Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Hints at Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5

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Last week’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season finale certainly ended on a few twists and surprises as it wrapped up the Darkhold, LMD, and Framework storylines in a rather satisfying manner.  However, now that season 4 is over, there’s no time like the present to start thinking about season 5, which they announced just in time for the season finale.

There are a couple tidbits from the season finale which hint at what is in store in season 5, but let’s start off by talking about the things which we absolutely know for certain.  Ready?

Season 5 will have 22 episodes starting in January 2018 and airing without breaks (we will talk a little more about that next week, but for now we will leave it alone).

With that out of the way, let’s talk about the hints in the season finale and what we can infer from them.

Obviously, there will be spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the season finale, GO WATCH IT, ALREADY!

Ghost Rider

The Whedons have indicated that Robbie Reyes will be back and ghosting it up for season 5.  This, in addition to the undisclosed “bargain” that Coulson made with the Spirit of Vengeance in order to defeat AIDA suggest that magic will play a fairly significant role in season 5.  I expect the role of magic from seasons 4 to 5 to be similar to that of the Inhumans from seasons 2 to 3:  the Inhumans were a surprise revelation that the characters had to figure out in season 2, but then in season 3 Inhumans were taken as a given and a commonly-used element.  I do not expect a ton of additional magic users next season, but at least 1 or 2, in addition to Ghost Rider.

I have stated this before, but the magical character I most expect to see in season 5 is Sebastian Druid, who is a member of the Secret Warriors in the comics.  If the Secret Warriors roster expands next season, I think Druid is the first one they should call on.  Another option for a magical character would be to introduce another Inhuman whose ability allows him/her to tap into interdimensional powers (like the Russian Inhuman assassin who could tap into the Darkforce last season).

I also suspect that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will have an opportunity to explore magical lore much more moving forward.  After all, Robbie already expanded magic significantly by opening a portal in the same way that Doctor Strange does—but using his chain instead of a sling ring.

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This is the most obvious hint that we were given:  Coulson (at least) ended the season on a spaceship traveling through (what is presumably) the asteroid belt.  Jed Whedon has even stated that this will not be a misdirect; Coulson really is going to start season 5 in space.  However, this is all that we know.

For now we do not know if Coulson is the only member of the team who was taken into space, but either option (either Coulson or the entire team) is a possibility.  Regardless, I don’t think it changes my thoughts too much whether or not Coulson is the only team member in space.

I do not expect the entire season to take place in space.  I do not even necessarily expect more than a single episode to take place exclusively (or even primarily) in space.  However, the more of the season takes place in space, the larger the potential tie-in/crossover with Avengers: Infinity War I expect there to be.  If they are only in space for an episode or two, I doubt that this space-based plot will offer much direct tie-in to Avengers: Infinity War.  If they spend more than six or so episodes in space, I expect the team to return to Earth with knowledge of a pretty imminent threat from a big purple guy who likes accessorizing, sitting on space-thrones, and grinning.

The fact that Coulson (at least) is in space does lead me to suspect that S.W.O.R.D. will play a role in the season—either that Coulson will return to Earth and found S.W.O.R.D., or that Coulson is already secretly involved with S.W.O.R.D.  Considering that the season 1 finale (remember that?) actually implied that S.H.I.E.L.D. has spacecraft (since the Bus’ lab module is compatible with them), it is entirely conceivable that S.H.I.E.L.D. already had a space division all the way back then.

There have been some indications that Inhumans will begin with Attilan off-Earth, so there may be some crossover-potential there between Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Inhumans in space.

One final thought on space:  aliens have already factored into S.H.I.E.L.D. a number of times, but a space-based episode or series of episodes leads me to believe that aliens are on their way to becoming a regular part of the series’ landscape.


So there are my thoughts on what season 5 could bring based on the little clues from the season 4 finale.  Obviously I have a whole lot more thoughts on season 5, but I will save them for next week’s article, in which I will pitch my thoughts for season 5.

Of these two hints—Ghost Rider and space—I am excited about both of them, but for different reasons.  I am excited to see more of Ghost Rider and magic because of its potential for expanding the scope of this series into a new realm.  I am excited about space because of the many options this offers for a tie-in to Avengers: Infinity War.  We will certainly learn more about all of this as the summer progresses, and we will probably find out a ton in the fall and winter, perhaps even in connection with Inhumans.

I’m just excited to see where this is going to go!

What are your thoughts on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5?  What do you want to see in it?  Let me know in the comments!

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