Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. EP Jeff Bell Thinks Skye Is "Doomed Either Way" In Season Finale


It has been an eventful season for the cast of characters in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. They’ve dealt with Hydra, a fractured S.H.I.E.L.D., the existence of the Inhumans and more, and it all comes to a head tonight in the two-hour season finale “S.O.S.”

Executive Producer Jeff Bell has been one of the hands keeping the ever-growing, ever more epic S.H.I.E.L.D. ship. Bell took the time to sit down with and talk about the big finale, Skye’s role, and the challenges of balancing such an ensemble cast.

Check out our interview below, and check back after the finale airs for the second part, where Bell goes in-depth on the finale’s shocking conclusion. The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 finale airs tonight at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

Gonzales is dead, Bobbi is captured, and Skye has a foot on each side of the coming war between the Inhumans and S.H.I.E.L.D. Where is everyone’s head at as we kick off the big finale? Does anybody really know who’s on whose side anymore?

Um…no [laughs]. What we tried to set up is Coulson coming in from the cold mostly brought the two element of S.H.I.E.L.D. together for the first time all season. Coulson made peace with Gonzales and his council, and bad things happened to Gonzales that they don’t know about. For all they know, Gonzales went Rogue and caused this whole thing to happen.

I think the piece you mentioned that key for us is Skye. Here’s a young woman who’s torn between her surrogate family of Coulson and May, and her biological parents, Cal and Jiaying. In many ways, this season has been about that, her S.H.I.E.L.D. family versus her real family. On one hand, you get the dream come true of I get to meet my mom and my dad, and then dad ends up being fairly mentally unstable. Mom, who at first offers everything she would want not only as a loving mother but also as someone who holds knowledge about the Inhumans, about the world that she comes from, about her powers and her gifts, I think that’s all very attractive to her.

So here she is going into the last two episodes really torn between these two groups, because it seems like her one family just tried to kill her biological mom. I think with her in the middle and everybody swirling around her is a pretty good way to go into the finale.

The show’s cast has grown considerably from the original “dirty half dozen” of the first season, into this ensemble of series regulars and guest stars, each with their own storyline unfolding. What’s in been like trying to balance those characters and stories as you try to have it all coalesce into a satisfying conclusion for the finale?

I think, in bringing it to a conclusion, we’re in pretty good shape. The challenge has been, over the course of the season, certain characters come forward for a few episodes and then have to recede. Our cast are pretty understanding about that, and pretty great about that. We hope that when we give them even a little bit it’s something interesting to do.

To come in this year and have sort of a series of antagonist – we started with Whitehall way back a thousand years ago. We had Whitehall, and Cal. We’ve got Agent Ward in there, whose been sort of surfing through the whole thing. You’re right, wow [laughs]. Then Raina’s been an antagonist, then you get Gonzales and Jiaying. I’ve definitely had an embarrassment of riches when it comes to antagonists. I don’t think of them as villains necessarily, because most of them aren’t villainous, but they aren’t certainly antagonists to Coulson and his group, and there’s been a bunch of them.

That’s been fun for us. When you’re 22 episodes, you have to mix it up. You can’t do the same thing every week, otherwise it just feels like, “Oh, it’s another slice of the same pie.” So, by starting with Hydra and then getting to what we call S.H.I.E.L.D. 2.0, and then bringing Hydra back with the tie-in to Avengers, with Hydra working with powered people and then getting to the Inhumans’ role, we’ve tried to tell a lot of different stories, both with antagonists and with tone.

Skye’s been on quite a journey over the course of the series so far. Now, with everything coming to a head, is there any way she gets out of this situation without having to make a very difficult choice between these two families?

God, I hope not [laughs]. I think good drama is about people having to make really hard choices. We’ve tried to construct our antagonist as having really good motives. Jiaying built this Inhumans community in the middle of nowhere to be left alone. She was cut apart by people who called themselves S.H.I.E.L.D., even if they were Hydra. So I think any feelings she has about this group showing up at her doorstep are well earned. That doesn’t necessarily mean that she’s going to behave well, but we tried to give her and Cal a parents love for their child. So I think people understand that, which puts Skye in a real bind because Coulson and May, as her surrogate parents, have also gone out of their way to treat her well. So I think she’s doomed either way. And by “doomed,” I mean that in a really exciting storytelling kind of way.

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