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

Published 1 year 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. Ummm….I have seen this in the comments. What the heck is LMD?? Thanks in advance.

    • Life Model Decoy

  2. I still think that the memories of Tahiti should’ve been planted to explain the months that he was ‘dead’ as a clone body was grown for him.

    • I think watching the next Captain America would help the story. They bring Bucky back from the dead right? Maybe Hydra does have some technology to revive the dead. But I think we should look at why Fury wants Coulson alive? It cannot be for sentiment. It must be for information. And that creepy brain machine was looking for it. They culdn’t find it so they brought him back form the dead. A decision that I think Fury is going to regret because either he had to cross the line to do so or as per the fantasy in my head, the machine that reads his brain evolves into and i with the voice of James Spader.

  3. Coulson should have been a Chitauri/Skrull. I’m still watching this show in hopes of something better. There’s some improvement from episode one to now but still subpar in my opinion. I do like the Mike Peterson being Deathlok prediction.

  4. Wow. I never knew that so many people feel entitled to better from a TV show than this group right here.

    If you don’t like the show stop watching, don’t hope for better, because there isn’t. This is the show that marvel made. There is a lot of good stuff going on here.

    I really think that this and Person of Interest are the best things on TV right now. Highly unpredictable and unique television that keeps you guessing.

    • I don’t think it’s that.

      When the mystery you’ve known is that somehow Coulson was brought back to life and Tahiti is apparently a falsely implanted memory and the “big reveal” is that “somehow” Coulson was brought back to life (which may or may not have anything to do with that machine) and Tahiti is apparently a falsely implanted memory (which may or may not have anything to do with that machine)… it kind of craps on the whole concept and definition of “reveal”.

      Do you know what solid information actually was revealed? That it was ordered by Director Fury himself (which has already inferred from the first episode) and that the top of his skull was off.

      That’s it. Entitled? No. Expectations from comments made by the network, cast, and just about any article you could get your hands on only to find out it was all smoke and mirrors? That’s bound to let anyone down whether they feel entitled or not.

      • Agreed. The so called reveal left me wanting, instead of satisfied. The build up amounted to a hollow & meaningless conclusion. I’ll continue to watch, but this doesn’t help my long term interest in the show. They really need to spill all the beans about the circumstances surrounding his death and move onto a new plot device/thread.

      • Your assumption is that this is the entire reveal. Is it possible that this is just the first of many fragments we (and Coulson) will see over the rest of the season which will lead to the big reveal in the finale?

        • I assumed nothing, I just noticed that their “reveal” (which I never expected to be a full one) revealed nothing we didn’t already know except that something was picking around in his brain. Incidentally, we could have figured that from the idea that he believed he was in Tahiti.

          All it was was one more step in the direction of, not uncovering anything about.

    • Why shouldn’t we be entitled to better TV? Hey, if you found something to like about this show the good for you. Most of us don’t like this crap. An Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. show is a good idea but this definitely isn’t what we were hoping for. So just as much right you have to like it, we have just as much right to hate it.

      • People are wanting Avengers, not Agents…
        These are the majority of people complaining I think…

        I came in expecting Agents and I’m not disappointed…
        The intrigue here is, how dark is SHIELD itself, and what are they actually trying to accomplish? We already got a glimpse of that in “The Avengers” when they were producing weapons based off the power cube and willing to toss New York under the bus of a Nuke… The shadowy council can only make one a little concerned about whose motives are driving this operation…

        Yes the show seems a little flat for some reason I cannot put my finger on but, overall I like it and hope it gets the chance to grow…

        • +1!

    • Dawn, you are wrong if you think that Agents of Shield is one of the best shows on TV right now, and it is apparent that you haven’t ventured too far into TV land and explored many of the other shows. I can name 20 shows who’s writing and stories are SO MUCH better than this crappy show.

