As Marvel’s TV spinoff experiment, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. continues its uphill battle to strike ratings gold, the creative minds behind the show are in the midst of exploring and executing new ideas that will hopefully grab fan attention. This week brought us the much-hyped tie-in with the box office-topping Thor: The Dark World – read our review of that event HERE  – while also spoon-feeding us yet another breadcrumb of mystery surrounding Agent Coulson’s resurrection.

As it happens, both subjects (movie tie-ins and Coulson’s resurrection) were recently discussed by executive producer Jed Whedon (as in, Joss’s brother), whose statements pretty much encompass the ends of the proverbial “good news, bad news” spectrum.

First, the bad news: Jed pretty much confirms a growing fear amongst the show’s viewership: when we finally DO get the answer about how Coulson is alive, it’s pretty much going to be one of the theories the Internet has been guessing at since before the show’s premiere.

In a statement to TV Guide:

“We know that there’s going to be a lot of theories and there’s no chance that whatever we reveal won’t, at some point, be written on the internet,” Whedon says. “We’re just trying to come up with ways to make it surprising or make it not how they expected it to unravel. We know what it is, but we know that no one else does yet.”

While it’s admirable that the showrunners are working hard to at least make the reveal of Coulson’s return an entertaining journey for fans (even if the reveal itself isn’t all that shocking), the fact remains that this is a mystery that has been needlessly drawn out. How Coulson reacts to his new circumstances and what new doors it opens for the character are what (I believe I can say) fans want to see; delaying that evolution comes at the expense of the show and its capabilities. And when the moment of the reveal finally comes, it holds more potential to disappoint than to satisfy. Not what this show needs, at this point.

NEXT PAGE: Why Winter Soldier Could Change the Show

So now, the good news.

Did you enjoy the espionage ethics explored in last week’s AoS episode, “The Hub”? Then you may just need to be patient: Jed Whedon also confirmed that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will have another tie-in episode to coincide with Captain America: The Winter Soldier – a film that has the potential to really shake up the S.H.I.E.L.D. organization:

“Nick Fury [Samuel L. Jackson] is in that one, and S.H.I.E.L.D. makes an appearance, so we will definitely try to tee-up some stuff and probably play a little bit of the fallout from that film,” Whedon says. “We’re hoping to do some cool stuff.”

We’ve had a particularly keen interest in how Winter Soldier and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. correlateS.H.I.E.L.D. has been noticeably absent during the events of both Iron Man 3 and Thor 2, yet Captain America 2 seems to center on the organization, and AoS obviously follows the exploits of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents – exploits we’ve already seen interwoven with both IM3 and TTDW – so why isn’t S.H.I.E.L.D. involved with the events of those other Phase 2 films?

Whatever the answer to that question, there a silver lining: The Winter Soldier trailer clearly teases some major changes to come in the way that S.H.I.E.L.D. is structured and operates; for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., this could also be a prime opportunity to really break free of some shared universe confines and start a new chapter that justifies the show’s premise and characters. If Cap 2 does expose some ugliness within the S.H.I.E.L.D. body, the seeds are already sewn for Coulson and Co. to become disillusioned with the organization and break off to do their own thing.

Stripped of  organization resources – but still with a noble mission at heart – a team consisting of a snarky hacker, a couple of disillusioned vets (May and soon to be Coulson) and two techies who can cobble together gadgets out of home shopping supplies, suddenly makes more sense. Even rough-it-in-the-field Agent Ward would have new purpose, in that kind of scenario.

Finally, Whedon dropped a nice hint that Stan “The Man” Lee could cameo on the show! (“I would say there’s a strong chance.”) Who wouldn’t love that?

How do you feel about the movie tie-ins so far? Would you like to se Winter Soldier drastically alter the premise of this show?

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

Source: TV Guide