Why That Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. WTF Finale Cliffhanger Could Have Devastating Consequences

agents of shield season 4 finale daisy coulson robbie reyes ghost rider

Warning: major spoilers ahead for the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 finale, "World's End."

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. went in some wild new directions in Season 4, and the result was a pretty stellar batch of episodes. Sadly for those of us who have gotten used to our weekly dose of Marvel action, the Season 4 finale has officially aired, and we're heading into a hiatus that is currently indefinite. In true S.H.I.E.L.D. fashion, the finale ended on a cliffhanger that should have us talking for the next several months. After an episode that featured Ghost Rider's return, A.I.D.A. wreaking havoc, a Daisy-bot shooting General Talbot in the head, and Fitz trying to take one for the team, our merry band of agents was immobilized and captured by a mysterious group. When last we saw Coulson, he was waking up alone in what seemed to be a cell... located in outer space.

I have to feel bad for those poor agents. After managing to defeat A.I.D.A. and banish the Darkhold to another dimension courtesy of the timely arrival of Ghost Rider, all they wanted to do was eat some diner pie and hang out until the authorities came to arrest them for A.I.D.A.'s crimes. Instead of the proper authorities arriving, however, a mysterious group immobilized them all with a piece of tech that looked straight out of Iron Man, saying that they only had a two minute window, presumably before the immobilization wore off. Poor kids. No pie for them.

We only technically saw Coulson wake up in outer space, but it's a pretty safe bet that the whole group was brought along with him, even if not kept in the same quarters. Coulson seemed pretty resigned to whatever his fate was, and he wasn't in any obvious physical danger, so outer space really may be the place to be. Unfortunately, the folks down on Earth may be the ones to feel the devastating consequences of Coulson and Co.'s disappearance.

A Daisy-bot went on a rampage in "World's End," which happened to be caught on camera, leading authorities to believe that a woman who is both an Inhuman and a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent was more than willing to murder. It was a move that was terrifyingly close to how A.I.D.A. sowed the seeds of discontent within the framework reality. The actions of the Daisy-bot can be used by some of the less savory characters in power to instill fear of Inhumans and distrust of S.H.I.E.L.D. among the public. Unless somebody steps in to stop the spread of the fear, the real world could come to resemble the framework reality with its persecution of Inhumans.

Normally, we could count on the real Daisy and her pals to set the record straight, and General Talbot likely would have been willing to hear them out. The good guys were even calmly awaiting capture from the authorities, after which they would be able to explain what had happened and make it clear that neither S.H.I.E.L.D. nor any Inhumans had evil intentions toward the innocent. That obviously can't be the case now that the agents are M.I.A. and Talbot is comatose.

If the good guys are replaced by androids, then there will be nobody to explain what happened to the public. If they aren't replaced by androids, then they'll likely be considered criminals at large, and rumors of fugitive murderers would only make many people more fearful. Basically, if the agents are out of commission for too long, they may come home to discover that their reality resembles the framework reality too closely for comfort, and they won't be able to unplug and escape this time.

Luckily, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was recently renewed for Season 5, so we don't have to worry that the cliffhanger will never be resolved. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest in S.H.I.E.L.D. news, and don't forget to check out our summer TV premiere schedule to discover all your viewing options now and in the coming weeks. Be sure to drop by our rundowns for cable/streaming and broadcast TV renewals and cancellations as well. Our TV season finale schedule can give you all you need to know about your shows ending.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).