White Collar star Tim DeKay has signed on for a pivotal guest-starring role in Season 2 of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., playing Senator Maynard Ward, the abusive older brother of HYDRA operative Grant Ward (Brett Dalton).

The character will debut in the sixth Season 2 episode, entitled "A Fractured Rose", who may be the "Senator with deep pockets" that General Glenn Talbot (Adrian Pasdar) referred to in last night's episode, "Heavy Is the Head". Maynard was also referenced during Season 1, when Grant told Skye (Chloe Bennet) stories about how his older brother would beat him up, including an incident where Maynard pushed Grant into a well.

Their contentious sibling relationship will also help explain how Grant became loyal to HYDRA in the first place. Zap2It reports that Grant burned down his parents' home while Maynard was still inside. Maynard survived and pressed charges, which lead to Grant being sentenced to a juvenile detention facility, where he was recruited into HYDRA by John Garrett (Bill Paxton).

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In a recent interview with Zap2It, Brett Dalton talked about how Grant has been thinking about his past after being remanded to solitary confinement.

"He's thinking about all the bad things he's done. When you're in captivity like that, you're forced to deal with all of the questions that are swimming around in your head. You can't avoid them. It's just you in that room. I think that he has a lot to answer for, so I think that he's probably there with a lot of voices in his head."

In related news, it seems that Fran Kranz, a longtime collaborator of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. creator Joss Whedon, recently sent out a tweet which hinted that he may be playing Robbie Baldwin, a.k.a. Speedball in the series. The actor later deleted the tweet, but On No They Didn't managed to find a screencap that mentions Robbie Baldwin is coming to S.H.I.E.L.D. soon, along with Adrianne Palicki's Mockingbird.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Fran Kranz Tweet

We reported last week that Adrianne Palicki will make her debut as Bobbi Morse, a.k.a. Mockingbird in the fifth episode, "A Hen in the Wolfhouse", so it's possible that we may see Fran Kranz as Speedball in this episode as well. In the comics, Speedball is a member of the New Warriors, which also includes Nova, a character many thought would be introduced in this summer's hit movie Guardians of the Galaxy. His gift of incredible kinetic energy comes from a science experiment gone terribly awry.

Of course, Fran Kranz hasn't been confirmed as Speedball yet, but we'll keep you posted as soon as more information comes in.

Finally, ABC has released a new clip from next week's episode "Making Friends and Influencing People", where Grant also hints at his troubled relationship with his family, along with the first photo of Tim DeKay as Senator Maynard Ward.

<strong><em>Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.</em></strong> Tim DeKay Photo