'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' Sneak Peek: Back on the Hell Planet with Brett Dalton

Will the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season finale end up back on Maveth? With the death of Lash, the only option left may be to send Hive back to the planet he was trapped on for millennia. We spoke to Brett Dalton, who plays Hive — the swarm of Inhuman parasites currently inhabiting the body of Grant Ward — about what the Hydra god is trying to accomplish, what his limitations are, and who could get more phone numbers in a bar, Hive or Captain America?

The alien planet where Hive was imprisoned is nightmarish, so it’s hard to tell if that’s where Daisy and Coulson have ended up. Daisy is trying to hot-wire a medical pod to pilot it back to Earth when Coulson says, “Daisy, this is Earth.” Is it a dream? And if it’s a dream, is it the sort of prophetic dream, like the one of an agent dying in space that Daisy’s been having for the last half-dozen episodes? Maybe it’s the Earth once Hive is through remaking it in his image. Dalton says a world controlled by Hive probably isn’t as bad as everyone thinks it would be.

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“[Hive] imagines world peace. In a strange way, that’s something that Ward wanted as well,” Dalton explains. In the pilot, Skye (her name at the time) asks him what he wants, and world peace is his answer. “There’s definitely a strange parallel there.”

Hive truly doesn’t think of himself as evil, adds Dalton. “His role is to unite all these Inhumans, and if everyone who was an Inhuman was under his sway, there would be no conflicts, there would be no war. All of their strengths would be used in service of something bigger.” Besides, says the actor, “Humans have had their chance.”

Hive was very nearly taken out when S.H.I.E.L.D. pulled a double-cross and, instead of Lincoln in the Quinjet, Hive found Lash. “It would’ve been cool if that thing with Lash would’ve [gone] to a second round. I don’t think Hive is used to being on the ground.” Dalton says Lash was “his first formidable opponent since the show started.”

With the exception of Lash — who was engineered to be the anti-Hive — the Hydra god seems all but unstoppable. But how would he stand up to Avengers? Dalton admits that Hive “wouldn’t do too well against the Hulk,” but says his real strength is his how he bounces back. “Hive has been relatively un-killable. There have been bullets and rocket launchers and the guy who makes people go catatonic — the guy with eyes — none of these things work on him.”

Hive may not be able to beat them with brute force, but he’s certainly proven to be quite a persuader. How would he do in an all-out charmfest? Grant Ward definitely holds his own against the likes of Steve Rogers and Tony Stark in terms of good looks. “Maybe he would do quite well at a bar,” muses Dalton. “Hive does his research. I bet he would read every single book there was on how to win on a first date — the right thing to say at the right time.” He’s also mysterious, a snappy dresser, and, adds Dalton, “He has Malick’s money. So he’s got a lot of things going for him.” So maybe he stands a chance against the Avengers? “Here’s the real answer,” he says with a laugh. “Put me in a movie and let’s find out.”

Grant Ward has survived two season finales with S.H.I.E.L.D. vehemently trying to put him down, only to come back stronger than ever the next year. Will Hive/Ward make it a trifecta? Dalton certainly hopes so. “Hive has got an ego on him, but he also believes in purpose and destiny.” And that destiny? “He’s got to direct literally everybody on Earth and make sure that we’re all serving the same purpose. So, it’s a big job.”

The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. two-hour finale airs on Tuesday, May 17, at 9 p.m. on ABC.