It’s the moment Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fans have been dreading since the flash forward in the midseason finale revealed that someone would die in a space-bound quinjet. After a game of hot potato of death, the two-hour season finale revealed that the Fallen Agent is Lincoln (Luke Mitchell), who sacrificed himself to save both Daisy (Chloe Bennet) and the world, as Hive planned to turn humanity into swayed Inhumans, a.k.a. Primitives. EW hit the set on Mitchell’s final day of production to get his take on leaving S.H.I.E.L.D.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Did you get an early sense that Lincoln would get killed off?
LUKE MITCHELL: When they had initially revealed that someone is going to die, I was like, “That’s a really cool twist.” Part of me was like, “But it’ll probably end up being [someone random].” Then I was like, “Actually, no, maybe it is going to be something big.” That would be a really cool season-ending thing if it was one of the main cast, because that hasn’t really happened. Ward kind of died, but Brett stayed on the show, therefore you’re not losing an actor. Then I was like, “Well, they’re not going to kill off any of the originals. That’s the show. That’s what the core of the show is.”
Then I started thinking about the peripherals around the core members, which I consider myself to be one of the peripheral characters because I came in late in the game. I was like, “Well, they’re not going to kill Yo-Yo because that would be too obvious because it’s her necklace. She’s awesome and she’s a comic book character who they’ve just introduced and barely used.” Then I was like, “Joey, would they kill Joey off? He’s not a comic book character. No, he’s Latino and he’s gay, they better not kill him off.” Then all of a sudden I’m like, “I think it could be me, straight white guy.” It was a really funny thing. Early on, before I knew knew, I started to get a feeling that it could be me. To be perfectly honest, all things considered, I think it’s the right choice. Dramatically, it’s really interesting. I take my hat off to them for killing the straight white guy. There’s been so much talk about killing off gay characters or killing off minority characters. We have such diversity on our show, which is terrific. When it was me, I was like, “touché.” Obviously I’m very sad to be saying goodbye, but I think it’s good for the story.
Is there some solace at least that he gets to go out like a hero?
Sure. If you’re going to die, I couldn’t have written a better ending for the character. Yeah, there’s a little bit of, “Cool. Save the girl. Save the world. Great.” Knowing what Daisy has seen [in the prophecy], then going, well, “It’s me or her, and I’m not having it be her.” He doesn’t want to be in that position. He’s not suicidal. He’s f—ing scared, even after the events take place and he’s in the quinjet with Hive. He’s terrified, but he knows he’s made the right decision, because if Daisy had sacrificed herself, I’m not sure he’d be able to live with himself. But, yeah, still sad. As an actor, when you step into a character’s shoes, you really live and breathe this character, and you try to flesh it out as much as you can with the writing that you’ve been given and the limited information about future episodes. You start to see all the possibilities. You start seeing this just grow and build, so from that point of view, I was initially sad, because I was like, “There was more to mine with the character.” I would’ve had fun continuing this journey going into the next season. But now taking a step back, in hindsight, it’s absolutely the right choice.