Last night's episode of ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.LD. saw the titular heroes attempting to safely dispose of a dangerous piece of alien technology. But it was a scene that took place after the episode ended that got fans talking.
In a heavily teased (and poorly disguised) "surprise cameo," Samuel L. Jackson reprised his role as Nick Fury — a character who has appeared in everything from Iron Man to Thor to The Avengers — for the first time on the small screen.
The brief scene featured Fury berating series protagonist Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) for allowing a S.H.I.E.L.D. jet to be destroyed in the course of a mission. "Really, Coulson, six days? It only took you six days to take a piece of completely renovated, state-of-the-art machinery and turn it into scrap?" Fury said, lamenting the loss of the jet's "nice bar" and threatening to "downgrade [Coulson's] ass to a Winnebago."
Like several of Marvel's recent post-credits sequences, the cameo is less about advancing the plot and more about making a joke. But as Agents of S.H.I.E.LD. continues to forge its identity, it's obvious that the show's creative team is working hard to strengthen the TV show's ties to the rest of Marvel's larger cinematic universe. If the show's ratings dip, don't be too surprised if one of the Avengers makes a "surprise appearance."