The Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. panel at PaleyFest required a DNA sample, a blood oath to a guy who looked oddly similar to Joss Whedon, and a pop quiz just to get in the door. And while S.H.I.E.L.D. isn't quite as bad as Mad Men with regard to secrecy and spoilers—ABC and Marvel did screen the April 1 episode for everyone in attendance (hence the blood oath)—the panelists were pretty cagey when it came to releasing information about what's in store for the freshman series. However, they compensated for their lack of info with hugs for the audience, jokes about Agent Handsome getting it on with the ladies, and behind-the-scenes knowledge of the making of the series.
Gracing the stage were S.H.I.E.L.D. executive producers Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen, Jeffrey Bell, and Jeph Loeb, as well as cast members Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet, Iain De Caestecker, and Elizabeth Henstridge. And all I can say about the next new episode, "End of the Beginning," is that it's awesome and really sets things in motion for the rest of the season, which will air uninterrupted between April 1 and the season finale on May 13. Because of the secrecy surrounding what's to come, there wasn't much news to come out of the event, but I did collect eight fun facts to share with all of you!
8. You don't want to miss the April 8 episode, "Turn, Turn, Turn" because it's the first episode after the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and will deal with said events.
7. The producers have the story mapped out through the end of Season 2, assuming the show gets renewed. They might even have an idea for Season 3, but aren't quite so set on something that far in the future.
6. Chloe Bennet is just as in-the-dark about the blue humanoid in the tube as we are, and she said she spends her free time scouring the internet and badgering the producers and people at Marvel in an attempt to figure out what it is: "I'm like, 'Am I this?' and They're like, 'Nope!'"
5. The characters of Fitz and Simmons were based on Casey Affleck and Scott Caan's characters in Ocean's Eleven.
4. When asked which Marvel character she'd like to share a scene with, Elizabeth Henstridge chose Loki. "[I'd like to] sit down, have a cup of tea, [and] talk about his daddy issues."
3. Agent May was originally named Agent Rice, but when Ming-Na was cast in the role, the producers decided to to change the character's name so that it wouldn't be offensive.
2. Prior to joining S.H.I.E.L.D., Brett Dalton hadn't done any stunt work, but Maurissa Tancharoen said that she and her fellow EPs knew Dalton could adapt because he listed clown school on his resume. "He was the hottest dude at clown school," joked Clark Gregg.
1. Marvel is basically the real-world S.H.I.E.L.D. "This whole season has been one of jaw-dropping surprises," said Ming-Na. "The writers don't tell us anything. We try to get it out of them, and they won't tell us until we get the next script."
AIRED ON 10/18/2016
Season 4 : Episode 4
AIRS ON 10/25/2016
Season 4 : Episode 5