An Inhuman vaccine may be in the future on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Hypable spoke to the cast and crew about this hugely divisive development.
The concept of a vaccine to prevent Terrigenesis was influential in the early half of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 3. Rosalind Price kidnapped Inhumans in the hope that they could be “cured,” a perspective to which Coulson found himself at least somewhat sympathetic. But the vaccine turned out to be one of Gideon Malick’s many false promises, and the idea — or perhaps, the threat — went unfulfilled.
Now, Simmons has discovered that Carl Creel’s mutable blood provides protection against the alien transformation. Though the vaccine is still in the theoretical stages, the concept of preventing Terrigenesis has already caused friction between Daisy and Lincoln.
“I think it’s a powerful idea,” says showrunner Jed Whedon. “At the center of the show now is this question of, if you could choose it, would you want to? Would you choose to have this happen to you? Is it a choice? Do people who change, how do we treat them? Do they immediately have freedom to be who they want to be? Or is it a very dangerous weapon that we have to control — or at least understand?”
“That’s a lot of the stuff that we’ll talk about moving forward forever,” he adds. “That’s the dynamic between regular humans and empowered, enhanced humans, or Inhumans.”
Clark Gregg, whose Director Coulson is elbow-deep in enhanced humanity, feels that the question of the Inhuman vaccine speaks as a metaphor.
“If the things that society considers anomalous, in this moment, [you] could take a shot and be like everybody else, would you take it?” he wonders. “That’s a fantastic question. There are those who think, “Oh, yes, this is great! We can stop people from turning into something different.” And Daisy — and a lot of people who are already different, and are suffering the consequences of it but who also have new powers — feel like, “That already implies that you think something is wrong with us.””
“It feels to me that there won’t just be some easy answer,” Gregg continues, adding that he expects a hint or two to arrive in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. script following Captain America: Civil War.
“But I suspect this world, where there are Inhumans, is here to stay,” he says. “It seems like it’s [like] turning over a shovel and finding a lot of stuff to play with. I suspect that that will be the world we live in, and I’m also afraid that the way that’s going to tear us apart has probably only begun to be seen.”
Some of those fractures have already asserted themselves. No sooner did Simmons share her discovery than Daisy and Lincoln found themselves on opposite sides on the subject of the vaccine.
“It’s a very interesting topic,” says Luke Mitchell, who isn’t willing to call Lincoln pro-vaccine so much as he is supportive of the option. “If we could track down every single person who had Inhuman DNA and present them with the choice of, hey, you might turn into a horrible, bad person, or you could have awesome powers and potentially save the world… which way do you go when it’s not guaranteed one way or another?”
“I’m not sure that Lincoln necessarily has a side,” he adds, “But Daisy certainly seems to take the side of ‘everything is a gift.'”
The issue might also cause friction between Fitz and Simmons who, as Iain de Caestecker notes, “have clashed in the past, certainly when it came to Inhumans.” In season 2 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the scientific team disagreed on whether Daisy’s transformation was a positive development (Fitz) or a dangerous affliction (Simmons).
Still, de Caestecker has a fairly positive outlook.
“They seem to be able to get over most obstacles,” he muses. “I think throughout their relationship as well, which I think has always been quite nice, is they can always have a big fight and shout at each other, and then 10 minutes later be all right. It’s that kind of relationship.”
Elizabeth Henstridge cautiously agrees — with a caveat. “I do think [the vaccine] would be something that they would disagree on,” she says.