‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’: Coulson Lives Spoiler Discussion – Worth the Wait?

Published 7 months ago by , Updated January 7th, 2014 at 9:48 pm,

shield coulson return mystery gregg Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Coulson Lives Spoiler Discussion   Worth the Wait?

It’s been the sole mystery which has been driving Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. from the start, and now the time has finally come to reveal what all happened to Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) after he heroically died in The Avengers and was whisked away to “Tahiti”, leaving behind a certain cellist with a broken heart.

After being kidnapped by Centipede – and unceremoniously killing Mike Peterson (J. August Richards) in the process (or not) – Coulson was held captive in “the town that the bomb forgot”, surrounded by hundreds of miles of desert. Though Coulson initially fought off the pokes and prodding of Raina (Ruth Negga) and the phoned-in Clairvoyant, he quickly folded when details of how his beloved musician handled his death were revealed.

As it turns out, Coulson was not on a beach in Tahiti; instead he was strapped to a gurney with doctors surrounding him as he continuously begged them to let him die, and throughout the operation, a machine was operating on his exposed brain. Agent Coulson was dead for days, and it wasn’t until the seventh operation that they were finally successful in bringing him back to life. That’s it!

agents of shield coulson death operation Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Coulson Lives Spoiler Discussion   Worth the Wait?

So after 11 hours of television entertainment… was the partial reveal worth it? Share your thoughts and theories in the comments!

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays @8pm on ABC

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  1. I dont watch the show but sounds interesting…i guess
    interested in what others think

  2. Wait, what?!

  3. Glad they did something other than the LMD or clone path.

  4. It was a cellist with a broken heart, not a violinist.

    • Coulson should get with a cellist, violinist and bassist.

  5. I was surprised at all the gory parts in this episode. I think its a decent enough explanation but now they can cancel the show in time to put Coulson in Captain America. Also, am I the only one who thinks the super powered dude is gonna be Deathlok?

    • I think the clairvoyant is Ultron himself. All his communication with centipede is electronic. So is the eye kill thing.

      • I think you make a very interesting point. One that never crossed my mind. How interesting would that be? I won’t keep my hopes up though.

    • I’m really liking the sounds of Mike Peterson being Deathlok

      • Yeah man, when I saw his charred face and missing leg for some reason Deathlok instantly popped in my head.

  6. Is that it? That he was just operated on for a really long time and they switched out his memories of being in excruciating pain for the more pleasant lie of lying on a beach in Tahiti? And they didn’t want him to know that he’d given up hope after seven days of surgery, a totally normal reaction under the circumstances? Really, is that all? I ask this because I watched it and I assumed we just didn’t get an answer, that they were still stringing us along, because this reveal is nothing. It’s so anticlimactic, if this really is it.

    • Yea, this article/reviewer didnt get it I feel. There is still more about his resurrection that has yet to be revealed…they explained what happened to his memory…the brain thing…but not how exactly he came back to life…just that he had “seven procedures”.

      • that is kind of what i was thinking. maybe i’m being optimistic (or very naive), but am i the only one that felt like he actually may become vision, or did i read too much into the dr.s’ “we didn’t want you to become that thing” line? also, didn’t coulson walk out of the suv right before the dr. said, “if you only knew”. seems like there is a lot more.

  7. @Buster. If you think this reveal is it youre wrong.

  8. Mike Peterson is not Deathlok even thought that would be awesome. If his name was Michael Collins he would be Deathlok.

    • They can change it if they wanted to.

