What If…Agents of SHIELD Killed Off The Avengers?
It’s all connected. Or is it? We’ve all heard those words used time and time again throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe and (to a lesser extent) Marvel TV. Most Marvel fans would put Captain America: The Winter Soldier at or near that top of their list when asked “What are the best Marvel movies?” While Winter Soldier by itself was an amazing movie, what truly set it apart was how it completely destroyed S.H.I.E.L.D. and how perfectly it synchronized with Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
On Tuesday we all watched Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. then on Thursday night we ran to the theaters to see Captain America, Black Widow and even Nick Fury literally destroy the Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics Division. Our minds were blown. We found out later that the cast of the show were invited to a private screening of Captain America: The Winter Soldier where they found out that S.H.I.E.L.D. had been completely torn down. Kind of a big deal when the show that you work on is called Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The following Tuesday we couldn’t wait to see how the show would respond to the events that took place during the movie. Never before had the words “It’s all connected” meant so much.
But since then, things haven’t been so connected. Sure, there were TV appearances by Lady Sif and Nick Fury. The show seems to do it’s best to tie into the movies with mentions of Captain America, Sokovia and The Sokovia Accordds, but the movies seemingly ignore Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Last year at a Wizard World convention, Chloe Bennet shared her frustration regarding the lack of a connection with the MCU:
But I am kind of, like, ready for Steve Rogers to make an appearance on our show. I’d be ok with that. And like, where’s Romanoff? Where’s the Avengers?…I don’t know. People who make movies for Marvel, why don’t you acknowledge what happens on our show? Why don’t you guys go ask them that? Cause they don’t seem to care!…I would love that. The Marvel Cinematic Universe loves to pretend that everything is connected, but then they don’t acknowledge our show at all. So, I would love to do that, but they don’t seem too keen on that idea.
If she feels that way, it’s hard not to imagine that others on the show feel the same way. Could the show be on the verge of extracting their revenge?
If you haven’t been watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. lately, season four has been the best season by far. The first pod, which featured Ghost Rider was amazing from start to finish. Personally the second LMD pod didn’t have me all that excited, but it proved to be just as exciting as the first. The last episode which aired on February 21 titled “Self Control” was written and directed by Jed Whedon and it was far and away the single best episode ever.
At the end of that episode, pretty much all of the main characters from the show are inside The Framework, a computer program designed by Holden Radcliffe. Quake and Simmons enter The Framework at the end of the episode in order to rescue everyone else who was taken by Aida and Radcliffe and put inside against their will.
Before going dark for six weeks, we were shown a teaser for the final pod for season four. There were several things of interest but what really got me thinking was the shot of Melinda May standing at a window inside the Triskelion with a huge Hydra logo on the outside (if you look closely she also has Hydra logos on her shoulders as well).
Keep in mind, whatever happens inside The Framework isn’t real, and doesn’t actually affect the real world. But wouldn’t this be a fun way for the show to get their revenge on the MCU for ignoring them?
If May is inside of a Hydra Triskelion I’m assuming that means that in this alternate reality, the Winter Soldier completed his mission and killed Nick Fury and Captain America (possibly Black Widow and Falcon as well). If that is the case, then Alexander Pierce is still alive and Project Insight was successfully launched.
If Project Insight was launched, the three Helicarriers were targeting Hydra threats, based on Arnim Zola’s algorithm. More than 715,000 current and future threats, according to what was shown on the Helicarrier computer. Among the notable “threats” that we saw were Tony Stark, President Ellis and Maria Hill. Threats that Agent Sitwell named while being interrogated by Captain America were Bruce Banner, Steven Strange, someone in Cairo (thought to be Moon Knight) and someone in Iowa (thought to be Jack Monroe / Nomad).
Looking at The Framework from another angle, what does all of this mean for Coulson? He appears to be a college instructor teaching that we should fear Inhumans. It would seem he’s neither S.H.I.E.L.D. or Hydra (hard to imagine) because he never signed up and remained a civilian. Oh the ramifications that this could have on what the MCU has established.
While Coulson may quietly wonder what life would have been like had he not joined S.H.I.E.L.D. we have to remember – it was his death that ultimately united The Avengers. Could we possibly see a world where Coulson does not die, The Avengers don’t unite and Loki and the Chutauri win The Battle of New York? To take it even further, if Stark isn’t there to stop that nuke, we could see The Council actually destroy New York City! I can imagine Coulson and his students watching The Battle of New York in their classroom, and him having no idea that he was responsible for stopping it all.
Seeing as the advertisements for this third pod are most definitely focused on Hydra, it’s obvious that the final part of season four will focus largely on the previously defeated organization. This could really turn out to be a fun way to see what would have happened if the bad guys had won.
I’m probably way off base with this, but I for one think it would be a wild ride to see what would have happened if Bucky would have remained the mindless killing machine that Hydra created, and completed his mission. And to see Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. undo so much of what has happened in the MCU, even if it isn’t real.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns on April 4th. Fans who attend the Wondercon panel on Saturday April 1 will be treated to an advanced screening of that episode, titled “What If…”