Post Mortems

Post Mortem: S.H.I.E.L.D. Bosses Talk Skye's 'Glorious' Moment, [Spoiler]'s Death, Raina's Fate and More

ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with its Season 2 winter finale not only gave Skye a (famous) name, it also introduced to the series an exciting element of Marvel lore — one that will even be the basis for its own 2018 movie.

Oh, the Inhumanity!

In the wake of the episode’s big data dumps, TVLine invited showrunners Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen to connect the dots, confirm some “tweaks” made to certain origin stories and preview the impact of that one tragic loss.

TVLINE | You sneaks. You used the “Daisy Bell” song last week….
MAURISSA TANCHAROEN | We sure did…. It was interesting to read people who keyed into that. A few people did.

TVLINE | Was there any debate in the room about possibly tipping your hand a week early?
JED WHEDON | It was [Marvel TV chief] Jeff Bell’s idea to have that be the nursery rhyme. In talking about it, we decided that as long as it was placed in a way that … you’d have to know the song and be listening for it and singing the lyrics along in your head to really get it, we figured it was a reward for those who could go that far.
TANCHAROEN | We were also hoping that the dream sequence that you’re watching as it plays would sort of detract attention.

TVLINE | Was the Daisy Johnson identity in place from Day 1, or did you go back and forth on a couple of different possibilities over the past season-and-a-half?
WHEDON | We knew that we wanted to do it fairly early on, but there’s obviously an approval process within Marvel…. We knew that Skye was going to discover these secrets about her parents and uncover something along these lines. So for about a year-and-a-half we knew that this is where we’d go with it.
TANCHAROEN | We and the entire writing staff are big fans of [the Marvel comics series] Secret Warriors, and I think that’s pretty clear in this show. So when we were given permission to move forward with Daisy Johnson, we were very excited.

TVLINE | But given Daisy’sSHIELD_Burst origin story [per Marvel lore, she’s the daughter of supervillain Calvin Zabo aka Mister Hyde and a prostitute], does this mean Skye is not an Inhuman, as some had speculated?
WHEDON | The origin of Daisy in the comics is different from what we are doing here. We are introducing two different concepts at the same time. One is her origin….
TANCHAROEN | We’re blending and merging. We’re doing our own spin to it, as we have done in the past, taking things that have existed in the Marvel universe and sort of fitting it into our mythology.
WHEDON | Partially that comes from the story evolving on film [in the Marvel Cinematic Universe], but also from the fact that there are so many fans who know these stories so far in and out, if you don’t change a little bit….

TVLINE | So if I had phrased my question, “Is Skye an Inhuman?”, your answer would have been….
WHEDON | Yes.
TANCHAROEN | Yes, she is.

TVLINE | How will this twist activate Skye as a character, moving forward?
TANCHAROEN | What we’ve set up for a season-and-a-half is the origin of a superhero.
WHEDON | And we know from how it went down [in the winter finale] that she doesn’t necessarily know what’s happening. She won’t necessarily know what caused what. And all of it will be tied to a very sad event in losing a dear, dear friend [Agent Tripp, killed by an obelisk shard]. It’ll be a complex journey; it’s not going to be all fun and games.
TANCHAROEN | Connecting Tripp’s death to the beginnings of her power is a very complicated journey for her, from here on out.

TVLINE | What should we be reading in her expressions during that final sequence?
TANCHAROEON | It’s a mix of many things. When she bursts through the [shell], I think it’s one of the most glorious moments we’ve had on the show. She looks so heroic and beyond awesome. And then to have her eyes land on Tripp as he crumbles to the ground, to see those tears forming…. Again, very complicated.

TVLINE | Has Raina Agents of SHIELD Skye Inhumanbeen distinctly affected by the transformation as well?
WHEDON | She may have been changed. You glimpsed a little bit of what may have happened to her [at right], but in the very next episode we learn exactly what happened.
TANCHAROEN | We know that Raina and Skye have similarities. We seem them both go through the [Terrigen] mist…. Raina absolutely thinks they have a connection are and destined for the same thing. How Raina transforms, you will see in the back half of our season.

TVLINE | Was another of the tweaks you made to the origin of Skye’s mother? That doesn’t quite match up with Marvel lore, either.
TANCHAROEN | Yes, that’s an original take as well – but pulling from elements that exist.

TVLINE | Will you be getting into the nature of Cal’s powers at some point?
WHEDON | As other characters learn things, so will the audience. Any questions left unanswered will be answered. The exact extent of what he can do or whether or not he has powers himself, we’ll get into that.
TANCHAROEN | We absolutely love the character. He is so much fun to write, because of what Kyle [MacLachlan] has brought to the table. We will explore that character as much as we possibly can.

