In light of the Sokovia Accords, S.H.I.E.L.D. has gone legit.
When Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns, there’s a new director (Jason O’Mara), who tasks Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) & Co. with tracking down enhanced individuals — and that spells trouble for Daisy (Chloe Bennet), who has gone rogue after Lincoln’s death.
“Everyone she’s gotten close to has died,” Bennet tells EW. “Her way of protecting the people that she cares about — which is Coulson and the rest of the team — is to distance herself. She’s doing anything she can to help people and try to makeup for what she feels is her fault.”
But her self-imposed exile doesn’t necessarily make her a hero. “We know from the past that your power comes with a price,” EP Jed Whedon says. “It damaged her when she first used it and you have to learn to control it. Part of her nothing-to-lose attitude has allowed her to unleash her power on a level that’s much more aggressive, but also much more dangerous.”
“She’s in a place where she’s pushing herself beyond her limitations,” EP Maurissa Tancharoen adds. “Whether or not that’s being self-destructive or just trying to be her own version of her best self, we’ll explore that question.”
However, there’s a lot of people in the public who think she’s turned into a villain — at least those are what the headlines indicate. But Coulson still has hope there might be more to the story. “I don’t think she’s necessarily working against S.H.I.E.L.D.,” Bennet insists. “She’s Robin Hood-ing it. My favorite part about playing Daisy is her empathy for people. I’d like to think that she is doing what she’s doing because she wants to help.”
“She’s on S.H.I.E.L.D.’s radar and she’s on the run,” Tancharoen says, teasing that the new director will be implementing his own methods. “All of these new rules in place and the awareness of Inhumans, it does not bode well for her, especially her being an Inhuman.”
Part of those new rules come as a result of the events of Captain America: Civil War. “Now there is global awareness of enhanced individuals,” Whedon says. “The Sokovia Accords have changed the public perception of our people. While S.H.I.E.L.D.’s mission statement is the same that it always has been — which is to protect people from things that they don’t understand, and to protect those people that we don’t understand from others — now there’s a whole political aspect that’s tied to it.”
That makes it all the more dangerous for Daisy to cross paths with the Robbie Reyes (Gabriel Luna) incarnation of flame-licked spirit of vengeance Ghost Rider, who hails from Daisy’s old stomping grounds in Los Angeles. “They both operate alone, they both live outside of the law,” Whedon says.
Ghost Rider’s introduction takes the show in a new direction as the Marvel Cinematic Universe branches out into the strange and unexplained — Doctor Strange, for example. “All the storylines that we started at the beginning of season 1 really wrapped up at the end of season 3,” Bennet says. “We’ve had some major losses of people who have been with us on the show since season 1. From the table read to the first day on set, there’s definitely a new energy of the show and it feels different and it is different.”
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Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.