agents of shield renewed

Representation & Ships

Great storytelling by a thoughtful, tight-knit team has turnedAgents of S.H.I.E.L.D. into an amazing source of representation on screen. Currently, the show features four series regulars who are women, including one of the first (if not the first) Latina superhero on TV.

In addition to their diversity, the women are all insanely badass, capable, and well-rounded. They’re not the ones who need saving but rather the ones who do the saving. Even without inhuman powers, Melinda May is the fiercest and strongest character on the show. Her fans consider her the ultimate superhero: a regular human with the ability to take down any enemy. (Special shoutout to Ming-Na Wen, who is fifty-fucking-four years old and manages to play a fighter flawlessly and with intense rigor.)

Another beautiful thing about these women is how they interact with each other. They’re never catty, they don’t fight over men, or play into petty bullshit. When they do disagree, it’s in a way that makes the audience truly understand each perspective. They also provide great comfort to each other in dark times and emulate what a real female friendships are like.

Like any show, Agents still has room for improvement when it comes to diversity, especially with LGBTQI representation. However, the sixth season is bringing us new characters, so my hopes are high. My #GivePiperAGirlfriend campaign starts now! (Piper is a recurring character who is brilliantly played by Briana Venskus, a force to be reckoned with when it comes to recent television appearances.)   

Speaking of girlfriends, a TV show wouldn’t be worth fighting for if it didn’t have romantic stamina. Personally, I go all in for FitzSimmons, a couple so powerful, it has transcended space and time and space again. In the history of television, it’s unclear if a couple has ever been forced to endure so much tragedy.

There’s also the “Philinda” ship, which has the most devoted fans I have ever seen, and I have been in the fandom game for a long time. Coulson and May have an intense bond built on trust and friendship and it’s no surprise that their “will they, won’t they” slow burn has captivated so many people.

Agents of SHIELD Season 4

Best Episodes

The characters are clearly the bread and butter the show, but the quality in story and filmmaking deserves immense praise. While there are scores of phenomenal episodes, a few stand out.

“4,722 Hours”, for example, was first time AoS really revamped its structure and did something completely out of the norm. The entire episode chronicles the months Simmons was trapped on another planet. Elizabeth Henstridge carries this entire episode with such grace, it makes me excited for the projects she’ll do in the future.

The latest season gave us some excellent episodes as well, including the wonderful 100th, which pulled at our heartstrings in a next level sort of way. There was even an episode directed by Clark Gregg, titled “Fun and Games”, which will make you want to revisit Choke, his directorial debut. (Seriously, Gregg is a man of many talents. Friendly reminder that he wrote What Lies Beneath, a criminally underrated supernatural thriller.)

My personal favorite episode is season 4’s “Self Control”, the first of the series to be directed by Jed Whedon. Season 4 had three strong arcs and this episode seamlessly connected the second and third. Jed shares his brother’s keen eye and overwhelming ability to create tension on screen, but he also has a softer quality that packs an emotional punch which might surpass Joss (this is a strong statement coming from me, someone with a Mutant Enemy tattoo). “Self Control” was so well-executed, you’ll be sad to learn Jed only directed one other episode.

Agents of SHIELD Marvel Movies Crossover

What’s Next

Each year, the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fandom is left fighting tooth and nail with online campaigns to get the show another season. This year was especially tough, because ABC announced the renewals and cancellations of every other show on the network before revealing the series’ fate. Luckily, the show was eventually renewed for a sixth season, but it will be cut down to 13 episodes and won’t return until summer 2019. The official word on the late premiere is that it was ABC’s decision. Apparently, the series does better in delayed viewing and a summer release will better serve the numbers. There’s a good chance this will also make a tie-in with Infinity War easier. While season 5 didn’t end with any dustings, it’s safe to assume “the snap” will come into play.

Due to the show’s uncertain fate, the showrunners had to film the season finale as a potential series finale. No one knew until a few days before the episode aired if this would be “The End”, but they titled it as such anyway. This led to a slightly controversial finale (warning: ambiguous spoiler), with the fate of Coulson left up in the air. Many fans, especially those from the #CoulsonLives days, are incredibly stressed over whether or not the main character will return. Personally, I think he’s coming back. The whole show was conceived for him and he’s directing the season six premiere, which seems like a clever way to squash on-set rumors.

No matter the outcome, I trust the showrunners to continue serving up quality television. While I understand the sorrow that comes from losing (or potentially losing) a beloved character, I put storytelling above all else and season five ended with a bang. As a die-hard Whedon fan, I fully expect to have my heart torn out and stomped on multiple times during a series’ run. This is, after all, the family that killed Tara McClay, Hoban Washburne, and many more.

As for the upcoming season, here’s what we know: the premiere episode is called “Missing Pieces” which is a strong indication that some members of the team didn’t survive the events of Infinity War. There will be at least five new characters, and some are expected to remain as recurring guest stars throughout the entire season (#GivePiperAGirlfriend). Jeff Ward, who was introduced in season 5 as the character Deke, was promoted to series regular, and all of last season’s regulars (with the exception of Gregg), have been confirmed to return. It’s not a lot to go on, but it all sounds pretty promising.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. isn’t returning to television until July 2019, which is agonizing for us fans, but great news for the rest of you! You now have an entire year to catch up on and fall in love with this show. There is no excuse! Hop onto Netflix and start binging. I promise, you just might end up watching multiple times before the return.

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