoys all the technology that they get to play with on the series.

PANEL:

  • Played episode 4 for the audience, “Eye-Spy.”

MAJOR SPOILERS for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, episode 4 below:

  •  A former protege of Agent Coulson, Akela Amador (Pascale Armand), steals $30 million in diamonds – leading S.H.I.E.L.D. to investigate her string of crimes.
  • Coulson and the team discover that Amador is acting against her will – controlled by someone else who communicates with her through a cybernetic eyeball.
  • After an altercation between the Amador and Agent May, Coulson and the team attempt to track the agent’s controller – before she is discovered to be off-mission (in which case, the controller would activate a kill switch).
  • The team successfully tracks the controller – only to find out that he too was being controlled (when he suddenly collapses after a confrontation with Coulson).
  • Coulson releases Amador into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody to stand trial for her crimes. However, when Amador asks May how Coulson survived the attack on the helicarier, May replies that Coulson was “nearly killed.”

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs on Tuesdays @ 8 p.m. EST on ABC.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for updates on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as well as movie, TV, and gaming news.