by Alex Zalben
It was kind of the worst kept secret on TV, but in case you didn't hear the news: Samuel Jackson's Nick Fury showed up in the quasi-post-credit sequence of last night's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." By all accounts, that's a few months earlier than anyone was expecting, as we all intuited that one of the movie's stars would wait to show up during Sweeps Week. But with Cobie Smulders' Maria Hill in episode one, and Fury in episode two, as Agent Coulson would say, "It's a brave new world."
With that in mind, and the possibility that every episode of "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." will have a post-credits sequence, here's speculation as to what could be coming up next:
Yeah, this is the obvious one, but we're going to see Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and maybe even Scarlett Johansson show up sooner or later, right? And what of Jeremy Renner, the forgotten Avenger? Given their busy schedules, we can't pin down exactly when they'll show up, but at least RDJ seems game for anything.
Erik Selvig & Friends
This would be a weirder choice, but seems even more likely than the Avengers. We don't think fans would lose their minds for a Stellan Skarsgard appearance, but with twenty-two episodes a season, you can't have Sam Jackson showing up every week. Sometimes it might be fellow "Thor" alum Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings), or "Captain America: The Winter Soldier's" Agent 13 (Emily VanCamp), or any of the other ancillary characters who have shown up in Marvel movies. Speaking of which...
Follow The Leader
Could "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." pick up on forgotten movie storylines, like Tim Blake Nelson becoming the villainous leader at the end of "The Incredible Hulk"? We've already had a leftover plotline from "Iron Man 3," and one that ties into "Captain America" and HYDRA. Why not follow up on the biggest leftover of them all—particularly considering there's no new Hulk movie on the dockets for a good long while.
Red Skies At Night
Sure, Red Skies events—where bad things happen in a main event comic, and characters in other books only comment on them rather than getting involved, and that's your tie-in—are the domain of DC Comics. But that doesn't mean "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." isn't in a unique and nearly unprecedented position to tie into theatrical movies on TV. Six or seven episodes into its run, "S.H.I.E.L.D." will run smack-dab into the November 8th premiere of "mtv.com/movies/movie/484705/moviemain.jhtml">Thor: The Dark World."
As mentioned, they've already shown willingness to reference the events of the movies on multiple occasions, so given the intense coordination in Marvel Studios, why couldn't Grant Ward and his buddies get involved the events of "The Dark World"? We're not saying they need to meet the main characters, but having a mission in London capsized by the Dark Elf invasion, or even just watching the news from across the world would send a little chill down any self respecting Marvel fan's spine.
Marvel swore up and down that S.H.I.E.L.D. wouldn't lead into the events of "Avengers: Age of Ultron." They also said not to expect any big cameos for a while, as the show forged its own identity. Liar, liar, pants on fire. If 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' gets a second season order, we'll be less than shocked to see the TV show leading right into the sure to be blockbuster sequel.
Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Last, but certainly not least: could we see Sam Jackson join the cast permanently? Or at least on a recurring basis? Smart money has said that Cobie Smulders will most likely move over to S.H.I.E.L.D. once she's done with "How I Met Your Mother" later this year, but what about ol' eyepatch himself? Given Jackson's less than constant movie output lately, and willingness to do everything from cameos to funny internet videos, we'd say this is more likely than you might expect.
What do you think is going to show up on "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." next? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter!