Agents of Shield season 7 premiere reveals the secret impact Coulson has on the entire MCU

Agents of Shield season 7
(Image credit: ABC/Marvel)

Agents of Shield season 7 – its final season – was always going to go out with a bang. What we didn’t expect, however, was just how much time travel meddling LMD Coulson and the gang would be doing, including one moment that has far-reaching consequences for the rest of the MCU.

Stuck in 1930s New York, LMD (Life Model Decoy, it’s a long story) Coulson and his fellow Agents of Shield end up infiltrating a party targeted by the Chronicoms (H/T Digital Spy).

While at first it seems the era-spanning beings have the future President Roosevelt (who goes on to form Shield) in their sights, it turns out that they want to assassinate a barman called Freddy.

But he’s not just a plain old barman. He’s Freddy Malick, father of Gideon Malick (Powers Boothe), who appears as a member of the World Security Council during 2012’s Avengers and is later revealed to be the head of modern-day Hydra in Agents of Shield.

Yet, Coulson and the crew now have to protect him. Without Freddy, Hydra doesn’t get to operate in the shadowy fringes of the MCU. And while that may sounds like a good thing – no Hydra equals no Shield. So, in a bizarre twist of fate, it falls on the Agents of Shield to stop any harm from coming to Malick.

In effect, without these time-travel shenanigans, multiple major events in the MCU would never happen: from Captain America and the Winter Soldier bringing Hydra into the spotlight and the downfall of Shield to the likes of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch harnessing their powers through Hydra experimentation. Without Coulson and the team, then, the MCU would be completely different. 

Pro tip: time travel = bad. Agents of Shield season 7 has begun on ABC. Check out our other MCU coverage below.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.