Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD has left fans scratching their heads throughout season seven over the sudden absence of Leopold Fitz (Iain de Caestecker), who was missing throughout the show’s final series.
Thankfully, the superhero series managed to patch up any confusion story-wise in Agents of SHIELD’s final episode, and even solved an Avengers: Endgame plot hole involving Captain America by bringing Fitz back for the very last instalment.
However, for those wondering why de Caestecker was missing for the majority of season seven, the series’ show runners have finally spoken out.
Speaking to TV Line this week, Jed Whedon said that “some choices aren’t made by us” but by actors, adding: “So we did what we could, and we tried to make it rewarding with the pieces [we were given]. Sometimes it’s 3D chess.”
Co-showrunner Maurissa Tancharoen also said: “To be clear, Iain is an exceptionally talented actor and one of our dearest friends. It was just it was time for him to go [and] explore new things.”
“[T]o make the reward of him missing for so long pay off… the only way that we could think is a super-happy ending,” Whedon said. “And also, for him, he actually hadn’t missed anything. That was how we answered that in our minds, and on the show.”
Series seven saw the SHIELD team travel back through time, but in the process, they managed to create a new timeline in which Fitz was missing.
However, in the final episode, Fitz appears to explain that he remained in the present-date timeline when the other SHIELD members went back in time but discovered that by using the Quantum Realm, he could travel between timelines – making it possible for him to travel to the new timeline where the team now existed as long as something linked the two timeline.
Not only did this plot device solve the problem of the missing Fitz, but it also filled in a plot hole left by Avengers: Endgame, which came out in cinemas last year.
At the end of Endgame, we see Captain America (Chris Evans) return the Infinity Stones to their original place back in time, which resulted in him growing old with Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell). However, time travel rules within the Marvel Universe have previously stated that you can set up a new timeline but you cannot move between timelines.
Thanks to Agents of SHIELD, we finally have an answer as to why Cap could live out a nice life with Peggy in the new timeline before travelling back to the main MCU timeline – they were linked by the Avengers that Cap had a connection with and he used the Quantum Realm to move between the two.
Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, which focussed on the spy agency set in a world of Marvel superheroes, came to an end after seven years on ABC.