The agency is closing for good.

After what will ultimately be seven seasons and 136 episodes, Marvel is ending Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., its first and flagship MCU TV series. The show has aired on ABC since the fall of 2013 and now will end following a final seventh season of 13 episodes, that will premiere next year.

In an interview with Deadline, Marvel TV chief Jeph Loeb explained why the show is coming to a close now:

The simplest answer is so that we can end on our terms, really. How many shows do you know that just suddenly ended, and you feel like, but wait a minute, there was more. Yes, in the chronology of this is we thought Season 5 was the end. If you go back and you look at the end of that season, it is written that way. Actually, the last episode of that season is called “The End.” Honestly, we thought we were turning out the lights and going home when we got a call from ABC that said, the material is so strong, do you think you have another season, do you think you have another 13 because we sort of like this idea of doing it again.

S.H.I.E.L.D. was very nearly canceled after Season 5, and that year’s finale was treated by those involved as a de facto series conclusion. But ABC did ultimately decide to bring the show back for Season 6, and now for one final batch of episodes.

Although initially heralded as the key TV component of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where events that played out on the big screen would be explored from a different perspective, S.H.I.E.L.D. has in recent years mostly done its own thing and ignored the events of the Marvel movies. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 6 continues through the summer; the season finale will air on August 2, 2019.

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