ABC has yet to reveal Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s fate, giving it an uncertain status heading into the season five finale. While S.H.I.E.L.D. started hot from a ratings perspective as it rode the heels of The Avengers, it didn't take long for the true audience to settle in. The ratings were on a gradual decline, but have largely evened out over the last two seasons. But, those numbers are far from the powerhouse ABC expected, and we only got a fifth season thanks to Disney stepping in and forcing their hand.
Because of that, there's been a cloud of uncertainty hovering over S.H.I.E.L.D. all season long. They've now aired 21 out of 22 episodes and their fate is still undecided. Fans were hoping for some resolution prior to the penultimate episode of the season, and it looked to be coming as ABC announced a flurry of renewals, cancelations, and pick-ups earlier today.
Unfortunately for S.H.I.E.L.D.'s cast, crew, and fans, this was the only show ABC did not reveal the future of. With ABC's Upfronts presentation coming on Tuesday, a decision will be made by then. There isn't even a great deal of confidence from various reporters and outlets. EW's Natalie Abrams and THR's Lesley Goldberg both said on Twitter that the show is in contention to be renewed, but no decision has been made. S.H.I.E.L.D. could easily go either way, which makes its status moving forward very much up in the air.
S.H.I.E.L.D. has had a remarkable five season run and has been telling a closing chapter type of story so far. They're not even really dealing with the events of Avengers: Infinity War right now. With Coulson's fate in the balance too, there may not be a great way for the series to continue on narratively without him. Potentially canceling the show could even lead to ABC finally getting another Marvel show off the ground, especially since Inhumans is officially dead too.
But, there's still room for the show to grow and new paths for these characters to explore if a sixth season is announced. Even if Coulson goes, Daisy or May could step in as the new Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Most of the team members are also in happy relationships right now, and since that isn't likely to last, what happens next could provide for more storylines. Plus, in the aftermath of Infinity War's finale, the world could need all the help it can get in trying to figure out what has happened.
Even though ABC's lack of decision means the fate of S.H.I.E.L.D. is left hanging in the balance a while longer, a decision will almost certainly be made prior to the next episode. Fans may not be able to relax now knowing that the show will continue or prepare to say goodbye if its canceled, but that time will come soon. Just so the MCU doesn't provide even more heartbreak, hopefully the show will continue on one way or another.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 concludes Friday May 18 with 'The End' at 9pm on ABC.