Can TV's S.H.I.E.L.D. Not Reassemble Until the May 2015 Avengers Sequel?

Agents of SHIELD Season 2As rollicking a final stretch as Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. delivered at the close of Season 1, the fact is the ABC series had to spend much of its freshman run “treading water,” until Captain America: The Winter Soldier hit the big screen and — movie spoiler alert —  toppled the S.H.I.E.L.D. organization in every sense of the word.

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But when we last tuned into TV’s take on the Marvel-verse, Nick Fury (Hey, Samuel L. Jackson!) resurfaced sans eyepatch to name Phil Coulson the new director of the shattered S.H.I.E.L.D. In doing so, was a baton passed in more ways than one? Is it now incumbent on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to move the narrative to a certain place before The Avengers: Age of Ultron storms the Cineplex on May 1, 2015 — right at the start of TV’s sweeps period, natch?

And might said destination have to fall shy of Coulson successfully rebuilding S.H.I.E.L.D., given recent hints about where Age of Ultron picks things up with Tony Stark, Black Widow et al?

Not surprisingly, given the Level 10 top-secrecy surrounding all things Marvel-ous, exec producer Jed Wheon at first hedged, “We can’t say much,” when TVLine asked last week if the TV series is tasked with getting S.H.I.E.L.D. from “Point B to Point C” during its sophomore run. He then allowed — echoing the Season 1B theme — “Everything is connected, sometimes more so than other times. Obviously Coulson was born out of the films, and we can only hope to have that sort of impact in the other direction.

“But right now,” he added, “we’re just trying to make everybody as cool and interesting as we can.”

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During a previous conversation with TVLine, Whedon’s fellow EP (and wife) Maurissa Tancharoen offered on the exact same topic, in measured words, “All of us are aware of the moving parts at all times. With that said, there are many opportunities for planting things that… end up in other things.”

Whedon himself then revealed this much: “Let’s put it this way: In the second season, there’s definitely a milestone that everybody needs to hit.”

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ABC Entertainment president Paul Lee last week acknowledged that “it took time to find our sea legs” with S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s first season, given the way it needed to dovetail with Winter Soldier‘s April release date. But the aftermath of that, he promised, “triggered a whole lot of [Season 2] storylines that we’re reading at the moment, and I’m loving those scripts. I feel good.”

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38 Comments
  1. I suspect SHIELD is already up and running by the time of Avengers: AoU and that the second season of the show will show how the organization is rebuilt, but we’ll see what happens. Is Coulson in the movie at all? I think Fury is, but I don’t remember.

    • Gaara says:

      He isn’t, Fury and Hill are. I’m not going to spoil it to you, but if you read the latest EW you’ll know for sure if SHIELD is still a thing or not ;)

      • Ben says:

        I would never be so brave as to rule out a Coulson appearance in Avengers 2. Having said that, surely there comes a point in the movie universe where they have to reference the fact Coulson is still alive – preferably at least one movie before he returns – for those who don’t follow the TV series.

  2. Tasha says:

    I really can’t figure out a season 2 narrative since SHIELD is still kaput by Avengers 2 -so there doesn’t look much of SHIELD is rebuilt. Seems like another season of treading water and moving away from world protector to putting the fires out that Hydra started. I’m seeing more of a Hydra VS Coulson’s team instead of rebuilding SHIELD.

    • The rebirth of SHIELD is but one of the plots season 1 setup. There’s also the issue of Skye’s origin and the symbols Coulson drew on the wall. Those three plots, among others, are what will keep the audience coming back.

      • Ben says:

        Hey, I’d settle for coming back just so I can figure out if the Koenig’s are clones. Nothing could keep me away from SHIELD season 2 after that last 8-10 episode stretch (everything from TRACKS on, really).

  3. TV Gord says:

    Like the comics, there are all sorts of ways they can make this work. The second season could only span a few months in the grand scheme of things. After all, Peter Parker was a teenager for decades! I don’t see this as a major concern.

    • the girl says:

      True Blood has been operating in the same month for like, four seasons running now so SHIELD could very easily only reflect a month or two in the first fifteen episodes.

      • True Blood had a 6 month time jump half way through the last episode of the 6th season. I wish shows would stop doing things like that (along with 24 hrs earlier and keeping safe).

  4. Gaara says:

    I really really hope this season as whole will be better, on par with the post-Cap 2 episodes.. IMO it should just be a midseason series and focus on being a tie-in for the MCU movies, instead of stopping during the winter hiatus to air Agent Carter (which I’m much more excited about)

  5. Drew says:

    This is one of the major problems with this Marvel universe. It is like a game of Jenga, with every piece relying on the others far too much. The movies tie into the TV show, which means that you either watch everything ASAP or you embrace being spoiled.
    Some of the movies were ruined because they were setting up the Avengers, which really wasn’t worth the effort…
    I’m fine with everything existing in the same universe to a certain point, but this is just not working. Agents of SHIELD is just a promotional tool at this point. Why should the audience invest in a weekly infomercial?

    • OK, I’ll give you Cap2 was spoiled in the show if you didn’t see the film but tell me, how did Thor: The Dark World and Iron Man 3 get ruined in tie in to the show? Iron Man 3 never tied into the show, and Thor was in the front half of Season 1.

