Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. aired its series finale on Wednesday night and wrapped up the seven-season show on a bittersweet note. All of the characters made it out of their battle with the Chronicoms alive, but the team went their different ways nonetheless. In a final flash-forward, we caught up with the gang a year later – bringing events up to date, in the year 2020 – as they all started to embark on hopeful new paths in life.
Here’s the thing, though: the depiction of 2020 in the finale is totally at odds with the one portrayed in Avengers: Endgame. Though the gang were in an alternate timeline, they were able to travel through the Quantum Realm – in a fan-pleasing Endgame reference – to get back to the original timeline, so it really should add up with the world as shown in Avengers 4. The problem is, though, that it’s not the one ravaged by the Snap that we saw in that movie.
Though the year 2020 was skipped over, with the action taking place mainly in 2023, the hollow shell of a civilization that was left after the Snap would surely have also been the way things were three years earlier. It’s impossible to match the Endgame world up with the one in the AoS finale, then.
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Chiefly, Director Mack has relaunched S.H.I.E.L.D. back to how it was in its glory days, with its academy reopened and its fleet of helicarriers taking to the skies again. If S.H.I.E.L.D. is back in business, though, why didn’t they help out with the Elementals in Spider-Man: Far From Home?
As ScreenRant points out, this major plothole may give us conclusive proof that the series doesn’t take place in the MCU as we know it. Instead, it’s set in an alternate timeline that’s almost identical, except that Thanos was somehow prevented from using the Infinity Gauntlet. Of course, thanks to the introduction of the Marvel multiverse, that doesn’t mean Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. isn’t canon, it just may be an off-shoot of the prime timeline.