Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be getting a sixth season after all. The downside, though, is that it’ll be a shortened run consisting of only 13 episodes. What’s more, it won’t be with us until a whole year away, as ABC has confirmed that it’s moving the series to a summer slot in hopes of boosting the ratings up. If this works, the season could be gifted with an extra batch of episodes to make it the usual 22.
This is a bit of a mixed bag of news for fans, then. However, it might just be a blessing in disguise for the show’s writers. Because of its late start in 2019, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. won’t have to tackle the minefield that would be working around what happens in Avengers 4. By the time season 6 airs in summer 2019, the highly anticipated movie will have already been released in May, meaning that the series won’t have to tip-toe around Thanos and his universe-shattering Infinity Gauntlet.
To be fair, S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 has done a fairly good job of referencing the events of Avengers: Infinity War considering that there must have been limited information given to them. Thanos himself has even been name-checked a few times, with his imminent invasion of Earth being the reason the Kree have sponsored Graviton. That said, it’s a bit confusing that the show’s prophesied apocalypse hasn’t been on the Avengers’ radar at all.
Still, if working Infinity War into their narrative was tricky, then dealing with Avengers 4 would surely have been a lot more challenging. At the end of the last film, of course, Thanos halved the population, so there’s no way that S.H.I.E.L.D. would have been able to simply deal with it in a few brief mentions. It probably would have had to been the basis of the whole narrative, as the entire planet would be irrevocably changed.
Now, though, it looks like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will get to skip over this prickly area and just do whatever it likes for its sixth season, especially because there shouldn’t be any major hangovers from Avengers 4, as it’ll act as the final chapter of the first decade of the MCU.