In the Season 3 finale of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fans got a look ahead to the next season. One of the more shocking things shown was that Coulson was no longer the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Here are some potential candidates for who the next Director might be.
Note: This article contains spoilers from Captian America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Nick Fury was the former Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. until he faked his death in Captain America: The Winter Soldier during the “HYDRA Uprising.” After that, he went deep underground to begin rooting out the forces of HYDRA. He joined Phil Coulson and his team to help them defeat John Garrett. After that, he made Coulson the new Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and left to continue his mission. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, he helped the Avengers fight Ultron’s army with a Helicarrier. We saw Coulson was the one who repaired that same Helicarrier. So how could Fury get that Helicarrier without still having ties to S.H.I.E.L.D.? He still has ties to S.H.I.E.LD. and the Avengers, is one the few people Coulson trusts, and has former experience — he could easily be the next Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Maria Hill was the Deputy Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. until the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. During her time at S.H.I.E.L.D., she accomplished many things that included helping the Avengers and bringing Coulson back to life and assembling Coulson’s team. Hill worked with Fury one more time, by assisting him and the Avengers in their battle to stop Ultron and his robot army. Following the battle, Hill was present at the New Avengers Facility, coordinating the efforts of the Avengers’ new incarnation — but that doesn’t mean she stayed there. She could have gone back to S.H.I.E.L.D. to become the Director.
Glenn Talbot has had a rocky relationship with S.H.I.E.L.D. When HYDRA revealed its existence inside S.H.I.E.L.D. to the world, Talbot, and his men led the main attack of the United States military on S.H.I.E.L.D., which was quickly declared a terrorist organization. He tried many things to take S.H.I.E.L.D. until Coulson proved himself in Talbot’s eyes. Talbot then accepted S.H.I.E.L.D. as an ally and helped them in the War on HYDRA. Three months after the Attack on the HYDRA Castle, President Matthew Ellis put Talbot in charge of the Advanced Threat Containment Unit (ATCU). Even though he helped Coulson finally defeat HYDRA after the events of Captain America: Civil War, he got Coulson to show him any enhanced soldiers he had at the Playground. Although Talbot may not have the best relationship with S.H.I.E.L.D., he does have great leadership skills. That and the fact that he works with President Ellis could very mean he’s the next Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Nicknamed “The Cavalry,” Melinda May is a veteran pilot and soldier with years of experience — and she’s a good friend of Phil Coulson. She withdrew from field duty after an incident in Manama, Bahrain, which left her mentally damaged. Fury pulled her back into the field when he asked to her to secretly assemble a team for Coulson and to monitor his recovery process. She worked with them on all their missions until the “HYDRA Uprising” revealed her true role on the team, leading to a rift. After that, she helped the team stop John Garrett and went with the team to the Playground to help restart S.H.I.E.L.D., under newly promoted Director Coulson. As Coulson’s unofficial deputy, May helped Coulson in fighting the forces of HYDRA led by Daniel Whitehall and dealing with Coulson’s growing obsession with the alien writing. She worked with him and his team until she retired from S.H.I.E.L.D. for a short time to be with her ex-husband, Andrew Garner. However, she returned to the field to kill Grant Ward once and for all and later to stop Gideon Malick and Hive. She has experience and is also the only member of Coulson’s team that we didn’t see in the look ahead (we see Coulson and Mack tracking Quake, and Radcliffe mentioned Agents Fitz and Simmons), so she may just be the next Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.
These are just some people who could be the next Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. There are, of course, many other people who are contenders, and it could even be a new character. We’ll find out next season on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.