Updated: Aug 25, 2019
This review is only for the premiere of Season 6 which debuts on May 10th.
Packed in the crowded arena of the Anaheim Convention Center for Wonder-Con 2019, countless attendees became some of the first audiences to ever see the entirety of the Agents of Shield Season 6 premiere which was directed by lead star Clark Gregg. After the massive ramifications of Season 5, the brand-new season picks up one year where our characters find themselves in an icy dilemma as parts of the group are stranded in deep space while others are stranded in unavoidable danger. From the very beginning, it’s clear that Gregg has done the most with the limited TV budget. The episode has an excellent sense of production with the space sequences being particularly impressive. Gregg implements shots that give an immediate sense of danger or any emotion that the cast is trying to portray. In fact, it even causes multiple instances where I was even frustrated with the cast and their performances because they were repeating information that Gregg’s seamless direction already told me.
And on that note, another issue that seems to remain from previous seasons is a lack of subtlety in the bland and typical dialogue. The writers drag out and crush all the subtle details that could have allowed viewers to make out their own interpretations. Instead, we are stuck with their version of this story which frankly, barely makes it over the finish line due to the choppy dialogue. But still, this premiere of the sixth season of Agents of Shield is a promising start, blending excellent direction to build on and make far more excusable its loosely defined story.
Without indicating any spoilers from previous seasons or this premiere, Clark Gregg has a much limited role here as Agent Coulson. But what scenes he does have are easily the best moments of the entire episode. His presence is clearly felt, even when he isn’t there, a rare charisma and flavor that could only be compared to a role like Robert Downey Jr’s as Iron Man and Chris Evans’s as Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s simply unfathomable to me that I would ever describe Gregg’s Agent Coulson in such a manner.
As expected, the premiere isn’t something that will have an incredible and satisfying story arc as it is clearly meant to set up future events. However, this style of structuring in the debut episodes has backfired on TV shows as of late, causing potential viewers and fans to eject before the train even starts rolling. However, even though it is clearly shaped within this long tested mold, the Agents of Shield premiere subverts the trend and made me personally incredibly excited for what is to come for future episodes. Its final moments are compelling and flip the entire episode on its head, something that only the best of twists in TV shows can accomplish. In fact, it caused me to feel mildly disappointed and annoyed that ABC showed the episode so early in advance to the Wonder-Con audience in relation to its general release date as it means the wait for answers is much longer. As for those who are interested in potential clues regarding the highly anticipated Avengers: Endgame, there are no clues or references to any of the events there, other than indicating that it takes place after it, given the confirmation that the sixth season takes place one year after the fifth season. However, it is completely possible ABC doctored some of the scenes to remove any trace of Endgame references, an unlikely but not impossible possibility.
In conclusion, the premiere of the sixth season of Agents of Shield, Marvel Television’s longest running TV show, is an exciting start to a season that will hopefully build momentum after such a hiatus between Season 5 and Season 6. It’s plagued by the series’ trademark pretentious and overstated dialogue, but Gregg’s direction does the best effort possible to remove the bitterness. It’s unlikely it will be the best show of all time, but it will definitely be an enjoyable roller coaster of stories and arcs for those who are already locked in.