On March 9, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will reach its milestone 100th episode. It comes at a time when even series co-creators Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen aren't sure if the fifth season will be the last. The fifth season finale is already being engineered as a potential ending for the show, if ABC declines to renew it. "We've planned both versions," said Tancharoen. "This could very well be our last season, or we have another way to go."
"We think [episode 100] will be rewarding for fans," added Whedon during a recent celebration for the series in Los Angeles. "We set out to write something that would not just a tentpole milestone moment in the season, but something to reward all of the people who have been watching from the beginning and cared about our people the whole time. That was our goal and I think we achieved it. But that will be up to the fans to decide."
One of the few plot points currently known about the 100th episode is that Phil Coulson's deal with Ghost Rider will finally be explained. "Coulson comes clean with people about what he knows about why he's in such bad shape," explained Clark Gregg, the man who originated Coluson ten years ago in Iron Man. Gregg's co-star, Ming-Na Wen, was very cautious with her words when teasing the revelation. "Agent May will probably discover certain things about Coulson along with the team, and there's going to be a lot of things that will transpire between them. There's nothing I can tell you! I'm so sorry."
Fortunately, Iain De Caestecker was a little bit more forthcoming about the fate of Fitz and the rest of the team. "There's going to be ramifications left over from when they were in the future, and there's some serious things that are happening that need to be sorted out as well," said De Caestecker. "The 100th episode is going to be great, because there's going to be a retrospective element to it. Some characters may come back who you haven't seen for a while."
Chloe Bennet also seemed hyped up for the episode. "This episode is huge for everyone. It's a turning point for the series, in a good way and a bad way. If you've been watching from the beginning, it definitely pays off and you'll probably be a little heartbroken as well."
Elizabeth Henstridge indicated that her character, Simmons, "definitely has some huge moments in it," but declined to say more. Natalia Cordova-Buckley's teaser was even more ominous "Let's just say that it's big. Yo-Yo will be in a lot of pain." Henry Simmons elaborated on what might be causing pain for both Yo-Yo and Mack. "Mack has been through a lot, as people who watch the show know. From this point forward, I think his relationship with Yo-Yo. Quite honestly, I don't know if it's going to make it. We'll see."
However, Simmons also shared his vision for the series' future, if a renewal is on the horizon. "I would like to see Mack and Yo-Yo have a kid. Because the kid would most likely have some kind of powers, or have the ability to be Inhuman. And I think that would create conflict between Yo-Yo and I because Mack is inherently (not quite) for Inhumans, but he fell in love with one. So it would be interesting to see a conflict that they share about how to raise that child, and what happens if that child does develop powers. I think that would be very interesting."
Bennet seemed intrigued by the idea of Daisy following in the footsteps of her comic book counterpart to become the new director of SHIELD, even though she's not looking to see that happen any time soon."That would be amazing. But obviously, the number one director is always Clark Gregg. I love being his protégé... I think this season, she's really come into herself as a leader. I like seeing her as a leader, and I like her finding that power. I think her working with Inhumans, and guiding them through the process of turning Inhuman. I'd also like to see her with a family. That would be nice."
Marvel TV's Executive Vice President Jeph Loeb echoed the theme of "family," and extended it to everyone involved with the series. "This is a show that started out telling a story of how a family comes together, and in doing so, we created a family. Not just our wonderful cast, but the extraordinary writers, the crew... it's a really fun place to work. Episode 100 hopefully shows that in a very special way. It encapsulates what's best about the show. It'll make you cry, it'll make you laugh, and it has a sense of urgency and adventure that you can only get from Marvel. At the end, we'll have you thinking about where we're going for the next 100 episodes."