Agents of SHIELD is back, and the first episode did not waste any time getting things rolling.
Our season premiere opens with a new Inhuman, Joey Gutierrez, who has suddenly manifested the power to melt metal. His Terrigen “cocoon” can be seen in that opening shot.
This is setting up the major conflict for this season: the emergence of a new wave of Inhumans. In the Season 2 finale, traces of the Terrigen crystals were leaked into the ocean, which has resulted in a string of new cases from things like ingesting fish oil supplements. This hasn’t proven fatal to regular humans (yet), but Coulson’s projections indicate that the Terrigen will be in water sources around the entire world in just a few weeks. That seems like way more than anyone is prepared for at the moment.
Luckily, Coulson and crew have some new toys to play with. The new high-tech plane (RIP Bus) is called the Zephyr One. We don’t know how Coulson was able to acquire it, but last season’s finale seems to imply it was designed in-house by SHIELD.
Also, Coulson’s new robot hand is super functional. Prosthetics in the MCU are crazy advanced apparently.
Meanwhile at SHIELD HQ, Bobbi is currently recuperating from her Season 2 injuries, Fitz is off on a globe-spanning journey to find information on the Kree Stone, and Lance is preparing to go on the hunt for Grant Ward. Could that be a setup for the long-rumored Bobbi/Lance spin-off series?
Also, as we previously surmised, the POTUS is still Matthew Ellis, last seen in Iron Man 3 (although he’s name-dropped since then). From his speech, we learn that Rosalind’s black ops organization, who have been racing SHIELD to capture the new Inhumans, is called the Advanced Threat Containment Unit.
It’s kind of like SHIELD, except way scarier, and working solely in the US (for now); unlike its predecessor, which was overseen by the World Security Council. There’s no direct counterpart in the comic book universe, but it is kind of similar to the Mutant Response Division, a relatively short-lived organization formed by the UN in response to a string of terrorist attacks involving mutants.
Alongside the SHIELD vs ATCU situation though, there’s some kind of third party at work.
That scary looking fellow is Lash (aka Beast during his punk rock phase), and he apparently doesn’t work for either side. Hiring Inhumans doesn’t really seem to be HYDRA’s style (although you never know), so that likely means there are some new players on the board.
In the comics, Lash is an Inhuman who can convert energy around him into powerful blasts from his hands. The MCU version apparently likes to use this to blow up people’s chests. Gross.
Why he’s running around murdering Inhumans is currently unknown, perhaps he’s an agent of the Kree, sent to clean up the mess?
We didn’t have long to speculate on that though, as there’s a much bigger mystery this week: where the heck is Jemma Simmons?
According to Fitz, the Kree Stone is actually some sort of solid black hole, a theory which seems to hold up since we see Simmons is not dead, but has been transported somewhere far, far away.
I’m pretty sure this is a new MCU location, based on the little we’ve seen of it so far. The landscape does look a bit like Svartalfheim, from Thor: The Dark World, but the coloring is all off. That might just be a night/day thing, but you would think they’d try to keep it a little more consistent if they were trying to establish a link. Here’s what that location looks like for reference:
And here’s the Simmons planet:
In my opinion, a better guess would be Hala, the Kree home world in the comics. Although in that case, I’m wondering why the landscape is so desolate and barren. Perhaps this is a moon, and Hala is the big planet we see on the horizon?
As you can probably tell, we don’t have a lot of great guesses at the moment, since we’ve only begun to dip our toes into the MCU’s cosmic side. I’m sure we’ll get a lot more clues in the next few episodes though.
Next week, we’ll be seeing Grant Ward’s new HYDRA, what Melinda May’s been up to, and the return Elliot Randolph, the Asgardian in disguise from last season. See you then.