It wasn’t long after Bill Paxton’s passing that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. stepped up to clarify the late Training Day star wouldn’t reprise his role as John Garrett for their “What If” reality. The spring return acknowledged Paxton with a credits memorial, but tonight’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. gave an extra-special shout-out to the beloved actor.

You’re warned of minor spoilers for tonight’s latest Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., though it looks like producers found a way to incorporate Paxton’s character into their Hydra-fied alternate reality after all. In the same breath as “All the Madame’s Men” re-introduced Sunil Bakshi (Simon Kassianides) as a Bill O’Reilly-esque propaganda host, visible promos during the news segment showcased Bill Paxton’s John Garrett as a fallen American hero.

Agents of SHIELD Bill Paxton Tribute
Marvel / ABC

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. first introduced Paxton as the Marvel figure toward the latter half of Season 1, subsequently incorporating him into the Winter Solder Hydra reveal. Paxton served as the first season’s major villain, even introducing the cyborg body featured in the comics, though finale “Beginning of the End” gave the character a definitive exit.

Paxton’s character was also instrumental in turning Brett Dalton’s Grant Ward to Hydra; a point compounded by Dalton’s “Framework” return to the series. We’ll have more on “All the Madame’s Men” with our full review after the east coast airing, so stay tuned.

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