Next week the fourth season of ABC’s Marvel Cinematic Universe series “Agents of SHIELD” rolls into its big finale. Its 21st episode “The Return” finds the embattled team of Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) racing against the clock to prevent a very angry artificial being from using an unholy blend of technology and mysticism to overwrite the very reality of the world.

The final episode “World’s End” appears to be intent on resolving a lot of story threads from the series, which is somewhat telling. Until recently the lack of word from ABC regarding the renewal of certain series in its lineup has left the question of whether or not “Agents of SHIELD” will come to an end like its two-season spinoff “Agent Carter”, but now MCU TV fans can rest easy with the latest news: it has been renewed.

SHIELD is still on

One of the series show-runners, Maurissa Tancharoen, first broke the news on Twitter during the evening of Thursday, May 11. The tweet read “Season Five. Go, team. #AgentsofSHIELD” but was deleted shortly, apparently to avoid spoilers. It was a moot point, however, when ABC made an advance announcement of series in their lineup that will be renewed for another season.

Agents of SHIELD” therefore joins the ranks of “Scandal,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Middle” and “How to Get Away With Murder” that will carry on with the network, though for “Scandal” it will be the last time.

This is big news for other co-show-runner Jed Whedon, who was actually hopeful that the show would get a Season 5 to continue its story. Ratings have shown a gradual decline in viewership for “Agents of SHIELD” ever since its debut back in 2013.

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Nonetheless, its performance is decent enough to warrant an extension of its run. This is fortuitous since a new Marvel superhero series, “Inhumans,” will be joining it on the ABC lineup, making the network a prominent component of the greater MCU.

‘Agents of HYDRA’ wrap-up

The last few episodes of ‘Agents of SHIELD’ season 4 saw Phil Coulson’s team trapped in the virtual world simulation called the Framework, empowered by the magical Darkhold and simulating an alternate reality of the Marvel Cinematic Universe wherein the sinister society of HYDRA rules all.

Against the odds, the Coulson and his SHIELD team managed to return to reality, though with significant losses. But now they confront the truly sapient life-model decoy (LMD) android named Aida/Ophelia, who plans to use the Darkhold in order to replace the current reality with the one from the Framework.

The return of an old ally in Robbie Reyes/Ghost Rider (Gabriel Luna) may give them a chance to prevail, however. “Agents of SHIELD” season 4 finale “World’s End” airs on ABC May 16.