Marvel Studios’ first television series, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is currently going through that awkward stage of growth; that is, where a TV show hasn’t worked out exactly what it wants to be. Regardless, between the rock-solid ratings and signs of improvement, things look to be getting better (off-screen, anyway) for Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg), as well as for his motley team of field agents, laboratory researchers and one troublesome hacker revolutionist-turned ally. (… Or is she?)

The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. writers have continued to drop hints about the mystery behind how Coulson managed to survive getting “shanked by the Asgardian Mussolini,” though it remains to be seen how long we’ll have to wait for the actual answer to be unveiled. However, there is one question that looks to be answered sooner, rather than later, and that involves where the S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series fits into the continuity of the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Screen Rant‘s Kofi Outlaw was in London this past week for the Thor: The Dark World press junket, where Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige was in attendance and offered some information concerning the upcoming Marvel films; not to mention, his current deal with the studio. Our almighty Editor-in-Chief also found a chance to ask Feige about if we’ll learn where the S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series falls into the continuity of the MCU, prior to Captain America: The Winter Soldier being released in theaters next year.

Feige’s reply:

“I’m not involved with the TV show – but before [Captain America 2′ hits theaters], I think.”

Shortly after Iron Man 3 was released in theaters earlier this year, Feige offered assurances that S.H.I.E.L.D.’s absence in the movie – a thorn in the side of many a hardcore fan – would be explained at some point. While the Captain America sequel will no doubt shed more light on that issue, chronologically that film takes place two years after The Avengers; meaning, there’s a big chunk of time that remains unaccounted for, as far as it concerns what S.H.I.E.L.D’s post-Manhattan invasion actives are (and why the organization has virtually no presence in either Iron Man 3 or Thor: The Dark World).

That’s to say, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is in an excellent position to not just explain when Coulson puts together his makeshift family to help keep the world safe (with regard to other events in the MCU), but also reveal why, exactly, the agency seems to have a reduced presence in the Marvel Phase 2 movies – despite some major disasters going down, that is (see: the President being kidnapped, London being attacked by Dark Elves, and so forth).

We’ve already seen Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. tie into key elements from the Marvel films, be it with the re-apperance of Extremis technology (as featured in the pilot episode), the dangerous weaponry derived from the Tesseract that was uncovered in “0-8-4″, and/or the multiple references to a yet-to-be-revealed explanation for what happened after Coulson was stabbed by Loki in The Avengers. The implication that we got from Feige is that a reveal concerning the continuity of the S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series (and the implications for the greater MCU) will be coming relatively soon, which is reason enough for us to keep tuning in and see what happens next.

Drop us a line in the comments and let us know if you have any theories/thoughts on where Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. falls in the post-Avengers MCU continuity.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns this week with episode 5, “Girl in the Flower Dress”.

Thor: The Dark World is the next Marvel film release on November 8th, 2013, followed by Captain America: The Winter Soldier on April 4th, 2014.