Near the end of last week’s episode of Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., which aired the same Friday that Avengers: Infinity War was opening at the box office, a character briefly alluded to the “weird stuff happening in New York,” referencing the giant ship that appeared in the sky containing Thanos’ servants and the subsequent battle. This week, the episode “The One Who Will Save Us All” comes right out and says it: Thanos is attacking the earth.
However, it’s a bit of a cheat. See, the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are currently in an underground facility called the Lighthouse, and the entire grounds, along with the small town under which it sits, have been cut off from the rest of the world. So nobody knows anything about the battle in Manhattan that ends with Tony Stark and Peter Parker hitching a ride on the spaceship. The sole person who learns about Thanos is General Glenn Talbot, who is told about the Titan’s invasion only because the aliens he’s currently ensconced with (oh, Talbot has traveled to a distant ship far from earth) are trying to trick him into going through with a potentially world-destroying plan they hope will bring them more of a super-powered element, gravitonium, hidden deep in the planet. Or so they say—they might just be hoping Talbot and the other humans die, leaving them free to plunder our resources at will.
So while the show has acknowledged that Thanos is attacking the earth, meaning everyone in the MCU, TV shows included, should ostensibly be aware of what’s happening, we don’t yet know if they’re also going to follow through on having approximately half the cast be obliterated before the end of the season. The timetable suggests that in either the penultimate episode or season finale, that would take place—but that would mean next season (assuming there is one) would take place completely without those cast members, given it will fall in between the two Avengers films. That would be a strange situation, indeed; however, this is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Far stranger things have happened. We’ll know soon enough.