If you caught "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" in theaters over its record breaking opening weekend, they you know that the film alters the landscape of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well as the future of "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." Earlier today, CBR spoke with Marvel Studios' president Kevin Feige about the implications the movie has on the former, so for now, we're going to focus on the latter.
So, spoilers ahead for everyone out there who hasn't seen "The Winter Soldier" yet, and you might want to check out the movie before picking up with the ABC drama on Tuesday. "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." will be dealing with the movie's fallout ASAP, and here are some of the biggest ways the movie's events could impact the series.
The Clairvoyant Revealed
Last week's episode of " S.H.I.E.L.D." revealed that the bad guy's calls have been metaphorically coming from inside the house the whole time. Coulson and Skye figured out that the Clairvoyant wasn't really a telepath; he/she just had high-level S.H.I.E.L.D. clearance. Now that we know that the evil HYDRA has infiltrated every nook and cranny in S.H.I.E.L.D., it's likely that the Clairvoyant's been working alongside HYDRA this entire time. Expect that bombshell to be dropped soon, and it's entirely possible that during the course of rooting the seemingly all-knowing bad guy out, Victoria Hand will be labeled a traitor -- just like her comic book counterpart.
With no S.H.I.E.L.D. left to return to, it seems like Coulson's crew will have no other choice but to strike out on their own. The team briefly flirted with independence a few months ago, disobeying orders from S.H.I.E.L.D. when the Clairvoyant's forces kidnapped Coulson. But now, the team has no larger organization to run from or run to; they'll truly be flying solo. We suspect Coulson and Company's adventures from here on out will be a bit less high tech and a bit more seat of their pants.
Enter: Maria Hill
Fans have been expecting something to happen with the character of Maria Hill ever since it was announced that Cobie Smulders' sitcom "How I Met Your Mother" would be ending after this season. "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" places Hill in a less than desirable position -- the last we see of her, she's on a job interview to work for the barely tolerable Tony Stark. If Coulson and his crew come calling, can Maria Hill really turn them down? Plus, the ragtag Agents of Nothing might need to fill out the ranks if Agent Melinda May's betrayal turns out to be genuine and permanent.
With presumably every secret now out in the open, the show could turn its full attention towards eradicating the lingering threats posed by HYDRA. Those full-time foes would give the team formidable opponents on a weekly basis, and it would go a long way towards solving fans' "there aren't enough comic book characters on this comic book TV show" gripe. Villains like Viper and Gorgon could now pop up in season two -- if the show gets renewed.
Now that S.H.I.E.L.D. has been dissolved, the show might even consider changing its name. A title change would really sell the point that the show's an entirely different beast, possibly convincing those that have jumped ship to give the retooled drama another chance. Plus, ABC would pick up a ton of press should they rebrand the series. Okay, so maybe the show won't go so far as to call themselves "Secret Avengers" -- after all, they'd need at least a few more real Avengers from the comics in the cast to rightfully pull that off. Still, we figure we can either expect a new title, or a rousing speech delivered by Coulson stating that even without S.H.I.E.L.D., they're still S.H.I.E.L.D. agents.