      • This big reveal could end up being a red herring… the machine could have been implanting memories… uploading in a sense.. easier if he was already a machine, LMD…
        I doubt they will use deathloc, probably some sort of analog of him… the guy is missing a leg and possibly an eye… his arms and hands weren’t looking too good either.. guessing there will be a slew of cameos in the next few weeks… nick fury getting whined at by Coulson, probably Cap closer to the season end…

  9. They should of just resurrected Coulson with some Khan blood and ended it there.

    • extremis would have worked too

  10. I gave this show one last chance tonight after not watching for the last few episodes and in the first 15 minutes of the show I groaned at least 6 times. Why oh why haven’t the Whedons (Jed and wife) been fired? The writing and acting still suck. I can’t believe I gave this show another chance. I never finished the episode because after the first 15 minutes I gave up on their vision (no pun intended) of this show. Totally a waste of time. These agents are some of the most inept agents on the planet and the complete laughingstock of every spy agency on the planet.

    Before people start bashing me about this. I am a long time comic fan. had the extreme honor of meeting Stan Lee numerous times and have been a collector for most of my years on this planet. I love a good read and I love comics. I could care less if this show gave me super heroes or super villains. I just wanted a good show and it fails on so many levels. I am bashing the writing and acting. It’s horrible, folks. This show is up there with Ghost Rider 2 in my book.

    • Ok look, Agents of Shield sucks but Ghost Rider 2 is on a whole other level of suck. I don’t know whay I’m arguing, I’d watch Ghost Rider 2 over Agents of Shield, at least Ghost Rider has Idris Elba and some wacky terribly shot action but still better than Shield.

      • Don’t worry man I know you are not arguing. I would rather have watched Ghost Rider 2 cause it had an awesome cameo by Christopher Lambert in it.

        Man I really really really wanted to love this show. I cannot go through it anymore. Gave it one last chance to redeem itself. But Sky is so annoying and the acting by EVERYONE collectively, is some of the worse ever on TV. The writing, oh the writing… ugh.

        • Seriously, if people were loving this show and talking about how great it was, I’d feel like I was in The Twilight Zone or something, thank god people share the opinion and realise just how appalling it is, the writing, the character, the story, everything about it sucks so bad it’s unbelievable.

          • @ Irish Knight

            That’s how I felt about The Following.
            I tried my hardest to finish the season but I just couldn’t do it and when I would read opinions of the show, some by people who’s opinion I really respect I would wonder if we were watching the same show.
            I have no problem with someone liking something I don’t and I don’t get all worked up when someone doesn’t like something I do but with The Following I am baffled and think some serious Twilight Zone mullarky is going on. ;)

            • thats how i feel about sleepy hollow. that show is just…ugh.

    • I agree with this. I really gave this show the benefit of the doubt. It was never going to be Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad, but I thought the blandness of the first few episodes would work themselves out and they seemed to, at least for a while. But the past few episodes have been very disappointing and I’m forcing my way through them out of loyalty to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

      I find watching this show to be an unpleasant experience and the only thing I care about right now is Coulson and how he managed to be brought back. Once they explain that, I’m done with the show. I just hope they bring him back into the films.

  11. I’m just waiting for someone to come by and be pissed because it didn’t follow some Backdoor method from the comics. Like Adam Warlock swooping in with the soul gem, stuffing Coulson back into his body, and going out for gelatto like nothing happened or something idiotic like that. Just because what did happen wasn’t more in line with something already from the comics.

  12. Wow this show SUCKS!!!!! I’m glad I stopped watching this garbage after the 3rd episode.

    • Wow. You made it 3 episodes?

  13. I’ve watched the entire life of this show and I went through the god awful first 4-5 episodes, and I’m glad to see this show take off in a different direction. It’s much better than what is was at the start. Having said that, the reveal wasn’t anything special or worth while, sure it was cool to see the machine on his brain but really that’s it? Fury couldn’t get some asgardian tech, lmd

  14. Thats the explanation? LMD is a far better reasoning and allows a way in which you can expand the technology of the mcu. This feels underwhelming

  15. , or some clone aspect? It just seems so weak to build it up so much to this point just to have it be Fury got people to do unethical operations on his corpse. I hope there’s more to the story and hope the coming weeks keep bringing the story to a better place.

  16. This wasn’t the complete reveal. They have already said that the “Coulson mystery” will be played out over the last half of this season.

