Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ended Season 3 with a mysterious jump forward to a time when Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) is reporting to somebody else, someone that we hear him refer to as “Director.” For most of the existence of the TV show, we have known Gregg’s character as “Director Coulson,” the man in charge of S.H.I.E.L.D. However, Coulson didn’t start the series as the director, and as S.H.I.E.L.D. rebuilds, improving it’s reputation, he’s sure to have some competition for the role.
Entertainment Weekly caught up with Clark Gregg, who says he isn’t upset for his character to have lost his leadership role. When he first learned of the changes for his character, he understood that it was an appropriate, albeit unexpected, move for Coulson.
The turn came as a big surprise to Gregg, who learned the night before the Captain America: Civil War premiere. “I texted the [writers] immediately,” Gregg tells EW. “I wasn’t pissed about it at all. They had an episode very early on after he was made director that said heavy is the head that wears the crown. I think that’s true. It was a job he was given. Maybe in the back of his mind he dreamed of being the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. someday, but it wasn’t his lifelong dream.”
There have been a lot of hard decisions for Coulson, as director. He has lost team members under his charge, and has felt the crushing weight of those losses. Gregg says that Coulson should be happier in his new position when season four comes around.
“I think Phil Coulson’s happiest as a field agent,” he continues. “I feel proud of a lot of the choices that he’s made, even some of the choices that he’s made to deal with some of his own mistakes. But to build S.H.I.E.L.D. back up from nothing in the wake of Winter Soldier, I’m sure he has regrets, but I’m sure he feels pretty good about what he was able to accomplish. Other than the regrets he has about where Daisy seems to be, I suspect there’s a part of him that’s very happy to return to Agent Phil Coulson.”
Coulson has made no secret that he cares for Daisy (Chloe Bennet) like a daughter, and her new position is not to be overlooked. With the jump forward, it appears that she is in hiding, wanting nothing to do with S.H.I.E.L.D. any longer. As far as the new leader of S.H.I.E.L.D. even Gregg is in the dark.
“I was not given a clear answer,” he says. “I don’t know that it’s been determined. I thought I was going to find out when I saw Civil War, but it’s not at all clear. It all depends when the glorious Nick Fury [Samuel L. Jackson] returns from the cold and the shadows. I suspect, in the wake of the Sokovia Accords and the end of Civil War, the people involved in choosing who the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be are other than in-house S.H.I.E.L.D. people. If I know my government bureaucracies, I have a feeling it will be someone somewhat less qualified than Coulson to run S.H.I.E.L.D.”
There have been many characters along the way that have felt they could run S.H.I.E.L.D, but were shown to be inferior to Director Coulson. While Major Glenn Talbot (Adrian Pasdar) seems to have become more knowledgeable, or more open minded, about the unique situations that S.H.I.E.L.D. encounters, it also seems that he has learned enough not to want the position. Gregg, however, has a suggestion of one person that would excel at the job: Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen).
“I’d love it if it was [her],” Gregg says. “That would be magnificent. She has earned that right and she is a commander that Coulson would absolutely follow with absolute loyalty.”
However, leadership within S.H.I.E.L.D. will likely be affected by events throughout the MCU.
“I didn’t get the sense from Captain America: Civil War that S.H.I.E.L.D. was going to be turned over to autonomous management,” Gregg says. “The governments of the world have always been very wary of S.H.I.E.L.D. It’s hard to image the actions of Team Cap have necessarily allayed those suspicions or fears.”
S.H.I.E.L.D. would not likely operate with the oversight that was asked of the Avengers in the Sokovia Accords. Previous attempts for sharing of information from S.H.I.E.L.D. have not been successful, or in the best interest of humanity. We’ll find out what the future of the organization is, when Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns this fall on ABC. While we wait, let us know how you expect the organization to operate in a post-Civil War world.
Source: Entertainment Weekly