  5. Could Dr. Streiten be Dr. Strange? the name resemblence is pretty obvious.

  6. So this was the big reveal? I mean outside of the creepy matrix like machine working on his brain there was nothing interesting, exciting or shocking about it. It was as lame as the fight choreography we see week in and week out. My desperation for a cool show is finally spent This show isn’t going anywhere! It it what it is… At least Arrow is still representing comics right!

    please don’t let Avengers 2 be anything like this show!

    • The team behind the show has little to do with the films. Joss Whedon wrote and directed episode one, and that’s it.

      • yep, Joss’s episode was by far the worst.

    • this is a tv show not a movie… pretty sure Avengers 2 will have a more movie feel to it. Marvel Agents of Shield has not falsely represented themselves here. They said before the show came out that it wasn’t going to focus on any of the Avengers, BUT the background agents of Shield! So far I think this show is great and it gives a different perspective on what they don’t show in the movies! Yet again.. if you don’t like the show.. stop watching it… instead of watching week to week, just to sit and complain that your not seeing any comic book heroes on the show!

      • They may not focus on the Avengers, but they most certainly name-drop literally every episode as if they think you might forget what franchise the show is part of.

        I’m fairly certain that there has been at least one line of dialogue in every single episode that directly mentions or connects to one of the films in some manner, be it mentioning the Avengers directly, mentioning a particular Avenger, mentioning or focusing on a particular event or piece of technology directly connected to one of the films, etc.

        It’s all a bit heavy handed. I’m well aware of what the show is connected to; I don’t need to be reminded of it every single 42min block.

  7. A lot of good theories….. & a lot of bad ones……. But I think there really is only one question that needs to be answer here.



    • Dear. God.

      ::begins to speak slowly:: You am need to luurn write better. Even if you lazy dum-dum, uze speelchek.

      (I never watched, it seemed like a crap idea from the jump. “A Marvel show with none of the things you liked about the movies, fronted by a likable background character!” Just the notion that they were bringing this guy back and trying to make it ‘a thing!’ turned me off. The character was excellent in the films, a truly pleasant bonus who added to the richness of the overall experience, they didn’t have to kill him off, but they did, and should have stood by their decision.

      I only hope Coulson doesn’t pop up in future Marvel films, that way I can continue to pretend that “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” never happened :P

      You guys are my canaries in the coal mine on this one, so many have dropped off, and yet some of you are still going… If it clears up, let me know!)

      • I’ve avoided it too. In fact, up until tonight, I didn’t even know the show was terrible. I hadn’t read one single review and I had no idea what was going on with it.

        So, that bad eh?

        My guess is there is something else about Coulson that brought him back, but there is no way that such an arc would make good television IMO. And it apparently hasn’t.

        Otherwise, if SHIELD is capable of human resurrection, then what is the cost of death? Who cares if someone dies, spend what you need to and bring him back. You did it for this guy, why not Cap?

        So would Whedon seriously allow such a flaw into his story? If he has, that’s a bad, bad sign. So I’m guessing there’s more. Still a dumb idea for television, though.

  8. Unoriginal, something a five year old could have put together. I hope that he isn’t confirmed to be in any Marvel movies, for this is the stupidest and mindless way to resurrect someone. Marvel’s been really flat lately, no story and careless about what their fans want…

  9. Ummm hey guys, that wasn’t the reveal. It’s what we call in the television world, a “tease”. Lost did it all the time.
    I just read a Clark Gregg interview in fact where he says the major Coulson reveal is in the season finale, and it’s something major that sets the series in a different direction from then on. Way to jump the gun Screenrant.

    • You are mincing words, but you know what? Technically, you are not wrong. It was not a reveal. But the show, and this episode in particular, built it up as though this was a major revelation so yes, we are disappointed by it. Additionally, a tease does not work if it adds (next to) nothing new to the story.

      Also, Lost? Really? Lost was an overall disappointment full of teasing and lame reveals and resolutions. Is that what you want out of the show?

    • They did say, it’s a partial reveal, and of course there’s more.

