There have been countless crossovers and hidden secrets throughout the MCU movies, and now they’re being used in the shows. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is particularly special because it’s essentially the “home” for all the heroes, so the amount of characters they have to choose from are basically endless. The show started from the movies and has since made references, hosted guest appearances and has continued to line up with the movies that come out.
With all the characters that come in and out of the show, there isn’t enough time to explore every single story that comes up, but there’s a difference between that and just plain leaving stuff out. Fans get excited when the show mentions or introduces a character, but their stories don’t always get resolved or we don’t always seem to know everything. Even if it’s a piece of equipment or a means of travel, if it makes an appearance on the show, it’s gone as quickly as it appears and then it’s never seen again.
Since they use comics as a reference, it’s disappointing when a story gets cut short or is incomplete. When you have a fanbase as die-hard as the Marvel Universe, there are bound to be some hits and some misses. It’s impossible to please everyone, but when stories are this loved and classic, there’s going to be some nitpicking. With that, here are 15 Storylines From Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. That Fans Totally Hated.
15 Fury gives Coulson Bruce Banner’s Gamma Ray Gun
Let's start this entry out with a little bit of confusing backstory. After Nick Fury pulls Fitz and Simmons from the ocean at the end of the first season, Simmons helps him find Coulson so he can “weigh in” on a matter he should be involved in. Coulson is trying to take down Garrett and HYDRA when Fury shows up just in time. He whips out Bruce Banner’s Gamma Ray Gun, saying it packs quite the punch. Having experience with it, Coulson takes it and knocks out some of Garrett’s men with ease.
Whether he ran out of ammo or the gun experienced technical difficulty, Fury came out from behind and unloaded a few rounds as well. The gun doesn’t make an appearance in the episode again after that, so what happened to it? Does Coulson and his team still have it? Will they be in a situation again where it’s needed? The story was left unopened, so fans have no idea what happened to it after this.
14 Could May’s Mother be a connection to Huang Qiaolian/A.I.M.?
Back in Season 1, May’s mother was introduced in the series, without being named, when she picked her up from the airport. We know she’s a retired member of an intelligence agency, which remains unknown, and that she still seems to be part of the community. She also seems to have a close relationship with Maria Hill based on the way she speaks about her.
We also know May’s full name, which is Melinda Qiaolian May, and that in the Iron Man comic series, an AIM representative was named Huang Qiaolian. What we don’t know is whether May’s mother has a connection to AIM. It’s pretty unlikely that it’s a coincidence since we’re aware that Centipede has connections to Aldrich Killian’s Extremis projects after seeing the pilot, but what is the relationship here?
13 Coulson's Energy Shield Shows up
Throughout episodes of season 3 and 4, Coulson’s Energy Shield makes an appearance. It was during a fight against Hive to save one of their own that caused it to first show up. He and May have a moment when he saves her after an explosion, saying he thought the Director of Shield should have a shield, so Fitz made him one.
We only saw it a few more times after that, when the team broke out Robbie’s uncle from prison, when Coulson and Mack found out Director Mace’s secret and after a brief win in the Framework. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason as to when Coulson decides to use it. Will we see it again knowing they’re now in alien territory? Did Fitz stick to his request and only make him the shield or does he have other options to choose from?
12 Simmons mentions “the TARDIS”
In season 1, during a time when it seemed like no one could be trusted, the team undergoes a lie detector test to confirm their allegiance to S.H.I.E.L.D. We learn a lot of information about the team, like the fact that May was married, but it’s one of Simmons’ answers that left fans scratching their heads. Agent Koenig asked her what she’d want in a box she found if stuck on a deserted island and her response was “the TARDIS.”
Season 4 introduced us to the Darkhold and we know Robbie can make a portal with his chain. What exactly is Jemma’s connection to the TARDIS? Was this just a “geek response” because she’s a fan of the story or does she have a connection we’ll find out about as other Doctor Strange references have been noticed?
11 Robbie uses his chain to make a portal to another dimension
Introducing Ghost Rider in the series in season 4 created a lot of memorable moments for the team. Originally only wanting to seek revenge for his brother, Gabe, Daisy convinced him to join forces with S.H.I.E.L.D. and they were able to come together, literally, to defeat his uncle and Lucy. Amidst all the chaos, Robbie transports to another dimension, though he did manage to make his way back to Earth.
Once the battle ended and the Spirit of Vengeance returned to Robbie’s body, he opened a portal and took the Darkhold towards Hell, but not without looking back to Daisy one more time. We know he’s continuing his journey as Ghost Rider, but what exactly happened to him and will he make a return appearance in the series? He’s learned how to make a portal with his chain and, if he does return, will he bring any new tricks along?
10 Dr. Radcliffe fooled everyone with the creation of Aida
Many agents have experienced a test of character when introduced to dark forces. While most of them prove themselves worthy, there are a few who succumb to the darkness and Holden Radcliffe was one of them. Being that “people” learn from example, it’s no surprise Aida became corrupted as well, obsessing over the need to feel human emotions.
When Aida first created, she was kept a secret because creating her was a direct violation of the Sokovia Accords, and when Simmons figured out what she was, he convinced her to not tell the director. After saving S.H.I.E.L.D. members and helping defeat Eli Morrow, she proved herself to be an asset and essentially became part of the team. Initially working with Dr. Radcliffe to create the Framework, it would be easy to blame him for what Aida became, but members already knew what she really was. It’s important to note that once everyone figured out what she really was, action was taken, but how did things get so far after the destruction of Ultron?
