You took a bullet? - Ish
"An Asgardian stabbed me through the heart with a Chitauri sceptre."
Ah, so Coulson *did* get it through his heart. When Fury said Coulson died, I held out hope through the rest of The Avengers, and the end credits, that it was a lie to unite the team. I knew it had to be. I was wrong. The movie was witty, warm, and action-packed, and I left the theater with another favorite, but I still wanted the tragedy to be righted in a subsequent film. Did I wish that The Avengers had been written differently? Absolutely not; it was perfect the way it was. It shocked me, made me feel a loss, and gave the movie more depth and purpose. What I wanted the next chapter to do was to expand on something that wasn't shown. I thought there was room for interpretation and that disbelief in many of us, as I've mentioned before, translated into differing theories, beautiful art, endless tweets, and a world-spanning project. Yes, Coulson is a fictional character, but if you can honestly say that a story has never made you cry then you've been doing it all wrong.
The way I imagined Coulson's return, the second it happened, was that Loki actually missed - by a very small margin. He died but was revived by the medical team through normal means. Or they had more advanced medical tech on board the Helicarrier and were able to save him even if the sceptre hit its mark. Of course, Marvel gives us a world full of superheroes and it was a very serious wound, so they would never let it be that simple. This way the writers get to come up with something more interesting. Now we have a mystery about Coulson's survival. I am kind of dreading what Tahiti really is. Coulson has said "It's a magical place" three times in just two episodes, a trigger response that I hope starts him wondering about why that is, so we may find out sometime in the first season. One thing's for sure, it will likely be emotionally complex, for him and for us. So, whether Coulson was revived by some sort of magic or science so advanced it looks like magic (yes, please), whether he has an artificial heart (it wouldn't feel right and he'd question that immediately, and there'd be no reason to keep that from him), whether he's a clone (acceptable), whether he's a life model decoy (really want him to be human), or whether whatever, I'll still love the character. His cool as a cucumber personality, good heart, and sense of humor have remained intact through his resurrection to television. I'm excited I get to know him better and have Clark Gregg entertain me every week again. It's been too long.
And the guest at the very end of this episode? In the voice of Comic Book Guy: Best. Guest Star. Ever.