How 'Civil War" & 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.' Connect

Once upon a time, S.H.I.E.L.D. was a government agency that deployed and put checks on The Avengers — until Captain America: The Winter Soldier blew that to pieces. That affected Marvel movies and Marvel television going forward, and the latest MCU movie could prove to have similar repercussions.. How does Captain America: Civil War affect Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ?

It's actually not as much as you think — basically just a lot of paperwork. The characters on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. aren't all going to pick sides and hold a Team Cap versus Team Iron Man baseball game or anything, even though that would be awesome. According to Entertainment Weekly, Peggy Carter's death will get a brief mention in the episode, but that's minor. The official ABC press release for Tuesday's episode "Emancipation" (...get it) says that "the aftermath of the events of [the film] force S.H.I.E.L.D. to register the Inhumans."

This is likely referencing the Superhero Registration Act, a part of the Civil War comic arc that didn't make it into the blockbuster film, actually. Why am I not surprised that the Sokovia Accords include lots of clauses, amendments, and fine print that the Avengers don't know about? They clearly need Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson to read through that legalese. Registering super-powered individuals is a big concern for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. due to the influx of Inhumans that they are deal with on their end, and I doubt that many are going to want to comply.

In this clip from the upcoming episode, Adrian Pasdar's character Glenn Talbot explains the new legislation to Coulson and expresses his doubts that Coulson is harboring secret Inhumans — which, of course, he is. It's subtle, but he also chooses a Civl War side in the clip that, if you anything about Phil Coulson, is pretty obvious.

My hope is that this episode addresses whether or not Coulson is allowed to tell the Avengers that he is alive. There's no way that the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. has managed to stay underground for five years, right? It's funny that a character with virtually no powers at all has the secret identity in the MCU.

Other than that, I don't think that this movie is going to affect the series all that much. S.H.I.E.L.D. did not have too much of a presence in Civil War. We didn't even see Maria Hill —though I'm not entirely sure if she's still with Coulson at S.H.I.E.L.D. or with Pepper Potts (don't get me started) at Stark Industries. However, the relationship between the federal government and this secret agency has been a point of conflict this season, and the Sokovia Accords may push that to the breaking point in ways we can't even imagine yet. It's nice to think about Steve Rogers and Phil Coulson being on similar journeys, even if they don't get to see one another anymore.

Image: Kelsey McNeal/ABC