Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Brett Dalton On Hive's Master Plan And If Grant Ward Is Gone For Good

Hive
(Photo: Marvel Entertainment)

On tonight’s episode of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., we finally began to understand what makes Hive such a compelling leader. The Inhuman god swayed S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and leader of the Secret Warriors Daisy Johnson to his side, and even that seems to be just the beginning.

So now that we understand Hive’s capabilities, and now that Hive is in possession of an enormous amount of wealth, what’s next? We asked Brett Dalton exactly that, and probed about the final fate of Hive’s host, Grant Ward.

In tonight’s episode we learned how Hive mind controls Inhumans, or sways them to his side, and kind of get a sense of how he builds his army. What kind of scale is he thinking here? Should we expect something similar to what Daisy's doing with the Secret Warriors, or is he thinking more like an Inhuman nation, or even something global in scale?

BD: Hive does not think small. This person has been around for way to long to think in anything other than global terms. He's a survivor. He doesn't think small. He's got big plans. In fact, one of the interesting differences between him and Ward, Malick says that this guy is focusing on ... right before Malick convinced him to go through that portal, he was talking about how Ward just becomes single minded and is hellbent on one thing at a time. For him, it was taking Coulson down. One of the ways that Malick got him to go through this portal is he's like, "Get your eyes up off of the chess board. Stop focusing on that one piece and that one move, there's a whole chess board here really." He got me to see a larger perspective, and then I jumped through the portal. I think that it's an interesting contrast between the 2 because Ward is so single minded and Hive is the opposite. He sees every move on the chess board. That's what we're seeing in terms of Hive's thinking. It is about a new world order of sorts.

At the end of “The Team,” following Gideon Malick’s untimely death, Hive comes into the possession of a vast fortune and seems intent on putting it to use. What can you tell us about Hive’s plans for that wealth?

Money allows you to do a whole bunch of things and, as we've talked about with Hive, he has a global way of thinking. Malick's fortune provides a…really, the actions are limitless with a purse that big. He's got something planned. We're going to see him start setting his plan into motion and it's not a small plan. It's got to start somewhere, but the ramifications are meant to be on a global level. You're right, he does have this kind of this sway over Inhumans, and that's what we learn many of the details about that. Keep that in mind.

With death and resurrection being a recurring theme in television recently, and Coulson himself setting a precedent in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., do you believe Ward’s story really ended on that alien planet, or could there be more surprises in store for him?

BD: Ward's still in there. Ward's still in there and I think that if we know anything about Ward it's that he doesn't go down without a fight and he doesn't go down lightly. It's not just the muscle memory of Ward that's in there, it's also all of the thoughts and memories. This guy was a complicated guy and I think that even though Hive is all powerful and using their body as a host, Ward's probably kicking and screaming in there and trying desperately to be heard. Of course he's going to pop up again. It's the motivations, I think, that are going to be surprising to people, and not only surprising, but also fulfilling.

When it does come up, I think the writers do a really good job of making sure that they satisfy things for the audience, because there's so many beautiful things that are begging to be done. When you have Ward there, but kind of not there, it's, I think, a really cool thing that you get to do because you're seeing a flash of it. It's almost like seeing your kid. There are flashes of you in there that you're like, "Oh my God, that's me," but then again, it's not me. It's its own thing. It's this really delicious thing you get to see.

When it's done well, actually as we saw a little bit in the last episode, hopefully if I pulled it off, we're seeing Malick's brother in there ... just a little bit. I tried to change my voice in there, I tried to change even my level of expression in there because I was supposed to be channeling somebody else entirely coming through. If done well, you're going to see both things at the same time, operating on 2 separate levels. That's what's crazy because you kind of believe it. It slips in and out of you almost want to believe that there's this other creature there, or that other person there, but then again it's not. It's like seeing a medium. It would be like going to see somebody and that person pulling specific things out of the past and telling you about that incident that happened when you were 7 years old. You really want to believe it and maybe there is something there, but maybe there's not. It's just really good television, I think, at the end of the day. It's a really cool place to explore.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.