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S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Phil Coulson isn’t dead yet

When last we checked in on of Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) from Marvel’s TV show, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. over on ABC, he had been kidnapped by agents of Centipede, who are apparently in the employ of the Clairvoyant. By now, we all know that there is something “off” about agent Coulson — that is to say that there is a mystery behind him, some seem to think that he might be an LMD, or has possibly been around since WW2 (apparently there was a young lad in the first Captain America film named Phil). Up until the episode The Magical Place all we really knew about him was that he was a dedicated agent and that he had died — apparently for eight seconds — at the hands of Loki in the Avengers film.

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Marvel Comics
"Coulson, Phil Coulson"
Marvel Studios

In the series opening episode, it is explained that after Agent Coulson died during The Avengers movie, he was revived and sent to Tahiti to recuperate. It was at that point Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) indicated that Coulson could never know the truth about his death. Well, that little secret didn’t last so long as we learned that while Coulson believed himself to be in the “magical place” know as Tahiti, he was most certainly not. We now know that he was actually dead for days, and even though Col. Fury ordered him brought back to life, Coulson begged to die. Needless to say, given what we saw in the flashback of the operation of the not-nearly-quite-so-dead Agent Coulson, we can almost certainly say that he isn’t an LMD.

Needless to say, there is clearly more to Coulson than meets the eye, and whether or not we will learn of it in this season, a future Avenger or Iron Man film, or even next season on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is yet to be seen. To be sure, while all of this is fun, we still would like to see S.H.I.E.L.D. become more like the definitive TV spy show, Man from UNCLE or even a little more like the John Steed and Mrs. Peel-style Avenger British TV spies with some more action mixed in with all of the mystery. Still, while we really we do understand that we simply aren’t going to get the Steranko-level visuals that we feel that we deserve in this series, we do so still believe that we are entitled to at least his level of storytelling and intrigue — something to which this series (thought we do like it), still hasn’t risen.


Robert J. Sodaro has been writing professionally for some 30+ years. He came of age not only watching TV, but reading comicbooks and going to the movies. Subscribe to receive regular articles and reviews about TV programs.

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