In less than two weeks, the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s secret agent team will be back in action, as Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. enters its fourth season on ABC. While the MCU’s Netflix shows – Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage – concentrate on giving a dark and gritty take on the superhero genre, this brainchild of Joss Whedon delivers with a fun, lighter-hearted adventure, more in line with the fantastical nature of comic books. The show is full of twists and turns that keep the audience guessing, as well as likable characters that we want to succeed. Fans have followed Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and his colorful team of agents throughout the past three years in their efforts to keep the world safe, and the anticipation is building as we near the new season premiere on September 20.
The end of last season’s finale left a lot of lingering questions in the minds of viewers. For one, it seems that Coulson has stepped down as director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and is back to being a regular agent. It is unclear whether he stepped down voluntarily, or someone usurped the position from him; either way, this season will likely explain. Furthermore, Daisy Johnson (Chloe Bennet) looks as though she went rogue, and is on the lam from the agency she once served. How this came to be is another plot point that will probably be explored in detail with the coming season. There is also some mystery surrounding Holden Radcliffe (John Hannah) and his role to play in the story. Last season, he was a black market surgeon and technology expert before he was forced to work for the antagonist. Later, S.H.I.E.L.D. enlisted his help to stop the villain’s evil plan. The final scene of the last episode showed that Radcliffe held a seemingly high-ranking position within S.H.I.E.L.D., which is odd given the character’s unsavory nature. Season Four will have to address all of these questions, and it will be interesting to see how they are resolved.
Perhaps the most exciting piece of information about the new season of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. initially came in the form of a teaser trailer shown at this year’s Comic-Con. The clip featured the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo being melted away by a flaming skull with glowing eyes, ending with the tagline, “Vengeance Comes This Fall.” Comic book fans instantly recognized that image, as they realized that the popular antihero, Ghost Rider will make his live-action television debut this season. The show will introduce the most recent incarnation of the undead motorcyclist, Robbie Reyes (Gabriel Luna), and will tie in with the upcoming MCU film, Doctor Strange, which features more supernatural elements than other entries in the continuity. Superhero enthusiasts are stoked to see what the “Spirit of Vengeance” has in store for the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
There are so many things to look forward to in Season Four of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The show will follow up on the events that occurred in Captain America: Civil War, and how the Sokovia Accords are affecting the characters and the world in which they live. Daisy’s crusade to help her fellow Inhumans may have conflicted with the government’s registration mandates, which could have caused her defection. Furthermore, this will be the first season without the traitorous agent, Grant Ward (Brett Dalton). It will be enticing to see how the series progresses without him being a constant threat to the heroes. Fans are eager to see how the romance between S.H.I.E.L.D. scientists Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) develops. Plus, more questions surround the S.H.I.E.L.D.’s involvement with Holden Radcliffe and his new project, the Life Model Decoy. One thing that fans of this show have come to realize is that you never know what to expect. All we can do is wait for September 20, and for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to make its triumphant return.