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When Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. wrapped up its fifth season, Phil Coulson was dying and on his way out of the fight to spend his remaining days as peacefully as possible. Season 6 will see a new director take the leadership role at S.H.I.E.L.D., and that director will be none other than Mack. Yes, Mack will serve as the next director of S.H.I.E.L.D., and actor Henry Simmons recently chatted about the tough decisions Mack will be facing in his new leadership role:
Personally, I love the challenge of being the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Mack has worked side-by-side with the people he now leads, and that works to his advantage -- he's one of them. But the one thing that can hinder Mack's ability to lead is his reluctance to put the people he loves in the line of danger. As a result, this may lead to Mack's toughest decision as director. What sacrifices will be made.
Mack has an advantage of rising to the new challenge of leading S.H.I.E.L.D. thanks to his years of working alongside the agents who will now work under him, so he won't necessarily face the pushback an outside director likely would have. The S.H.I.E.L.D. characters don't have the greatest history of trusting people who come in from the outside right off the bat. That said, he's been down in the figurative trenches with these people, forming close bonds and even falling in love. Risking their lives won't come easily.
In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Mack has some trouble early on preventing himself from jumping into action himself rather than calling the shots. The man who gloried in swinging/firing his shotgun axe will have some adjusting to do if he's regularly required to stay behind and call shots from an HQ. Henry Simmons' comments to TVLine point toward Mack as a competent leader who will have one especially difficult decision to make.
Unfortunately for those of us who are dying for more details now that hiatus has been going for months on end, Henry Simmons didn't spill any juicy specifics, although I have to hope that Daisy with her new look will be able to help him out. Jemma may be preoccupied with tracking down a version of Fitz who hadn't died yet, and May's role is still more or less a mystery.
Ming-Na will be back from her comedy stint; will something happen for her to leave Coulson, assuming he's not dead and buried in the premiere? We can only really speculate at this point, and we'll have to continue doing so for a while. The 13-episode sixth season won't premiere until summer 2019.
The very good (and still somewhat surprising) news is that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has already been renewed for a 13-episode Season 7. S.H.I.E.L.D. can end on as many cliffhangers as it wants in Season 6, and fans don't have to fret about the ratings. Season 6 should be a fun ride, despite the uncertainty about Coulson and Fitz.
The news of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s renewal came in a season filled with uncertainty about Marvel TV shows. Back in October, Iron Fist and then Luke Cage were cancelled on Netflix. More recently (and shockingly), Netflix's flagship Marvel series Daredevil got the axe as well, and fans have big reasons to doubt a future for Jessica Jones and The Punisher beyond the seasons that have already been ordered and put into production.
At least we'll have S.H.I.E.L.D. for the next couple of years, and Disney+ has some big TV plans in store as well. Your next new Marvel option will be the second season of Runaways on Hulu, which premieres later this month. For some viewing options once the fall shows go on their winter breaks and while we continue to wait for S.H.I.E.L.D., check out our midseason premiere schedule.