Coulson’s Return For ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Explained

Published 2 years ago by , Updated October 22nd, 2013 at 5:50 pm,

While promoting Trust Me at the Tribeca Film Festival, Clark Gregg – who also writes and directs – chatted with us about his role in Joss Whedon’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Knowing that the live-action Marvel television series takes place in the same universe as the films and that it’s based after The Avengers, we wanted to know how his seemingly return from death would play out and the implications of such a feat would have on the films and other characters.

Agent Coulson SHIELD TV Show Coulsons Return For Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Explained

He joked about all the online theories, ranging from Coulson returning as the character Vision, and talked about how Coulson’s body was never shown, and how his (somehow bloody) Captain America cards were actually in his locker. As for what his return means for the headlining heroes? Gregg:

“It would be surprising to me if this was a world where there wasn’t some reckoning for the fact that it’d be … you know, some level of deception must have been perpetrated on the Avengers.”

Deception was already presented by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) in how he used the (covered in ketchup?) Captain America cards to motivate Tony Stark and Captain America to work together and do what needed to be done. According to a source of /Film, Coulson’s return from death is explained by the same plot thread.

The source claims that Fury faked Coulson’s death entirely to motivate The Avengers to – as the foreign title of the film emphasizes – assemble. Other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents were involved with the cover-up but The Avengers (namely, Black Widow and Hawkeye) were not informed, not being of the proper “clearance” level. Coulson was put in hiding until for quite sometime until assigned his new task. Him faking the death and going silent is frowned upon by certain other S.H.I.E.L.D. members in the show.

avengers 2209 570x306 Coulsons Return For Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Explained

The explanation does play up the idea of just how much of a believer Agent Coulson is for the cause, and his return in must result in an inevitable reappearance in the films as well. In Iron Man 3, Stark is unaware that Coulson is still alive, but come time for Captain America: The Winter Soldier in 2014, we expect Coulson may make a cinematic return appearance. After all, The Winter Soldier is essentially a S.H.I.E.L.D. movie and no one loves Cap more than Coulson.

We’ll find out soon if Coulson’s return really is as simple as this.


S.H.I.E.L.D. is expected to be picked up by ABC for a Fall 2013 premiere.

Iron Man 3 releases May 3, 2013, Thor: The Dark World on November 8, 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4, 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy on August 1, 2014The Avengers 2 on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on November 6, 2015, and Doctor Strange sometime after that.

Let me know on Twitter @rob_keyes your thoughts on Coulson returning.

Source: /Film

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  1. Life Model Decoy, essentially a clone. At first, only hints were uttered. Agent May, “He can never know” in the pilot… The pilot of the plane in the pilot episode LOL. Later, Reyes accused him of going through a mid-life crisis, he replied, “More of an afterlife thing, really.” Then, just 7 days ago, Agent May said it when Coulson left to confront the soon-to-be supervillain Graviton, “You died.” Life Model Decoy.

    • You missed the conversation in the Eye Spy episode where Akela Amador (the lost agent the team was tracking said, “What happened to Coulson?” and “No, I mean why is he different?”

      • She had backscatter “x-ray” vision, don’t forget.. maybe she saw something…

    • People are throwing this LMD theory around without providing a motivation. Still the same question from me. What purpose would an LMD of Coulson serve?

  2. would life model decoy explain all of his memories?

    • If the memories were somehow stored then imprinted on the LMD, yes.

      • Yeah, the Life Model Decoys don’t know they’re decoys, most of the time at least. In the books a Nick Fury LMD discovers it is a LMD and goes nuts, becoming a villain. He was especially dangerous because he had all of Fury’s secrets. This is obviously dangerous for SHIELD.

  3. Very weak. Main agent is a nebbish. in the last scene they shot and killed a very sympathetic mutant superhero character on the reform track with a lovely son (Mike), and everybody seemed really happy about it. WTF? I’m sure I won’t watch this tripe

    • Correction: they did not kill Peterson at the end of the episode. SHIELD has him in custody. How did you miss that?

    • despite the apparent bullet to the head.. he was not killed. it was a special weapon designed to cure or contain his extremis problem.

      • The special weapon froze home gave time for the fusion

  4. Theres also the fact he’s lost muscle memory, implying that its not the same body any more

  5. clark gregg is a pompous butt kisser!!!

  6. i think agent phil has a the superpower of immortality

  7. wind ur necks in, hes dead

    agents of sheild is just sucking marvel movies

    pish pish pish pish pish

    dc series are 100 times better. marvel stick to films, let dc handle the series

    marvel movies = brilliant
    marvel series = pish

    dc movies = pish
    dc series = brilliant