Despite what people on the internet (who won’t watch the show) want to believe, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has always been set in the MCU with the Agents dealing with things that tie into the movies. The final season of the show began on ABC last night, and this season is looking like it’s going to be a wild ride through the history of the MCU; starting in 1931 New York.
The Agents arrive about a decade before the SSR was formed, so they don’t know exactly what they’re looking to prevent the Chronicoms from doing. While they at first think it’s to save the formation of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the past, they quickly realize they have to save Hydra as without Hydra there’s no S.H.I.E.L.D..
The episode features a couple of nods to past MCU films, beginning with Age of Ultron where the Zephyr has an updated version of the medical table that repaired Hawkeye in Age of Ultron and Enoch was using it to mend May:
Towards the end of the episode we see some serum vials, the promo for the next episode in the series confirm that these are indeed the Hydra serum vials that are used to create the Red Skull:
Finally a lot of fans noticed the codeword for the proto-SSR speakeasy being “Swordfish” and some are thinking that’s a reference to S.W.O.R.D. in the MCU. Possibly Nick Fury using his knowledge of the history of S.H.I.E.L.D. to name the new agency S.W.O.R.D.. That’s a real cool theory, but right now it’s just that; a theory.