In the 6 month leap into the future at the end of the final episode, Coulson and Mac refer to "the Director". Both of them have BEEN the Director of S.H.E.I.L.D. (Mac temporarily), so who is this "Directory"?
As I see it, it has to be someone we already know. I don't see them pulling someone new out of the air, and having that person be called "the Directory", and not "Director ________" by these two S.H.E.I.L.D. lifers. As I see it, the options include:
Nick Fury – In comic book land, this is the most obvious choice. However, no way Samuel L. Jackson does more than a cameo or two a season, like in season 1.
Agent Melinda May – She's Coulson's ex-partner and his work wife. I don't see her taking the position of his boss. But Ming-Na Wen could really put some spice into the role.
Maria Hill – This one I think has pretty decent odds of happening. Colbie Smulders has done a few movies, but isn't too over booked that she couldn't fit in routine guest appearances on the show. And in the comics, she has been a Director or S.H.E.I.L.D. And she's been working for Stark since the fall of S.H.E.I.L.D., and now with Stark being the red and golden boy of the UN, getting her to take over S.H.E.I.L.D. isn't a stretch.
General Talbot – As demonstrated this season, he's not much into the spy game, but he's a show regular guest star. And it's not like Adrian Pasdar has a lot going on, either. But, technically, he reports to Coulson now, would they flip that relationship (why not)? But would Coulson call him "The Director" so easily? He still calls Daisy "Skye", so why would he not call him "Director Talbot" or "
Gen – Directory Talbot"?
Tony Stark – As with Nick Fury, this would fit the current MCU storyline, and he has been a director in the comics. But no way Robert Downey Jr. does TV.
Steve Rogers – Another former Director from the comics, but doesn't fit with the current MCU narrative of Cap being on the run, and maybe being a bit of a NOMAD. And like the other big hitters on the list, Chris Evans is priced out of the role.
Dum Dum Dugan – Former Director from the comics. They could use the "Infinity Formula" from the comics to bring him from WWII to the current. Unfortunately actor Neal McDonough is tied up doing DC's "Arrow" and "Legends of Tomorrow".
Sharon Carter – Another Former Directory from the comics. In the current MCU, she's in the CIA and smooching Cap. Probably too young to ascend to the position. Emily VanCamp has primarily done TV series work, so that would work in her favor.
Peggy Carter – Well, she's dead. And Hayley Atwell has another commitment to an ABC show, "Conviction". Not much of a chance here, but this is Marvel, so Peggy could use "Zero Matter" to time travel to the current? As a founder of S.H.E.I.L.D. she has the chops and would have instant respect and credibility with Mac & Coulson. If not for "Conviction", I would actually give this a decent chance of happening.
Daisy Johnson – Another former Director in the comics. But too young, too inexperienced, and given that they were tracking her down, nope.
Norman Osbourn – Yes, the Green Goblin was once a Director of S.H.E.I.L.D. While Marvel & Sony have some sharing agreement on Spider-Man, no way Marvel is getting its hands on the character. And, I'm not sure they need that kind of mess in the show.
Clay Quartermain – Never a Director, but still a high ranking agent within S.H.I.E.L.D., Clay Quartermain was apparently killed by a LMD, and replaced by an LMD. With LMDs being teased in the 6 month fast forward, Clay does make sense for season 4.
Other Former Directors You've Never Heard of: G.W. Bridge, Colonel Rick Stoner, & Capt. Jacob "Ski" Strzeszewski – Who?
My guess is Talbot, but I really don't think just flipping the roles of him and Coulson is very compelling for the story. Kind of lazy writing. I really am hoping for Maria (Colbie Smulders) Hill. I think there are much better story arcs to be found by putting Hill in the Director's chair.