With ABC and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. two episodes into its sophomore season, the show has been compared to Fox’s Gotham in terms of ratings, as well as quality television. On its own, the series has moved forward after the somewhat contentious first half of its first season, though whether or not Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s second season has improved remains up to the individual viewer -- read our review of the latest episode to see where we land.
One of the ways in which Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has upped the ante in its sophomore season is by adding well known actors and actresses in new roles -- some of which included characters from the comics, like Adrianne Palicki’s Mockingbird. Now, another new character has been cast while Palicki discusses her upcoming introduction as Mockingbird and the character’s future in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe.
Zap 2 It reports that Tim DeKay (White Collar) has joined Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as Senator Christian Ward -- Grant Ward’s (Brett Dalton) older brother -- to appear in season 2, episode 6, “A Fractured House.” As revealed in season 1, the brothers’ relationship was abusive as Christian forced Grant to beat up their younger brother. Grant eventually set fire to their home while Christian was inside, landing him in the juvenile detention center where he was recruited to S.H.I.E.L.D./HYDRA by John Garrett (Bill Paxton).
While it’s unclear how many episodes DeKay will appear in, he is presumably joining the series as a part of Grant’s season 2 character arc - in which he has been dealing with the absence left by Garrett, who was a pseudo-father figure. The episode title seems to hint that viewers will learn more about the relationship between the brothers, though it’s unclear exactly how much will be revealed.
It’s also possible Christian Ward’s entry into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was foreshadowed in episode 2, “Heavy in the Head” when General Glenn Talbot (Adrian Padar) referenced a “senator with deep pockets.” However, the senator’s intentions -- and why he is anti-S.H.I.E.L.D./anti-Coulson -- are a mystery for the time being. Of course, it’s also possible these are two separate senators entirely.
Another character that will be joining Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. -- in episode 5, “A Hen in the Wolf House” -- is Bobbi Morse a.k.a. Mockingbird, played by Palicki. Though her character hasn’t officially debuted, the actress told IGN there is a possibility she may join Marvel’s movie universe and that it was part of the appeal to signing on to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Read Palicki’s full quote:
“Absolutely – that was one of the things that was discussed when I was coming on for the part, and you know, we’ll see what happens. It’s such a nice world that we live in that crossover can happen so often now which in the past it never really did so, to see these worlds come together on the small screen and the big screen is really cool.”
Prior to Palicki, only a handful of Marvel characters have cross-overed from the cinematic universe to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and often only for event-style episodes such as the season 1 finale and the season 2 premiere.
While it may be more difficult to fit the more prominent movie universe characters into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. due to time and/or financial restraints, starting a character off on the small screen and seeing how audiences react may be an effective way of introducing players to the MCU. Perhaps, if Palicki is a hit as Bobbi Morse, she may make the jump to the big screen for The Avengers 3.
However, it’s also possible that Marvel included the movie role as a provision in case they ever want her to appear in one of their feature films, which may not necessarily happen. Though more crossover between Marvel’s movies and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. may be exciting to some fans, it may not happen in the form of Mockingbird's role.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns next Tuesday with “Making Friends and Influencing People” @9pm on ABC.