TVLINE | Was a tiny part of you tempted to let Whitehall live, just so you could have a scene where Cal rips him apart? I know that I kind of wanted that scene.
WHEDON | [Laughs] We all wanted that – no one more than Cal.
TANCHAROEN | His life has been full of so many disappointments, we added another one to the long list.Agents SHIELD Reader

TVLINE | Very possibly silly question, but in the post-credits scene, the man with no eyes — was that Reed Diamond (who plays Whitehall)?
TANCHAROEN | He does look very similar to Reed Diamond, but no, it’s an actor named Jamie Harris (Turn, Kingdom). And you will learn his character’s name pretty soon.

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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79 Comments
  1. Rook says:

    Very interested in seeing what happeneds to Skye. I don’t really care that Tripp died, I think one of the weaker points of season 2 is that the cast is to big. Plus he didn’t really do much other than having a crush on Simmons that went no where.

  2. M3rc Nate says:

    “What we’ve set up for a season-and-a-half is the origin of a superhero.” …..thats pretty cool. Will be interesting to see if the show will change at all focusing more on her and her being a Superhero or if it will stay the “Agency of Shield” show…aka a show about a big group of agents and the organization of SHIELD, not really focusing on one person all THAT much (unlike Arrow or The Flash).

    One question that id love answered is what are the implications with Daisy shooting Ward…i mean it seemed like she gave him a death sentence…and he was shocked (probably thinking he could win her approval/love)….now its him off with the weird May faced lady? Thats what got me the most confused as to where that goes.

  3. StephonJS says:

    i’m still upset about trip. this sucks :(

  4. Rick Katze says:

    An illuminating discussion. BUT is it March yet?

  5. A says:

    First Mack, now Trip? Wow.

  6. Carla Krae says:

    Poor Tripp. :( Now we know why B.J. wasn’t a regular this season.

  7. Wordsmith says:

    Smart that they picked a superhero who is canonically also a SHIELD agent. It all fits together quite nicely. Really looking forward to seeing where they go from here.

  8. nick says:

    The episode was amazing they have made this show superawesom and I love it!

  9. Maryann says:

    I was a little disappointed that Skye shot Ward. I am assuming/hoping that he is not dead and that we have not seen the last of him.

    • ndixit says:

      He isn’t. He escaped with Agent 33.

    • ANNA says:

      Yeah really, a simple leave me alone might have sufficed.

      • Cobalt says:

        He’s kidnapped her twice now! I don’t think “leave me alone” is working. He’s a murderer who’s obsessed with her, I wouldn’t risk having him following me around if I was her.

        • Brigid says:

          Right? Why wouldn’t she shoot Ward? LOL People are so funny.

          • Nicholas says:

            Would it surprise you to know I only stayed for so long watching that series because of Ward. Not Coulsson or Skye and definitely not Mae or Fitz/Simmons, yeah really don’t care about the new cast either.
            I guess ‘Daisy’ may have to do for now, but I would like to see Ward on the good side soon.

          • jetserf says:

            Ward has a backstory that they haven’t fully revealed yet. I’m not sure we really know his motives. It almost seems as though he’s playing everyone.

            Not sure what Skye was thinking. If she really believed Ward was dangerous she should have had the sense to kill him.

          • JC1 says:

            @jetserf, she put four bullets into him. That would kill most people.

  10. Christina says:

    Thanks for the interview Matt!
    .
    Wasn’t touched on here, but I can’t wait for them to dig into the other core characters as well. Skye’s definitely grown on me to the point where I did enjoy this episode for her, but Fitz and Simmons will always be my faves.

  11. James D says:

    Don’t I feel like a dunce, I totally didn’t pick up on Daisy Johnson. admittedly I’m more of a DC fan but still i feel like a real dum dum doogan (see what i did there?:)) still really cool from what i can remember Daisy is a pretty badass character. Really digging this show already can’t wait until it returns.

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  13. murley says:

    Wow. That was an amazing episode. This season has been so good. Loved all the stuff with Ward and with Skye and her father. So sad about Tripp! Although the death was epic- so tragic! Really well done all the way around. I can’t wait for the return of the show. And really excited that we have Agent Carter to tide us over.

  14. Eva says:

    Soooo, was the sighting of B. J. Britt on set of Avengers: AoU just a red herring? Seems silly they would feel the need to do that.

  15. jimmy woo says:

    Such a great episode. Poor Tripp though.

    Daisey and Mr. Hyde eh? Nice. I love this show. Good job. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is number 1.

  16. DL says:

    For a moment I thought ol’ No Eyes was Mark Pellegrino and I was flipping out a little bit, but then I recognized the actual actor from spots on many other shows. That said, get Pellegrino on this show, stat!
    As to the topic at hand, amazing winter finale. The wait until March will be a long one indeed. Awesome that the show really feels connected to the greater MCU now, instead of only through the handful of episodes that are around big Marvel film releases.

