The conclusion of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s third season received a somewhat mixed reception from viewers. Whilst the defeat of Hive (in previous villain Grand Ward's body, no less) and the development of the Inhumans storyline attracted a mostly positive response, it was the timeskip scene at the very end of the season 3 finale that prompted divided opinions.
Set six months after Hive was sent on a one-way trip into space, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 3's last scene (credits scene not included) showed Chloe Bennet's Quake/Daisy/Skye (Chloe Bennet) working as a fugitive vigilante, hunted by her old friends at S.H.I.E.L.D., including the now-former director Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg). Now Bennet has given some hint as to what fans can expect from the show's forthcoming fourth season.
Here is what Bennet told IGN, with regard to where S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4 picks up after the season 3 finale:
"We pick up right around 6 months later. She’s gone rogue. She’s hurting. She is in pain. I think her way of protecting the people she cares about, Coulson and the team and S.H.I.E.L.D., is to really isolate herself. I think she feels like when she gets close to people they die or something bad happens to them. Wherever she goes, death follows...I think we see that at the end of the season with her ability to kind of leap or fly. And so she’s become even more powerful. But that doesn’t come without a cost. I think you’ll see right away the repercussions of her powers not being monitored by S.H.I.E.L.D. and you really see how S.H.I.E.L.D. is necessary for people with powers."
If the theme of Quake isolating herself in an attempt to protect her pals feels like familiar territory to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. viewers, that could be because this story thread was explored to some extent in season 2 (when the newly-powered agent was sent to a safe house designed to contain Bruce Banner) and the tension between Daisy and her human colleagues has been bubbling up now and again ever since. It is, however, exciting to hear that the extent of the heroine's abilities will be widened next season and it's reassuring that after spending three seasons exploring the morality of an the S.H.I.E.L.D. organization, the show may finally come down definitively on one side of the debate, with Bennet suggesting the necessity of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be crystal clear this time around.
Chloe also went on to talk about a point of major excitement for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fans: Ghost Rider. The addition of this much-loved character to the show was announced at this year's San Diego Comic-Con and there is much hope that the show and actor Gabriel Luna can do a better job with the Robbie Reyes/Ghost Rider persona than the 2007 movie (starring Nicholas Cage as a different Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze) and its sequel did. Bennet also suggests that she will be sharing a lot of screen-time with Luna:
"I think I can say I have not been working with our dear cast as much as normal and I’ve spent some time on the east side of L.A… at night…Gabriel is wonderful and fits in perfectly with the cast and I’m excited to see where they go with it. All the powers so far have been really rooted in something that Fitz and Simmons can always explain. I’m curious to see how they tie in a flaming head/skull on fire, and how they explain that with science."
Season 4 will undoubtedly be a pivotal run for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and plenty of weight rests on how successfully showrunners Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon can adapt Ghost Rider for the small screen. However, if Miss Bennet's comments are anything to go by, there will be plenty of unexplored territory for the show to delve into when the gang returns later this year.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4 premieres Tuesday, September 20 @10pm on ABC.