There’s nothing better than an Agents of SHIELD panel… except maybe an Agents of SHIELD panel where you get an exclusive first look at a new episode. During their packed WonderCon panel, the cast and creative team behind the Marvel/ABC show treated attendees to the complete first episode of season 6, which airs May 10. Scroll to the bottom to read all the details!
After the episode was shown, the panel jumped straight into a Q&A with the fans. Jeph Loeb, Head of Marvel Television and moderator, brought out Executive producers Jeff Bell, Jed Whedon, and Maurissa Tancharoen as well as cast members Clark Gregg, Elizabeth Henstridge, Iain De Caestecker, Henry Simmons, Natalia Cordova-Buckley, and Jeff Ward.
Loeb surprised and excited the audience when he responded to a question about the show ending after season 7 by saying, “We’re not ending.” Unfortunately, he didn’t provide any follow-up details but it’s nice to hear that there may be more Agents of SHIELD on the horizon after next year’s season. For Whedon and Tancharoen, they always assumed each season would be their last and looked at renewal as a gift.
Gregg, who directed the season 6 premiere, never fails to thank the fans for their enthusiasm and passion for Phil Coulson and the show. He said that he had the very unique experience of learning his character was going to die in Avengers and then watching fans basically go, “No. F**k you. #CoulsonLives” and get a TV show out of that effort.
As we’ve already seen in the season 6 teaser, Gregg returns to the show but not as the Phil Coulson we know and love. He plays a darker character, not yet named, and enjoyed putting a different spin on a character he’s played, off and on, for 11 years.
When talking about what parts of the show’s five seasons were the most memorable and touching, Jed Whedon highlighted the FitzSimmons wedding from season 5, of course. It was a glimmer of happiness and joy for the couple, who have been torn apart far, far too many times, including currently!
There was a lot of reminiscing on the panel. They remembered fallen characters such as Ruth Negga’s Raina, BJ Britt’s Trip, Jason O’Mara’s Mace, and Brett Dalton’s Ward as well as characters who have left the show like Hunter (Nick Blood) and Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki).
For those looking for more major tie-ins to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, particularly Avengers: Endgame, don’t get your hopes up. Season 6 picks up a year after the end of Season 5 and the fallout from Thanos and the plot of Endgame don’t play into the plot of the show really at all, according to Loeb.
Watch Agents of SHIELD’s season 6 premiere on May 10 on ABC and read below for SPOILERS for episode one:
- While Fitz is in cryo-sleep, his ship is destroyed, though it’s implied that Enoch, the bald alien from last season, saves him in time.
- Meanwhile, the team of Davis, Piper, Simmons, and Daisy have been looking through space for a year, following leads where they can find them. Davis makes a rocky landing on an alien planet and Daisy greets a boarding party. She has a new hairstyle and even more badass energy and it’s amazing.
- When the aliens realize who she is, they run but she captures one for her and Simmons to interrogate for information about Fitz’s whereabouts.
- Director Mack is in charge af and has many more agents than what we last saw in season 5. May has been doing a hell of a job recruiting.
- May leads a team to Indiana where a portal has opened on a playground. One man forces his way through and another tries to follow but gets stuck halfway and is partially encased in concrete. The man who survived shoots at SHIELD’s jet and escapes, much to Mack’s frustration.
- SHIELD regroups and wonders what to call these portals. “Anomalies?” a new agent suggests. “We used that word up last year,” May replies.
- Mack returns to his office and watches a part of a holocube Coulson left for him. Mack tells May, “I’ll never be the director Coulson was.” She responds, “No, you’re a different director. That’s not a bad thing.”
- May also mentions she and Coulson had more time than they thought they would at the end. Later, May encourages Yo-Yo to act on her attraction to another agent, Keller. “If last year taught me anything,” May says, “it’s that life isn’t meant to be lived alone.”
- It turns out, Yo-Yo and Keller are already together. Yo-Yo and Mack had a falling out after he became the director and though she tried to work on their relationship, he threw himself into the job and shut her out.
- “I’m not afraid of Mack finding out,” Yo-Yo says to Keller. “Well I am,” he says. “He is not small.”
- Simmons and team find Fitz’s cryo chamber but it’s empty. “At least it’s not a dead body,” Daisy notes. “But it’s a dead end,” says Davis. And it sure looks that way. Daisy agrees with Davis and Piper that it’s time to return home after being gone for so long.
- Although Daisy points out Simmons has never doubted they would find Fitz, in a private moment, Simmons climbs into the empty cryo chamber and cries. Then she sees a small inscription of where the chamber was made and realizes that’s where Fitz has likely gone. She proposes they follow him there, to deep, deep space, but the rest of the team balks because it’s dangerous af.
- Their argument is interrupted by a Confederate ship looming overhead. They try to silently wait it out but have to hastily escape when it fires on them. They power up the ship to jump back to Earth but Simmons gets to the coordinate input first. “I’m sorry,” she says to Daisy and launches them into deep space in search of Fitz.
- SHIELD hasn’t had word from Simmons in months, and they’re lacking in the science department. To help fill the gap, Mack and May try to recruit Dr. Benson, a friend and colleague of May’s ex, Andrew. Dr. Benson is nursing an alcohol problem, exacerbated by the death of his husband, but is intrigued by the proposal to build a new SHIELD Academy. He’s less interested in hunting “bogeymen.”
- That’s too bad, Dr. Benson because bogeymen are on the move. Two more people have come through portals and are prepared to destroy a museum to bring through their leader. SHIELD examines the half concrete man, who is somehow alive enough to scare the crap out of everyone by grabbing Benson. The man drops a device that leads SHIELD to the museum.
- Despite arriving in time, SHIELD is unable to prevent the portal from opening in the museum. The force blows them all down and leaves May disoriented. She barely dives out of the way of a semi-truck barreling out of the museum/portal.
- A man steps from the truck. It’s Coulson! An agent hesitates to shoot him but Coulson doesn’t; he kills the agent and says he’s “never heard” of SHIELD. A stunned and confused May stares at this alternate world Coulson.
- In the final scene, Fitz is revealed to be working as some kind of mechanic for the “Controller” on another planet. He speaks fluently in an alien tongue and injects himself with something that gives his eyes a demon/alien appearance.
— Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (@AgentsofSHIELD) March 30, 2019