  17. I think it was fantastic I’ve watched every episode knowing from the start this was all about Skye and now I know why! just love it

  18. Ana says:

    Thanks for that! I would have loved to hear them talk about the decision to have Skye shoot Ward because I’m so torn about him. I can’t hate him…i think he definitely needs some professional help but I don’t doubt at all that his feelings for Skye are real. I’m curious to see how his storyline will move on from here now.
    Did every inhuman have a similar “transformation” to Skye’s and Reina’s?

  19. greysfan says:

    Shield really did well with this episode. One of the best of the series. Skye coming out as an origin of a superhero is so damn cool. The fact its been planned for a season and a half is great. So sad about Tripp though. :( Looking forward to the rest of season 2.

  20. Katherine215 says:

    I’m not familiar with the Daisy Johnson storyline, but I’m bummed that this is all about Skye. I find her character to be obnoxious and annoying, and the fact that she’s slightly improved from last year doesn’t really help me like her. I’d rather have seen her die than Tripp, though I obviously get that the story they’ve chosen wouldn’t work then.
    .
    Also, having Ward be wearing some sort of armor on his side to absorb most of those bullets is a major cheat. Just kill that crazy SOB already.

    • Badpenny says:

      Every hero needs a villain to call their own. I guess it will be Ward for Skye/Daisy/Quake. :)

      • MarvelMike says:

        I think her villain will be Raina… I think she will be driven evil by the fact that Skye/Daisy remained “normal” in looks and she became a hideous monster. There is a small character called Quills, that she could be, it would be easy to create any orgin story for this character and, although she is technically a mutant, its obvious we are going to see a lot of “mutants” be categorized as “inhumans” instead because of the rights of mutant being owned by Fox

        • Anya_W says:

          Cool, Raina ends up being hideous? YES!! I wanted her to explode instead of Tripp, since she’s been so opportunistic and toxic about grabbing her big ‘destiny’ — I would have given anything to see that ‘destiny’ be what happened to Tripp.

          But I’ll take hideous, long-lived and hating what she became instead. Totally.

          REALLY unhappy they killed Tripp. I like Bobbi, but I’m meh on Hunter and I would have been completely OK with them killing him off instead. Tripp brought some good Marvel history to the show and I’m sorry to see that go. I *loved* the Commandoes tie-in.

        • DarkDefender says:

          I read some where that Raina is Tigra.

  21. Luis says:

    Excellent, excellent, excellent . . . an episode that made me mad as hell that I’m not going to see SHIELD again until March. Inhumans? THANK YOU!!! Skye/Daisy shooting Ward? DOUBLE THANK YOU!! Seeing Coulson go all badass in a fight with Cal? AWESOME!! This show has stepped its game up gigantically in its second season, and i can’t wait for March to come. I am, however, looking forward to “Agent Carter;” the promos look spectacular.

  22. Any chance Ward is properly dead this time? The guy is still as wooden as they come. The one weak link in a show that has improved leaps & bounds.

  23. Steve F. says:

    The good: Welcome to the Marvel TV Universe, Daisy Johnson! (But, will Skye keep using her name, or start going by “Daisy”?) PS – if you haven’t read “Secret Warriors” or “Secret War”, those are good starting points if you want to read about her Marvel history… and yes, she looks like a young Angelina Jolie in the books. Additionally, the Diviner opening up into a Terrigen crystal – that made me totally geek out even more.

    The bad: Tripp! Please please please have someone find a way to bring him back…

    The ugly: Skye/Daisy’s father as Calvin Zabo… but no visual of him transforming into Mr. Hyde? C’mon… that better be on the docket for Season 2.5! Also, the wait until February for new episodes. Agent Carter, don’t let us down in the meantime!

    • Ronnie says:

      I was waiting for him to rage-out, too. In my head I’m rationalizing it by saying he was trying to keep his cool because he didn’t want Daisy-Skye to see him as a full-on monster. Hopefully they’ll give him an ugly green suit and let him go crazy in the second half of the season.

  24. Kay says:

    Now that Daisy has shown up, maybe J.T. Slade will too….unless they try and make Ward Hellfire??

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  26. BEST EPISODE EVER.

    Skye shooting Ward yass

    Skye getting her powers yass

    Skye is Daisy omg

    but i’m sad for Tripp..it was sad seeing him die..that guy deserved better! but it was a insane episode, omg!!! Now only in march??? how i’m supposed to survive this hiatus??

