The 1 Major Thing That Still Frustrates Fans About Marvel’s ‘Agents of SHIELD’

As seen in the MCU, things can change on a dime when it comes to plot points in each film, with proof in how many last-minute changes there were to Avengers: Endgame.

In the world of Marvel’s TV shows, fans are also seeing how fast the decision-making is with the cancellation of almost every extant series. ABC’s Agents of SHIELD is one good example of how a once popular Marvel TV franchise couldn’t sustain the reinvention over to Disney+.

Even more problematic with this show was that it changed direction as well. At one time, it connected directly to the MCU universe, including making numerous references to many of the characters from the Avengers movies.

Later, it went its own direction, leading to some speculation this was the real downfall of network TV Marvel properties.

Why did ‘Agents of SHIELD’ move away from MCU references?

The cast of Marvel's Agents of SHIELD
The cast of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD | Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for IMDb

It’s possible that when SHIELD started to go its own way, it was only because the MCU references just seemed contrived. After all, anyone watching then knew ABC wouldn’t ever have the budget to bring in some of the characters from the MCU movies for a crossover.

There was always hope there would be such an occurrence, but making sly nods to the characters was all anyone was going to see.

In this regard, it was arguably better for the show to distance themselves from the movies, and the other way around. All the past references to events going on in the Avengers movies soon became moot to a point where fans started to think it wasn’t even Marvel-related.

Some fans on Reddit still say things like this, perhaps to the show’s benefit. On the other hand, its recent cancellation might give an indication to what really caused the domino effect in all the other TV show pink slips.

Was SHIELD moving away from the MCU movies the real reason it lost all hope with viewers? This theory is worth exploring as Marvel seems to take a more deliberate approach in the MCU connection through the upcoming Disney+ shows.

Should all Marvel shows stand alone or connect to the MCU?

Outside of SHIELD frustrating fans with their eventual MCU disconnect, the few Marvel TV shows still going have kept up a number of references to the bigger Marvel universe. Perhaps this won’t be the case for the final seasons of shows like Cloak & Dagger or Runaways. Those two shows have already crossed over recently with one another, giving some interesting ties.

The final season of Agents of SHIELD won’t air until next summer, opening the potential for them to go out on a high note. Will they bring back some MCU references for the finale to tie things up? There’s always the possibility of that to set up things for the Disney+ shows.

What a lot of fans probably want to know is how much referencing there’s going to be in the Disney+ properties upcoming in 2020 and 2021. While the starring characters are already directly from the MCU films, how much will they reference some of the bigger characters like Spider-Man or the late Tony Stark?

There is such a thing as finding a personal identity for a TV show. One could argue SHIELD more or less was able to create its own niche once abandoning any relation to MCU movie events.

Finding an individual path for the Disney+ shows

First out of the chute for Marvel on Disney+ in fall of 2020 is going to be Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which already gives a direct connection to Captain America/Steve Rogers. Reportedly, some of the Marvel movies will link directly with some of the Disney+ shows, namely Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness setting up Loki and WandaVision.

Now it’s known the MCU connections will be on again, yet maybe not to a point where the shows can’t stand on their own feet. A bigger budget does matter, though. Had Agents of SHIELD enjoyed the budget Disney+ shows are getting, they could have had cameos from the top starring brass in the films.

Blame the limitations of commercial TV budgets in Marvel TV being a limited experiment.