It’s no secret that Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) didn’t have the best of days in last year’s The Avengers; the real mystery is just how he is going to return to lead Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The ABC series recently wrapped production on its pilot but details on Coulson’s return to action have been locked down. Steve recently spoke with Gregg at WonderCon about the series but couldn’t get the actor to budge. Now, however, new information has cropped up that might actually be the answer behind Coulson’s return. Is it a Coulson Life Model Decoy? Will Vision be worked into the plot somehow? Some trickery on behalf of Nick Fury? Or perhaps something no one has thought of yet?
The series also stars Ming-Na Wen, Elizabeth Henstridge, Tain De Caestecker, and Brett Dalton. Hit the jump for more and keep in mind that major spoilers lie in wait.
While I’ll remind you that spoilers lie ahead, I’ll put this lovely picture of Cobie Smulders here for any of you who happen to come across this story in your reader feeds.
Smulders looks as confused as we are about this possible explanation of Coulson’s return, but here it goes (via /Film):
In the pilot, it’s revealed Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), the ultimate super spy, faked Agent Coulson’s death on purpose to motivate The Avengers. Some S.H.I.E.L.D. members were in on it (including, possibly, Maria Hill played by Cobie Smulders) but The Avengers were not. Their security clearance wasn’t high enough. Coulson was forced to hold his breath as part of the ruse and that’s a point of contention among his colleagues After the fact, Fury moved him to a remote location until things died down, and then he was reinserted into duty at the time of the show.
Personally, I’m hoping this is just a rumor and that it doesn’t pan out because that’s one lame-ass bit of end-around writing to resurrect a character. Don’t get me wrong, I’m more than happy to see Gregg’s return to the world, but “holding his breath” … really? Need I remind you that this is a comic book world where an Asgardian God of Thunder exists next to a giant green rage monster and a thawed-out super soldier? Can we not do better than, “Oh, he totes just held his breath, because that’s exactly the same as being dead.”
I get the idea of Fury using subterfuge to manipulate the Avengers and motivate them to getting the job done, I’m on board with all that, but the old “not really dead” switcheroo is both uninspired and cheapening to Coulson’s “death” scene in the feature film. The writers have the entire pantheon of Marvel’s heroic history to play with and they chose holding his breath? (I can’t get over that.) I’m really hoping this rumor is just that, a rumor. Perhaps I’m overreacting. Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Here’s the synopsis for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
Fresh from his role in the summer’s box office smash, MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS, Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) returns to the worldwide law enforcement organization S.H.I.E.L.D. He puts together a small, highly trained, team of Agents to tackle the cases that haven’t been classified yet, the new, the strange and the unknown. That team consists of straight arrow Agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), an expert in combat and espionage; pilot and martial artist Agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen); and brilliant if socially awkward scientists Agent Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Agent Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge). They’ll be joined by civilian new recruit and computer hacker Skye (Chloe Bennet).
Prepare for an epic adventure that showcases the hope and wonder of the human spirit. This is a world of Super Heroes, aliens and the unusual – of action, spectacle and world spanning stories. The show will speak to the human condition through the lens of our very human, non-powered S.H.I.E.L.D agents – that together we are greater than we are apart, and that we can make a difference in the world.