[SPOILERS for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 3 ahead.]
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 3 wrapped up earlier this year, concluding on a note that raised big questions about what's to come in season 4. A handful of prominent characters on the Marvel Cinematic Universe TV show died during the events of the season 3 finale - before the episode then jumped ahead in time, showing protagonist Daisy (Chloe Bennet) on the run and teasing that someone else (now known to be Jason O'Mara's mystery character) had replaced Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) as the S.H.I.E.L.D. organization's director.
The official synopsis for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4 reveals that, in the aftermath of Hydra being destroyed in season 3 and the passing of the Sokovia Accords in Captain America: Civil War, S.H.I.E.L.D. is now a legitimate public operation again and no longer needs to maintain such a low profile. However, as the world still believes Coulson to be dead, this leads to the instatement of O'Mara's character as the new Director. However, all of this raises the question: how are Coulson and his team functioning, in the aftermath of everything that's happened (and changed) of late?
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. co-creator/co-showrunner Maurissa Tancharoen offered the following insight on the matter to EW, with respect to where Coulson and his team are at mentally-speaking, when season 4 gets underway:
“The one thing that you’ll really see across the board with all of our characters is that they’re just in ‘Let’s move mode – let’s just move on from what went down. Whether or not that’s just a coping mechanism or denial of all of the trauma that they’ve experienced, I think them being so functional will start to unravel.”
It sounds as though Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be hitting the ground running when season 4 begins, based on what Tancharoen had to say about the matter. In other words, the series may drop audiences into an already-established new scenario and let the changes in the outlook/behaviors of the main characters manifest as the new season plays out. Some of the major plot points already confirmed for season 4 include the MCU debut of Robbie Reyes/Ghost Rider (Gabriel Luna) and the long-awaited reveal of "Life Model Decoy" robots in the MCU. There's also the whole matter of Daisy being on the run, as was mentioned earlier.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 3 centered largely on an accidental population explosion of Inhumans, seemingly ordinary people who transformed into beings possessing superhuman abilities when exposed to a mysterious element (owing to remnants of alien genetic tampering in their DNA). Daisy, having discovered herself to be an Inhuman as well during season 2, attempted to build a S.H.I.E.L.D. strike team of newly-turned Inhumans, but events were complicated by the emergence of an ancient Inhuman "god" called Hive. It was Hive's (now-thwarted) plan to conquer Earth that led Daisy becoming a rogue being pursued by S.H.I.E.L.D. in the first place.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4 premieres Tuesday, September 20 @10pm on ABC.
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