Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD Season 4: Will Calvin Zabo Return?


A throwaway comment at the end of season three by Daisy meant that one of our favorite characters could see a return in season four

It was a hard loss at the end of Agents of SHIELD’s second season as Calvin Zabo was giving the TAHITI treatment to start his life anew with no emotional baggage from the past.

Don’t get me wrong–it’s the best and happiest ending possible for him, a nice fresh start that gives him a much happier, more fortunate life. But for Agents of SHIELD, he was one of the most entertaining villains/antagonist the show has given us. Any scene with Cal captured your full attention. You couldn’t wait to see his response or reaction to any given situation. He gave a crazed brightness to every scene.

So it made my heart soar at Daisy’s mention of him in the flash forward in the season finale. If you happened to miss the quick comment, I’ll give you the run-down:

Daisy meets up with Charles Hinton’s wife and daughter (the Inhuman with the gift to show future deaths) to give them the wooden bird he had carved. She makes a comment about a friend of hers. “He has a practice near here. I think you’d get along. He likes animals too,” she says.

Obviously, it can’t be anyone else other than Calvin Zabo. And I couldn’t be more excited for the possibility of his return.

If you don’t recall how much I love him, rather than read all of my recaps from last season where I blather on about him, you could just glance at my character review of him after season two. I even had a crazy theory on how to bring him back for the third season. Here’s my exact quote:

"By the mid-point next season, Grant Ward will be desperate for anything that will mess with SHIELD. He tracks down Cal in his new location and reverses what TAHITI did. He’ll revert to being a crazed lunatic, now bent on revenge against Coulson, Skye, and SHIELD because Ward did his anti-hypnosis in such a way that Cal doesn’t remember he killed Jiaying or that he was getting along with Skye or agreeing with Coulson."

Agents of SHIELD didn’t take that crazy route like I had hoped. Smartly so, as it would have added a little too much ridiculousness to what this season accomplished.

The return of Cal wouldn’t mean we would see the same Cal from season two, especially with the TAHITI treatment and lack of his crazy past. But a new Cal means a new set of stories.

Daisy referring to him as a “friend” implies that in her new way of life six months after Lincoln’s death, she has some new sort of relationship with her father. She was the one who helped get him into the TAHITI project, so it’s definitely nothing like my crazy theory up there. She has to be friends with the new version of Cal, the version that should have been her father, had Whitehall not murdered her mother and Cal had not rebuilt her and done experiments on himself.

Bringing someone like Kyle MacLachlan back into the Agents of SHIELD mix would be a tremendous asset. He played Cal with such nuances and such grace that seeing him take on this new iteration of the character would mean exploring a new avenue. New stories, new adventures, a new relationship where Daisy struggles not to bring up the past.

The possibilities for a Cal return are endless, though they more than likely won’t include a Mr. Hyde return… not yet, at least. Not until SHIELD comes into the picture and he sees his friend threatened (one of a few scenarios that popped into my head). He could be a recurring character more like Deathlok: brought in when necessary, usually a surprise, and usually a heck of a lot of fun.

At this point, I’ll settle for a cameo.