'S.H.I.E.L.D.' Faces Off With The ATCU This Season

by Rosie Narasaki

As Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ramps up for a new season focusing on the Inhumans, it looks like our favorite team is going to be facing some new adversaries. Chief among them is the Advanced Threat Containment Unit, which the Marvel wiki explains is a new branch of the government formed in response to the Terrigen crystal-contaminated fish oil capsules currently awaking unsuspecting Inhumans all over the Marvel Cinematic Universe. (Or Earth, rather. I doubt the fish oil has made its way to Asgard yet.) Hopefully when Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3 premieres on Tuesday night we'll learn more about this organization, because right now information is very limited — as is the S.H.I.E.L.D. way.

The ATCU will definitely going to be at odds with the protagonists (likely along with morally-dubious Inhuman Lash), since the newly-dubbed Daisy Johnson and Mack will be on a Mulder and Scully-esque quest to find and protect Inhumans... and a shady government agency doing the same thing isn't exactly going to help matters. The pre-released opening sequence from the premiere confirms as much — it showcases newly Terrigenesized Inhuman Joey Gutierrez (he's got the ability to melt metal, which is not, as you can imagine, the most inconspicuous superpower to have in metropolitan America) being spirited away by Daisy, Mack, and Hunter, right under the noses of our new friends at the ATCU. Let's just say they're not exactly happy about it.

Plus, the ATCU are certainly not messing around. As their ringleader Rosalind Price ( UnREAL's Constance Zimmer) tells her henchman Banks (Andrew Howard) mere seconds into the premiere promo, "Use lethal force if necessary," which is categorically never a good thing to say where our S.H.I.E.L.D. team of softies is concerned. Luckily, Coulson is on it: As his team members efficiently secured Joey, he blended into the crowd and managed to capture a speedy snap of Rosalind before she could roll up the windows on her government car — let the spy thriller intrigue commence.

If these first five minutes are any indication, the ATCU is going to make quite the adversary for S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Inhumans they're trying so hard to protect as we head into Season 3. Clark Gregg sounded off on Rosalind in an interview with Zap2It:

She’s a potent ... I wouldn’t say doppelganger, but she’s definitely got a lot in common with Coulson ... She represents a character who’s not someone he comes across every day, who has more in common with him than most other people do.

Is it just me, or are we 'shipping them star-crossed lovers-style already? Jokes aside, Gregg seems genuinely excited about Zimmer's work on the show. He also quipped "How do I keep up with an actor as good as Constance Zimmer?" Ready to watch Gregg and Zimmer espionage each other to the death? Make sure you check out Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3 when it premieres on Tuesday at 9 p.m.

Images: Kelsey McNeal/ABC (2)