Agent Coulson is finally going to be exiting the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) and for real this time. The final season of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will premiere on May 27, giving us one final 13-episode season to wrap up the incredibly varied adventures of the team.
— Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (@AgentsofSHIELD) April 14, 2020
The series was a massive deal when it first premiered in 2013 as it brought the MCU to the small screen for the first time and brought back Clark Gregg’s beloved Phil Coulson from the dead. As Marvel’s first attempt at bringing its universe to television, it was closely tied into the films and tried to play with big, universe-impacting plots. However, relying on films to release turned out to be a tough hurdle for broadcast television and the series arguably suffered because of it. The first season relied on a season-long plot twist that made the characters initially seem cookie-cutter, and an attempt to push the Inhumans to replace mutants in the MCU during the second season also derailed much of what was good about the show.
The series, however, garnered a small but very dedicated fanbase and finally began to take off when the show started ignoring the bigger MCU and telling its own stories. It’s “What if…” style “Agents of Hydra” storyline is still one of the best things the MCU has done. Audiences didn’t return, though, and the series had been close to cancellation since season five aired. In fact, that season was written as a conclusion to the show, but then the show was renewed for shorter, 13-episode sixth and then seventh seasons.
This final season will also be the final nail in the coffin for Marvel Television, which operated as a separate entity from film production until Kevin Feige took over the reins last year in a power coup. Every other show developed by Marvel Television is already off the air or in limbo with the fantastic Agent Carter only lasting two seasons, the God-awful Inhumans only lasting one, Hulu’s Ghost Rider show DOA, and all of Netflix’s Marvel shows nixed thanks to Disney+ coming along.
The history of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D may have been a bit rocky, with seasons often uneven or ill-planned, but when the show started working on its own it was well worth a watch. The final season should see the cast traveling through time (again) and will definitely feature some of the Agent Carter cast.