    • You are right that a show like Lost did things like this all the time, and look how that turned people against that show after awhile. At a point a show can only promise things for so long and not really deliver anything without catching some heat.

  10. Wow. I’m glad I stopped watching, that is an incredibly stupid explanation.

  11. I see alot of ppl claiming right to hate this show. Sure this show can be much better but in my opinion, it’s a decent show that’s most probably gonna make season 2 because no matter how many haters you see on the net there are gonna hundreds of thousands more casual TV viewers that will tune in to watch this. Hate all you want about this show but people are still going to keep watching this family friendly show. Plus nobody in real life cares about the opinions of what the people on the internet thinks.

    • I was with you until saying people’s opinion on the internet does not matter while posting your opinion on the internet….

    • Hundreds of thousands casual viewers? Sounds disappointing since it’s far below it’s initial 12+ million viewers from the first episode.

  12. Personally, I do not think the show is that bad, but I find that many of its “mysteries” stand in the way of character development and over all arc. The prime example me the Coulson “coming back from the dead mystery”. I think many people have had enough with this mystery and feel that the show needs to just address it already. Somebody mentioned that people are expecting the Avenges. I do not think that is entirely true. However, when people are watching a show set in a world where there are super heroes, we expect a little more from that direction. Honestly, has anybody really cared about them bring Coulson back from the dead. I think I would have been perfectly find if you told me they used tom Asgardian technology from the jump. In addition, If I were killed and you brought me back from the dead, I don’t know if I’d be that upset about it. Finally, I think this show still has potential. They just need to really answer this Coulson story and then move away from it.

  13. To me, there is more behind brain tweaking a man to recovery. again, if they would’ve went the other route[s] it would have been expected, no? I mean come on, but this, this was horrifying. I really wish something even more original would have come from this besides a Frankenstein Agent…Coulson should be better treated throughout the show, he needs more action, more mind of tactics and Ward, who needs to up his action skills, cause they stink. Other than those this episode cam in strong for me. And please just get Skye the character she deserves. I bet she’s under-acting because what they give her, isn’t her potential role in the team imo.

  14. There was nothing in the episode that I didn’t already assume. Yeah, something messed up happened to Coulson, but ABC’s hype implied the whole truth, there was no reveal at all.


    I assumed coulson’s tahiti was an illusion/hologram/hallucination, or at least a metaphor/analogy for a secret special place, there are more questions now… why go through all the effort? He doesn’t seem to be vision… I’m left confused and dissatisfied once again by AofS. Why do I keep watching? I think I just genuinely want to know what happened to coulson, and if they just told us… I don’t think I would continue to watch, that’s the only reason I tune in right now. But to suffer this teasing ’til the season’s end? Ugh

  15. So Coulson keeps talking about the girl he loves and plays an instrument. He said he loved to hear her play or something like that.. Last night he said he never told her he is still alive.

    What if it is Scarlet Witch but NOT his lover…HIS ADOPTIVE DAUGHTER!!!

    When he “died” SHIELD lied to Scarlet Witch. In Age of Ultron she ends up being on the bad side cause she is mad at SHIELD for Coulsons death and then finds out Coulson isn’t her REAL father cause she was adopted. Then she finds her brother.

    • Also, they implanted illusions or “Visions” in his memory. It is quite possible he is Vision because of this.

      I also still think the black guy (Peterson) is Luke Cage. He is going to lose his memory and forget his previous life and give himself the name Luke Cage. He is going to be used for villainous acts.

  16. For someone who has been on screenrants back about hating on this show, I have to admit, I am starting to think they have a point. :)

    I really don’t get the point of bringing back Coulson ( if this was real life and not a money making tv venture ). Fury had everything to gain ( keeping the Avengers together ) by keeping him dead and nothing really to gain by bringing him back to life.

    How much better this show would be if it was like Blacklist in tone. Real agents with real consequences and better actors like Parminder Nagra and Megan Boone.


