The Season 6 premiere of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. delivered everything we hoped it would — a new Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) centered mystery, Daisy Johnson (Chloe Bennet) kicking ass and taking names in space, and some touching words about Coulson's (Clark Gregg) demise — but there was one noticeable omission.
How the heck does the Thanos snap factor in?
The Season 5 finale gave a nod to Avengers: Infinity War when Taryan (Craig Parker) told Talbot (Adrian Pasdar), "Thanos and his forces have begun an assault on your world even as we speak." Naturally, we all assumed that since Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. would be premiering after Avengers: Endgame came out, we'd get a nod to that resolved conflict. But the show pretty much skates right by the Thanos snap without a single mention, even though the Season 6 premiere takes place one year after the Battle of Wakanda and one year into the world's existence without half its population.
Instead, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s showrunners have said they consider Season 6 as happening before the snap, even though that doesn't quite make sense with the timeline they'd established. The reason for that choice has more to do with logistics than anything.
"Part of it had to do with a question of when we'd air, truthfully," Jed Whedon told reporters on a recent set visit. "We had talked about summer, but there's always a chance that we'd get moved up to the beginning of the year, and with the amount of characters and money and machine in place with Endgame--"
"The most important film of the year, let's say that's what it was," Jeph Loeb interjected.
"We had to dodge it completely," Whedon said. "Imagine if we'd incorporated it and then at the last minute, the network was like, 'You know what, we'd love to have this on in January.' Then all of the sudden, we've spoiled something horrible. So we made the decision to just be pre-snap and tell our story and just carry it forward."
It's true that there was simply no way to incorporate the snap (and the characters they'd have to lose as a result) without setting up the major potential for spoilers. Even though the timeline is now seriously wonky, the producers are confident that fans will be forgiving — and they may even find a solution to the problem in the endless Marvel mythology.
"I live in a world where there's enough Time Lords and Chronicoms that live on the internet that they'll figure it out and explain it back to us," Loeb said. "It does work, you just have to sort of figure it out."
Well, there you have it superfans. Get working on a way to explain this craziness!
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Fridays at 8/7c on ABC.