    All this tease did was tell us that:

    A: Coulson died and was dead for days.

    B: It took multiple surgeries to repair/rebuild his heart and other organs which were damaged by Loki’s spear.

    C: They needed to stimulate his brain electrically for those several days while he was “dead” in order to prevent his neurons from depolarizing. A process which put him through unimaginable pain.

    D: They injected him with a blue serum which had previously been being kept cryogenically stored in liquid nitrogen. Most likely one of the last remaining samples of Abraham Erskine’s original super solider serum. http://static3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120311194411/marvelmovies/images/thumb/7/71/Super-soldier_serum.jpg/280px-Super-soldier_serum.jpg

    • I didnt catch the serum, would be pretty awesome if he was a super soldier. But wouldnt he have realized by now what with enhanced abilities and all. I especially liked the callback to Iron Man with the phone.

    • Why go through all that to keep him alive? Just cause he’s a “good agent”?

      • Thank you. THIS is my big question about the Coulson thing. Whether they brought him back to life, cloned him, replaced him with this “life model decoy” thing – I don’t really care. They saw Coulson as a springboard to creating a TV show that might feed off the success of the films, and I can’t think of many comic book characters who died and then stayed dead. So I have no problem with them bringing him back, and I don’t think it diminishes “The Avengers” film in any way. But what they’ll need to explain sufficiently for me at some point soon is why Coulson rated this special treatment. If it turns out that he was brought back from the dead just because Nick Fury missed him, that’s going to be pretty weak. That said, I thought this episode was a big improvement over some of the past ones. Anyone who thought they were going to completely resolve this in one episode must be new to TV. If someone thinks dragging this out for a season is annoying, try untangling nine seasons of the alien conspiracy on “The X-Files”. They haven’t even finished the first season of “SHIELD”. This is how these shows work now, for better or for worse.

    • This would be great if its true. The whole idea of “will”/significance thing being an essential factor in successfully injecting someone with super soldier serum is cool (maybe that thing he turned into was red skull/abomination-ish?)

      • More than likely, without Erskine’s expertise, the serum would have only partial effected on Coulson.

        Likely results would be:

        ~ Some degree of enhancement of natural healing ability (thus helping him to reanimate/recover)

        ~ a boost to his natural agility (explaining how he was able to dodge the van door mike threw at him in the pilot episode).

        ~ And probably some psychological enhancements (ie. A “good” man became a “better” man). Which would explain why people who knew him prior to his “death” keep commenting that he seems “changed” somehow… He seems nicer and cares a bit more for the people around him than he used to.

  17. I thought it was a very strong episode but a weak reveal. I hope that isnt the entire explanation. The action was pretty solid and I loved the button scene.

  18. Hey! That saved me 60 mins of my time so that I can watch something else!
    Thanks SR!!! :)

  19. I’ve seen every episode just to get this reveal and and thought it was crap like every other episode. The question of what happened to him was barely answered, there were too many plot holes, and just all together was anticlimatic

  20. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. I almost felt angry after the episode. I know some people liked the reveal, but for me it was a huge let down. He was dead, but was brought back to life, and they messed with his memories. Didn’t we already know that? We knew he died, we obviously know he is now alive, and, unless you are incredibly naive, you knew he didn’t take an island vacation in his spare time. I was blown away by how lazy and unexciting this was. I have been forcing myself to watch this show every week. I try my hardest to like it because I WANT to like it, but this may be the nail in the coffin. If indeed this was a red herring (as some have suggested), Marvel is making a gutsy move because some people, like myself, may not be sticking around to find out the truth.

    On a side note, I love the clairvoyant Ultron theory.

    • I agree i came out of this episode not knowing a single thing i didn’t prior

  21. Is it like impossible to find good writers!? Or a solid showrunner. If they had a more passionate executive producer and writer with sone good scripts I’m sure the actors would start stepping up their performances. Basically, there’s so much potential in a live action series based on an existing film and comic book franchise with Clark Gregg and Ming Na in the cast that if it turns out to be crap, it’s because the producers just don’t care.

