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While this article speculates on the future of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, it also contains spoilers for seasons three and four. Proceed with caution.
Fans of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD have been through the ringer this year. Season three wiped out Hive, got Fitzsimmons together, and teased a major storyline featuring LMDs. The season finale gave little niblets of what was to come: Simmons planning a vacation! Fitz orchestrating a surprise! Daisy on the run! Definitely no return of Ward! Yet here we are. almost a year later and none of those teasers have paid off.
We Are Not Agents of Nothing. We are Agents of EVERYTHING!
Season four kicked off on a completely tangential storyline when it introduced Ghost Rider/Robbie Reyes. Then, Fitzsimmons were separated. Twice. Fitz traveled to another dimension, taking Coulson and Robbie along with him. Daisy met Ghost Rider and started flirting with him months after her boyfriend simultaneously jettisoned himself into space and admitted he loved her. Coulson started hitting on May–also insensitively close to the loss of a loved one. Not until the show returned from its mid-season break did LMDs come up again in a serious way. At this point, Fitzsimmons had given up on a quiet, domestic life together. Oh, and Ghost Rider sacrificed himself and went to hell.
Now we’re in the Framework which may as well be hell. We definitely don’t want THIS Fitz anywhere near Simmons. Daisy was reset to Skye. Everyone’s hailing HYDRA. And, because there is no god, Brett Dalton is back as Agent Grant Ward.
You would think, with all this fictional whiplash, that fans could at least get some real-world stability. However, as the show inches towards its season four finale, the network has not made a firm statement on season five. What is that about? From one super nerd to another, let me assure you– I have absolutely no idea.
Agents of Season Five?
Over the last few months, theories on this question have fluctuated wildly. First, fan favorite, costume designer Ann Foley left. Then hairdresser Shayna Sanford packed up her brushes. (Sanford assures fans she is not leaving, but her IMDB page lists Agents of SHIELD as a “2015-2017” run.)
Filming wrapped on the show earlier this week, and script supervisor Melanie Bradford shared pictures of the party on her Instagram. Everyone seems to be in high spirits, and Bradford even captioned one photo “Happy Hiatus!” So we’re coming back, just with as couple new crew members, right? RIGHT?
Hold on to your very confused hats. The last third of season four has pulled out all the stops. We’ve got “full dark, no stars” Fitz. We’ve got Madame Hydra. We’ve got May wrapping up her “cavalry” storyline from season one. We’ve got big bads going after Coulson’s head. We’ve got a redemption arc for Ward. And if that wasn’t enough, we’ve got fan faves returning in droves. (Of course, the only thing that could bring down the excitement over #triplives is the inevitable devastation when he disappears once more.)
Agents of SHIELD: The Farewell Tour
At the beginning of season four, ratings were dropping. Perhaps this no-holds-barred approach is a last ditch effort to pull those numbers up once more. Maybe that’s why the writers CLEARLY redesigned the season from its original LMD-centric storyline; show runners Jed and Maurissa Whedon perhaps knew this bonkers Framework would show off the best (and worst) in everyone. Or maybe they know this is the last shot they’ll get, so they’re pulling out all the stops with absolute reckless abandon. The show did move time slots from 9 to 10 pm this season, allowing it to go darker and sexier than ever before. And they certainly haven’t wasted that opportunity.
So which is it, ABC? Are we on a farewell tour leading up to Inhumans, or is this season just that good?