WARNING: This post contains SPOILERS for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Avengers: Infinity War.
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. aired its latest episode on the day Avengers: Infinity War releases, so we break down that one reference to the movie. When Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. first launched in 2013, it was a spinoff from the movie side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Specifically, it resurrected Phil Coulson after his death in The Avengers and featured the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent assembling his own team and going on covert missions. In the show's early years, it featured specific tie-in episodes with the movies, timed to each film's release. This was the case for Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
The tie-in with The Winter Soldier completely upended the premise of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and the show has since featured must looser connections to the movies - if any at all. This was the case when Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. introduced Ghost Rider in season 4, with their own take on magic and mysticism around the time of Doctor Strange's release. Captain America: Civil War had a more direct impact on the series, with the show being forced to address the Sokovia Accords. But Marvel Studios' latest release, Avengers: Infinity War, gets quite possibly the most laughable reference in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s history.
For much of season 5, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been dealing with its own apocalyptic storyline. The team has been racing against time in order to save the world from being destroyed and preventing the dystopian future they visited to come to pass. So, they may be a little too busy to concern themselves with the goings on of the Avengers. At least, that seems to be the case when Tony Caine meets with Daisy Johnson and he tries to address some unrelated alien activity, but she's quick to dismiss him.
Tony: Aliens, y’know. Have you seen all this weird stuff happening in New York?
Daisy: No, I can’t watch the news it makes me crazy.
What's especially laughable about this reference is that it's not even clear whether Tony is actually referring to events that happened in Avengers: Infinity War. Certainly, there was a minor battle in New York City between two members of Thanos' Black Order and some of the Avengers. However, Tony doesn't specifically mention any part of Cull Obsidian and Ebony Maw's fight with Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man and Wong. Tony's mention of aliens certainly hints he's talking about Infinity War, but it's an incredibly vague reference that only eagle-eyed Marvel fans will notice.
Further, it's curious that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. chose to reference Avengers: Infinity War in this way when the end of the movie should have a much more massive impact on the show. Marvel Studios' latest film ends with Thanos using the completed Infinity Gauntlet to snap his fingers and wipe out half the universe. That should impact S.H.I.E.L.D., especially if they lose half their team.
Of course, it may just be that this week's episode takes place during Infinity War, sometime between Maw's attack on New York and when Thanos snaps his fingers. If that's the case, though, then next week's episode may deal with the fallout of Infinity War. Or, if Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. wants to ignore the end of Infinity War entirely, maybe they'll use the vagueness of the MCU's timeline to do so. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait and see whether Avengers: Infinity War's ending affects Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in any way. For now, fans will have to make do with Tony Caine's reference to some strange happenings in New York.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 continues with "The One Who Will Save Us All" Friday May 4 at 9pm on ABC.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- The Avengers 4 / Untitled Avengers Movie (2019) release date: May 03, 2019
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019