  27. the guy at the end is “The Reader” almost guaranteed. and Raina well she will be (an offshoot of ) Raina from Earth 616 I am sure she wont look exactly like e616 raina but it will be interesting to see if the same skill set is intact…..they seem to be rewriting origins for the greater universe with the introduction of The Inumans and including some Characters outside of the Universe…. a little dissapointed that Cal Zabo was daddy dearest and that Skye ended up just being Quake

  28. Olivia says:

    I am not a comics reader – I had to Google Daisy Johnson – but this is great!

    Every time I see “Whedon” and/or “Tancharoen” I know I will be in for an awesome ride *blind faith*

    I have loved Skye from the first minute they introduced her and I would never have guessed that her journey would turn into that kind of reveal. OMG! I can’t wait to see what happens next :)

  29. Matt says:

    My take on it:
    Whitehall isn’t dead, he survives because he’s messed with his DNA after Skye’s mum scenario.

    The obelisks talking opens not only the possibility of a number of other inhumans but of converting more people. Part of me wonders about coulson because of the GH 325 which was derived from a Kree corpse.

  30. More Ward Screen Time says:

    The Daisy Johnson line was pretty easy to guess,not really a suprise at all. I hope Ward get more screen time in the next half season. With less than 5 minutes show time for 8 episodes, it is really hard to explore this character well.

  31. loving the show so far,but why does Hollywood continue to feed into the stereotype of killing off the black guy first?

  32. Steven says:

    The tuning fork you can see on Raina’s head in that picture is pretty specific. I wonder if she is going to turn into Lockjaw, the dog-looking teleporter from the Inhumans?

  33. The thing that really sucks about Tripp dying is that it was seemingly for naught… I’m assuming he rocked out because of kicking (and therefore touching?) the Diviner to save Skye, but then it turns out she would have come out of it anyway? Ugh.

  34. komodo, maybe?? from wiki:
    “…Komodo was seen begging War Machine not to have her powers removed as she considers her former human identity to be a nobody.[volume & issue needed] She revealed that her code-name is taken from an animal specific to certain islands in Indonesia and her name is commonly used by Indonesians (Melati means jasmine, Kusuma means flower in Javanese language)”

  35. Chris Richmond says:

    I’m in love with the series, have watched every episode more than twice. I’m twisted in knots, Tripp’s death??? Oh man that tore a chunk out of me. Mack going nuts, what’s the after effects of his possession? Whitehall’s death??? Ward??? Fitz??? I’ve got a ton of questions! I’m patient enough to wait for answers…

  36. This show is on FIRE. Waiting until March is going to be torture.

  37. Ella says:

    Really disappointed that Tripp died. None of the characters on this show really grip me but I liked Tripp.

  38. silvana says:

    Ouvi falar:”para quem nao sabe ainda já saiu uma pequena sinopse do ep 11 da segunda temporada, aqui vai ele: ” Skye escapa com Phill e aprende a controlar sua habilidade recém-descoberta . Um clã de pessoas super- qualificadas emerge para assumir o controle da Hydra . Agente 33 e Ward voltam à SHIELD e juram sua lealdade . Raina aceita um papel de liderança na Hydra , mas alguns dos membros do clã se juntam a SHIELD para proteger o mundo . É este o início de um novo gênero de guerra?”… esperando sem paciencia! é melhor esperar 80 dias do que morrer esperando! Comentem o que vcs acharam disso e o que vcs acham que vai acontecer agora que a Hydra e Shield estao “cheios” de Inhumans” – Leticia Keuffer Macedo

  39. JC1 says:

    Finally just caught up. Wish they hadn’t killed Tripp. :( Wish they had killed Ward. Oh well. I’m really not that surprised though that it was ultimately Tripp. I don’t know if it was an actor availability issue or what, but Tripp has barely had a presence this season, and I’ve thought that was a shame. I really liked him.
    .
    It will be interesting to see where they go from here. But my biggest question that I don’t see addressed, and it doesn’t look like anyone’s talking about it either….what’s going on with Bobbi and Mac? What is this big secret that they’ve got going? Crossing my fingers that we’re not headed for another betrayal – been there done that with Ward. Plus, I like Bobbi and Mac a lot more than I ever liked Ward.

  40. Bru says:

    Not happy about Tripp. Not sure I will be watching this show anymore. I have not been watching Agent Carter. Very disappointed.

  41. Wendy says:

    Why are all the black characters being killed off in episodic tv?

  42. tsevca says:

    I actually felt Tripp´s death as tacky. We didn´t feel any danger for him, when he deactivated the bombs, there wasn´t any drama in it, it was clear he´d make it. Then they´re in that cave and huge things were supposed to be happening, but it didn´t really feel like it, he destroys the thing, which seemed too easy, only to be turned into stone? It was done in hurry, things didn´t feel like a big deal, not even like some huge finale…