First 5 Minutes Of 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.' Season 3 Promise An Action-Packed Year For The ABC Series — VIDEO

After a creatively uneven first season, Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. finally found its footing in Season 2 with a plot line revolving around Inhumans, the super-powered alien beings that will be the focus of a Marvel Cinematic Universe feature film in 2019. Skye learned that she was descended from these extraterrestrial beings — and that her real name is Daisy Johnson — and she harnessed her newfound powers to become the hero known as "Quake." The end of the season saw her tasked by Director Coulson to head up a new special branch of S.H.I.E.L.D. called Secret Warriors, whose mission is to find and recruit other powered people. Now, ABC has released the first five minutes of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3, giving fans a glimpse of how that mission will unfold.

The opening scene features a new recurring character by the name of Joey Gutierrez, played by Colombian actor Juan Pablo Raba, who is one of the targets of Daisy's task force. Is he the first Inhuman they've encountered? Or is he simply one of many the team has dealt with in the time between seasons? This is just one of several questions raised by the sequence, which drops the viewer right into the middle of an action-packed encounter with little to no preamble. So, before you dive in, here are six important things to remember about Season 3 that will help make sense of the chaotic scene.

1. Swimming With The Fishes

Inhumans' powers must be triggered by a substance known as Terrigen crystals. (Unfortunately, the same substance is lethal to regular humans.) Since the alien race has bred with humans over the course of centuries, there are potentially thousands of unsuspecting Inhumans just waiting to be activated by the crystals... which is exactly what is happening when Season 3 begins. Season 2 ended with several crystals sinking to the bottom of the sea, where they were ingested by fish, which were turned into fish oil, which in turn were ingested by humans.

That fish oil is apparently what precipitated Joey's transformation — and also killed his human partner/roommate/whatever, who has been disintegrated into ashes, while Joey himself has turned into some sort of walking microwave, melting any metal in close proximity to himself.

2. S.H.I.E.L.D. Vs. ...?

We're quickly reminded that S.H.I.E.L.D. isn't the only organization pursuing newly-activated Inhumans, when a well-armed troop of mercenaries shows up and tries to abduct Joey. The exact identity of this group remains a mystery. Is it H.A.M.M.E.R., the organization created by the government to replace S.H.I.E.L.D. after the latter group is compromised by Hydra? Is it S.W.O.R.D., charged with protecting Earth from extraterrestrial threats? Either way, they seem pretty ruthless.

3. Don't Call Her Skye

Fortunately for Joey, Skye is there to protect him from the lethal mercenaries. And by Skye, I mean Daisy — as the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent is now introducing herself. That name change is only part of the character's makeover for Season 3, which also includes a badass black leather outfit and a marked improvement in her ability to harness her seismic powers. Judging from this season, the Secret Warriors team seems to consist of Daisy, Mack, and Lance Hunter — although how long the latter will be sticking around is an fair question, considering the hypothetical on-again off-again spinoff that would star him and Bobbi Morse.

4. Joey And The Great Glass Elevator

As part of its expanded objective this season, it appears that S.H.I.E.L.D. has gotten a major tech upgrade. Daisy helps Joey escape from the mercenaries with a nifty elevator-jet-pack hybrid that blasts him up to the waiting jet. I wonder what other magical inventions the team will have up their sleeves this year...

5. Things Get UnREAL

Whatever the identity of the mysterious anti-S.H.I.E.L.D. group, at least we have a face to put on the shadowy organization... and it's a pretty familiar face, too. The group's leader is being played by Constance Zimmer, who is joining the ABC drama hot off the success of the summer's biggest hit: Lifetime's UnREAL, where she played ruthless reality TV producer Quinn King.

6. Give Coulson A Hand

Director Coulson himself doesn't show up until the very end of the scene, as he lurks in the background and snaps a covert pic of Zimmer's nefarious character. He seems to have recovered nicely from his brutal season-ending injury — in which Mack was forced to cut off his boss's hand in order to prevent his death-by-Terrigen-crystal. Unfortunately, the scene subtly hides Coulson's afflicted appendage, forcing us all to wait to see his undoubtedly badass robot hand.

Tide yourself over to the S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3 premiere this coming Tuesday by watching these five glorious, action-packed minutes:

Images: Kelsey McNeal (6), Screengrab/ABC