ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” has been inundated with Inhumans -- secret super powered people -- this season. Now it’s up to Marvel’s heroes to keep the Inhuman folks they find safe. Safe from what, pray tell? Meet the Watchdogs, the villainous new pack of Inhuman hunters that will be introduced in tonight’s episode, titled appropriately “Watchdogs.”
The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have faced ominous evil groups before; we all remember Hydra. But their latest foe is the essentially a terrorist hate group bent on ridding the world of the Inhumans.
In Marvel Comics, the Watchdogs were a group that terrorized abortion clinics, pornographers and many other things the group deemed unworthy of existing on this planet. Introduced in the pages of Captain America in 1987, the highly dangerous and very secretive group was funded by the nefarious Red Skull.
We have an exclusive clip of Agent Mack (Henry Simmons) and his brother Ruben (Gaius Charles) witnessing the destruction caused by the Watchdogs.
And we also spoke to series Executive Producer Jeff Bell about introducing the Watchdogs to the world of S.H.I.E.L.D., and the direction that the show has taken thus far.
Bringing in and grooming Inhumans is a new function for the agents. It’s always been a part of what S.H.I.E.L.D. does, but with Daisy involved, this gets personal. How did the storyline evolve?
Jeff Bell: We’ve been talking with Marvel from the get go -- we always knew that Skye was going to be Daisy Johnson. And in doing that we knew that she was going to have powers and then what was available to us and what Marvel was interested in and how they were going to use Inhumans.
That felt like a real natural way for us to introduce these characters. The fact that “Secret Warriors” existed in the SHIELD comics, and was a storyline that we all loved here on the show, the opportunity to do that felt like a fresh extension of where we were going. A story that Marvel fans would enjoy, and yet, was still ideally inclusive enough that people who didn’t know it would come in and follow the show.
On the show we do try to find metaphors in the real world, and find ways to talk about them. At a time when diversity is in the cross hairs, in so many ways, with people who are different and how they’re being treated, the rise of Inhumans and powered people has been a very polarizing thing on our show. Some don’t want anyone to have powers, some think they should be controlled.
There are people who have powers that aren’t sure why they were powered. It makes sense that there’s a group of people who will rise up against that notion, who are threatened by it, and who want to fight back. It’s sort of scary on a grass-roots level. Hydra is great as an antagonist, but they’re also globe-conquering giants. Whereas Watchdogs could be in your neighborhood, around the corner or in your compound and that seems like a real threat in this world.
Agent Alphonso ‘Mack’ Mackenzie broke out a few times [on the show], but this seems like more of a spotlight.
We love Henry [Simmons] as an actor and Mack as a character. Last week, two of his closest friends on the show -- Bobbi and Hunter -- left. In our opinion, their departures affected him more than anyone else. So the idea for Mack to take a moment to go home, to step away, felt right. And for us to give Mack, as a character, and Henry, as an actor, more room on stage made sense to us.
How will those departures affect the rest of the team?
I think they will very much miss them, both as partners and for their skills, and it will be something they very much feel. Mack was the one who felt it the most, though.
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