‘SHIELD’ Executive Producers Talk That Intense Season Finale

Now that we’ve seen the amazing, heartbreaking, and surprising Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season five finale (and if you haven’t yet, here’s your SPOILER WARNING), it’s a good time to hear what the show’s executive producers have to say about the episode. Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen, and Jeffrey Bell recently talked to EW about the finale, and also shared their thoughts about more possible Avengers: Infinity War ramifications. We’ll summarize the key points of the interview below – but feel free to check out the whole thing at the link in the previous sentence, too.


When they were asked about why the finale didn’t directly incorporate the events of the Infinity War ending, the showrunners said part of the answer was as many people have speculated: it would have severely messed with the story they were trying to tell. As Whedon said,

…[T]here would really be no way for us to address it and keep our show intact. Given that there’s another movie coming out, and there’s gonna be constant repercussions of their universe, so what we felt was that the safe play for our story, and for the integrity of our universe, was to operate outside of it.

Instead, they had the last part of the season happening in “real time” during the events of Infinity War. They haven’t quite figured out how all of that will play out next season, but that’s a problem they don’t mind figuring out, says Bell.

Couldn’t be any more magical.

As for whether Clark Gregg’s Coulson is going to die, for real this time, of course we don’t get a straight answer. Coulson/Clark is “the foundation upon which our show is built”, Whedon acknowledges, but at the same time, the writers don’t want to completely undercut the emotion of the finale, either. Another question for them to answer next season!

Regarding the decision to kill Fitz, the three reveal that they were actually trying to find a way to deal with the loose end of Fitz out there in space, after the time loop was broken. Thus, when they came up with the idea of killing one timeline’s Fitz, it “cleaned up a mess a little bit”, in Bell’s words. Whedon also jokes that it was yet another way to tear Fitz and Simmons apart. (Editor’s note: haha, such a jerk.) They also tease that whether Deke disappeared or whether he’s just off exploring the world is a question they want the audience to wrestle with so that their brains can melt “the way ours did in the writers’ room”, according to Tancharoen.

Addressing the impact of Daisy not being the (current) leader of SHIELD, both Whedon and Tancharoen state firmly that giving the directorship to Mack shows strong leadership ability from Daisy. She might yet take on the mantle of leader at some point in the future. But for right now, she sees Mack as the best candidate for the job.

Lastly, Bell says that Tahiti ending for Coulson – and May – was something the writers have had in mind since the very beginning of the show. Says Whedon, they’ve always loved the idea of Coulson “finding some sort of peace on that beach.” We love that idea, too – though we hope it really isn’t the end for Coulson!

Agents of SHIELD will return in the summer of 2019 on ABC.