Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. To Pit Victoria Hand Against Skye In Return Episode

by Russ Burlingame

victoria-handWhen Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns tomorrow night, the episode (titled "The Magical Place") will include the return of Saffron Burrows as S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Victoria Hand, one of the few characters from the comics to make the jump to the small screen so far.

Hand, who has a...spotty...history within the organization in the comic book source material, will bring the full force of S.H.I.E.L.D. with her to help track down the missing Agent Coulson--though Marvel.com says she may not appreciate any assistance Coulson's team might offer.

And, as one might expect, it seems as if it's all going to come down to a test to see whether Big S.H.I.E.L.D. can manage to find and save Coulson without help from his pet project, the hacker "consultant" known as Skye.

"I think initially, as she hinted at in 'The Hub,' she viewed Coulson on the plane as sort of a recuperation period as opposed to doing serious work," producer Jeffrey Bell explained Hand's view of Coulson's team. "One of our challenges with the TV show versus, say, the S.H.I.E.L.D. you see in [Marvel's Captain America: The Winter Soldier] is we're six people on a plane versus 5,000 people on a Helicarrier. To Coulson, he's got talented people on this, and to Hand I don't think she takes him very seriously. Part of the fun of [episode] 11 was bringing what we call 'Big S.H.I.E.L.D.' [in] at the beginning [and saying] okay, this is what happens when you really do this with helicopters and 10,000 men, and this is how you catch a bad guy, this is how you shut him down. When she takes over the plane, it's the same thing. You want to see that there's this big, big machine in place and they're efficient, but there's also something about them, like the NSA, [that makes the viewer say] I don't know if I like these guys' [methods] as much as the way our guys get stuff."

CHLOE BENNETBell revealed that one of Hand's first actions will be kicking Skye, who is technically an outside contractor and not really part of the team, off the plane to eliminate any potential distractions or impediments in finding Coulson as quickly as possible.

"I think her looking at Skye and saying 'oh you're a problem, why are you on this plane, go away,' made sense," said Bell. "[Plus], the idea of sending [Skye] off on her own and her having to prove herself again but the audience seeing all that she had learned from the previous weeks with our team seemed like a really fun story to tell."

Of course, logic dictates that if she's off the plane and Coulson is out of action, she can probably take off her "house arrest" bracelet and do what she does best...

By Russ Burlingame

Russ Burlingame has been covering comics and pop culture since 1999. He has written for WIZARD: THE COMICS MAGAZINE, Comic Related, Newsarama, and more before settling in for the long haul at ComicBook.com back in 2011.