  17. Did I miss something or did it look like Agent Wards wound, that re-opened at the beginning of the show, had metal or bionic looking bone? Could he be part adroid or cyborg?

    • If he is, he is a really bad one…seeing as he had to take the bullet for May since she was the better fighter ( apparently ).

  18. I still didnt get it. So he was did for days did they actually clone him or bring his dead body back to life? Why? At some point soon they need to open the can so to speak on this and move on to something else because the episode had me kind of like duh they did something to him to bring him back they still havent said what. Is he a clone, Clay Soldier, LMD what?

    • *dead

    • I really thought this episode was really good. It gave me a little more faith again.

      But I agree with you. They need to close the chapter on this Coulson thing quick and move on. That way the show can focus on a “villain of the week” type feel. The show needs to get onto a more Sci-fi spy/espionage feel and build on the team drama and dynamics.

  19. OMG this has to be the funniest comments section I have EVER read!

    And I too was like WTF did I just wait 2 years to find out? that Coulson was brought back by Neo? How F-ing LAME Whedon!! I really Hope and Pray that A-AoU is so not THIS! I cannot believe I have wasted so much time on this HORRIBLE show! Horribly written, horribly acted, and horribly directed fight sequences!
    My 10 y/o son can choreograph better fight scenes and my daughter can better act them out! I am so OVER this show and my wife and GOD knows I have given it EVERY opportunity to redeem itself from the floating turd that it is, which now it cannot ever do!

  20. Can they just kill everybody off and start over. It wouldnt be hard. Have the plane crash.

  21. Can they just kill everybody off and start over? It wouldnt be hard. Have the plane crash.

  22. I wasn’t expecting any spectacular reveal because I’m a realist. I read this site quite often and people rumor and speculate about this and that from the comics. I mean at one point someone actually thought that there was a Man-Thing connection to Iron Man 3 (more than just an homage with a character’s name).

    I like the slow reveal. It allows more crazy speculations. I just wish they would have started the show with less case-of-the-week episodes and jumped right into this story. I’m hoping that Coulson becomes Vision throughout this reveal…and if he does, that means the Clairvoyant is probably Ultron (since he has unveiled the truth of Tahiti to Coulson).

    And will we ever see Graviton again?

    • Lol! I was one of the many people who were playing connect the dot on Man-Thing.

      Maybe we will get into Man-Thing in Agents of Shield.

  23. I might enjoy this show if it were good in any way. Any attempts at action, drama, or comedy fall flat and are utterly boring. I’m giving up on it if it hasn’t entertained me by the end of the season.

  24. Now that was actually pretty good. The first time I can say that, and I’m anticipating to see the next one. About time Marvel!!

    Now They still havent reveal how he was brought to life. They just reveal what all the Tahiti was about. They showed some liquid gooo, I wonder what that was??

  25. They keep making reference to ungodly, moved heaven and hell. WHO did agent shield go to and brought Agent Coulson back to life?

    • Who…or what tech brought him back is one of the questions to ask.

      But, I’m more concerned about the why. Why bring back someone from the dead? Why this particular agent? Victoria Hand said it best when she said something like no single agent is worth the man power being used. Why is Coulson so special to be used for this procedure? Why wouldn’t Nick Fury use a low level nobody…like Steve Rogers…for a test like this? Why use one of the most known agents in the organization? The attack on the Helicarrier had to result in countless injuries and probably more than one death, so why wouldn’t Agent “I’m playing Galaga” be used for an experimental procedure like this instead of Coulson? The why to me is just as (if not more) interesting as the who or what.

  26. Yeah there is still a lot more to this story. I think it opened more questions. It is still ambiguous enough. And Colson, I think now suspects he is something more than he was before, clone? Centipede super serum? What about Blood transfusions from Captain America? Hmmmmm. Nice speculation above. Serves the purpose keeps people question, interested….

    Coulsen is a metaphor for the mystery of what happened to coulsen! That’s why he keeps saying “please let me die let me die, let me die” and they ignore him and drag it out for months