[This post contains MILD SPOILERS for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S2.]
Marvel Studios has already added a handful of new players to the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. cast for the show's second season, with the most intriguing of the lot up to now being Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess, Spartacus: Blood and Sand). The series has just gained another TV show fan-favorite, in the Twin Peaks and Desperate Housewives alum Kyle MacLachlan (most recently on the fantasy drama dud Believe). The character he's playing is also quite intriguing.
Earlier today io9 reported that MacLachlan will guest star in the second episode of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s new season, playing a role referred to as "The Doctor" (no, safe to say it's not that "Doctor"... or that one, either). However, a separate report from TVLine states that MacLachlan's role is a recurring one; not just that, but he's really playing Skye's (Chloe Bennet) mysterious father, who was glimpsed at the end of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season one finale (well, his hand was glimpsed, anyway).
The truth of Skye's parentage (and why she's classified as a 0-8-4 instead of a regular human) was among the big questions that were left unanswered by the time S.H.I.E.L.D.'s first season had drawn to a close. Clearly, there's going to be something amiss about MacLachlan's character (even if he himself is human), which makes the actor - who has brought such memorably peculiar individuals as Dale Cooper to life before - all the more appropriate a choice to handle the job.
Clark Gregg (a.k.a. Agent Phil Coulson) has indicated that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s second season will be more grounded than the first, as the focus will be on (a changed) Coulson and his team's efforts to rebuild the S.H.I.E.L.D. organization. As such, the stage ought to be set for a season that's more over-arching in terms of its narrative structure, yet also focused on painting more complex portraits of the main players and the world of extraordinary powered individuals that must navigate.
Skye has (thankfully) gained more depth beyond the cutesy sarcastic archetype that she was at the beginning of the series. However, there's still plenty of room for her and her peers to continue to develop - especially now that we're going to dive deeper into Skye's past. This may also reveal new dimensions of people like Agent May (Ming-Na Wen), among others who might have a connection to Skye's history.
Indeed, judging by the details that've been released so far about new characters on season two, the world of S.H.I.E.L.D. (being, of course, a subsection of the larger Marvel Shared Universe) may become all the less black and white - and thus, all the more interesting - in the episodes ahead. Fingers cross it will, anyway.
UPDATE: In related news, Marvel has confirmed that the S.H.I.E.L.D. cast will include Henry Simmons (NYPD Blue, Shark) in season two. Simmons, pictured above, will be playing Alphonso "Mack" Mackenzie, based loosely on the comic book character of the same name - a "mechanic in his 30s allying himself with Coulson's team."
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season two premieres on ABC on September 23rd, 2014.
Update Source: Marvel