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Spoilers for the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series finale – “What We’re Fighting For” – lie ahead.
After seven eventful seasons, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has finally reached its conclusion, and the result was an action-packed, funny and heartfelt send-off for the MCU’s favorite S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives. And most fans were left pleased with the fact that each member of the team received a happy ending. Phil Coulson and Melinda May had particularly compelling arcs throughout the series, and both Clark Gregg and Ming-Na Wen took some time to reflect on their characters’ journeys.
The end of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has to be especially surreal for Clark Gregg, as Phil Coulson began as a character in the MCU films before being killed off and resurrected for the show. Coulson was a lone agent who formed a special team that would quickly become a family, and he would even die a few more times. After the team’s final mission, LMD Coulson takes some time to figure out his next move. There’s been so much to Coulson’s story, which is why during a roundtable for the finale, Clark Gregg told CinemaBlend and other outlets that it’s hard to choose one singular moment that he’s most grateful for:
That's really tough because there's really countless, there's ones that were so fun to do, and so fun or hard to act. I guess the idea that for me, it's a broader, it's a more holistic thing to go from being a character who had a very specific purpose in the films to a character who got to be the lead of a show with an ensemble and 100 and how many? 30 maybe episodes. To go that deep into a character and learn so much more about them, and together, we have found a person who had deep relationships, family, a protege who far exceeded his abilities and his expectations in Daisy, and to get the friendships and relationships out of it that I've been able to, and to see her end up happily, with such a classy stud muffin as Enver [Gjokaj].
S.H.I.E.L.D. was a show that really cared for its characters but wasn’t afraid to put them through the wringer. Ming-Na Wen’s Melinda May (aka The Cavalry) experienced plenty of loss and trauma but, in the end, she powered through. In the closing moments of the finale, it’s revealed that May has become a professor at S.H.I.E.L.D.’s newly established Coulson Academy and, during the roundtable, Wen said she was pleased with this development:
I mean, I was happy. I think the fans are going to be happy… You know, because for me May has always been someone's SO. Whether it was Ward, whether it was Yo-Yo, whether it was Daisy. So for her to end up running the academy and being there to uphold the standards and passing on her knowledge and experience to the new recruits of SHIELD, I felt that was very apropos for May. And to be single.
Most would agree that the producers of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. put some serious thought into how things would end for the main characters, as they definitely stuck the landing in that regard. May has always been a teacher, and having her now do so in an official capacity is too perfect. Some may have been disappointed to see Coulson end up on his own once again, but he does still have his family and Lucy. And let’s be honest, when his Phil Coulson ever been unable to find adventure on his own?
It’s sad to say goodbye to these characters, but we can still be glad that we got to spend so much time with them over these past seven years. One can only hope we get to see them again in some shape or form.
Anyone looking to revisit Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. can stream the first six seasons on Netflix.