While it's played for emotion rather than plot, it seems as though S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Phil Coulson knows that he's being lied to, and that he wasn't dead for just the eight seconds that Maria Hill and others referred to in the series pilot.
In a new clip from Tuesday's episode, titled "F.Z.Z.T.," Coulson says as much to a man who is, apparently, having trouble dealing with his own mortality.
Sitting across the table from the man, Coulson tells him that he understands what the man is dealing with--that "I got hurt once, pretty bad--and I died. Some say it was only for eight seconds but I know it was more than that. I know I wasn't here anymore. I was there....It's beautiful."
Following the events of Marvel's The Avengers, many fans suspected that we might see Coulson back, either as a Life Model Decoy (or as the actual Coulson, with the one killed having turned out to be an LMD), as The Vision or in some other clever, comic-booky way. It's still not clear how he made his way back but now we're sure that not only do fans know there's something up--and everyone at S.H.I.E.L.D. knows there's more to it than we're being told...but Coulson suspects as much, too.
So, why does he seem to be okay with that? Why doesn't he mind the fact that they told him it was only eight seconds and took him away from someplace "beautiful" to gather a team of misfits and chase the MacGuffins of the Marvel Universe around? Time will tell...!
Check out the preview below.