The Agents of SHIELD finale had as good an ending as any other great series. The only thing “bitter” about the sweet ending of the series was that we won’t get to see the agents return for a Season 8. This is a show that managed to keep things great, dramatic, unique & fresh with every one of its seasons. Despite not getting recognition from the main MCU timeline, the series still managed to keep its fanbase hooked for 7 whole seasons. Throughout its way, it made references to the main MCU timeline. The references became extremely subtle in the last few seasons, but the final season totally connected with the main MCU as it went even deeper into explaining the rules of time travel that were established in Avengers: Endgame.
Firstly when Season 7 began, we were happy to see how the series seemed to carry the baton called “time travel” forward, after where Endgame left it. But then, a couple episodes in between, led us to believe that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. may not be following Endgame’s rules of time travel. But now, we know that not only have they followed those rules exactly like Endgame, but they’ve also given us a deeper knowledge of how time travel works in the MCU. They may have proven that Cap didn’t create a new timeline when he went to live with Peggy.
Spoilers for the Series finale episodes, “The End Is at Hand” & “What We’re Fighting For” follow.
In the last couple of episodes, we got to know that the S.H.I.E.L.D.’s battle against the Chronicoms had created a new timeline. But there was a doubt as to whether the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents will be able to go back to their original timeline. Well, they were totally able to do that. And guess how the managed to do it? Obviously through the Quantum Realm. Agent Fitz was able to design his own working Quantum Tunnel through which he arrived in the new timeline that was created throughout Season 7. And then he took all the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and the Chronicoms back to their original timeline (which is not the main MCU timeline).
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Quantum Realm
We were shown how the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and the Chronicoms took a trip through the Quantum Realm. This was a major nod to Avengers: Endgame & the two Ant-Man movies. Since this series has confirmed that multiple timelines exist in the MCU, we believe that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is canon to the main MCU, even though it doesn’t exist in the same timeline as the MCU films.
Since the movies are also about to expand the Multiverse, we could just breathe easy thinking of how Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was always set in the branches of the MCU. Now that the show has ended, let’s break up how there are 4 different timelines related to the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The first timeline where S.H.I.E.L.D. exists is the main MCU timeline of the movies. Mind you, Phil Coulson died for good in 2012 in this particular timeline.
Then there’s the second timeline where Nick Fury revived Phil Coulson using TAHITI. This was the main timeline of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. until season 6. It was similar to the main MCU timeline until Captain America: The Winter Soldier, or perhaps till Age of Ultron, but not beyond that. In this timeline, Earth was quaked apart, so the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents had to create another branched timeline. This branch became the new main timeline of S.H.I.E.L.D. and was followed in Season 6, and Season 7. This third timeline is where the show comes to an end.
Then there’s a fourth timeline that was created throughout Season 7. It deviates from the previous 3 timelines in the 70s. In this timeline, the Chronicoms destroyed all S.H.I.E.L.D. bases in the 80s, but Deke Shaw and a few other surviving Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. were left to rebuild S.H.I.E.L.D. So, this was the best ending we could’ve asked for. Even though Kevin Feige may never acknowledge the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. timeline, we can still believe that it is canon to the MCU through the Multiverse model. And that’s enough to let us rest in peace.
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