      If you have everything in two separate universes, there are draw backs to ESPECIALLY if you have the same characters in both. You will confuse the audience and make them want one version of the character in the movie universe (i.e.: Tom Welling to play Superman in Man of Steel; Stephen Armell to be Green Arrow in Justice League).

      There are draw backs to both ways. But I personally like what Marvel’s done and I will support S2 of SHIELD. I just hope the creative team has learned their lesson and will get things going pretty early on.

      Just my opinion.

      • Drew says:

        A TV show’s primary focus should be… the TV show. Yet SHIELD can’t do anything without double checking to make sure that it doesn’t step on the toes of the movies. And despite the fact that we’re expected to tune into this show every week for the next several years, it will never be the priority of the studio. They will never put this series before any one of the movies. So we’re left with table scraps of plotlines. They made a show about SHIELD, yet the show can’t do anything with that organization that the film department doesn’t want played out in a future movie.
        Captain America (the first movie) was a waste of time, all because they felt the need to set up The Avengers. Rather than tell a good story about Captain America, we got part of a good story about Captain America inside of a prequel to The Avengers.
        Thor was the same, except that there really isn’t a great story there in the first place, so the Avengers setup wasn’t as noticeable.
        Iron Man 3… just sucked. I can’t blame that on anyone except the people who made a bad movie.

        I will have to wait and see how DC’s method turns out, but it could be a lot better. They are opening with a group number, introducing several characters that will then go on to get their own movies. That way the individual movies won’t simply feel like the bonus material on the DVD of the real movie.
        Arrow will probably not be tied into the movies. Part of me thinks that this is a shame, but the more I see of SHIELD, the more I think it might be best to keep them apart. I mean, if the city is about to be blown up again, why wouldn’t Arrow call everyone he can for help? But Superman and Batman will never appear. Maybe it’s just best to keep some things separate. Like, do we really believe that the team on AoS is the best of the best, who would be called into the most important situations? Not really. They’re the janitors who clean up the crap that nobody else wants to bother with. So we’re watching a show about the lesser agents, which can’t even do anything major to its own central organization unless the producers of the next movie give them the okay.
        There’s a reason why none of this ends up on the billboards for the show. It’s absurd and a horrible way to go about making a series.

        • Drew says:

          I will add that Star Trek actually did it better. The TNG cast was making movies while DS9 was still on the air. They didn’t ignore each other, but they stayed out of each other’s way. They didn’t force tie-ins and crossovers (even when Worf appeared in movies, they didn’t go out of their way to tie it into DS9). They didn’t have DS9 suspend their war arc because it didn’t fit in with the plot of the movies. They certainly didn’t have DS9 hold back when it came to telling stories, because they got away with some serious sh**. Yet it didn’t change the scale of the movies either. The stories existed in the same universe, but they didn’t smother each other. You could have a good story in one place and a crappy one in another, without the fallout killing both.

          • Cideric Rhyes says:

            No but they went out there way to force Worf I to the TNG movies only to make his character a joke compared to what was happening to DS9. The TNG movies for the most part ignored the Dominion War except for mentioning it briefly. So for the most part the TNG movies did ignore what was happening on DS9. DS9 ignored the movies as well. Imagine the drama if Sisko had got to fight the Borg using the Defiant in First Contact as opposed to Worf who nearly got the ship destroyed and had Riker tease him about it.

          • Drew says:

            That’s beside the point… the representation of Worf int he movies didn’t impact the character on DS9. The movies and the TV show existed in the same universe at the same time, and acknowledged each other, without cramping each other’s style. Without the TV show spoiling the movie. Without the movie demanding that the TV show fall in line.

        • Steve says:

          Marvel need to use a lot of movies to set up their universe because these characters were not universally popular (at that time). Of course they have to sacrifice some elements of a good story to create a good connection.

          And just look how far they went. With just characters like Iron Man, Cap, Black Widow, they create a cinematic universe that one day in the near future become the highest franchise of all time.

          Can you believe that an Iron Man movie doubles the grossing of a Superman movie? Or suddenly one day Cap can defeat Spider-Man at the box office?

          If WB open the DC universe, basically its method will be the same after a while.

          They may have Justice League and introduce the characters later. But these movies of course eventually will tie into JL 2.

          • Drew says:

            Did Marvel need to ruin Captain America’s movie in order to set up The Avengers? No. They cut corners and were sloppy with his introduction because ultimately, it didn’t matter to them. Their goal was The Avengers, and the individual movie was just bonus material.
            Don’t get me wrong, they built quite an empire. But it’s all tied together now, so closely that if one sucks, they all suffer. The TV show can’t fly free because it’s tethered to a dozen movies. They built an empire, but suffocate the individual stories. The more they build onto it, the less stable it becomes. It will collapse. At best we will see more distance between stories. At worst, this universe will go the way of the 90’s Batman universe.

          • Ben says:

            Drew – I disagree. I think they are tying it all together well. I really do get your point, but to me the only thing that has suffered so far is the pacing of the first half of SHIELD season 1 – the movies don’t feel like they have suffered to me.

