[SPOILERS ahead for those not caught up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.]
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has begun to earn more critical acclaim than ever (while steadying out in terms of ratings during its second season); still, it's not clear yet what the future holds for the show after the upcoming two-part season two finale, 'S.O.S.'. Next week, the series will tie into the events of Marvel Studios' newest film Avengers: Age of Ultron (which debuts in U.S. theaters in a week) with the episode 'The Dirty Half Dozen'... though, by the sound it, a big shake-up on the series may come thereafter.
To recap, Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Robert Gonzales (Edward James Olmos) will (at least temporarily) put aside their differences in 'The Dirty Half Dozen', in order to unite against the larger threat posed by the remnants of Hydra. Elsewhere, at the Inhumans' secret home-base, life is probably testy - what with Lincoln (Luke Mitchell) having been captured and Gordon (Jamie Harris) having unintentionally brought back a raging Cal (Kyle Maclachlan) when he teleported back with Skye (Chloe Bennet).
The penultimate season two episode, 'Scars', will thereafter setup for some dramatic events, judging by the newly released synopsis and cast rundown for 'S.O.S.':
"S.O.S.," Part One and Part Two - S.H.I.E.L.D. puts everything on the line to survive a war that blurs the line between friend and foe. Coulson and his team will be forced to make shocking sacrifices that will leave their relationships and their world changed forever, on the two-hour season finale of "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D," Tuesday, May 12(9:00-11:00 PM, ET) on the ABC Television Network.
"Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." stars Clark Gregg as Director Phil Coulson, Ming-Na Wen as Agent Melinda May, Brett Dalton as Grant Ward, Chloe Bennet as Agent Skye, Iain De Caestecker as Agent Leo Fitz, Elizabeth Henstridge as Agent Jemma Simmons, Nick Blood as Lance Hunter and Adrianne Palicki as Bobbi Morse.
Guest starring on "S.O.S.," Part One are Henry Simmons as Alphonso "Mack" Mackenzie, Ruth Negga as Raina, Kyle Maclachlan as Cal, Jamie Harris as Gordon, Christine Adams as Agent Weaver, Mark Allan Stewart as Agent Oliver, Maya Stojan as Kara/Agent 33, Dichen Lachman as Jiaying, Luke Mitchell as Lincoln Campbell, Kyle Mattocks as Agent Harris, Ryan Powers as S.H.I.E.L.D. tech agent and Alicia Vela-Bailey as Alisha.
Guest starring on "S.O.S.," Part Two are Henry Simmons as Alphonso "Mack" Mackenzie, Kyle Maclachlan as Cal, Jamie Harris as Gordon, Christine Adams as Agent Weaver, Mark Allan Stewart as Agent Oliver, Blair Underwood as Andrew Garner, Maya Stojan as Kara/Agent 33, Dichen Lachman as Jiaying, Luke Mitchell as Lincoln Campbell, Brendan Wayne as Jiaying's assistant, Robert Reinis as bartender, Daz Crawford as Kebo, Alicia Vela-Bailey as Alisha and Anthony D. Washington as TAC agent #3.
"S.O.S.," Part One was written by Jeffrey Bell and directed by Vincent Misiano.
"S.O.S.," Part Two was written by Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen and directed by Billy Gierhart.
Claims that "shocking sacrifices" lie ahead on a TV show can sometimes be accurate... but they often prove to be hyperbole, too. However, there is good reason to be on alert in this case, since Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season three isn't a sure thing yet; there's a S.H.I.E.L.D. spinoff that includes Bobbi and Lance (possibly among other agents) in development; and, to boot, there's another Marvel TV show in the works at ABC from Oscar-winner John Ridley (screenwriter of 12 Years a Slave) - something that could also be a factor to consider here.
In other words: the 'S.O.S.' synopsis claiming that Coulson and his team's world shall be "changed forever" might not be as much an exaggeration. There's not yet been any clear foreshadowing on the series about certain characters perishing in the S.H.I.E.L.D. season two finale, nor is it clear who besides Bobbi and Lance could well be part of the developing spinoff TV show. Still, best to be prepared for most anything as the TV section of the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to grow on not just ABC, but with Daredevil and the upcoming Defenders Netflix series.
And on that note, we present the latest installment in the "Art of Evolution" artwork series for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season two - this one from Ms. Marvel comic book artist Jake Wyatt (via EW):
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. continues with 'The Dirty Half Dozen' next Tuesday at 9/8c on ABC.