During the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s second season winter finale, we saw Chloe Bennet‘s Skye undergo her transformation into her comic book counterpart, Daisy “Quake” Johnson, which resulted in the death of a fan favorite character – Antoine “Trip” Triplett, played by B.J. Britt. Going into this year’s winter finale, it looks as though the S.H.I.E.L.D. team is looking to up the ante. We’re already down two characters, with both Rosalind Price (Constance Zimmer) and Banks (Andrew Howard) having been killed off last week, but we know that someone else is going to die tonight, making tonight’s episode a big one.
One of the most exciting aspects of tonight’s episode is the expected showdown between Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Grant Ward (Brett Dalton). We’ve seen these characters change over the course of three seasons, namely Ward who was revealed to be a double agent near the end of season one, but it wasn’t until Ward killed Rosalind that we saw a change in Coulson. He’s shown his inability to think before acting at times before, but this is the first time we’ve seen him act out of pure rage. So what does this mean for these two characters? Will Ward be the one to die courtesy of Coulson? Or will he be the one to kill Coulson? It’ll be a bit before we have any answers, but both Gregg and Dalton took the time to tease what’s to come in tonight’s episode, “Maveth”, and it seems as though tonight’s episode may just be the show’s biggest episode to date!
Dalton, who has previously talked about the big shocker to come with tonight’s episode, spoke with Variety about the winter finale, and touched on working with Iain De Caestecker (Fitz), Coulson, and more.
While we can all agree that De Caestecker has been putting in some fantastic work over the course of the show’s three seasons, he’s really upped his game this season. Every single scene he’s in De Caestecker manages to steal. And although their characters are on opposing sides, Dalton can’t help but to praise De Caestecker’s work this season.
Dalton is effusive in his praise of De Caestecker, who he says “brings out the best” in his performance: “I love Iain, personally, so any time we get to work together is just awesome. I have so much respect for him as an actor, too — especially this season, he’s doing just phenomenal work. So it’s an honor for me to be up there with him and I think we dance well together.”
Of course, just because Dalton is impressed by De Caestecker’s work this season, it doesn’t change the fact that the two characters have their issues. (Let’s not forget, not only did Ward threaten Simmons, but he also dropped them into the ocean.) According to Dalton, we’ll see plenty of tension between Ward and Fitz during the winter finale, especially after Coulson joins the group.
There will undoubtedly be tension between Fitz and Ward after all the two have been through, but that’s nothing compared to what we can expect if Coulson catches up with them, since SHIELD’s director has become uncharacteristically reckless in his pursuit of his former agent. “In a way, by taking out Rosalind, I get him to react really as Ward would, I get him to really play my game,” Dalton notes of the dynamic between the pair. “It is really cool to see that, and I play dirty … Ward will do anything to get the job done. I think it’s really cool to see Coulson throw sand in my eyes too, with what he does by going off-book and getting my younger brother and doing all of that stuff [last week], so it is really exciting to see somebody so buttoned-up get so riled up. It’s like, ‘oh, I’ve woken up the beast, there’s somebody else in there – I like that. I can work with that.’”
And while Dalton talked to Variety, Gregg took some time out to speak with TV Line about tonight’s episode. Last week’s episode, “Closure”, saw a major shift in Coulson’s character. He went from a somewhat clear-headed leader, to someone hellbent on revenge. When asked what ultimately caused him to cross that line, Gregg suggests that Coulson has finally snapped under the weight of everything Ward has done.
TVLINE | All things being relative, Coulson has been one of the more even-keeled team members. What do you think ultimately moved him to say, “I’m going to end this”?
Well, with the stuff that Ward’s done, the people he’s killed, it’s certainly reached this kind of critical mass. I also think that [Coulson] is a guy who’s had to put a lot of normal things that most of us can depend on — like intimacy, friendship — on ice for the job, and then he finally meets somebody he connects with, and he’s able to trust her, and he finally opens up and makes a connection… and then Ward murders her in cold blood, in front of him, from a cowardly distance. I think that something snaps.
We’ve seen plenty of characters express their desire to take Ward down once and for all since season one, most notably Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), who actually made an attempt to do so back in season two. But what about Coulson? Does he actually have it in him to kill Ward? Gregg doesn’t outright answer, but he does indicate that it’s possible given that his character is forced into a position in which he may not have another choice.
TVLINE | Now, a lot of characters walk around saying, “Grant Ward must die.” When push comes to shove, do you think Coulson has it in him to end Ward? And if not, what might give him pause?
It’s funny, I think Coulson really tries hard not to cross the line that would make him a little too similar to the people he’s trying to stop as head of S.H.I.E.L.D., and he’s walked that line carefully. But what became clear in [Episode] 309 is the body count, the injury count, that has added up since he put Ward on his team, and since the emergence of HYDRA. It is really weighing heavily on him, and it’s what I like about what the writers have done here with the midseason finale. They’ve forced Coulson into a place where he has to cross a line I don’t think he’s ever crossed before.
TV Line also posted this little tidbit on their site about tonight’s episode.
Question: Got anything on the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. winter finale? Will anyone not make it back from the planet alive? —Dena
Ausiello: Matt Mitovich screened tonight’s episode, and “needless to say, tempers run pretty hot between multiple combinations of characters there on the planet,” he reports. “Will Fitz be able to find Will? Will the HYDRA team meet up with the ominous Inhuman? Will Coulson kill Ward? Will Ward kill Coulson? The answer to at least two of those questions is yes.”
What do you think will happen? Sound off in the comments below!
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs tonight on ABC at 9 PM EST.