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The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season finale has had a little over a week to digest, and I think it’s about time to start looking ahead! There’s another season coming up in the fall! What all can we determine about season 3 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. at this early stage? Not a lot, but there are a few things we can speculate on after the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 2 finale. Let’s take a look.
First, here is the synopsis they released for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 3:
Director Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) embarks on a deadly new secret mission to protect the world from new threats in the wake of SHIELD’s wars with Hydra and a rogue faction of Inhumans.
Returning “SHIELD” cast members include Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson, Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May, Brett Dalton as Grant Ward, Chloe Bennet as Skye, Iain De Caestecker as Leo Fitz, Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmons, Nick Blood as Lance Hunter and Adrianne Palicki as Bobbi Morse.
“Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” will keep its 9 p.m. Tuesday night time slot in the fall. “Agent Carter” will again fill in “SHIELD’s” midseason hiatus in the same time slot.
Warning: There are going to be spoilers for the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 2 finale (obviously).
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Where do we start with Coulson? To begin with, in the final fight he caught a Diviner-metal-infused Terrigen Crystal (I’m just going to call them “synthetic Terrigen Crystals” from now on. Good? Good.) to keep it from breaking and killing all the humans on the ship. Because he touched it, his hand started turning to stone—settling once and for all the question of whether a Kree blood injection means that Terrigen Mist will affect him. However, before it could spread past his elbow Mack chopped his forearm off with a giant fireman’s axe. Now, Coulson is missing his left arm. However, he told Andrew that he is looking at some options. What might those options be? The most obvious might be for Fitz to design him a tricked-out arm with weapons and the like (maybe a cappuccino maker?). However, Tony Stark is another possibility. And there’s always the dreaded “third option”: Someone we haven’t met yet. Either way, my guess is that he will wind up with a cybernetic of some variety. However, could he try to regrow it with lizard juice and become the MCU version of The Lizard? How’s that for a twist!
The second key for Coulson going into season 3 is that he is now the undisputed head of S.H.I.E.L.D., with Gonzales’ people working for him. S.H.I.E.L.D. is definitely going to be reeling from the deaths of two Board members, but Coulson is already busy rebuilding. Among other things, he showed Andrew his blueprints for a new means of transportation (mobile command center?) to replace the Bus. As of now we really don’t know anything more about it, though it looks like it could be another modified quinjet design. I am excited to see what this will be and what new direction it might signal for S.H.I.E.L.D. going forward. However, will Gonzales’ people really merge back into S.H.I.E.L.D. without any issues? Coulson’s views on enhanced people are radically different from those of Gonzales and Weaver; I wonder if Weaver will be able to set aside what an enhanced did to her academy well enough to work with them.
The other piece of Coulson’s plan for rebuilding S.H.I.E.L.D. involves everyone’s favorite Inhuman S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Skye. Coulson has charged Skye with recruiting a team of super-humans—“Caterpillars”—who will work for S.H.I.E.L.D. (as S.H.I.E.L.D. agents?) to deal with threats that regular S.H.I.E.L.D. agents cannot handle. The group is to be “anonymous” in contrast to the publicity that the Avengers receive—perhaps they are even supposed to be “Secret” warriors? Before news of Bobbi and Hunter’s involvement in the spinoff came out, you may remember that this was one of my top 2 choices for an AoS spinoff. And I wonder if that isn’t in the cards for 2016: season 3 will introduce Skye’s team gradually as she recruits them and begins training them, leading to a spinoff which focuses on that team. I would absolutely watch that! There are already some possibilities for team members on the show; I will explore those next week.
Of course, Skye is going to be really busy going forward. According to Raina, Skye is supposed to become the new leader of the Inhumans, leading them in the right path after Jiaying misled them. That is going to be an enormous undertaking, considering the losses that the Inhumans suffered in “S.O.S.”: Jiaying (the old leader), Gordon (the guy who knows where everyone and everything is), and Raina (the one who can see the future) are all dead—or at least presumed dead. Afterlife is inaccessible except by quinjet. If Skye is going to rebuild her Inhuman people, she is going to need a lot of help—help that S.H.I.E.L.D. may be willing and able to provide. And I’m sure S.H.I.E.L.D. will be all too willing to provide that help as soon as they realize what happened to all those synthetic Terrigen Crystals: they dissolved into the ocean and are going to start infecting the earth’s food (and fish oil) supply. I said in my review—and still think it to be the case—that the Diviner metal was left behind when the Crystals dissolved, meaning that the regular humans are probably safe—which is a good thing considering that the Terrigen Mist may now be infused into water itself (which is kind of a problem). However, regardless of whether or not the regular humans can be killed by it, the fact remains: unsuspecting Inhuman Descendants are going to be exposed to Terrigen Crystals and undergo Terrigenesis with little to no preparation and little to no supervision. Whose job will it be to track them down, train them, and teach them? Skye and the Inhumans, of course. Who is going to have a vested interest in seeing to it that they do so? S.H.I.E.L.D., of course. I think this is setting up one of the biggest plots for season 3—and may give us at least one of our main villains for the season.
