It looks like this might finally be it for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Despite being the daddy of the MCU’s TV shows, ABC’s superhero spinoff drama has struggled to earn impressive ratings over the years, which has meant that it’s been teetering on the edge of cancellation for a while now.
Thanks to its fervent fanbase and the support of Marvel Studios behind it, however, S.H.I.E.L.D. has managed to rack up five very entertaining seasons. This one, though, is being produced under the assumption that it might just be the last. As revealed in the most recent episode, Clark Gregg’s Phil Coulson is destined to die (for real this time) saving the world before season 5 is out. Seeing as Coulson’s essentially the protagonist of the ensemble series, it seems like the showrunners are deliberately bringing the story to a close.
According to exec producer Jed Whedon, though, that isn’t entirely the intention, as the team does apparently have more ideas to explore if they get the chance:
“You always want to leave the idea that there’s more stories, it’s a question of whether or not we will tell them. We have our end, and we’ll stick to it regardless, and we think it’ll work either way.”
That said, his co-producer Maurissa Tancharoen has also stated that the upcoming final episode of season 5 is being made to act as “a possible series finale,” as has apparently been done with previous years, too. Still, the hope is that the show will get renewed and as such, the episode has been written with a way for things to continue with the rest of Coulson’s team.
“That’s how we’ve ended every season, because whenever we’ve come to the end of all the season’s past, we go into that mostly not knowing until the very last minute, so we’re basically doing the same thing to close out season 5. It can fit well as a possible series finale, and it can fit well as just another season’s end.”
It’s hard to say right now whether season 6 will happen or not. Back in January, ABC boss Channing Dungey said that the network “continue[s] to be very excited” by S.H.I.E.L.D., so it’s certainly possible that it could be granted another year on the air. Until we hear anything further, though, we’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed and continue to enjoy the rest of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. while it’s still with us.