  22. This show is so disappointing. It doesn’t seem marvel at all, i think they should just stick with movies and stay away from making a series. This wasn’t much of an explanation as i was hoping, they basically told us what we already knew. If it weren’t for being related to some of my favorite movies, i would have stopped watching this show. I have no idea how they can fix this, i think the actors are a terrible choice and the stories they have are too secretive. Bring in people from movies pls. *^*

  23. Here we go: The clairvoyant is the scarlet witch (who is also the heart broken cellist). She may not be the person in complete control but is just a hired gun doing her bit. The scarlet witch is just a pawn to a bigger picture. I don’t understand the whole touching thing in AoS. Does it weaken her probability powers? If so, that’s why she couldn’t get a read on coulson. Because they had a thing and that’s why flowers knows so much about his life… Or It’s a person using the mind infinity stone… Probably scarlet witch because it has a stronger, more complex through-line.

    Centipede is being ran by baron Von strucker (added for avengers 2 probably not revealed in AoS or cap2) or Armin Zola (which explains the eye thing and advanced centipede tech) who is still a hydra agent being used by Alexander lukin (I mean pierce) to exert his influence and take over/cripple shield. Pierce is being possessed by or is the red skull (soul gem?). I’m unsure if this will be connected directly w/ avengers 2 or will build up for phase 3. I’m unsure how he will be foiled at this point. Maybe he won’t be.

    Pierce’s influence will be explored in depth and will primarily be used to implicitly connect AoS to cap 2. cap and seemingly every one of our fave shield agents’ (black widow, falcon, fury, coulson, and hottie Skye) is having some sort of moral dilemma in AoS and Cap 2. The “will this tech lead to consequences?” Theme is a good through line to carry to the creation of ultron.

    Von strucker will be the first baddie to fall in avengers (captured by cap) when trying to complete pierce’s/red skull’s orders (this will not be revealed until cap 3 when crossbones kills cap and Bucky takes over the helm and kills red skull) while the other avengers are trying to subdue hulk/thor after they are placed under a spell by the scarlet witch. Ultron is probably tested out here and either gets hexed or misinterprets/reprograms his own directives created by shield.

    I like the theory of ultron being created by fury and other agents of shield as a nuclear deterrent when it hits the fan following the cap 2 aftermath. Tony and all the “ungodly” science used without thinking of the consequences of creating something so advanced that will inevitably go haywire.

    Bigger question is how are they going to tie in the other infinity stones in such a limited time? There has to be some nuggets in cap2 (maybe reality stone- Bucky or cap wishes to have Bucky remember, or Bucky wishes to go away like in the conclusion of the winter soldier comic although it was with a tesseract)

    • Yeah highly doubt Clark Gregg (Coulson) was hooking up with young little Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch)… Though a few connections to Winter Soldier wouldn’t surprise me.

      Screenrant is full of haters… I enjoy Agents of Shield and the numerous references to the MCU. Obviously, there is going to be more to Coulson’s death if y’all actually paid attention.

      • I’m actually neutral about the reveal. I’ve got a feeling we didn’t get the whole story, but I’m still watching. The series is still interesting, it’s just being panned because characters like Dum Dum Dugan and Nick Fury aren’t playing the roles they should have been given.

        Everyone is going to hate something, but I think the show should stay on for those who DO like it, as they should get a satisfying conclusion (unlike HEROES and The Cape, which were cancelled before any good endings could come about).

    • The Clairvoyant is NOT the Scarlet Witch. The character has been referred to as “Him” and “he” in the series by the people working for HIM ergo the Clairvoyant is Male.

      Also, I doubt that the Clairvoyant’s abilities are magic or Psychic in nature. If they were then he could easily look into Fury’s head or future to determine how Coulson was revived.

