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In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 3 episode 15, Spacetime, there's a scene in which a bunch of agents are essentially rehearsing a big fight. It features Agent May very obviously pulling her punches and kicks so as not to injure her coworkers, and agents pointing bright plastic prop guns at each other and saying "BANG!", with Daisy "directing."

When I saw that, I couldn't help but wonder if the show was going a little bit meta. Has anyone involved with the show talked about this scene? Is this what a real fight scene on set looks like, before the special effects guys do their magic?

  • The actors most definetly do not say BANG during shooting if that is what you are asking for. – TK-421 Jun 28 '19 at 11:41
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Prior to this scene, Daisy is horrified by a glimpse of the future, after touching Charles, a homeless inhuman.

She attempts to save him before Hydra snatches him up but is too late. Charles gets taken…but not before Daisy touches him, seeing flashes of her own future: Fitz and Simmons standing in the snow holding hands; Lincoln with blood on his face, clearly hurt; Coulson shooting her. Charles gives one more plea, asking for Daisy’s help, before her vision ends. Daisy is left shaken with Charles’ wooden bird. Source.

So the team was doing a rehearsal on what they should do to prevent that future and change fate.

The S.H.I.E.L.D. team continues to run through the scenario, but Fitz is convinced May won’t be going. May runs through the scenario at improved time just as an agent reports they’ve found the building where Hydra took Charles. Source

So, in order to answer this question: "Is this what a real fight scene on set looks like, before the special effects guys do their magic?"

No it's not, it was an actual scene from the episode showing the team getting ready for their next mission.

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