‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Nearly Snuck in 1 Last Reference to the MCU Movies

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. didn’t always connect directly to the Marvel movies. But even its stars argue that the ABC series wasn’t truly able to succeed until it was less beholden to what the Avengers films, for example, were doing. However, even though Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was no longer a tie-in for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the show still played by the same rules.

Chloe Bennet, Ming-Na Wen, and Iain De Caestecker at San Diego Comic-Con
Chloe Bennet, Ming-Na Wen, and Iain De Caestecker at San Diego Comic-Con | Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ just wrapped up a successful 7-season run

What started as a retcon of a key death scene in The Avengers grew into much more. Over the course of seven seasons, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. became much more than an excuse to keep Clark Gregg’s Phil Coulson alive and well in the MCU. Even without Avengers, the show introduced Marvel heroes such as Quake (Chloe Bennet) and Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen).

Now that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has completed its run, it remains to be seen if any of the show’s heroes will cross over into the films. Certainly, Bennet has made clear her interest in bringing Quake to the big screen. And with Disney+ series also in play, Marvel Studios has a better chance than ever before of making use of these heroes.

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The ABC series nearly dropped one last reference to the MCU movies

Some fans still debate if Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. even fits within the MCU anymore. Meanwhile, co-showrunner Jed Whedon just revealed the series finale originally included one final reference to the movies. In an interview with The New York Times, Whedon said Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s time-travel adventures were supposed to directly tie into Avengers: Endgame.

Some of the stuff they did with time travel in Endgame indicated that there are other timelines where other adventures are occurring. We’re following the multi-verse rule. The only way that someone survives Thanos’s snap in the movies is to go into the quantum realm, and we originally did plan to give that a mention — because we used the quantum realm to move between timelines — but it got cut for time.

As Whedon explains, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. still stays true to how time travel works on the movie side of things. And even though the show diverged significantly from the movies during its run, it’s somewhat poetic that it ends on a similar note as the MCU movies that inspired the series in the first place.

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Time travel opens the doors for all kinds of connections

Now that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Avengers: Endgame introduced the MCU to time travel, there’s no telling where the franchise can go. After all, only a few franchises wait until this long to introduce something as high concept as time travel. And the MCU is just getting started in that department.

Phase 4 is about to formally introduce the Marvel multiverse into the movies. And as Whedon mentions, it already factors into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as well. So perhaps fans should look closer at the newly concluded MCU show for clues about what they’re in store for next.