Agents of SHIELD is a show that has changed and grown dramatically since its debut in September of 2013. From its premiere it’s gone from strength to strength; the opening ten episodes of this past season might rival the opening ten episodes of season 3 as my favourite run of the show and its amazing how many genres the series can successfully inhabit. With the show renewed for at least one more – but shorter – season next year, let’s look ahead at what I hope happens when Agents of SHIELD returns after that monumental season 5 finale. And yes, I know that the full title of the show is “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” but I can’t be bothered to write that out every time. Just be happy I’m capitalising SHIELD.
I really enjoy the show but I want it to end. In fact, at this moment in time, I think I wish the show hadn’t been picked up for a sixth season. The season five finale, which was even called “The End”, was written to be the series finale if the show wasn’t picked up again and you can tell. It was an incredible episode and felt like the natural end of the show. Coulson retired to spend his final days on Tahiti (the real Tahiti this time) with May, Fitz dying was a huge event, the team will continue on to face new threats under Mack’s leadership and we got what the entire series felt like it was leading up to: a fight between a superhero and supervillain of the show’s own creation, taking place at the same time as Infinity War, the peak of the MCU. But if this can’t be the end then I hope the sixth season is. The show and the characters feel like they’ve come to their natural end point, and while I could be wrong, I’m worried that continuing the show in any large capacity could undercut what made “The End” work so well. I do like that next season will be just 13 episodes; I feel like no show should have 22-episode seasons anymore. And I hope the new season acts like an epilogue to the show rather than reviving the series after the events of last season.
New Stories and Characters…
That’s not to say I don’t want new stories and characters though, because that’s exactly what I want. I consider myself a fan of the show but, I readily admit, I never feel the need to rewatch it. I only ever watch the episodes once when they air and so when the time for a new season comes around I can be a little forgetful about where certain characters were when we saw them last. And season 5 was notable for bringing back a lot of past events and characters that I’d mostly forgotten about. Carl Creel returned, Werner Von Strucker showed up again, there were lots of season 1 references that were pretty vital concerning Ian Quinn, who I barely remembered existed, and instead of creating a new character to become Graviton (a villain teased in season 1), the writers wheel out Glenn Talbot to become the big baddie even though the last time we saw him he was shot in the head. Part of me admires this attention paid to the continuity – something that the MCU is built on – but I want new villains and trials for our titular agents to combat, not just the same old characters they faced the year before but in a different context. Maybe the fallout of Infinity War could be a major plot point?
…but bring back Donnie Gill…
Go on, call me a hypocrite. I want new stories and characters, and hopefully after season 5 killed a lot of them off that’s what we’ll get, but while we’re in the business of bringing characters back let’s do just one more. I hope the show brings back Donald “Donnie” Gill, also known as “Blizzard”, in season 6. He doesn’t have to be the primary antagonist of all 13 episodes, or ally for that matter, it can be just one brief appearance to wrap up the character. We last saw the former SHIELD Academy student in early season 2 when Daisy, or Skye as she was known back then, put a bullet in him, causing him to fall into the sea after he used his ice powers for bad while brainwashed by Hydra. That could have been the end of it but they made an effort to point out that his body was never recovered, setting up a return to his character down the line. But he never did return. To my memory it’s now the largest unanswered mystery of the show and if the series is wrapping up it could be cool to conclude Donnie’s story. And now that actor Dylan Minnette is more well-known thanks to 13 Reasons Why, it would make sense to bring the character back to bring his new fans over to the show.
…But Seriously, No Hydra.
Remember that season 3 episode where they destroyed Hydra for good? That was great. But the show always needs a villain with some henchmen to punch and “The Watchdogs” just weren’t cutting it, so Hydra returned in stages. First, we got some surviving remnants of the organisation, then soldiers who worked for Hydra went over to work with some of the other villains in the show and then last season it turned out General Hale was Hydra and had her own secret base and goon squad that survived the purge. That was the biggest disappointment of last season for me. We got an incredible opening 10 episodes or so set in the future and when the characters returned to stop the future destruction of Earth I was all in, but then we found out it had to do with Hydra and my interest dwindled dramatically. Happily, Hale died and her surviving section of the organisation seems like it’s gone for good so hopefully the show is finally done with Hydra and can move on to having a new antagonist.
We’ve got a long time to wait for the next season of Agents of SHIELD with the show delaying its premiere until after the next Avengers film comes out, which is likely to be next may. It’ll be interesting to see whether the show connects to the film in any significant way, but whether it does or doesn’t, I know what I’m hoping to see next season. What are your hopes for the sixth season of Agents of SHIELD and what did you think of mine? Let me know in the comments and geek out with me about TV, movies and video-games on Twitter @kylebrrtt.