“Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.” left fans with a lot of questions at the end of the Season 3 finale. In a flash-forward, Coulson was chasing Daisy, who went rogue, and said he had to report to the director that he lost her again. That leaves viewers wondering who could have replaced Coulson in charge of S.H.I.E.L.D. Clark Gregg, who plays Coulson, doesn’t know who replaced his character, but he does have a top choice: Melinda May.
“I’d love it if it was [her],” Gregg told Entertainment Weekly. “That would be magnificent. She has earned that right and she is a commander that Coulson would absolutely follow with absolute loyalty.”
May (Ming-Na Wen) is one of the most qualified agents, and Coulson’s right hand. However, Gregg pointed out that Coulson may not have appointed his successor. “I suspect, in the wake of the Sokovia Accords and the end of ‘Civil War,’ the people involved in choosing who the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be are other than in-house S.H.I.E.L.D. people,” he added. “If I know my government bureaucracies, I have a feeling it will be someone somewhat less qualified than Coulson to run S.H.I.E.L.D.”
May seems like the obvious choice. Fans know that Mack (Henry Simmons) and Daisy (Chloe Bennet) definitely aren’t in the running, and that leaves options limited. Aside from May, Glenn Talbot (Adrian Pasdar) is qualified, but it seems like he has a job already. Maria Hill (Coby Smulders) also could take over if the movies don’t have other plans for her. While Sharon Carter (Emily Van Camp) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) could easily qualify, it seems unlikely that the Marvel films would let those characters be on the ABC drama for more than the occasional episode. With so few options, it seems reasonable to wonder if a new character is being introduced as the S.H.I.E.L.D. director in “Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.”Season 4.
Executive producer Maurissa Tancharoen isn’t dropping any hints about who the replacement is or even why Coulson left his job. But she said viewers could pick up on several clues in the scene itself.
“We’ll answer all of that in the beginning of next season. But there’s a lot you can glean from that flash-forward, even in his appearance,” she told the Hollywood Reporter last month. “He’s worse for wear, he’s not wearing suits, he and Mack are holed up in that hotel room, he’s obviously been on stakeout for a while.”
Fans will have to wait until Season 4 for answers. “Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.” returns to ABC in the fall in a new time slot, Tuesdays at 10 p.m. EDT.