Marvel's "Agents of SHIELD," the small-screen continuation of Disney's lucrative Marvel Cinematic Universe, was, by and large, not exactly a home run as far as comic book adaptations go. Robbed of the astronomical budgets that the films are provided with, it often felt like a TV-movie-of-the-week version of your favorite big screen heroes. But after "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" hit, and effectively disabled what SHIELD was, the series got something of a second wind (in its inaugural season, mind you), sharpening up and taking unexpected chances. On the finale, Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) was given the keys to a newly revamped SHIELD from Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), offering the possibility of a very different (and much improved) sophomore season. Gregg admits as much with a new interview with IGN.
"He's a very different Coulson than the guy who everyone knew," Gregg told IGN. "A lot of people who knew him in the old days say, 'He's different.' I think you would have to be different having gone through that stuff. So I think he's reinventing himself and re-understanding himself as a person anyway, which is probably really necessary to taking in the new environment and figuring out what SHIELD ought to be in a way that it doesn't get rotten again."
Of course, there's also some stuff to be said about how Coulson has returned, which still hasn't been totally explained (as far as I understand it), and how that plays into the other shenanigans that will be happening in Season 2. "So we go from having no SHIELD at all, with a director on the run, to a tiny Guerrilla SHIELD with Agent Coulson at its head, and maybe not in his own right head," Gregg explained. "That sounds fun. That sounds like an interesting Season 2." I'll say!
The other thing that Gregg is enthusiastic about is the way that the season will be split up, with the show returning in the fall, then taking a hiatus of probably two months so that the "Agent Carter" series (based on the Hayley Atwell character from "Captain America," in a new series of thrilling, WWII-era adventures) can run, and then coming back for a few episodes in the spring. This will be much appreciated to everyone on "SHIELD" – from what I've heard the shooting schedule and number of episodes almost killed several members of the cast and crew (from exhaustion; don't worry – it's a very safe set).
"I think it's a great idea," Gregg beamed to IGN. "I think in the present age of TV, nobody wants to go down two weeks here, three weeks there. I don't like it. I don't think our fans liked it. It didn't let us keep the momentum going with the story. It's been amazing to watch how much the show clicked into gear, first of all, after the events of Winter Soldier, but when we got to run 10 episodes without a break. You can download the season of so many shows on Netflix in one day -- who wants to take a two-week pause? I don't!"
"Agents of SHIELD" returns to ABC in the fall. The first season will appear on Blu-ray and DVD on September 9th.