Where season 1 of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. saw Agent Coulson and his team battling Hydra and season 2 introduced Inhumans, season 3 is connecting it all together while getting a little cosmic. The first half of season 3 saw a key character stranded for months on an alien world that we've come to know as Maveth, once home to an advanced civilization now seemingly extinct.
As we learned in the midseason finale episode, this strange planet that never sees the light of day, may also be the origin point of Hydra. The remnants of the evil organization sent Ward and a team there to bring back "Death" and it did in an unexpected way thanks to the actions of Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Coulson (Clark Gregg), which left fans with an intriguing cliffhanger.
Speaking with IGN at the world premiere of Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, Clark Gregg expands upon the idea that Coulson "crossed a line" with his actions in the episode where he slowly kills Agent Ward (Brett Dalton) on the alien planet.
"The question is, is that justifiable in any kind of moral sense? But mostly, is it justifiable to him because it's a line that is something he has always fought to stay on the right side of, I think more than Nick Fury felt compelled to... That said, you know, he shot (laughs) his girlfriend right in front of him, and he injured and killed a number of people that Coulson loves. And Coulson's the one who put him on the team. I thought the writers did an amazing job of pointing out how complex all that was for him. He felt responsible for the body count that keeps building up and I really love what they're doing with it because we live in a world where there are those people that just want to... slaughter."
Where it gets interesting is in how excited and giddy Gregg gets when thinking about what's coming next in the back half of the season, especially when it comes to what's inside Ward's body which made its way back to Earth, and what that means for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
"One of the coolest things that I've seen come across a script is what this thing is that is now inhabiting the body of Grant Ward and how that connects to the beginnings of Hydra. That's gonna blow some minds."
The midseason finale showed Ward and his Hydra soldiers come across an ancient ruined city and a massive structure shaped in the Hydra logo, hinting that the organization is alien in origin. How that connects to the ancient civilization once thriving on the planet, or the creature that made its way to Earth, remains to be seen.
As for the actor playing the character who keeps on changing, Brett Dalton told IGN earlier this week that this new version of Ward (which he calls Ward 2.0) is the most challenging yet:
As an actor, I’ve more or less gotten to play a new character each season, and it’s incredibly cool and incredibly challenging and fun. But in many ways this is probably the hardest iteration of this character because we aren’t dealing with a “human being” anymore. This is Ward 2.0. This is a human being plus something else, this is a human body being occupied by a creature that’s been around for centuries. In Season 1, it was like “oh hey, by the way, you’re a spy and you have this checkered past.” This is like “oh hey, by the way, your body is being inhabited by something else.” [laughs] So that can seem like maybe a harder thing to pull off. I think we’re definitely doing it. You’ll have to tune in and watch to see just where it goes.
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Agent Carter season 2 premieres Tuesday January 19th, 2016 at 9pm on ABC. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.season 3 returns Tuesday, March 8th, 2016 at 9pm on ABC.