Last year, a report emerged that ABC wanted to cancel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. following the critically-loved but low-rated Season 4 but that a “mandate came down from Disney” to renew the Marvel series for a fifth season. While it’s a tad too early to talk about a potential cancellation or renewal, S.H.I.E.L.D. bosses are currently prepping the Season 5 finale in a way that it could also serve as a series finale if the executioner's ax were to fall.
While at the celebration for the show’s 100th episode over the weekend, TVLine chatted with co-showrunners Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen about the possibilities of the series not getting renewed, where they revealed they were in the "process" of working on the Season 5 finale. “We know what it is,” Tancharoen said.
What that is, according to Tancharoen, could either be a season finale or a series finale that would satisfy the show’s long-time fans. While they kept mum on the details (since the finale is still a few months away), the duo elaborated on the fact that they were ready for any eventuality.
“Yeah, we’re ready for it if this is the end. We’re definitely going to make it rewarding either way,” Whedon said before adding that they will be adjusting things depending on whether or not there are sudden changes in the show’s status quo. “We can certainly pivot and there are certain things that we’re putting in that at the last minute could be adjusted. But we know at the end we’re not moving off that mark. We’re going to do what we were planning to do, and I think that it’ll be thrilling either way.”
The fact that the showrunners are ready for the show’s chances of renewal or cancellation to go either way will no doubt prove to be a soothing balm for fans. Especially since there was always a real fear that we might have ended up with an unresolved cliffhanger a la Agent Carter.
As for the upcoming 100th installment of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., “The Real Deal,” the landmark episode will air on March 9. Both Whedon and Tancharoen promise it will be an emotional game changer for the second batch of episodes. And what we know so far is that not only will Coulson’s (Clark Gregg) deal with the Spirit of Vengeance be revealed, the episode will also somehow feature the return of two A-list villains in Lash and Hive.