On July 12, 2019, the Marvel Cinematic Universe will expand once again to include the final Phase III film Inhumans, a storyline Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. now explores in season 2, and Skye (Chloe Bennet) – Daisy Johnson, aka “Quake” – is at the center of it, along with her mother and father. With an exciting turn in this week’s return episode, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. may have just secured itself a season 6 – the finale of which would air May 2019, two months before the film’s premiere.

Marvel Studios has 11 films currently planned over the next 4 years and they’re all connected (save James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy, for now), while Marvel TV has 5 Netflix series planned – Daredevil, A.K.A. Jessica Jones, Iron First, Luke Cage, and the crossover The Defenders – again, all connected. Until now, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been hanging onto Coulson (Clark Gregg), everyone’s favorite dead man from The Avengers, and S.H.I.E.L.D., an organization fans are still waiting to get the status of in The Avengers: Age of Ultron. This week, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. went down the path of Inhumans to great success – 4 additional seasons wouldn’t be too difficult to pull off.

Walt Disney (Mickey Mouse), Marvel Comics and ABC are the powerhouses behind this series, after all. Phone calls can be made to the other entities and help is available, if needed (and earned), as has been previously shown with the impressive evolution of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. from awkward experiment to Marvel TV darling – even surpassing Agent Carter, an attempt from the film side to show everyone “how to do TV.” The results were not encouraging, sadly.

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Fortunately, showrunners Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen told CBR previously about their plan which is just now taking shape:

About Skye:

Tancharoen: We are big fans of “Secret Warriors;” Daisy Johnson is a character that we always liked. We always knew there was a potential to evolve Skye into something else. It took a little bit of time, but we were happy when we were able to land on Daisy Johnson, and actually have that work in our mythology.

About Inhumans:

Whedon: It’s been something in the works for a long time. It’s an important property in the comics, and they have obviously announced plans for a feature in the cinematic universe. It’s one of the first instances where we get to start planting the seeds on the show before the film. It’s a process, because they have their big ideas and their big plans in the feature world. It was always something we wanted to do, and early last year we landed on the idea that we would do it.

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It’s a way to introduce, into the MCU, the idea that people can be born with a power. They don’t have to be engineered in a lab, they don’t need to have some freak accident with a vat of acid. They can be born with this. That’s sort of a gamechanger, not just on our show, but in the cinematic universe — for people on Earth, at least.

About the Future:

Whedon: We’ll run out of stories in Season 17!

This week reveals that there are many other unique individuals with specials powers out in the world, some dangerous, and many whom Skye’s mother Jiaying (Dichen Lachman) helped following their transition and (power birth) from the Terrigen mist.

Meanwhile, the two brightest minds from what remains of S.H.I.E.L.D, Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), are attempting to come to terms with this new, more dangerous world. Simmons, who has more experience with the dangers of powers from Inhumans, is appropriately concerned with the threat they pose; Fitz, who is still making his way back from last year’s events which left him brain damaged, is able to see past Skye’s abilities to comfort her when others won’t.

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Inhumans, whether friend or foe, introduce a new, more personal element to Marvel’s world of superheroes. It’s easy to celebrate a hero who saves the world with his almighty power, even if half of the city is destroyed in the process.

What happens, however, when you’re not a hero, and you can’t control your powers, and you kill the high-kicking phenomenon known as Antoine Triplett (B.J. Britt)? Coulson may now have the resolve of an altruistic hero, but even he can’t ignore the fact that one of his own was lost – and many heads of Hydra felt his wrath because of it. At some point Skye may also feel it, and it may be deserved.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. finds itself sitting in an interesting position where it can naturally continue on and tie in with Inhumans, in season 6, or end after just a few seasons, leaving the Marvel Cinematic Universe to introduce the franchise their own way. No matter which direction it goes, however, or how long the series ultimately lasts, what’s important is that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has proven itself, time and time again, and has finally earned its place in the growing Marvel world.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns next Tuesday with “Who You Really Are” @9pm on ABC. You can check out a preview of next week’s episode below:

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