While Marvel fans try to process the excitement of Iwan Rheon being cast as Maximus on Inhumans, the MCU's other ABC show still has a lot in store for fans. Now in its fourth season, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has gone from an Avengers tie-in to a creature of its own. It actually introduced the concept of the Inhumans to the MCU, and has brought other comic characters and concepts like Ghost Rider and Life Model Decoys to life. Riding high on its strongest season yet, the show has been emboldened to not only introduce new concepts, but bring back old ones.
The producers have been saying for awhile now that the final arc of the season will reward longtime viewers. We know now that the LMD story will officially end with tonight's episode before the show goes on a six-week hiatus. When they return, something new and exciting is planned. The show has already put their twist on a number of comic book characters, like the Patriot and Nitro, but fans are hoping for some of the series' past storylines to be brought full circle.
As part of an interview with the cast and crew of the show, IGN (h/t MCU Exchange) spoke with showrunner Jed Whedon and stars Clark Gregg and Chloe Bennet about what fans can expect in the final 'pod' of the season. While trying to remain impartial, Gregg discussed the payoff for the show's die-hard fans.
"What goes down in the second pod, I would have to say so far has been so exciting, so mind-blowing. This sounds like spiel, but the construct that they've come up with, the pieces that were set up, did not prepare us for the way it was going to turn our entire world upside down and basically make the wildest fantasies you could have about using all the pieces that were set up in these first three seasons come true, and basically everything's in play. For the people who have been here since the beginning, you're going to see some stuff that only you can appreciate."
There's been plenty of speculation about what the final pod could entail, but it seems from all the comments being made that it will involve elements from the past of the show. That could mean anything from the return of Deathlok or Blizzard, to delving into the pasts of our protagonists. For Bennet, the final arc will be very much a part of the zeitgeist:
"This next pod is very relevant. It's definitely a theme that I think has been kind of hopping around in pop culture at the moment. But it's kind of like a fun Marvel take on that. For all those people who wished to see these characters in a different light, this is going to be the time for that to happen."
Whether Bennet is referring to politics or social movements, anything is game as pop culture has been packed full of a number of events and discussions lately. That said, Whedon made it clear that the show is firmly focused on its own mythology and won't be letting elements from the past get cast aside as the show moves forward. When he was asked whether Gravitonium, something we haven't seen since Season 1, could return, he wasn't willing to rule it out.
"We would not be doing our jobs as well as we could if we left that unanswered. We move so fast and we move past stuff, but when you get that thing that you care about called back to, there's a reward there that you deserve. For us, it's fun to play in that world. These were conversations that we were obsessed with and that we bent our minds into pretzels over two years ago."
Graviton is a classic Marvel villain that many thought was destined to premiere on the series early in its run. Not only was the doctor who would become the rogue and the element that empowers him shown in an early Season 1 episode, but he actually had his origin occur. Since then, he's been stuck inside the substance which fell under Hydra control after the events of The Winter Soldier. We haven't heard a peep about it since then, but fans have long been hoping for the return of the storyline. Hopefully, all the hints about rewarding longtime fans means Graviton will finally get the debut he deserves.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. continues tonight with "Self Control" @ 10 p.m. on ABC.