When we last saw Coulson, he was reunited with his team following his decision to kill Grant Ward. We have yet to see the repercussions of that decision, but it seems unlikely that everyone will be okay with that choice. Since the day that Coulson made his MCU debut, he’s been of a similar mindset as Captain America and trying to do the right thing.
His last decision could start the process of him losing that sense of morality. Clark Gregg talked to TVGuide about what it could mean for Coulson moving forward, and likes how the show has continued his evolution.
One of the things I’ve always liked about Coulson and about our show is that he’s a moral man. He’s a normal man trying to do a job in a world with super villains and superheroes… and suddenly, the body count is piling up, as a result of Grant Ward, someone that he is — to a certain extent — responsible for having on this team. He crosses a very serious line, because he could have left him on this distant world and he chooses a different path.
Ward has provided plenty of turmoil for the entire team over the last 2.5 seasons. Whether it was turning against them, dumping Simmons and Fitz, or killing Rosalind, some other members wanted him dead a long time ago. However, killing Ward brings up an interesting moral dilemma for Coulson.
There are definitely people on his team who thought he should have pulled the plug on Ward a long time ago. I think there are others, like Fitz, who — when they see the reality of killing somebody, really have to ask the question that Coulson is probably going to ask himself: When you do that, aren’t you the very same as those you’re fighting against?
Coulson’s arc so far has gone from S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, to dying, to resurrection, and becoming Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Where can he go from here (besides back to big screen hopefully)? Could a super villain be on the horizon?
I don’t think he’s going to know for some time if this was a terrible mistake that changes him and maybe turns him into a super villain — it becomes, really, a show about a team run by a super villain — or not.
I had never considered the prospect of Coulson becoming a villain before but now that I have, it would be an incredible story for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to tackle down the road. This is not something that would probably happen by the end of this season, but if they got a fifth season? Coulson turning villainous with Daisy and the Secret Warriors running S.H.I.E.L.D. going up against him would be fantastic. Flipping their relationship on its head would make for a very interesting arc over the course of a few seasons, while giving both characters a new path to go down.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns to ABC on Tuesday at 9 p.m. EST.