Sorry S.H.I.E.L.D. fans, Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) is dead — no, really!
When Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns for Season 6 this summer, Clark Gregg may be back in action with the rest of the cast, but it's not going to be as Phil Coulson. After being infected with odium during a trip to the future in Season 5, Coulson realized that he was slowly but surely dying, a fate he eventually accepted. In fact, the season finale saw him and May (Ming Na Wen) spending his final days in Tahiti together as he slowly succumbed to his illness. The quick peek we got at Season 6 earlier this week seemed to hint at Coulson's return (though he knew nothing about S.H.I.E.L.D.), but when TV Guide caught up with Gregg at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Tuesday, he was quick to confirm that the man in the trailer is not Phil Coulson.
"We do not see Phil Coulson in this new trailer, we see somebody who looks an awful lot like him, which is disturbing to the team that we have working on Earth," Gregg told TV Guide. "There's one team out in space, desperately trying to find Fitz and there's another team on Earth dealing with some very strange and ominous visitors, and one of them seems to be someone who looks oddly familiar."
For those holding out a secret hope that Coulson will pull off yet another miraculous escape from death at the last minute, you may want to prepare yourselves for the worst. Chloe Bennet, who plays Daisy Johnson, confirmed that the rest of the team will be mourning Coulson's demise when the show returns, a process which will only be complicated by this mysterious new character of Gregg's.
"There's a weird acceptance, I think, because of how it happened and because Coulson did such a good job at kind of preparing everybody, but obviously it's not that easy," said Bennet. "We're introduced to a new character who happens to have a very similar aesthetic to Coulson, so having that as a constant reminder in a way turns out to not be the easiest."
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns for Season 6 on ABC this summer.