Join or Sign In

Sign in to customize your TV listings

Continue with Facebook Continue with email

By joining TV Guide, you agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Ends With Multiple Tragedies, But Will They Stick?

Showrunners say there's precedent for them to be undone!

Lindsay MacDonald

The Season 5 finale of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. took us on a wild ride, and more than a few tears were shed before all was said and done.

In the end, Coulson (Clark Gregg) proved himself to be a hero yet again, choosing to sacrifice his life in order to stop Talbot (Adrian Pasdar) from destroying the world. That didn't stop Talbot from trying though. The streets of Chicago became a battleground as Daisy (Chloe Bennet) tried to defeat Talbot while the rest of the team did what S.H.I.E.L.D. has always done best: Save people.

Rescue missions are dangerous though, and one team member didn't make it back.

Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) found himself at the bottom of a collapsed pile of rubble, gasping for his last breaths as May (Ming Na Wen) and Mac (Henry Simmons) watched over him. It was honestly the most heartbreaking moment of the episode (and possibly the series), but don't shed too many tears -- technically speaking, Fitz is still alive.

Remember when Fitz put himself on ice and launched his comatose body into space in order to meet up with the gang in the future? That comatose version of him is still out there!

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Renewed for Season 6

"In breaking the season about time travel, which is like 3-D chess, [Fitz] was one of the problems we encountered," executive producer Jed Whedon explains. "Whenever you're doing time travel stuff, there are these loopholes, and there are these twists and turns that you cannot figure out, and this was a problem for us. But then we realized there was an opportunity there. Truthfully, because of how we structured the season, there was no version where there isn't a second Fitz. So it's just a question of whether or not to kill one of them, and we do actually kill him. The emotion of it and the effect of it is real. He really goes through that, and our team really goes through that. Whether or not they can even find the one floating in space is a question."

That will obviously be an adventure for Season 6, considering the show picked up a last-minute renewal, and truthfully, it sounds like a pretty awesome one.

"Fitz with all that experience -- with proposing, with getting married -- that was all very real. He's gone," executive producer Jeff Bell says. "And should they find Fitz in some future season, he's on his way to try and save the team and propose to Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), so he's a different person."

Does that mean we're going to get another FitzSimmons wedding? PLEASE, PLEASE YES!

Another "death" to add it the list is Coulson's, though technically speaking we didn't actually see it happen. In the end, the team dropped Coulson and May (Ming Na Wen) off in Tahiti to live out the rest of his days together. Ultimately, that would only be a few weeks, if he was lucky, so we were supposed to infer that eventually he did die.

However... that was obviously when the show was coming to an end, meaning the show needs to write itself out of that corner when Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns for Season 6.

How Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Incorporated Avengers: Infinity War

"As we always say, this is Marvel and our show always finds a way to bring people back," Whedon says of Coulson's fate in Season 6. "Our show is founded on him--"

"Who had been dead already," executive producer Maurissa Tancharoen cuts in, referencing Coulson's original entrance into the series after being killed off in the first Avengers film.

"So there's precedent!" Bell adds.

We'll just have to wait and see how and if Coulson escapes death this time, not to mention where in the galaxy Fitz ended up. We'll be waiting a long time though, since Season 6 will not air until the summer of 2019. At least we don't have to worry about incorporating the twist ending of Avengers: Infinity War?

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Season 5 finale airs Friday at 9/8c on ABC.

Mina Na Wen, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Mina Na Wen, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Mitch Haaseth, ABC