Warning: This post will have spoilers for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode 3×13, “Parting Shot.”
With the upcoming Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spin-off, Marvel’s Most Wanted, it wasn’t a total surprise that last night’s episode included the departure of Bobbi Morse (Adrienne Palicki) and Lance Hunter (Nick Blood). It was surprising, however, that the departure came so early in the season. We still have nine episodes left for the season, which means nine more episodes without Bobbi & Hunter, two characters fan have come to love over the course of the past two seasons. And unfortunately, no news on a premiere date for Most Wanted has been released as the show hasn’t officially been picked up the series – it has only received a pilot order so far. Still, that didn’t keep Palicki and Blood from briefly talking about the upcoming spin-off. In interviews with both Entertainment Weekly and TV Line, the duo talked about what it was like learning about the spin-off, how they felt about their S.H.I.E.L.D. send-off, and more.
Regarding their emotional good-bye scene, where the other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents anonymously sent drinks to the departing agents, the actors themselves were a little bit emotional. Especially Palicki.
Palicki: I cried in every take, whether the camera was on me or not, because every time I would look at Henry [Simmons, who plays Mack] I fell apart.
Blood: And in between takes I was poking her.
Palicki: He kept pinching me under the table! That was the other thing. No, you form these friendships and these bonds, plus it was very parallel to what’s happening [on-screen]. We’re leaving the show, these characters are leaving the show…. It’s emotional.
Of course, with their characters leaving S.H.I.E.L.D. and heading off to headline their own series, it’s hard not to get excited, especially when Palicki briefly explains what we can expect from the upcoming series. According to her, it’s more “expansive” than we’ve come to see with S.H.I.E.L.D., something that should make plenty of fans excited to check it out.
Blood: It’s definitely got its roots in Marvel comic book world. It has got its own tone. It’s a bit more expansive.
Palicki: I think it’s a little less based, at least in the pilot, in the mythology of the Marvel world and more about these two characters, and how they drive each other, and their adventures, like a Mr. and Mrs. Smith-type. There’s a lot of banter, there’s a lot of humor, there’s a lot of action.
Blood: It’s exploring how you make a relationship work with the backdrop of all this crazy stuff that goes on when you live in the world that they live in. Essentially, it’s about those two characters and how they negotiate their relationship, which is what people enjoyed about those characters in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., watching how they deal with each other. Those are fairly universal themes that people can relate to. We all know that compromise and negotiation goes into any sort relationship, friendship or romantic whatever.
The characters of Morse and Hunter have evolved since we first met them as bitter divorcees back in season two. When Morse was first introduced on the series, it was shortly after Hunter had only just referred to her as a hell beast, of course, as the season went on, though, the two ended up back together. And while their relationship is anything but normal, it works for the most part. And while it wasn’t entirely clear where their characters would end up early on in season two of S.H.I.E.L.D., Palicki and Blood were aware of where the writers and showrunners intended on taking them early on.
Palicki: I knew of Mockingbird, obviously, because she’s a comic book entity, but they were putting their own spin on it, which was brilliant. It was that thing where we were all discovering her at the same time. I knew enough to get through, but then the transitions happen as you get to know the character, and the writers get to know you, and you bring what you bring to the character. Having her being an Avenger, I had already known about her, so it was a little bit of an upper hand.
Blood: Initially, he wasn’t named as Lance Hunter; that was a bit later that they decided on that. As far as the correlation to the comic books, it was their version of Lance Hunter, rather than the Lance Hunter from the comic books necessarily. They said he’s a bit of an outsider, bit of a rogue, not really sure where his loyalties lies. As Adrianne said, as you go through, you work out the character a bit more and the writers adapt to you. They’re in the process of creating the character themselves. It’s something that evolves over the course of 22 episodes a season. There’s a lot of room for the evolution, so they’re quite adaptable, really.
Still, even though they knew what to expect with their characters on S.H.I.E.L.D., it didn’t mean they considered the possibility of a spin-off, something I’m sure most fans would have agreed with prior to the announcement. For Palicki, it was a “pleasant surprise.” (You’re not alone on that one, Palicki. A few of us here at MCU Exchange were big fans of a potential Mockingbird spin-off early on!)
Blood: I hadn’t considered that at all.
Palicki: It’s definitely a pleasant surprise.
However, while a pleasant surprise to learn that they’d be getting a spin-off series, Palicki and Blood actually heard about their departure from S.H.I.E.L.D. rather last minute. Something that more than likely occurred because of the production schedule on the pilot.
Blood: It was only just before, really, wasn’t it?
Palicki: You knew more than me. I was literally on set for the episode before, and we were like hearing little murmurs and gossip of what was going to happen possibly, maybe down the line. We were trying to put it together ourselves like detectives. It’s all very top secret.
Blood: I remember I knew bits and pieces, and you asked me or something. You said something about it, and I went, “Oh yeah, blah blah blah, this is what I’ve been told is happening,” and you were like, “Why have you not told me?!” I was just like, “I thought you knew! I thought I would be the last to know, so I just assumed you knew.” You start to hear, sometimes when there’s something big coming up, little murmurings from people. I tricked the first A.D. into telling me. I probably shouldn’t say this. [Laughs]
The only other cast member that Marvel has officially announced was Delroy Lindo, who will play the character, Dominic Fortune. When asked what it was like working with him, someone who has not only been in this business for a long time, but built such an expansive resume, both Palicki and Blood responded with pure enthusiasm. (Note: Both Oded Fehr and Fernanda Andrade were announced as joining the cast earlier today, but Marvel has yet to confirm their castings.)
Blood: He’s a lovely dude, very interesting guy. He’s actually from just around the corner from where I live in London. He lives near, so we talk loads about football — proper football. He’s a great dude.
Palicki: We have the football argument a lot. [Laughs] He’s not only just a really sweet human being and incredibly professional, he adds a gravitas to this character, a very interesting charm to Dominic Fortune.
Blood: You could tell straight away on set that he’s going to nail it.
Along with singing the praises of Lindo, they also addressed the official log-line for the series, which states that both Morse and Hunter have a bounty on their heads, and how the show will be different from its predecessor, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. According to Blood, there’s “more of a clear line” between the good and bad guys, as opposed to the gray area S.H.I.E.L.D. tends to hover in.
With the way that the MCU connects all of their properties, it is possible that we will see Morse and Hunter pop up again in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Until then, we can look forward to them in Most Wanted. How do you feel about the spy goodbye in last night’s episode, and what do you hope to see in this spin-off series? Sound off in the comments below!