“The plan was always for him to come on for more than one [episode] but to make it feel like [just] one, so that we could surprise people,” exec producer Jeffrey Bell told TVLine at a press event for the series finale.
Because of Season 7’s time travel element, “it made sense to us to have Sousa, who is a ‘man out of time,’ coming along for the ride,” said co-showrunner Maurissa Tancharoen. “We get a lot of fish-out-of-water, funny, generational, tech [humor].” (To cite but one example, per co-showrunner Jed Whedon, “You get a guy who says, ‘It’s peachy’!”)
When all was said and done, Sousa not only stuck around for 10 of the farewell run’s 13 episodes, he also wound up Zephyring off into the sunset with the formidable Daisy Johnson aka Quake (played by original cast member Chloe Bennet). That happy ending was something the producers could only hope for.
“We instantly fell in love with the concept during the season of bringing him in and letting him play with us for a little bit,” Whedon recalled. “But one of the good things about TV is you can make decisions as you move.
“We were hopeful that [Daisy and Sousa] would have chemistry, and we felt like we could write Sousa into a place, and her into a place, that felt like it would be organic to them,” he continued. “Seeing them on-screen and seeing them play, we were pretty confident that it would work.”
Whedon and Tancharoen of course had worked with Gjokaj before, as writers/story editors for Fox’s Dollhouse, so they knew that he could rise to any occasion. “Enver’s great, he could do anything,” Whedon noted, “so [a Sousa/Daisy pairing] was one of those things that we had hopes for, but only when he came on did we kind of cement that idea and run with it.”
The trick was “finding the angle, because they don’t, on paper, seem compatible,” Whedon observed. “She’s always calling him a dork and just kind of laughing at him. But he’s so solid and so confident in liking strong women and all that, it just felt great. So we were happy with that.”
“They were a very unlikely match, but we knew that it would work,” said Tancharoen. Added Bell: “The chemistry was even more than we’d hoped.”
The egg in the beer, it would turn out, was the bromance that also formed in the last few episodes.
“Not only was there chemistry between Daisy and Sousa, but Sousa and Mack (Henry Simmons),” Tancharoen noted. “Those are some of my favorite scenes, specifically in Mr. Bell’s episode” — the first hour of the series finale, which Bell wrote.
“They were fun to write in [Episode] 12, putting those two together,” added Bell. “It was great.”