Agent Phil Coulson is dead, and there’s no room for argument: the new trailer for Season 6 of Agents of SHIELD says so right up front. But that doesn’t stop Clark Gregg from popping up several times in Marvel and ABC’s new teaser, both as a flashback, hologram, and… something else. (He’s also directing the Season 6 premiere.)
The first half of the new promo shows the rest of the team trying to recover following the loss of Coulson; Mack is struggling with his new leadership role, May is reminiscing over her final days with her lost love on a beach in the real Tahiti; and Simmons is searching for Fitz, who is frozen somewhere in space because… time travel! Luckily, things seem to be business as usual for Daisy, who appears to be channeling her grief into kicking butt.
The team also has to contend with a mysterious new gang of adversaries: “We don’t know where they’re from, but they’re extremely powerful,” Mack says in the new footage, as we see one attacker touting a high-tech gun before a powerful blue wave of energy seems to level a building. It’s also worth noting that since the show returns this summer, we’re getting a look at the MCU after the events of Avengers: Endgame – not that the trailer gives any indication of that.
But the biggest shocker of the teaser is saved for the final moments, as a black-clad Coulson (or someone who looks just like him) is told that he’s “from SHIELD,” and Coulson 2.0 responds, “Never heard of it.”
Is this a version of Coulson from an alternate universe? Could the show be revisiting the Life Model Decoy storyline of Season 4? Or is there some other explanation for a Coulson who has no memory of his former team and organization? We’ll have to wait until this summer to find out for sure, but in the meantime, you can see a younger version of Coulson in Captain Marvel, which hits theaters on March 8.