Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Three Theories on Agent Coulson's Return

By now most of you have seen the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiere, but for those of you who have not, I can't yell SPOILER WARNINGS loud enough.

So the day has come when Marvel Comics begins it's slow march to dominance over your Television, and is certainly the night all of nerdom claims victory over nearly all media. I mean..we'll never crack that musical code, will we? I think not....but MC Chris is still working on it. For me, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. had giant sized shoes to fill, what with all the people I know who saw the pilot in advance acting like it was the second coming of JC. There was little hope the show would meet such high expectations, and yet, I was still hopeful. What I got was a decent beginning. The characters are a bit stale, the settings uninteresting and the story line, one we, as intense geeks, have seen time and time again, so overall, the result was..again..a decent beginning and nothing more. Let's hope the show creators take the ball and instead of running with it, set it on fire and make this show their own with excellent Marvel Universe references throughout and mind blowing scenarios I probable drew with crayons as a baby dork. All well and good, but that's not what you came here for. We need to talk about Phil.

The Evidence: Those with Level 6 access were allowed to know Agent Coulson had died before the "Battle of New York". Those with Level 7 clearance can know he still lives. After being shanked unceremoniously by Loki, Coulson stopped breathing for 8 seconds and was headed toward "the light" when he was yanked back to this mortal coil. Since the loss of a beloved soldier can be a "team builder", Nick Fury allowed the Avengers to believe he was dead. There was even some allusion to the Avengers still not being aware Coulson is alive. They don't have the proper clearance! Instead, Coulson was shipped off to a shack in Tahiti with a hot, non-english speaking physical therapist (sadly, forsaking the cellist spoken of in The Avengers). Coulson says Tahiti is "A magical place." Shortly after, in hushed tones, it is suggested there is more to that story than Coulson himself could suspect and later still, when one of the show's characters describes something as "like magic", he quickly corrects himself and afirms it is pure science. Why would he panic over the word magic?

Three Theories:

1. Agent Phil Coulson is dead and a Life Model Decoy (essentially a robot copy) has taken his place and actually believes he is Coulson. Whedon has done the robot doppelganger before in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", so it is not above the realm of possibility, but seems a little final for this show.

2. The Coulson in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. IS a Life Model Decoy, but only because Coulson is in a medically induced coma or some other sort of stasis until they can find a way to heal him fully. This would explain the canned, repeated phrasing "A magical place", as the LMD is programmed with the memories of his little vacation. It allows the show to reveal this over time, allow the LMD to discover the truth when the flesh and blood Coulson returns and more importantly, set up the premise of an almost human machine, laying important groundwork for the Age of Ultron. Could be some damn good TV! This is my favorite hypothesis.

3. Magic. It's all in the word, beaten over our heads in the pilot. Sometimes a duck is a duck is a duck, as some old people used to say, so maybe Coulson was just brought back by magic? To make things more interesting, what if the magic used to bring him back came at a price to later be revealed..say, by using some object that will draw some other worldly forces to Earth? An excellent opportunity to further tie in some deep Marvel Universe artifact, perhaps even looping in Asgard? The sky is the limit on that one and the story unfolding from it could be far reaching.

Got your own thoughts on the subject? Sound off in the comments!


  1. My initial thoughts were pretty much summed up in scenario #1, but I really like the twist of scenario #2 with Coulson still being alive . They could even stretch out the LMD version of Coulson to be the origin of The Vision (maybe?). That's sorta why I wish we had gotten Hanky Pym and Janet Van Dyne instead of Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons - everything would have fit into place perfectly and it would have been a great way to introduce Pym and Van Dyne into the Avengers.

  2. I still say it's one of two things: Vision or a Skrull being used. I'm still curious about the comment of looking into the white light for longer than 8 seconds. That could also sound a lot like the journey to Asgard. There's also a deal that could have been made with Death (since we know Thanos is coming) to release him back.

    Or we could all be putting far too much thought into this. Or the writers have no idea and are trolling the internet for our theories. mwahahaha!!!!

    1. I loved your facebook theory about Coulson's brain being put in the LMD body! Allows for the reveal of the truth, reveal of the cover up, the drama that follows and then a possible season ender of someone saying "How would you like to get your body back?"