Warning! Spoilers ahead for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s series finale.
The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series finale (!) was filled to the brim with time-traveling adventures, a redemption arc for Kora, some emotional goodbyes, and a big reveal about FitzSimmons. (It was also nice for Fitz to finally show up to explain what he’s been up to after a season-long absence.) Before Enoch died, he revealed that the team’s Season 7 mission would be their last together. At the end of it all, Daisy was perhaps the most reluctant to bid farewell, and Chloe Bennet also had some “mixed emotions” about how the series finale wrapped up.
Over the course of seven seasons, Daisy Johnson had come to embrace and rely on her tight-knit team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. In a conversation with Mack, she reasoned that the fight against the Chronicoms couldn’t possibly be their final mission. They couldn’t just say goodbye to each other, right? After all, the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series finale emphasized that they were all fighting for their makeshift family, which made the goodbyes at the end that much more emotionally resonant. In a roundtable interview with CinemaBlend and other outlets, Chloe Bennet revealed that she wanted more time spent on the characters' farewells. Here’s how she put it when asked about the importance of "family" in such a situation:
I think for Daisy, I mean, I think she was the one driving that the most, that narrative of like, 'We can't just say goodbye,' you know, I think that was kind of her. I don't know how much I feel like we got there on screen, if that makes sense. And I think the goodbye was very typical S.H.I.E.L.D. fashion, which is like it's goodbye, but it's not. It's goodbye but we're all going to still talk and you see us talking. I don't know, I think I have mixed emotions about how much we captured that, really. I think I can't really look at it without being a little biased and that I wanted a little bit more of a goodbye with each character on screen. We had a lot of time loop stuff to figure out. But it definitely happened in real life and so currently for me, that right now, that's kind of blurring and it's making these questions a little bit more difficult to answer because certain things got on camera and certain things didn't.
Hmm, does that mean that there were more scenes with the team that ended up on the cutting room floor, or is she just mixing cast goodbyes with character farewells? Whether or not either of those is the case, I don’t disagree with her assessment. While the goodbyes were indeed emotional, there was certainly a whole lot of plot to get through, and Fitz also had a lot of exposition regarding what exactly he and Simmons were planning, and how they managed to pull it all off. As such, the finale wasn't able to provide more time for extended group scenes to ramp up the heartfelt emotions..
Despite Chloe Bennet’s “mixed emotions” about how the goodbyes were captured onscreen, though, that final group scene was incredibly touching. It was also quite a bittersweet moment once viewers realized that Coulson, Daisy et al weren't actually in the same room together, as they were all hologram projections. Bennet conveyed how very real that scene felt for her and the rest of the cast, as both their characters and as actors. In her words:
Oh, it was rough. It was rough to shoot. It mirrored exactly what we were all going through as a cast. You know, so much of the show has mirrored [how] we didn't know each other at all, we were this ragtag group of people shooting this version of the Marvel world that's never really been touched before in a very different [way]. We've just grown together, on screen and off, and to end in that way where everyone moved forward. And what was kind of dramatic about all of it was that it wasn't, and that it was so real and that everyone just, sometimes that happens in life as people go in their own directions, and you stay in touch and you maybe become a little bit more polite with people you once used to see every morning at five in the morning, every single day for seven years. And things just change. That was the gravity of how real that felt, for us as actors, or at least for me. It wasn't hard in the sense that I don't feel like many of us were acting. It felt like that was the cast saying goodbye to each other. And it was really special.
Excuse me while I go grab my hologram tissues. Seriously, though, the cornerstone of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was less about Marvel machinations and more about the characters’ relationships with each other. They shared a deep bond that has obviously bled into the actors' lives off-screen as well. The fact that it’s all over now feels all too real for the cast and for viewers. That said, the final group scene worked like a charm in bringing the emotion and it was indeed “really special.”