9 The idea that the planet Will and Simmons were stranded on was alive
Fans were excited for the return of Simmons in season 3, but were quick to learn that things might not be the same. It’s clear she went through something traumatic and is trying to figure out how to deal with it. She relives how much of a struggle it was to survive and how she fought her way in an unforgiving other world.
The planet was referred to as Maveth, which means Death in Hebrew, and that Will was trapped there while studying the Monolith. It was rumored to once be a beautiful planet, but deteriorated after Hive showed up. Was this planet a nod to Ego, The Living Planet? Knowing season 5 will kick off with the team in space, could there be other living planets and will this topic resurface?
8 Doctor Strange References
Heavily mentioning the Darkhold and other references from Doctor Strange throughout the fourth season, it was brought to screen in this episode. Fans watched as Lucy awakened her former husband, Joseph, from a coma by jamming her fingers into his head saying it’s time to get to work. She then made Eli read it since she’s no longer able to.
We know that Lucy and Eli were defeated and that Robbie took the Darkhold with him at the end of the season, but will there be continued mention of it or will they introduce characters from Doctor Strange’s world? Being one of the newer MCU films, fans are curious if there will be an opportunity to meet characters from this storyline that weren’t in the movie.
7 Mack’s Brother Ruben
After proving how much of a threat they can be in season 3, Mack and his brother, Ruben, take down a few Watchdogs in their home when they invade thinking Mack is an Inhuman. When the situation is under control, and Mack is being taken away for medical treatment, Daisy and Ruben have a moment. She makes a comment that now that he’s aware of them, maybe they’ll call him for assistance in the future.
We know he’s still out there living his life, so what has he been doing since that happened? Will there be an opportunity for him to help the team out? Though Ruben hasn’t been mentioned after this episode, with the pending cross-over between S.H.I.E.L.D. and Daredevil, is it possible this storyline will resurface?
6 The GH Serums
Questions surrounding what actually happened to Coulson are finally being answered. He’s slowly piecing together the series of events, but in true S.H.I.E.L.D. fashion, with answers, usually come more questions. In this case, was the Guest House, and everything associated with it, actually destroyed?
At the end of the season 1 episode, fans see the Guest House blow up as part of the team races to get on the jet. As it flies away, there’s a huge explosion and everything in it is supposedly wiped out. However, we know that people were fascinated with this concept and conducted experiments of their own. It’s also been proven that other agents have undergone this procedure. Could any of the GH serums still be in existence and, if they are, whose possession are they in?
5 Guest Character Appearances
When Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. first transitioned to television, fans were lucky to experience guest appearance from characters they saw in the connected movies. In the earlier seasons, they ranged from members of an entourage, like Lady Sif and Dugan, who sought out the team for help; to high-rankers like Maria Hill and Nick Fury, who showed up when the team most needed them.
Other than screen-simulated appearances, there haven’t been any additional characters on the show, yet there has been so much happening in the story. There are new shows coming out, along with the ones already on the air, and new characters are constantly being introduced. Is it possible fans will see other big characters on the show, especially with some movie contracts ending, or another crossover on the show?
4 Mention of Subatomic Level Shrinkage
Most of season 3 consists of Fitz searching for Simmons. Fans watch as he explores every opportunity and worry that his obsession could ruin everything for him. No one wants to admit that Simmons could be gone forever, but with every passing day, it seems more unlikely that she’ll return. Fitz researched the Quantum Realm, exploring the idea that Simmons may be there.
It’s not clarified in the episode what type of research he did or what information he learned from it. Fans don’t know if he had contact with Hank and his team or just drowned himself in the information looking for an answer. Fitz devoted a lot of time looking for Simmons, so after learning about Hank’s work, can he now make his own Ant-Man suit?
3 Inhuman / Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Crossover
Although established that they are separate shows right now, could there be a possibility for them to come together? It’s unclear if Inhumans will last after the first season, but the story highlights an isolated community of superhumans who are fighting to protect themselves. It would certainly open up a story for Daisy if she were able to meet distant relatives.
Fans are introduced to the Royal Family who live on the moon at the start and we know the team is in space in the upcoming season 5. NuHumans and Inhumans share the same heritage of ancient Kree experimenting on humans and both have originated on S.H.I.E.L.D. With the way Inhumans is performing, it might not last that long, so is a crossover a possibility or will S.H.I.E.L.D. feature more Inhumans if the show gets cancelled?
2 Where’s Deathlok?
At the end of season 2, the team rescued Lincoln and Deathlok from HYDRA’s capture. Their base was destroyed though it looks as though List got away. After they brought him onto their ship, Fitz and Simmons explained to him that they arranged for him to get better since they were unable to make the repairs themselves. He will need extensive work done due to HYDRA dismantling his leg.
Fans are left wondering what happened to him after that though as that’s his last appearance. Did he actually make it there, and was the extensive work successful? What about his son, Ace? Deathlok was only ever able to maintain his composure when reminded of his son. Were they able to reunite and start a new life together or is he still with his Aunt Mindy?
1 May and Coulson’s Relationship
There’s been a looming tension between May and Coulson since the beginning. Sometimes it’s because they’re butting heads in the field, and sometimes it’s more of a sexual tension. When May and Coulson finally start getting closer in season 4, fans can’t even celebrate because it’s not the real May! They speak about the encounter later when it’s really the two of them, but for what was a longstanding event to happen, it was kind of ruined by the fact that one of them wasn’t a human.
While we’re waiting for something to finally happen here though, the other end of this is the fact that they have quite the history. How long have May and Coulson actually known each other exactly? How long have they been in S.H.I.E.L.D. and what have they already experienced together?
See what happens next on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. when it returns to ABC on Friday, December 1.