The Project: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Panel: Jeph Loeb, Elizabeth Henstridge, Iain De Caestecker
Footage screened: As the head of Marvel Television, Loeb previews never-before-seen moments from the show, making him the ideal person to present the upcoming episode set to air next Tuesday. (Watch a clip below.) Loeb, Henstridge, and De Caestecker joined the crowd to watch the episode before returning to the stage for more audience questions. The episode, titled “Eye-Spy,” centers on the team tracking a thief — who happens to be a rogue S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. No surprise: A spy’s eye is involved.
Snap judgment: The higher production value of this episode definitely gave the show a sense of authenticity — unlike” 0-8-4,” which seemed to take place on the set of the Real Housewives of Peru, rather than actual Peru. Loeb stated that the cold open — set in a Stockholm subway station — was shot on location, just like the Paris sequence in the pilot. The episode itself is more of the same: the team vacillates between bonding and clashing while carrying out the latest mission. There is a more natural rhythm to the character interactions and a better sense of what the series is. It is most definitely a spy team show rather than a superhero show — even if superheroes happen to populate the same universe. For those who are already fans, this episode delivers the goods — including a few more tidbits about what happened to Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) between The Avengers and the series’ pilot episode. For those who aren’t, it’s not significantly different than the first three installments.
Big revelations: In true Marvel style, there weren’t many revelations or hints at the future. On the contrary, Loeb is actively spoiler-averse. “We love when you watch it live, and we love when you stay until the very end,” said Loeb, who hopes to continue the post-credits scene incorporating the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) to the series. Loeb confirmed Titus Welliver’s return to the MCU, reprising his Item 47 role as Agent Blake in “FZZT,” the sixth episode of the ABC series.
Funniest pre-panel interview moment: The S.H.I.E.L.D. trio spoke in great detail about flying Lola all the way to the Javits Center for the convention. (Lola may have made an appearance at N.Y. Comic-Con, but that doesn’t mean it’s a fully equipped flying car.) “Most people don’t realize that we flew Lola here, the three of us,” deadpanned Loeb. De Caestecker added, “We really shouldn’t tell people that. It’s actually illegal to have more than three people in the car.” Henstridge joined in, stating, “It was excellent — got some great selfies.”
Most incisive audience question: One enterprising fan asked what we can expect to learn about the characters’ back stories. Henstridge answered, “Well, now we have more episodes to explore the character backgrounds. It’s something that’s definitely going to be developed. It’s going to come organically with the story, but there’s lots of secrets and choices of their past that you’ll find out. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.” Later, another fan asked about the “cellist” Coulson mentioned he was seeing prior to his “death” in The Avengers. Loeb smirked and replied, “Let’s just say that there isn’t anything that Joss Whedon has written or created that we’re not going to mine all the way down the bottom of the line.”
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.