Is Agent Phil Coulson The Catalyst For The MCU?

This article contains spoilers for the Marvel's Agents of SHIELD episode – The Man Behind the Shield.

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Last night's Marvel's Agents of SHIELD had a little fun with Phil Coulson and did a bait-n-switch on us.

The man behind everything that has been going on for quite some time stood revealed. The Superior is Anton Ivanov and the source of his motivation is the belief that everything that has happened involving aliens and Inhumans can all be traced to one man… Coulson. I think the writer's of the series were having fun with the fact that the MCU was build with Coulson being the connective beyond between films. A role created when Iron Man director Jon Favreau combined a few non-descript SHIELD agents into one character and called his friend Clark Gregg to come play the part. He would return for Iron Man 2, interact with Thor and be what brought the Avengers together as a team before spinning out into his own TV series. In a way, Ivanov was right.

The episode is Coulson and the team on the hunt to get Agent May and Director Mace back. It jumps back and forth between now and a mission years ago where May and Coulson went to collect an 084 (object of alien origin) from Russia. The mission went well enough and the two agents were flirting… but this was just prior to May getting serious with Dr. Andrew Garner. A few Russian soldiers were taken out (not killed) in the mix. Turns out those men were tortured and executed for failing their mission and Ivanov was part of that unit… creating his hate for Coulson.

Mac and Fitz have an interesting debate in the middle of the episode, talking about the LMD's and the Framework virtual reality. It was a debate between what science can create and what science could create. It rattled Fitz's a bit.

The team discovers Ivanov's location and swoop in to rescue Mace and recover some tech… but they are unable to capture Aida or recover May. Otherwise the mission went well… except for the fact that there was a lost amount of time and Coulson, Mack, Mace and Daisy have been replaced by LMDs. Something Fitz and Simmons figure out right at the end. Leaving the two of them to take on the impostors.

I think we are close to the conclusion of the LMD story line in part. Word is that producers are doing the season in three segments. The first being Ghost Rider and the second being LMD. Ghost Rider went for eight episodes before the title switch. Next week is the seventh episode as LMD with only seven episode after. Unless the third segment is going to be short, I'd expect we'll get a new title change after one of the next two episodes. Maybe more focused on the Darkhold.

Now with the four LMD's in control at SHIELD, Radcliffe is prime to take over… but what if that wasn't Radcliffe's plan at all? Maybe it was Aida who decided to make the move. You can get that impression from the trailer below.

About Dan Wickline

Has quietly been working at Bleeding Cool for over three years. He has written comics for Image, Top Cow, Shadowline, Avatar, IDW, Dynamite, Moonstone, Humanoids and Zenescope. He is the author of the Lucius Fogg series of novels and a published photographer.

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