Between last season and this, it feels like the show’s writers/creators are just rebelling in a “malicious compliance” kind of way against the restrictions placed on them by the movie studios.
When all of this started, the most exciting thing to me about it was the crossovers, the interlinking between the movie universe and the TV show. That’s never really been done before, and that made the concept behind the show so much more exciting than any standalone project. We all knew we weren’t going to have Downey or one of the Chrises on the show every week, but it was awesome to have references and tie-ins when we did have them. That excitement faded as subsequent seasons had less and less relevance to the ongoing movie universe. Too bad.
The more recent seasons have been downright hamstrung by not being allowed to reference the movieverse, or really do or say anything of any potential relevance to the movieverse. I feel like the show is being forced into this hermetically sealed bubble where it is prevented from connecting in any way to its own universe.
Hence last season’s “it was all just a dream” holodeck bullshit, and this season’s “none of this even matters” ultimate, and unavoidable, time-loop resolution to the storyline.
I mean, I’ll still watch, of course. Coulson is cool, and Daisy’s hot, and FitzSimmons is interesting, and May is all of the above. So it’s still entertaining enough not to fall completely off the list of things to watch. But, look, any fan of tv and movie scifi has long grown used to disappointment, but still. It kinda hurts to see “what if” become “what could have been”.