Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is taking a bow tonight, and it’s doing it on its own terms.
Back when the series started in 2013, Iron Man 3 had just been released, and Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier were both on deck. Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) had just been killed a year earlier in The Avengers, so it was a pretty big deal that he was now returning to lead a whole show focused on S.H.I.E.L.D., the ever-changing organization at the center of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The series arrived at the height of Avengers popularity, and dealt with what became a turning point for the MCU: S.H.I.E.L.D. had been infiltrated by the evil Hydra, and the organization that built and supported the Avengers was no more. For a long time, we all obsessed over Agents of S.H.I.E.LD.’s connection to the movies, tracking every mention and cameo (like Samuel L. Jackson‘s appearance in the season one finale.) The show was partly a way to pass the time and quench our Marvel thirst between movies. But at some point, the connection to the movies became less and less important, and the show found its own groove as it continued on for a full seven seasons and more than a year past Avengers: Endgame.