What episodes and events did the season 7 premiere of Agents of SHIELD reference with LMD Coulson? Much to the disappointment of Marvel fans, Phil Coulson is dead in the MCU. Again. Clark Gregg’s character was replaced with “Sarge” in season 6, but season 7 introduces a synthetic Coulson, blended from Life Model Decoy and Chronicom technology and constructed by Simmons alongside Enoch. While the SHIELD team grapple with the moral weight of a fake Coulson, they ultimately decide to utilize their former leader’s extensive skills to stop the Chronicoms changing Earth’s timeline.
The scene in which Daisy can’t help but switch on Coulson – her father figure throughout Agents of SHIELD – is as emotional as it is uncomfortable, with LMD Coulson struggling to come to terms with his true nature. According to Simmons, this version of Phil was developed from a 2-year-old Framework brain scan, meaning Simmons had to fill the gaps manually. When Coulson boots up for the first time, he does what any self-respecting piece of modern tech does and immediately goes through a mandatory and lengthy software update. As the memories flood Coulson’s mind, the LMD gives a rapid-fire overview of the character’s recent Agents of SHIELD story. Here are all the events and episodes referenced:
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- “I died and I came back.” – A dual reference to Coulson’s death in The Avengers and his re-death prior to Agents of SHIELD season 6.
- “Not me… I’m not him. I look like him.” – This is something “Sarge” would often say in Agents of SHIELD season 6.
- “We said goodbye.” – Coulson says goodbye to his friends in season 5’s “The End” before spending his final days on vacation with Melinda May.
- “Pachakutiq.” – A god-like being from the Fear Dimension who combined with Coulson’s memories to create “Sarge.”
- “May, don’t!” – Most likely a nod to May’s close encounter with death while fighting Izel.
- “It really is magical.” – Referencing TAHITI, the program that resurrected Coulson the first time, but also where the real Phil Coulson spends his final days. Coulson says this line to May.
- “Talbot.” – Coulson’s final SHIELD mission in “The End” was stopping his former friend Greg Talbot, who had turned himself into a supervillain.
- “Who’s like us?” – This is derived from Coulson’s speech in “The End,” in which he toasts, “Here’s to us… who’s like us… damn few“
- “Fitz. Oh God…” – Agent Fitz technically died at the end of season 5 during the Talbot battle.
- “Dying… Lying.” – While this could have several meanings, the words probably relate to Coulson’s deal with Ghost Rider, which he hid from his team.
- “Lighthouse.” – The Lighthouse was SHIELD’s base when Coulson died. Here, he might be learning that the structure was attacked and destroyed by Chronicoms.
- “Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today…” Speaking of the Lighthouse seems to jog Coulson’s memory of “The Real Deal” where he officiated the wedding ceremony of Fitz and Simmons.
- “From Processing.” – In “Orientation” Coulson and the SHIELD team tell Deke they are “from Processing” instead of revealing they’re actually from the past.
- “Symbol that must carry on.” – Although not verbatim, Coulson’s speech in Agents of SHIELD‘s 100th episode includes the line, “There’s an idea, a symbol that must continue no matter what. A SHIELD.“
- “Ghost Rider… Take the deal, I’m dead anyway.” – A callback to the deal Coulson made with Ghost Rider. In exchange for removing the Kree science that kept Coulson alive from his Loki wound, the Agent briefly gained the Ghost Rider’s power. He spent season 5 slowly dying from it.
As well as catching LMD Coulson up on the past 2 years, this verbal flashback sequence provides viewers with a quick recap before Agents of SHIELD season 7 kicks off proper in 1930s New York. More than just a handy reminder, however, Coulson’s rambling begins Agents of SHIELD‘s final season on the perfect note by showing how far the characters have come (and how much they’ve suffered) over the past few seasons. With its time-twisting plot, season 7 looks to be a love letter to all things SHIELD, and this trip down random access memory lane is the perfect appetizer for that.
Agents of SHIELD season 7 continues with “Know Your Onions” June 3rd on ABC.