Fall TV Preview

Can S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Brilliance Trump HYDRA's Magnificence? Lucy Lawless Previews the Season 2 Opener

Agents of SHIELD Season 2

When last we tuned into Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the titular organization had crumbled, its name disgraced, assets depleted. In the wake of a HYDRA-fueled onslaught, Nick Fury (guest star Samuel L. Jackson) resurfaced to appoint Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) as Director, so that he might rebuild S.H.I.E.L.D..

To do that, Coulson and his bruised team of agents will need the occasional helping hand — the first of which, as Season 2 opens this Tuesday (ABC, 9/8c), belongs to genre-TV queen Lucy Lawless.

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Here, Lawless previews her S.H.I.E.L.D. visit, reveals a crush on Coulson and ponders the outcome of a clash between Agent Hartley and a certain Warrior Queen.

TVLINE | So, it S.H.I.E.L.D. the most super-secretive show you’ve ever worked on or what? Things have changed since the Xena days. TV’s a lot more tight-lipped.
Yes, for sure, for sure. I suppose because you can transmit so much information at the flick of a button. They have to be much more careful with transmission of all kinds of information, but yeah, it’s unparalleled.

TVLINE | Tell me, under what circumstances do we meet Miss Isabelle Hartley?
Well, S.H.I.E.L.D. has been smashed by the treachery of Ward, who’s revealed himself to be a double agent and now Coulson has to pick up the pieces. You get to see globally how many agents they’ve got and the one person he feels he can trust to spearhead this move is an old friend, Isabelle Hartley.

TVLINE | Does she hold Coulson in high regard? Does she feel he’s up to snuff as director?
Yeah. I think she likes him a lot. She doesn’t like many people. She likes him. And she likes her team, but there’s friction with [Coulson’s] guys because they’re so slick and we’re so rag-tag, but she’s like, “Deal with it.”

TVLINE | Well, who are Agents Lance Hunter (played by Nick Blood) and Idaho (Wilmer Calderon) to her?
Lance Hunter is like her favorite nephew. He’s played by Nick Blood, who’s just incredible, a terrific actor. Hunter is in it just for the money, so he’s a bit confused by Isabelle’s adherence to Coulson’s wishes, but she and Coulson go back a long way. I think they’ve really been in the trenches together and whatever side he’s on, she’s on. Idaho is a valued member of her team, someone she has mentored. He’s got skills. Mad skills.

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TVLINE | [Showrunner] Maurissa Tancharoen at Comic-Con teased something about a knife always in close proximity to Isabelle…?
Oh, yeah. You never know when you might like to slice some cheese… or worse. She has the air of a Middle Eastern journalist, one of those people who thrives on danger, and we’ll see if she’s bitten off more than she can chew, because HYDRA is incredibly awesome.

TVLINE | What else might we learn about her? Any personal backstory? In the comic books, she had a little something going on with Agent Hand, who’s dead on the TV series. Is that alluded to at all?
You’ll have to ask Maurissa and Jed [Whedon] whether they’re going to explore that. I can’t tell you at this point.Xena

TVLINE | What about this: Who would win in a fight between Isabelle and Xena?
Oh, Xena.

TVLINE | She’s just more brutal.
Mind you, Izzy’s got a gun….

TVLINE | But once Xena breaks out the chakram and knocks the gun out of her hand, all bets are off.
Yeah, Izzy won’t even hear it coming. No, the main difference is that Izzy is a part of the team, whereas Xena can go it alone.

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TVLINE | Are we going to get to see you back on Parks and Recreation during its farewell season?
Oh, I hope so. I hope so….

TVLINE | Have you enjoyed getting a taste of that lighter fare there?
I loved that very much. It’s a very special world, and I was very honored to be part of it. And Nick Offerman, what a prince of a man! All of them. Amy Poelher is one of the greatest producer/actor/writers there is. She’s the one that sets the tone for everyone else, as Clark [Gregg] does on this show. He’s so incredibly humble that it sets a great tone for the younger actors, to see how it’s done with grace and humor and intelligence. He’s a lovely man. I fell in a little bit of love with him. Between him and Patton Oswalt (as Agents Koenig), it’s just too much.

TVLINE | Oh God, Patton. What’s his agent’s first name now…?
I call him Pookie.

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TVLINE | Give me one last taste for what people can expect from S.H.I.E.L.D.’s season premiere.
You get to see the magnificence of HYDRA and what our team is up against. It’s like S.H.I.E.L.D. represents humanity and HYDRA’s this sort of massive, amorphous evil, so you get to see humanity fighting back with all its wiles and its brilliance and its adaptability — like cockroaches, we will not be beaten. We will survive. We will go on. You get to see the awesomeness of human ingenuity with S.H.I.E.L.D.

TVLINE | There’s also a cool “gifted” in this episode, right? The Absorbing Man?
Oh my God. Yeah, you get to see the incredible Absorbing Man (played by Teen Wolf‘s Brian Patrick Wade). Don’t you remember that character from the comic books as a child? What an epic concept. And that’s part of the awesomeness of HYDRA, that he’s just one of their 500 gifteds.

TVLINE | If you could choose to absorb anything, what would it be? Me, I’d go with pizza.
I’m going to say solar light. That way I could power the world.

TVLINE | That’s a nice green choice.
Yeah, baby!

Want more scoop on S.H.I.E.L.D., or for any other show? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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19 Comments
  1. Dean says:

    Never thought much of SHIELD until it was announced Lucy Lawless would be on it.

    • Simon Jester says:

      I thought the first season was less than the sum of its parts… but I will at least tune in to see Lucy.

      • cdhaskell says:

        I finally remember the actor’s name that I thought will be perfect on Shields. It is Kevin Sorbo. I also hope that Kree and Skrull will appear in future episode. AIM and Zodiac would be perfect as the villain that everyone love to hated.

  2. Tran says:

    Lucy Lawless is the real reason the new season of SHIELD will blow viewers away and her new role will definitely kick butt.

  3. cdhaskell says:

    I pray and hope that Lucy Lawless will be one of the good guy instead of a preditable bad guy. I can’t wait to see how the writer will developed her past and present.

  4. James D says:

    how could you not love Lucy Lawless she is so awesome can’t wait for this season. the way last season ended and what i’ve read of this season it sounds like we are in for a wild ride, here’s hoping it pays off.

  5. Kevin H. says:

    I still want my Xena movie. I can’t wait to see Lucy on AoS; season 2 is gonna be great!

  6. Cate53 says:

    Lucy Lawless: still awesome! SHIELD really picked up after a pretty dull first half to be quite gripping by the end. Hope they keep it going

  7. Joey Padron says:

    Great interview with Lucy. She’s a great actress. Excited to watch new season this tuesday!

    • cdhaskell says:

      I hope that Lucy Lawless will become a regular on Shield. I know that she will help the show become a winner. I can’t wait to see how the writer will fill in the show gap.

  8. Caitlin says:

    Thanks for the interview! Can’t wait to see her in AoS!

  9. Brigid says:

    THIS is the show I’m most looking forward to this season! I can’t get enough. I loved every bit of last season and the last half was brilliant. Can’t wait for tomorrow! What what!!!!!

  10. Agent 86 says:

    The awesomely flawless celestial being that is Lucy Lawless! Always a very welcome sight on the small screen (and the big screen as well if she could snag some movie roles)! I do hope that Izzy has an interesting story-arc on SHIELD, whether it’s seeking vengeance on Ward as a result of his murder of her lover Victoria Hand or another storyline.

  11. Scott says:

    Does anybody know if the 2nd season of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be available as a season pass on Amazon this year?