Every longtime fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will remember the moment in Marvel's The Avengers when SHIELD Agent Phil Coulson, the glue that held the Phase One Marvel movies together, died.
And then he got better.
Coulson was resurrected and Clark Gregg called upon to reprise his role when ABC and Marvel Television ordered Marvel's Agents of SHIELD. Coulson has continued to keep the Marvel Cinematic Universe safe from threats not quite large enough to show up on Avengers radar through four seasons. And yet the Avengers, the very group Coulson's death helped inspire to action, are unaware that their friend still lives.
ComicBook.com caught up with Gregg and asked him if there's any chance, especially with both Avengers: Infinity War and the 100th episode of Agents of SHIELD on the horizon, that the Avengers could learn that Coulson is still alive.
"It is an ever-present theme," Gregg says. "It's really touching to me how much the fans stay obsessed with the idea of when the Avengers are going to learn Coulson's alive. It's something that...I don't know, I find that so touching! I think the Avengers have moved on, they're busy.
"But also I think it's a great credit to the show and the characters and the actors who brought these characters to life and to our production team, to Mark Kolpack's visual effects and to the great writing of our writers, Jed [Whedon], Mo [Tancharoen] and Jeff [Bell], because I think there's a growing number of people who kind of feel like this feels like a part of that bigger world and they want to see the various worlds – whether it's the incredible Netflix world of New York, they just want at some point feel that this is one big story, which I still believe it is. And you know, when the time is right, who knows?"
That's rather non-commital, but "Who knows?" is a is something, especially after Marvel Television head Jeph Loeb teased something eventful in store for episode number 100.
Marvel's Agents of SHIELD returns with a two-hour season five premiere on Friday, December 1st at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Additional reporting by Scott Huver