Star of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Clark Gregg, revealed season 5 will dive into the cosmic side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in surprising ways. Throughout its first four seasons, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has tackled a number of genres ranging from spy thriller and science fiction to fantasy and horror. Season 4 alone included three arcs, one following Ghost Rider, one focused on Life-Model Decoys, and one that sent the agents into an alternate reality called the Framework in which Hydra defeated S.H.I.E.L.D. Though season 4 blended a number of different genres, it was one of the most well received by both critics and fans alike.
Now, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is gearing up to launch season 5 later this fall, and the Marvel TV series had a big presence at this past weekend's New York Comic Con. They unveiled the season 5 premiere date as well as the first 20 minutes of the premiere episode - though the latter was only for attendees of the show's panel. As evidenced by the final scene in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4 finale and the first part of the season 5 premiere, the show is sending its agents into space, allowing them to explore the cosmic side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
During a roundtable interview at NYCC attended by Screen Rant, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. star Clark Gregg, who plays Agent Phil Coulson, spoke about the show's change in setting and whether the series employs any tropes from the science fiction genre in regards to space:
I grew up watching those shows - Star Trek, those things. I wouldn’t say that [season 5] is like that, but to have it really bridge into more the sci-fi, cosmic part of the Marvel [Cinematic] Universe in ways that will be surprising to people, it’s really thrilling.
Based on descriptions of the first 20 minutes of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiere, we already know there will be two kinds of aliens introduced early on in season 5 - though that number could increase, of course, as the season moves along. While there's also a new character introduced that wears a costume resembling Guardians of the Galaxy's Star-Lord, there haven't been any confirmed connections between Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 and either of Marvel Studios' cosmic movies. Of course, that may change as the season progresses since the movie branch of the MCU is preparing to launch Avengers: Infinity War next summer.
In terms of what fans can expect from this cosmic storyline, Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb revealed during the roundtables that viewers will be finding out what's going on at the same time as Coulson and his team:
In previous seasons, the audience knows what’s going on. Like, for example, you knew who the Ghost Rider was, what the Ghost Rider was doing, he was running around and then S.H.I.E.L.D. had to catch up to that and go 'Who is this guy? What’s going on with this guy? What’s happening?' This year, which is something we’ve never done before, is boom! They’re in space, they don’t know where they are and the mystery of what is going to happen, the audience is going along with them on that. So as they learn, you learn. So it’s one of those things where you’re not catching up you’re actually with our agents on this adventure.
So once Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 premieres later this year, fans should expect to be in the dark about what exactly is going on with Coulson and the other members of his team - but that could ultimately make the season that much more enjoyable of an adventure. Though we do know some of what to expect from their next storyline - like the Kree will return to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - there's still plenty we don't know. And since this is Marvel, fans can expect the show to keep a tight lid on what exactly to expect when Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns for season 5.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 premieres Friday December 1st at 9pm on ABC.