SPOILERS: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s season finale last Friday ended in tragedy and left viewers confused because it did not line up with what is happening in Infinity War.
Showrunners Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen, and Jeffrey Bell discussed the finale with Entertainment Weekly prior to the show’s eventual renewal for a sixth season, explaining why the show diverged from the ending of Avengers: Infinity War.
“There’s some of that we can’t answer,” Jed Whedon explained, while Jeffrey Bell was more direct, saying “Part of what happened was, they changed the release date. And we move on a different schedule than they do and so suddenly everything was a week earlier, and so we had to make some adjustments and that’s how we end up with our story.”
But beyond that, Whedon said there were “story points” Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. could not incorporate in a satisfactory way.
“And the other thing is that there are certain story points that are so – there would really be no way for us to address it and keep our show intact,” Whedon explained. “Given that there’s another movie coming out, and there’s gonna be constant repercussions of their universe, so what we felt was that the safe play for our story, and for the integrity of our universe, was to operate outside of it.”
“Also the timeline is a little bit fudged in that we assume that the last couple of episodes of our show take place during Infinity War. We’re running in a lot of real-time at the end of the season… so we sort of thought of it as these events are still ongoing as our season ends.”
As for the fates of Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson and Iain De Caestecker’s Agent Fitz, Whedon was careful to spell out that there are “loopholes” that could allow either character to return for the show’s next season.
“What we do think is that there’s an emotional impact with everything that happened this season and we would never wanna undercut that,” Whedon said. “That being said, our show’s founded on a man who had been killed in the movies, and Clark Gregg is the foundation upon which our show is built. So, it’s a good question and one we’ll hopefully get to answer by having another season.”
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will return in summer, 2019.