This article will absolutely contain spoilers for last night’s season premiere of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD Season 3… Be warned.
An interesting thing about the season 3 premiere of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD is they didn’t spend a big chunk of time catching people up or going through a list of where everyone was. Mostly a sentence here or there took care of it. They started with action and kept the action moving through most of the episode. And there was an odd juxtaposition of characters as the season begins… like Bobbi Morse (Adrianne Palicki) is in the lab while Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) is in the field. But lets get to the important parts.
1) ABC released the opening sequence so a lot of people saw it even before the episode aired. It showed a new Inhuman, Joey Gutierrez (Juan Pablo Raba) being chased by a spec op team looking to bring him in or take him out. Joey is melting metal randomly and is kind of a danger to everyone. Daisy (Chloe Bennet), Mac (Henry Simmons) and Hunter (Nick Blood) come to the rescue and extract him. This is the new status quo for SHIELD. Finding and assessing new Inhumans… bringing in the good ones and taking out the bad ones. Kind of the same thing as the spec op group.
2) Coulson (Clark Gregg) was on site too, but in the crowd trying to figure out who the spec op team is. He gets a photo of a woman (Constance Zimmer) who has multiple aliases but is currently going by Rosalind Price. Coulson and Hunter track her down to the one time of day she is alone… on the subway… which of course is a trap. The two are taken and bicker… this may be the new ship couple with the way they get along… and Coulson gets all the information he wants by being a captive (ala Black Widow from the Avengers movie) and then they escape when both he and Rosalind get a report of an Inhuman incident.
3) Trying to settle Joey in becomes difficult and Daisy wants to bring Lincoln (Luke Mitchell) back to help except Lincoln has no desire to be involved. Which he reiterates for them at the hospital just in time for potential season 3 super-bad Lash (Matt Willig) to come on the scene. Lincoln, Daisy and Mac fight Lash off… but instead of suddenly joining up and all is well, Lincoln takes off.
4) With Bobbi rehabbing from being shot and tortured by Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) last season, she is running the lab while Fitz is off trying to find clues on how to save Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge)… you remember that Jemma got sucked into the giant alien monolith right? Well, we get a sampling of action-Fitz as he heads into a bad part of Morocco and steals an ancient scroll that is supposed to tell him what the monolith really is. This is far from the stumbling, stuttering Fitz we had last season. And for all his effort all he learns is that the monolith is death. Which leads to the most heart-wrenching scene of the episode as he assaults the monolith out of anger and frustration.
5) After the incident with Lash / Quake / Lincoln at the hospital, there is a press conference by President Ellis (William Sadler reprising his role from Iron Man 3) and naming the spec op group the Advance Threat Containment Unit or ACTU and we see just how high up the chain Rosalind really is. This is the new opposing force to SHIELD, but both are trying to collect the Inhumans and realize that there is a third party… Lash… out there killing them.
6) The last scene was the craziest as we see Simmons running along a beach, obviously terrified and trying to cover an open wound with mud. The coloring of the scene is very blue, giving it an odd feeling… and then we get to see the skyline and realize that this is definitely not Earth. Seems the monolith has taken Simmons to either another planet or another dimension. Good thing for her there is breathable air there.
The ties to the MCU seemed much more natural in this episode. References to Sokovia falling or Pym Particles fit in nicely and the blink and you miss him appearance of President Ellis reminds us that this is all connected. There was no attempt to shoe-horn in a status update on Grant and his attempt to rebuild Hydra… we’ll just start seeing that next week. And other than a mention that she went on vacation and didn’t return… there really is no time spent on Agent May (Ming-Na Wen). It kept the episode feeling unrushed even though there was a lot to show us.
My favorite moment is when they address the name change from Skye to Daisy. Coulson refers to her as Skye and Mack corrects her. Coulson comments on how difficult is is to get used to that… Mack and Hunter look at each other then tell him “no it’s not”. And the issue is dealt with.
Next week we get the return of an Asgardian… Not Lady Sif, Jamie Alexander is too busy being naked on Blind Spot… but Peter MacNicol reprising his role as Professor Elliot Randolph from season one.