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.