      More than likely, the character has enhanced intelligence which enables him to determine the probable outcomes of various situations and people through analysis of them and their surroundings with an accuracy level so his as to seem “Clairvoyant” to those around him. Similar to the Thinker in the Marvel comics universe.

      • I’ll have to view the episode again but I thought only coulson refered to the clairvoyant as a male.

      • Good point

  24. Here we go: The clairvoyant is the scarlet witch (who is also the heart broken cellist). She may not be the person in complete control but is just a hired gun doing her bit. The scarlet witch is just a pawn to a bigger picture. I don’t understand the whole touching thing in AoS. Does it weaken her probability powers? If so, that’s why she couldn’t get a read on coulson. Because they had a thing and that’s why flowers knows so much about his life… Or It’s a person using the mind infinity stone… Probably scarlet witch because it has a stronger, more complex through-line.

    Centipede is being ran by either baron Von strucker (added for avengers 2 probably not revealed in AoS or cap2) or Armin Zola (which explains the eye thing and advanced centipede tech), both are hydra agents being used by Alexander lukin (I mean pierce) to exert his influence and take over/cripple shield. Pierce is being possessed by or is the red skull (soul gem?). I’m unsure if this will be connected directly w/ avengers 2 or will build up for phase 3. I’m unsure how he will be foiled at this point. Maybe he won’t be.

    Pierce’s influence will be explored in depth and will primarily be used to implicitly connect AoS to cap 2. cap and seemingly every one of our fave shield agents’ (black widow, falcon, fury, coulson, and hottie Skye) is having some sort of moral dilemma in AoS and Cap 2. The “will this tech lead to consequences?” Theme is a good through line to carry to the creation of ultron.

    Von strucker will be the first baddie to fall in avengers (captured by cap) when trying to complete pierce’s/red skull’s orders (this will not be revealed until cap 3 when crossbones kills cap and Bucky takes over the helm and kills red skull) while the other avengers are trying to subdue hulk/thor after they are placed under a spell by the scarlet witch. Ultron is probably tested out here and either gets hexed or misinterprets/reprograms his own directives created by shield.

    I like the theory of ultron being created by fury and other agents of shield as a nuclear deterrent when it hits the fan following the cap 2 aftermath. Tony and all the “ungodly” science used without thinking of the consequences of creating something so advanced that will inevitably go haywire.

    Bigger question is how are they going to tie in the other infinity stones in such a limited time? There has to be some nuggets in cap2 (maybe reality stone- Bucky or cap wishes to have Bucky remember, or Bucky wishes to go away like in the conclusion of the winter soldier comic although it was with a tesseract). I’m getting a little tired of the same “search for the all powerful McGuffin” plot.

    Other questions- if he had severe neurological damage, why didn’t they bring in the best neurosurgeon in the world (pre-accident of course), Dr. Strange? I like the idea of his brain being transplanted into an android body (obviously I am still hanging onto the idea that he could be the vision).

  25. Why would they spend hundreds of millions of dollars to bring one man back to life… that makes no sense. Him being an LMD made sense. Idiot writers. Show sucks. Which is a total shame, because it could have been so good.

    • Are LMDs cheap? Either way, why does Coulson merit special treatment? I would assume SHIELD agents die on a regular basis. Did they bring back to life all of the agents that Hawkeye and his crew killed when they attacked? I’m less interested in how he’s still around than why he’s still around. If they can justify his resurrection, I’ll be willing to overlook some of the show’s flaws for a while longer. It’s still early.

    • This will be explained in other episodes.

  26. Agreed, please kill this show.

  27. If the “team” of agents line up in a row side by side 1 more time… I’m done with this show.

    • Like Firefly… which has such a cult following?

  28. I’m hoping Avengers 2 isn’t going to be some jokey pokey, silly thing.

  29. hahaha wow….it’s like trying to hang up on the guy calling you trying to sell you duct cleaning

    thank god hockey was on tonight

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