Over the past couple of years Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been one of the best shows on air, becoming a near perfect cross section of the spy and superhero genres that’s only comparable to Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Unfortunately, it hasn’t generated the ratings that a show of this caliber deserves, which created a lot of uncertainty as to whether or not S.H.I.E.L.D. would get renewed after Season 5…
Given that uncertainty, the showrunners chose to treat the previous season like a final one and presented their small but rabid fanbase a seemingly perfect conclusion to the show.. only to then be renewed for two additional seasons; this left many to wonder where AoS would go from here, especially given the fate of the figurehead — of not just the team but the entire show — Agent Phil Coulson.
At WonderCon 2019, Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb officially announced that Season 6 will return on May 10th, two weeks after Avengers: Endgame. Loeb and company then proceeded to show those of us in attendance the first episode, which, in terms of quality, picks up exactly where the last season left off.
As far as time, the premiere begins with a one year time jump from the end of Season 5. This space allows AoS to sidestep having to deal with anything in between Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame; this also throws viewers into a situation where they walk in oblivious to the changing dynamics within the team. There are new members, new relationships (the only part of the episode I wasn’t completely fond of) and new missions that viewers will get dropped into head first. This includes the search for Fitz from last season, which has led the team to unexplored territory within the Marvel TV universe and exciting possibilities down the line.
In this episode, however, that unexplored territory creates a heightened tension and provides some unexpected twists — one of which appears to be the overarching villain for the season. While relatively unknown to mainstream audiences, this is a villain many Avengers fans, and Iron Man fans in particular, will recognize. This falls in the tradition of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. doing their own fantastic take on B and C list Marvel baddies (i.e. Hive, Graviton, Madame Hydra and Eli Morrow). As someone who has a deep love of those lesser known Marvel supervillains, it excites me to virtually no end to see how they adapt this one.
Of course, it would be remiss of me to not talk about the Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) sized elephant in the room. Of course, there isn’t very much to say if you’ve already seen the trailer to Season 6, as you only really see his return and his one line is in that episode. Nonetheless, it’s exciting to see how AoS showcases his return–if he really is Coulson–and how this return is connected to the latest season’s villain. I’m stoked. 4.5/5 Bibles.
Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD Season 6 premieres Friday, May 10 on ABC.