            There is a need for them to take ongoing care in allowing the TV show to have its own plots that neither rely on nor are required to be tied into any movies. They can’t let it (or Agent Carter, or any other TV show that they run) become a mere vehicle for setting up their movies.

            But I have never been a comic fan. What I am a fan of, however, are detailed universes that plot themselves well over a variety of different movies and TV shows, and this is the drawcard to the whole MCU for me. I wouldn’t find them nearly as enjoyable if they were not tying into each other well.

          • Drew says:

            That’s fair. I think that the first Captain America was completely destroyed because of the Avengers setup, and I also believe that The Avengers was a horrible movie (I once wrote up my problems with the movie. The document was four pages long). I think that the first season of SHIELD said it all. They constantly said that this episode or that episode would finally kick start the series, but it wasn’t until the movie people played their hand that SHIELD was allowed to stop spinning their wheels. Most of the season was a complete waste of time.
            And if I’m totally honest, even the shocking twists didn’t really thrill me. They seemed like cheap thrills meant to tie into the movie.

            It is all a matter of opinion, of course. I just see this as an increasingly wobbly house of cards.

      • wingsstef says:

        I understand I am about two weeks behind on this thread, but Iron Man 3 was reference in season 1 of Agents of SHIELD. Centipede was trying to use Extremis which was in Iron Man 3 as a way to make a super solider serum. Everything is connected. Like others said, it’s all part of the Cinematic Film Universe. Also it really any different to many other things Marvel has done? I have been reading Marvel comics on and off since 1994 and they love crossovers. Sure it’s a marketing scheme, but it’s good one, and fun one.

    • Steve says:

      A movie which is the third highest grossing of all time is always worth the efforts. And tons of good reviews.

      • Drew says:

        Despite all of that, the movie sucked. The story was horrible, the characters were stupid and about 90% of the conflict in the movie could have been avoided if the main characters just stayed home.

    • Ray says:

      I’m watching Captain America: The Winter Soldier right now and I must agree. The movie has been ruined to a great extent, already knowing about the hit on Nick Fury, his “death” and then subsequent revival/reappearance in the season finale of Agents of Shield. Marvel should really know better than to expect viewers will flock to see the films as soon as they’re released.

      I haven’t seen a Marvel film in a theater since Sam Raimi’s much overhyped Spider-man, and have no intention to start now. However, if Marvel keeps ruining major plot points by overdoing these tie-ins, I may altogether quit renting their films and watching their TV series.

  6. c-mo says:

    Guess it’s a good thing the Whedon’s are all close and work well together, Jed and Maurissa accidentally giving something away could make Thanksgiving at Joss’ house a bit uncomfortable!

  7. TraciTV says:

    5 good episodes out of 22 is not a good ratio for season1.

    • Ben says:

      That’s true, it is a bad ratio – if it was correct. But what are the 5 episodes you are talking about? Because I reckon I could give you others that were great.

  8. John NYC says:

    Hopefully they’ll get the shackles loosened between the schedule for such post production heavy movies and the TV show: that “treading water” was a tad painful. The pace of releases is just so different between the world of film and the world of television….

  9. A says:

    So let me get this straight … Seeing Thor 2 in theaters would have helped a bit with season 1A; I needed to see Winter Soldier the day it came out to follow 1B; and I need to watch 2A to understand what’s going on in AoU.

    This would bother me less if I weren’t one of the people who lost interest during the slow start. I admire the multi-media concept, but making the audience’s understanding of the movies hinge on watching the show and vice-versa is overwhelming.

  10. Cideric Rhyes says:

    Or maybe SHIELD goes back to being a secretive organization, which means the Avengers are kept out of the loop.

  11. Cideric Rhyes says:

    @Drew The Dominion War might as well have not existed in the TNG movies, and that is a problem. Adding in Worf should have connected the franchises but it did not. Did Troi even acknowledge the invasion of Betazed in the movies?

    • Drew says:

      The Dominion War was referenced in Insurrection, I believe. They really didn’t have time to care one way or the other in First Contact. And Nemesis… Let’s just forget that one entirely. The problem is, as we saw with The XFiles and Agents of SHIELD, once you tie a series to a movie, your hands are tied. A series normally has a natural development of the story. When you bind it to a movie that is filmed before the series is even written, you can’t iron out details and refine the story. You are stuck in a holding pattern until the movie comes out.
      In the case of SHIELD, they are really out of luck, since there is a new movie coming out every five minutes.

  12. Until Avengers 2: Still Avengin’ comes out Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD can just spend time as a cross-over with The Shield. Bring back Mackey dammit!!!

  13. Joey Padron says:

    Good scoop. Can’t wait to see what they do in season 2.

  14. hmm says:

    I have a feeling that IF we see Coulson in AOU the only place we will be likely to see him is after aaaalllll of the credits. (you know, the second post-credits video that a lot of people forget to stay for)

  15. Lizo says:

    I absolutely adore Coulson, and I love that this tiny character from the films has grown into this central character. I’m going to miss Fury though – he was bamf and I think has a bit more menace than Coulson.

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