Agent Phil Coulson has been our favourite Agent of SHIELD for 10 years now (including his time on the show and in the movies). It would be interesting to think that Coulson has actually had the most amount of screen time in the MCU, and all things considered, his importance is as much as any of the front line heroes including Iron Man, Thor or Captain America. And now in an event which should certainly be titled ‘ Avengers 4 Theory ’ now because of the current status of things, Coulson has to be there amongst all other characters.
He was a significant part of the MCU in the first Phase and if you think about it, he was the uniting factor of the team. It is because of him that the team assembled and it is because of him that we got to see the biggest movie franchise of all time!
Ever since the first Avengers movie, he hasn’t been in the movies as he has been “dead” after Loki stabbed him. But now even on the show, Season 5 left him on the verge of dying.
So, with dead characters coming back in Avengers 4, a Redditor named StrawHatJedi has come up with a theory which would be as important as the first Avengers film. As crazy as it sounds, this theory does a pretty amazing job trying to explain how Coulson would be brought back into the picture and also gives us the reasoning for the delay of the 6th season & him being a regular in that:
“So, I’m pretty sure Coulson will be alive in season 6 for a number of reasons, but primarily, I’m convinced he’s going to play a role in Avengers 4
-Robin’s prophecy that only Coulson could ‘bring the pieces together’ was never fulfilled. Even in the finale, the team speculated as to the meaning of the prophecy; The ‘most likely’ theory put forward was that he held their team together, thus reinforcing their desire to attempt healing through use of the centipede serum. This was but another red-herring as was conjecture that he would be the one to bring the pieces of the monolith back together, which was actually accomplished by Flint. Coulson was out of commission for most of the finale. The team remained largely divided in opinion regarding the best course of action. He didn’t really serve the narrative function of providing a unifying force for the team. He held it together long enough to pass the serum off to Daisy, thus enabling her to defeat Talbot, but half the team were unaware that he had even managed to leave his hospital bed.”
The dedicated fan base of the show has been clamouring for it to be referenced in the films for years now. The show keeps referencing the movies but it is the other way around when it comes to the movies. But now we may actually have a way to integrate the show with the films without having to give any explanation to the people that don’t watch the show, and finally giving the fans of the show what they have always wanted. The theory continues:
“-The movies are written well in advance of the TV series. Thus if the movies needed Coulson to be in a particular place to re-integrate his story with the films, the writers of the show would have ample time to do so; For example, let’s say that general audiences would be, for the most part, unfamiliar with Coulson’s resurrection and continued adventures on Agents of SHIELD and that the last time they saw him was dying due to a stab wound through his chest received from Loki’s sceptre. Let’s also say that the writers of the films don’t want to go through the expository task of conveying the requisite backstory needed to explain his return in a future Avengers film. Perhaps the writers of Agents of SHIELD might begin a storyline which through contrivances of the plot somehow cause Coulson to be dying from the same fatal injuries with which general audiences last saw him. He also ends up in TAHITI, a magical place. The writers could perhaps even start that storyline a year plus out from his return in the films, say the end of season 4, about the time at which the Russo Bros. would have made such a decision. Coulson is conveniently re-appearing in a film, featuring the Kree, which hits heaters just three months before the fourth Avengers film; Beyond fan service, this is a good way to ‘prime’ audiences for his return, reminding them of his character as he has been unseen since 2012’s Avengers.”
The theory then goes on to connect the plot points of the show with Avengers 4, and the best part about it is that the regular moviegoers do not need to watch the show in order to understand it. It is just the best fan service Marvel could offer us! Here’s how the rest of it goes:
“-Robin’s prophecy was about Avengers 4; Coulson is the only one who can bring the pieces of the Avengers back together. They played the audience throughout season 5; Robin saw this prophecy in the future, after Talbot destroyed Earth; Robin is great at playing the pronoun game and the temporal displacement of her consciousness adds an air of ambiguity to everything she experiences and says. Case in point, both in the ‘present’ and ‘future’, Robin refers to May as ‘mom’. When she says ‘they’ can save the world, she refers to both the SHIElD team and the Avengers, referencing both the battle against Gravitron and Thanos. The manner in which Robin speaks allowed the writers to place hints throughout the season for future events.”
-The writers of Agents of SHIELD conveniently avoided the influence of the snap, taking events of the finale right up to the point where chronologically they coincide with those of Infinity War.
Finally then comes the explanation to why the ending of Season 5 supposedly ignored the snap! It focused upon Graviton and the threat he posed upon Earth. All these fights that happened are supposedly before the snap, and the next season will refer what happens post that.
But as the redditor says, Marvel has conveniently delayed the next season so they would not have to address the snap at all because Avengers 4 will have totally fixed things by then. Enjoy the rest of the theory:
“-Season 6 is delayed till July of 2019; While, yes, this is being called a ‘scheduling’ decision, I can’t imagine that the writers would have planned a plot that could work for both a September 2018 and July 2019 premier considering the show tends to time air dates with events in the films. They have the benefit of writing the show after the movies have been written and thus are able to work the events of the films into the plot of the show. I can’t imagine that ABC / Disney / Marvel would suddenly stop caring in the show’s sixth season. That is to say, were the show to premier in September it would inevitably have to deal with the ‘snap’; The show’s ratings were declining for years, so while a sixth season was never a guarantee, I think it’s reasonable to assume a shortened sixth season premiering after Avengers 4 would invariably have been the case;
So, I think Coulson will be alive for the sixth season as a consequence of the events of Avengers 4. Clark Gregg has been on set to direct, which conveniently allows him to also film without drawing attention. He needs to be ‘dead’ to the world such that general audiences as well as AoS fans can be surprised by his ‘resurrection’ in Avengers 4, where Coulson will ‘pull the pieces back together’ i.e. Coulson will be the one to reunite Tony and Cap, the ‘pieces’ of the still fractured Avengers who have still not reconciled their conflict which began with Civil War.
The timing of production, film / show release dates, and the fact that both general audiences and AoS fans have left Coulson in virtually the same place lead me to believe this theory holds considerable weight. Imagine, this scenario; Captain Marvel somehow finds Coulson in Avengers 4, heals him with Kree tech or discovers some other means by which to keep him alive. General audiences, now familiar with the Kree due to Captain Marvel, will fully understand when Coulson steps back on screen, referencing Tahiti, a magical place, either bearing or recovering from the injury received from Loki, and crediting Kree technology for his revival and the scene will make perfect sense without any reliance upon project T.A.H.I.T.I. or any of the events from the five seasons of Agents of SHIELD. Obviously the lines would have an additional layer of significance / meaning to fans of the show, but they would still make perfect sense to the average moviegoer.
Coulson wasn’t dead, only dying at the end of season 5, so he doesn’t really need to be fully resurrected a second time. All this is not to say that he must be a series regular in the sixth season. But I do believe Coulson will be alive.”
Let’s see whether Coulson plays a significant role in Avengers 4. Him reuniting Captain America and Iron Man would be the best thing ever! Avengers 4 comes out on May 3, 2019.