Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been renewed for a fifth season and with it comes speculation on what direction the show will take. The finale most certainly opened up all possibilities of what exactly is heading our way next year, as the series will not premiere until 2018 with the show moving to Friday’s following Inhumans release in September. As a result of this shift, we are forced to bite our nails until we can finally uncover whatever the next season may hold in store for viewers. Here are our speculations and hopes for what we can potentially see happen in the upcoming season.
A quick warning for anyone who has not yet seen the fourth season finale of SHIELD and Agent Carter, as the next few paragraphs will feature heavy spoilers for both shows and the comic storyline Original Sin. Continue at your own risk!
Season 4 ended with quite a bizarre twist, as we find the team eating at a diner only to be taken away by a unknown organisation. The next scene has Coulson waking up after what seems to be a time skip in which he is continuing his new position. Suddenly, he opens a hatch that shows him staring out into the vastness of space that probably had many people scratching their heads. The first assumption was that they were now part of the fictional organisation of SWORD. Sadly, it was revealed that Twentieth Century Fox owns the rights to that organisation, so any chances of seeing Abigail Brand and her team making an appearance will not be part of the upcoming season. That leaves the door wide open on what direction they could potentially take with the upcoming continuation of the story.
Over on ComicBook.com, they had a great theory that Coulson may have potentially taken over the position as the “Man on the Wall”, which was a heavy plot point in the event crossover Original Sin. Fury fought off a invasion as part of the U.S. Army Intelligence back in 1958, a long time before he would come to establish SHIELD. During this invasion he witnessed a man named Woody McCord get killed, whose partner at the time, Howard Stark, then named Fury as his successor. As a result, he would become the “Man on the Wall” through which he was forced to not only keep order on earth, but also throughout the entire galaxy. A great task too much for one man, which lead to him using more and more LMDs, especially as the Infinity Formula started losing its effect on him and lead to him rapidly ageing.
There are many elements here that would make this a fitting plot line for the upcoming season. We already were introduced to the concept of LMDs with Aida and it would make sense for this element to still persist throughout SHIELD, as it became an essential aspect of the organisation within the comics. Coulson being in space, presumably also the rest of the cast, already points to a show that may remind some people more of Stargate rather than the X-Files, which was the show’s original inspiration. The question only remains if we will see the team visit earth at some point, or if the story will focus more on the galactic side of the universe. With Avengers: Infinity War heading our way, this is an interesting idea to get the characters involved in those events.
Another aspect is that we may get a bit more backstory on Nick Fury. We could finally uncover what exactly Fury did before SHIELD, if he was in fact acting as the man on the wall in this universe as well and may get the chance to see Samuel L. Jackson return. Most notably, it would be a great way to tie-in to the fact that Fury was able to get his hands on a dead Kree, whose blood would subsequently revive Coulson in the future. It would open up more to the central story of the character that was started back in September 2013, and even twist some of the things that we thought we knew about. Even if Marvel TV cannot use SWORD, there is much more to the galactic side of the MCU that can be explored.
The new location also made sense after the former SSR base they used from season 2 was blown up during the LMD pod and shown in ruins during their final showdown with Aida. If rumours are true that the budget was shortened, we may see a much more simplified base for the characters and less use of the Zephyr One, which was their main transportation outside of the Quinjets. Yet them being in space is not going to be cheap, so we may see a much more simplified base that may take inspiration from lo-fi sci-fi stories. It will be our new central hub for these characters interactions, and maybe will take inspiration from the design of Fury’s space base from Original Sin. In a way, it is also a callback to the first season, as our favorite agents spend most of their time in the Bus, which was a gigantic plane flying them from one place to another.
How will they get from one planet to another, as it seems to have a strong intergalactic focus? There is the potential of them using an already existing dimensional portal that was shown back in season 2, the Monolith. Not only would it tie back to the events that saw Jemma being sucked into its grasp, but would also allow to discover more history on how the one, which we have seen as part of the cult that build towards the modern version of HYDRA. Maybe a part of SHIELD’s history is tied to this base and whatever shady organisation brought them there? It’d also be a great opportunity to revisit the planet from season 3, as Hive may have left behind something behind on that planet, which would lead to an interesting tie-in with Inhumans.
Speaking of tie-ins, there is another major element that could be used to answer one major question from a show cancelled last year, Agent Carter. If the base has a long history, it would not surprise that other people took whatever position Coulson is in before him. There was a tease that not only left agent Jack Thompson’s life questionable, but also what exactly the file he was reading on regarding an M. Carter was about. Why not let this tie-in completely? Original Sin started with Fury’s actions during the 2nd World War, so what if the person who took over the role of Man on the Wall was Michael Carter, Peggy’s long lost brother who was believed to be dead. It would not only allow for Agent Carter‘s cliffhanger to be resolved, but also could give us more insight into the events that made the world believed he died during World War II.
Maybe the organisation ZODIAC, which was teased in the one-shot featuring Carter back in the day, is the one that is tied to everything. It would resolve two major points of discussion that have haunted the MCU for some time. Maybe instead of a story on a younger Nick Fury, his father, Nick Fury Sr., and his relationship with Howard Stark could be used to explain these events, add further ties to the comic and subsequently, widen the unknown past of this universe.
There is so much more possibility with a simply cliffhanger like this and thankfully, unlike Agent Carter, we will get a solution to whatever brought Coulson to space. It is also difficult to say if he is the only one up there and what this would mean for SHIELD, which was reintroduced last season only to be completely taken down thanks to the death of the Patriot. Hopefully, the show will continue to keep us on our toes with the upcoming seasons, and whatever potential it may hold. Space is full of potential, so maybe we will get an episode that is akin to Alien, or get to explore more of the Kree or Asgardians, who have made an appearance on the show before.
What are your thoughts? What would you want to see happen in the next season?