So it’s official.

“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is ending after season seven.

I mean, I figured – I work in TV. I know how to spot the signs. And I’m immensely grateful to have gotten past that emotional but “felt oh so final” finale of Season five when I thought it really was “The End” and gotten more time with my favorite crew of government secret agents.

The good news – we’re still three episodes away from the end of season six – and we don’t officially lose our Agents until next year when the final season airs.

But for the men and women who have made this show day in and day out for seven seasons – the end is coming soon. They’re filming their final episode. And then it’ll be time to say goodbye.

So first, I just wanted to say this…

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was not a true believer as I freely admit (mostly because my friends know and will call me on it if I try to front). Despite the involvement of writers I respected and talent I adored (have you seen me swoon over Ming-Na Wen? Because it happens – a lot)… I wasn’t sure I believed this new “Marvel TV” experiment would work. But I really wanted it to. And then I didn’t love it. Not at first. And I walked away like so many other frustrated viewers.

But then a few good friends of mine (take your fanboy bows here, Steve and Phil) convinced me to try again. “Just start with episode 13. If you have questions, we’ll fill you in. But I really think you’ll love it now.”

So I watched episode 1×13.

AND IT WAS OVER.

Melinda May being a total badass, making moon eyes at Phil Coulson? Fitz and Simmons suddenly more than the baby agents I wasn’t sure I loved early on? The cool twisty villain turns I’d craved?

Yep, I was hooked. It was all over.

By then the big OMGWHAT episode that followed “Captain America: Winter Soldier” had aired, so I watched all the available eps on demand. And that was that.

I was in. Thrilled beyond belief that Ward was a bad guy (because he was way more fun as a bad guy,) loving Skye growing up into a more mature young woman because she finally had a family. And did I mention the Coulson and May heart eyes, because… WHAT?!

After that, my love was true and unshakeable. People love to tease me about how much I love this show, and my response to the naysayers is: “I’m sorry. It’s not my fault you don’t know what’s good.”

And the cast just kept winning with great adds… Adrianne Palicki, BJ Britt, Henry Simmons (DO YOU SEE MY HEART EYES RIGHT NOW?!), Nick Blood, Blair Underwood (HEART EYES, AGAIN!) Jason O’Mara (MORE HEART EYES)… I mean, it just goes on and on, and they’ve all been so great.

And if you heard a very loud, joyful, ridiculously gleeful scream when Mike Peterson hero strolled onto the base in the 100th episode – that was DEFINITELY me.

Not that this show hasn’t routinely ripped my heart out. Oh, so many times… but in all the best ways. Even just recently, when Daisy (formerly Skye for those who don’t keep up and missed the name change) ran over and grabbed Melinda May’s hand when they thought they might die? I mean… I am powerless not to feel my heart swell at that mother/daughter moment?! (And May is 100% her mom. I don’t care who gave birth to her, okay?!)

It has always peeved me a bit that somehow the remarkably stunning diversity of this show has gotten the short shrift in the media. The theme of the show has always felt, to me, that “anyone in the world can be a hero” and they’ve reflected that in their choices of heroes: men and women of all ages, women of color, men of color, a gay inhuman with badass powers… and the stories about people who feel the need to attack “others” have always reflected the moral fiber of the Marvel universe to perfection: we protect the “others” because we are all living beings and we deserve to be treated the same.

Also… this show gave me Melinda May to admire – someone who’d been through unspeakable tragedy and yet opened herself up to loving this crazy, mixed-up family she put together to protect Coulson. (P.S. — a testament to the little things, when “Nat” showed up on Melinda May’s call history? Fangirl freakout: May and Black Widow are friends!)

And it gave me a host of flawed, all-too-human heroic beings who sometimes failed — and worse, sometimes gave into their worst instincts – only to find their way back to the person they wanted to be and the family they couldn’t leave behind.

And maybe, emotionally, more than anything, I want to thank AOS for always bringing that same beautiful theme that made me fall in love with the Marvel MCU, starting with “Ironman”: no matter its problems, the world is worth saving.

But maybe most importantly, I need to thank AOS for teaching this then baby writer how to enjoy the ride. The writers, producers, cast, and crew have been incredibly generous with their time on social media, at conventions, and anytime I have encountered them in public. They have shared the love and fun they had making their show with all of us who enjoyed watching it – and that is a lesson I take with me into a future without this group cracking wise on Twitter and making me laugh on Instagram.

When Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiered, no one knew if Marvel TV would be a thing that made it and lasted. And someone had to go first – so also, I thank them for being the start of something that led me to “Cloak & Dagger” and one of the best jobs any nerdgirl fangirl writer could ever ask for. I got a piece of that joyous work experience on our show, and I treasure it like a gift someone picked out especially for me.

So THANK YOU – to everyone who has written words, marked marks, set up cameras, fed the set, hung lights, ran errands, edited footage, killed it on the special effects, figured out how to blow things up on a network budget, touched up make up, fixed some hair, designed a costume, dressed a set, dreamed up a set… and on and on and on.

Your work was loved. You will be missed. And I hope your AOS memories are wonderful for a lifetime.

<lifts a shot glass to you all>

SHIELD