What's So Special About The Very End Of Agents Of SHIELD?

Here's a promo for Agents of SHIELD that, first of all, explains that it can't explain why the second episode is called 0-8-4. That's fun.

And then there's a promise, with ABC asking us to trust them.


For those of you playing along in the office, here's what the voice over man said.

Trust us, you won't want to miss the very end of every episode.

Well, isn't that something.

The very end of the pilot… well, it was great. It was a nice surprise that you may have seen coming, and you'll know what I mean if you saw the episode. But it's no clue as to why "the very end of every episode" is going to be special.

But I'd guess that from episode two onwards, that very last moment will take a cue from the Marvel Movieverse playbook. The after-credits scenes on the Marvel movies became one of the most talked about parts of their crossover strategy and went from giving us a little extra tease to, admittedly inadvertently, stoking our entitlement to these little bonuses.

In the US at least – I can say it's not the case in the UK but I don't know about anywhere else in the world – there is most often a commercial break right before the very last scene of a TV show. That scene then plays, often with credits over the top, before the next program of the night kicks in.

Here in the UK, the show finishes, credits roll and then the ads start. We're far less likely to miss the end of the episode because there won't be a clean, commercial line in the sand before it starts. It's nice this way.

But if ABC can make the end of Agents of SHIELD a must see, hot buzz talking point each week, they'll keep a good amount of eyes glued to their sets throughout that final ad break.

It's a very shrewd strategy, from a marketing and commercial sales point of view. I hope the writers can make the most of this, though, and really give us end scenes that work on all due levels and don't just feel like tacked-on bait.

The pilot episode of Agents of SHIELD is repeated on ABC at 8pm tonight; the UK premiere is on Channel 4 tomorrow night. I think we'll get our first taste of this oh-so-special episode capping next week. They're not going to blow out the collective nerd mind and have Samuel L. Jackson pop up, are they?