Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was launched in 2013 with much fanfare as a new and vital link in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We were told that the events within would impact upon the films (and vice versa), and most fans anticipated at minimum a couple of cameos from some of the Avengers.
What we actually got, though, were several narrative arcs with little to no connection with the MCU. In the end, the connections were limited to the character of Agent Coulson, very brief appearances from Samuel L. Jackson, Jamie Alexander and Cobie Smulders, the consequences of the plots of the Captain America movies and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. locating Loki’s staff in time for the opening of Age of Ultron.
Despite that, the show has been muddling along in its own MCU cul-de-sac, having picked up a devoted fanbase that’s seen it recently hit its 100th episode. This is a pretty big milestone, so you’d be forgiven if you suspected they had an A-lister or two up their sleeve to make a really special occasion. Sadly though, that isn’t the case, as Screen Rant reports that executive producers Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen Whedon have said the following:
Jed: I think there’s definitely things that will never happen but…
Maurissa: I don’t I still don’t think we’ll ever have Iron Man show up on the show.
Jed: But, I think that you know, that the things that won’t happen are more just are based on sort of our tastes and our wishes. It’s not, you know, there’s certain things that I think are off the table. Just because we’re like, if we discuss them we go, nah. But no.
The interview goes on to reveal something I hadn’t realized about the show: the rest of the Avengers don’t even know that Agent Coulson has returned from the dead. You’d think after four years someone might have slipped them a memo that their much-loved and mourned supporting character had come back to life. Unfortunately not, though, and I think this fact alone cements Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as peripheral to the MCU at large.
Nonetheless, no one can deny that (after a rocky start), the show has found its footing and is delivering the kind of stories you simply won’t find elsewhere on television. Hopefully that’ll continue tonight when Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns for its season 5 premiere on ABC.