Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Clark Gregg on Coulson's Mystery: "It's Time, Damn It"

In less than 24 hours, fans of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will get a look at 'The Magical [...]


In less than 24 hours, fans of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will get a look at "The Magical Place," the midseason premiere episode that will give Clark Gregg's Agent Phil Coulson an idea as to just what really happened to him during and after the Battle for New York. And Gregg assures fans that they're going to be satisfied by what they learn, although if you read the language carefully, he does stop short of saying that the full truth of Coulson's return will be revealed. "People have been patient in really wanting to know the true nature of the secrets. ... We're going to get a big fat window at the real truth, and it's going to be very, very surprising," Gregg told Zap2it. "When I read the sequence, I just stopped and put the script down and went 'Wow. That was worth waiting for.'"


The slow build up to the Coulson's revelation is one of the things that has caused some frustration for some viewers, and Gregg told the website that he knows "it's time, damn it" to reveal the truth about his S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent, who first appeared in a number of the Marvel Cinematic Universe  movies before being seemingly killed, then moved to television. From "The Magical Place" on, he says that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will pick up the pace through the end of the show's first season. "The fact that they've already managed to kind of make the reveal of what Coulson's doing alive [be] the one thing that the Clairvoyant wants is just part of the way the back half of this season is going to be -- more exciting and more satisfying than the first half of this season, where so much work had to be done to kind of set up this world of these people and this team, and all these separate pieces get kind of woven together," the actor admitted. The series has drawn strong ratings on Tuesday nights--better than ABC has had in its time slot for years--but has struggled to find a "level." After the pilot episode pulled the year's biggest premiere ratings, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. went on to have six consecutive down weeks, and then recovered for only two weeks before the midseason finale represented another series low. Meanwhile, both fans and critics have had issues with the series--something that Marvel Studios have generally not had to contend with since the birth of their Cinematic Universe with 2008's Iron Man. In spite of those challenges, the show is generally expected to earn a second-season pickup, meaning that Coulson and company will be back on the air next year. Between now and then, though, there is the matter of Captain America: The Winter Soldier to contend with; the anticipated sequel will deal with quite a bit of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s internal politics, and presumably some elements of the show will have to be adjusted after the film is released to address what happens in it. Tomorrow's episode will not only give an insight into Coulson's mystery, but feature his team struggling to save him with no backup from "big S.H.I.E.L.D." Based on previous teases in the dialogue, don't be surprised if the rest of the season includes a plot thread of the team being taken away from Coulson after they refuse orders from Victoria Hand and other S.H.I.E.L.D. higher-ups.