Speaking of villains, Ward is definitely being set up to continue as a villain—perhaps even the main villain—for season 3. After he was tricked into killing Kara, Ward fell into a depression (as we saw in the bar). However, he has started gathering former Hydra agents and is looking to use them to rebuild Hydra: “I miss having a team around me. I want more names.” Why does he want to do this? I’m not sure if he even knows, but he is going to cause a lot of trouble for Coulson and S.H.I.E.L.D. Could his machinations lead to the rise of Baron Zemo as the next major Hydra leader for Captain America: Civil War? The parallel now between Ward’s decision to rebuild the fallen Hydra from a few agents at the end of season 2, and Coulson’s decision to rebuild the fallen S.H.I.E.L.D. from a few agents at the end of season 1, is absolutely fascinating.
Bobbi and Hunter
Turning back to Coulson’s team, I think Bobbi and Hunter are in the second-most tenuous position: We just can’t tell what’s going to happen with them moving forward. After Bobbi was tortured and took a bullet for Hunter, she nearly died but was saved on the operating table. Incidentally, that event drove May and Simmons to reexamine their own relationships with their sort-of significant others (Andrew and Fitz, respectively). Hunter was absolutely devastated by the near-loss, and refused to leave her side. This gives me the impression that he still cares for her and has finally forgiven her for betraying him. I think the two of them are going to rekindle their relationship going forward.
However, after she woke up, Bobbi said that “I can’t do this anymore”—presumably meaning S.H.I.E.L.D. Does this mean that the two of them will go off together to start over? Are they going to take some time to think things through before eventually deciding to return? About the only thing we can be certain of is that Marvel is not done with these two characters; after all, the reason that the rumored spinoff featuring Bobbi and Hunter was not picked up was because they wanted to keep Bobbi and Hunter as part of the original series. So they are going to be back. The question is: How?
After nearly quitting in “Scars,” (2x20), Mack finally chose at the end of “S.O.S.” to remain with S.H.I.E.L.D. In fact, Coulson even decided to place Mack in charge of all S.H.I.E.L.D.’s alien artifacts so that he can ensure that they are not being misused. As of now, I’m not sure exactly what alien artifacts S.H.I.E.L.D. possesses; the only two that come to mind immediately are the Kree artifact and the synthetic Terrigen Crystal that Coulson caught. Is Mack’s mission to acquire and prevent misuse of alien artifacts going to be a major plot next season? I don’t exactly see it at this point—the season looks like it will already be full of Inhumans and Hydra and more—but it could be an interesting “diversion” from the main plot(s) for a few of the episodes, especially if Ward’s Hydra acquires alien artifacts and attempts to use them.
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Fitz and Simmons
And these would be the two characters in the most tenuous position going into season 3. While Simmons was examining the Kree Doomsday Device, Fitz asked her out to dinner to explore where their relationship might go from here—an invitation which she excitedly accepted. However, Fitz stumbled and accidently unlocked the case holding the Kree Device before leaving to wait for her. Simmons went to shut the case just as the Device turned liquid, pushed the door open, caught her, and sucked her back in before returning to its solid state, leaving the door hanging open. All of this begs the question:
What happened to Simmons????? Simply put, we do not know, and we are probably not going to find out until early in season 3. However, from the Season 3 announcement we know one thing: Elizabeth Henstridge (the actress who plays Simmons) is not gone; she is returning next season. According to the announcement, she is even coming back as Jemma Simmons, so Simmons is probably not dead. There’s going to be something different, but I have only 1 thought for who/what she could be: Carol Danvers, aka Ms. Marvel. How awesome would it be for them to introduce Simmons as Ms. Marvel and then let her transition to the movies (including the Captain Marvel movie)? Do I think that’s going to happen? No; absolutely not. But it would be fun!
There are a lot of things to look for in Season 3 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and unfortunately we will have to wait 4 months to get these answers. Here is a quick rundown of the major ones:
- Coulson’s new arm
- Skye rebuilding the Inhumans and recruiting her Secret Warriors simultaneously
- The “Terrigen Bomb—Fish Oil Version”
- Ward rebuilding Hydra
- Simmons the disappearing scientist
Was there anything you saw pointing to next season that I missed? What are you most looking forward to? How do you think that these plots will be resolved? What do you think they are going to do with Simmons?
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There was only one thing from the AoS season 2 finale that made me think of Agent Carter. Jiaying said that S.H.I.E.L.D. was founded decades ago to protect against "people like us." In Jiaying's mind, "people like us" can only refer to Inhumans; Gordon and Jiaying have made it clear that regular enhanced humans don't count. So does this mean that we are going to see the groundwork for the Inhumans being laid in Agent Carter season 2? Food for thought.
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