The end of season five of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. saw Coulson (Clark Gregg) and May (Ming-Na Wen) head off to Tahiti to spend Coulson’s remaining time together. Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) had died heroically and unexpectedly, and Mack (Henry Simmons) was agonizing over the prospect of becoming S.H.I.E.L.D. director.
I say Fitz had died heroically, but this was back-from-the-future Fitz. The Fitz from this time was floating about in space in a cryogenic sleep on his way to meet up with his fellow agents stuck in the future on the Lighthouse.
The finale was written as both a season and series finale. It was thought the series was ending, but then ABC unexpectedly reprieved Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for a couple of seasons.
“It was like a rebirth!” Ming-Na Wen (Agent Melinda May) told Entertainment Weekly.
The finale of season five was emotional for both the fans and the cast.
“..we were all crying, and trying not to cry.” Wen said.
Season six opens around a year after the end of season five. Daisy (Chloe Bennet) and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) are out in deep space looking for Fitz, while May is still doing her thing and Mac has settled into his role as S.H.I.E.L.D. director.
Clark Gregg takes the director’s chair for the season opener. “It was a thrill to direct the first one,” to see the team “getting on with their lives…and the missions after [Coulson’s] death, and seeing Mac in charge magnificently. That was really fun.”
That’s not Gregg’s only role in the new season, though, as he returns in the role of the mysterious Sarge, who may or may not be a danger to the team.
Wen also commented about the change the characters have had to undergo, to rediscover who they are. “Like for May,… her absolute focus was being [Coulson’s] right-hand man. To not have that any more, what’s her identity? What’s her focus now? …. That’s true for every character….. everybody is fragmented.”
Fans will be able to see how all the characters cope when the new season opens tonight (Friday, May10th) on ABC in the US. It will debut soon after in the UK on E4, though the date has not been released yet.