With season 2 of Agent Carter about to wrap up and the midseason break nearly over, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is gearing up for the second half of its third season. Season 3 has introduced several new characters and concepts — including a huge change to the previous understanding of recurring Marvel Cinematic Universe bad-guy organization HYDRA — that have fans eager to see where the story is headed after the shocking midseason-finale.
Now, the series has released a selection of new stills from the March 8 season premiere, offering fans a glimpse at where the new episodes will find some of their favorite characters.
Primarily medium-shots of actors like Clark Gregg, Chloe Bennett, Ming-Na Wen, and others, the new images (via CBM) don’t offer much in the way in new storyline clues, but by now that’s par for the course for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The series plays its plot turns close to the vest and is famously tasked with changing-up potential storylines on the fly in reaction to similarly top-secret plot reveals of the various other MCU properties. What the images do appear to reveal, however, is that S.H.I.E.L.D itself (or, at least, the smaller-scale underground version Director Coulson has been covertly operating since the finale of season 1) is still up and running despite the events of the midseason finale. That episode saw a powerful government organization revealed as (another) HYDRA. cell and Coulson trekking to an alien planet and back to finally kill evil ex-Agent Grant Ward — only to see him (or, rather, his corpse) return seemingly possessed by an alien worshiped by HYDRA’s ancestors as a god.
Exactly where Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is headed next is unclear, but that shouldn’t stop you from taking a look at the season 3 midseason premiere images below:
Story-wise, it’s being heavily indicated that the second half of season 3 will focus on The Secret Warriors, a team of newly transformed Inhumans being organized by Coulson and led by Agent Daisy Johnson that early promotion framed as the centerpiece of the season as a whole before the “alien HYDRA god” storyline appeared. This subplot, along with the broader expanding mythos of The Inhumans, is being watched closely by longtime S.H.I.E.L.D. fans and also MCU devotees in general. It is widely seen as the head of the spear for Marvel’s ongoing efforts to establish The Inhumans as a Cinematic Universe equivalent to Mutants and The X-Men. It’s believed that The Secret Warriors will chiefly oppose the evil Inhuman entity which has taken control of Ward, with rumors suggesting the creature will be revealed as powerful Marvel Comics villain The Hive.
Fans are also encouraged to look out for an undetermined number of episodes to either crossover with or be influenced by the events of Captain America: Civil War. The film, which deals with an effort by world governments to register and control the actions of superheroes and other beings with extraordinary powers, would seem to dovetail nicely with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D’s ongoing Inhumans storyline — and which could provide context for the images depicting Coulson meeting with President Ellis (William Sadler.)
Marvel’s Most Wanted currently has a pilot order but no scheduled debut. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns Tuesday, March 8th, 2016 at 9pm on ABC.