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Clandestine organizations always have their share of secrets to keep, but S.H.I.E.L.D. likes to kick it up a notch by wrapping secrets inside of mysteries and sending them to space. Arguably the biggest of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s conundrums involves the fate of Clark Gregg's Phil Coulson, who was last heading to Tahiti to live out his last days. The first Season 6 trailer, however, offers up some potentially different answers for Coulson's fate. Check it out!
The first moments of the actual trailer, as opposed to the mini-teaser, probably made fans pull a double-take, considering Agent Coulson appeared to be standing there talking to Mack as naturally as could be. Before too much speculation could be spent on where this scene took place, reality upended hope.
It wasn't actually Coulson in the office, but rather a hologram of the presumably lost leader. Disappointing as that may be, it was kinda cool watching Mack walk through him like that.
I can't be the only one who found it curious that Coulson brings up forming a team built on "trust," and then warns not to try and think about everything all at once, just before the plainly stated message "Agent Coulson is Dead" popped up on the screen. Are we meant to put trust in this statement, or will thinking about such things cause us to crack?
May says that she was with Coulson "until the very end," and that beyond just some beach-time together, that the two got "more than they thought they would." One may infer something romantic from a light reading of that line, thinking Coulson and May took their relationship to a deeper and more loving level in his final days. But what if she's talking about something else entirely?
The trailer ends on a whopper of a shock, with the official reveal of Clark Gregg's return for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 6. Only, this might not be Coulson. Or is it? Or isn't it? Coulson's on first?
WTF, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? The dialogue heard over the reveal has...this character...saying that he's "never heard of" S.H.I.E.L.D., even though he was pegged as someone who works for them. Which brings about its own host of questions, which we'll run through from least fantastical to most fantastical.
Did Coulson's somehow get cured in a natural way? Did Coulson somehow get cured in an unnatural way that he was happy with? Did he pass on and then come back from the dead somehow, possibly in ways similar to how his death was reversed in the first place?
If any of these are true, then is Coulson just acting like he doesn't know what S.H.I.E.L.D. is for safety reasons of some kind? Or did he actually lose his memory, either through injury or through someone else's intentional scheming?
Speaking of intentional scheming, the other major possibility here is that this is actually Evil Coulson. That concept opens up its own subsection of answer-less questions. Is it actually a different version of Coulson or is it just someone using the protagonist's visage? Or was he initially saved, but losing his morality was the price he paid? So many scenarios built out of a three-second moment. Kucos, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
We're still not sure when Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will debut its sixth season, but we know it's coming in July 2019, so expect to see lots more trailers and clips before then. And take comfort in knowing that Season 7 is also on the way. In the meantime, the midseason primetime schedule is full of shows that should be rewarded with your attention.