‘Laws of Nature’
Following on from the events of last season, Agents of SHIELD seemed fully prepared to delve deep into a Secret Warriors storyline with Daisy primed to create a team of Inhumans. The opening introduces us to newly turned Inhuman Joey, who is brought in by SHIELD to be trained in the use of his powers. Joey currently seems like Joe Average, with his one defining trait being that he is the first openly gay character to exist in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). However he is sweet enough to make a slight impression, and hopefully will be more developed as the season goes on.
Chloe Bennet seems to have adapted well to the new mentor role for Daisy, the name change from Skye being incredibly briefly addressed. Daisy looks like a pure badass from her first appearance, taking out a handful of agents with one blast of her powers. It is a shame that for now Luke Mitchell’s Lincoln is being kept on the sidelines, as their relationship was one of the more interesting elements of season 2. With any luck Lincoln will become more involved down the line.The opening sequence also introduces us to one of the new threats of the season, the ATCU who seem very similar to SHIELD. It is made clear they are not HYDRA early on but it is obvious that they will rear their head again sooner rather than later. So far the ATCU feels like a retread of the ‘other SHIELD’ storyline from last year, which was in itself a total disaster.
The one saving grace for the new group is Constance Zimmer in the role of Rosalind, who’s capable of being a good foil for Coulson. The chemistry between the two is a joy to watch as they verbally spar during the underground scene
Bobbi is still in recovery after her injuries last season and is struggling in a new role as SHIELD scientist, using the biology degree she apparently has. The initial tension between Bobbi and Hunter feels like a reset to their relationship, with the pair seemingly back together last year. Thankfully this is revealed to be due to Hunter wishing to hunt down Ward, with Bobbi knowing she can’t come along. Adrianne Palicki plays her frustration at being left out very well, though it will be a shame if she spends too long out of the catsuit.This season also places Fitz in a new situation, giving him a badass makeover in his hunt for any way to save Simmons from the Monolith. The scenes with him in Morocco are a delight, with him channeling his best May impression (Melinda herself is absent from the episode). While his hunt for Simmons could become tiresome if dragged out for too long, it is at least giving Fitz his own agenda as the rest of the team seem to have given up hope. Fitz’s final scene as he breaks down in front of the Monolith is heartbreaking – though the after credits sequence at least reveals his search isn’t in vain.
The other big villain of the season is only seen in one sequence but does make a lasting impression. Towering well above the main cast, with blue skin and quills, the inhuman hunting Lash looks to be a very impressive threat. Daisy and Lincoln together are only just able to push back the villain so it will be interesting to see how the team take him on in the future.
On the whole, this opener does a great job of setting the scene for the new season, introducing the new threats and obstacles for the main cast. However, despite a fair amount happening on screen, it feels like nothing really does, with everything still to resolve in future episodes. I’m intrigued to see where Agents of SHIELD goes from here and how they balance all these dangling plotlines.