Few shows do juggling acts like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., with endless comic book source material and a major motion picture universe that has the potential to reinvent what the show is about at any moment. While Captain America: Civil War brought the bureaucracy back into vigilante heroism, Coulson was dealing with some near world-ending problems, so let's recap Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3 before the show returns on Tuesday to mix it up again.
The series is becoming less about spies and more about superpowers, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Season 3 took a lot of cues from the Secret Warriors in Marvel comics. Will "new" characters like Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Peter Parker get a mention this season? I hope so! The MCU is expanding, and the suits at S.H.I.E.L.D. has always been good at following suit.
In Season 3, we learned more about everyone's family life, including May and Mack. Thanks to Season 2's fish pills, Inhumans are ordinary people now living and coming in to their powers all over the world, instead of hidden away in a supernatural Shangri-La. S.H.I.E.L.D. continued to operate under the shadows. Coulson got, and lost, a love interest. So did Daisy — RIP, Lincoln. Space travel was introduced to the series, as well as a totally new origin story for Hydra as an organization. Here are some of the other highlights that will leave you caught up and refreshed for Season 4.
FitzSimmons Gave You All The Feels
I didn't ask for this. I didn't ask for this at all. When Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiered, I heavily bought into the idea that Fitz and Simmons were like siblings, and eagerly anticipated 'shipping them with other people. I totally fell for it. Little did I know that after Fitz was in a coma and Simmons got dragged through a portal to another planet, I would be crying my little eyes out when they finally kissed. Simmons had an astronaut boyfriend in the middle there, don't worry about it. She and Fitz are together now, and that's all that matters.
May's Ex-Husband Lashed Out
At first, May's former spouse seemed like (and was) a kind professor who wanted to help powered people psychologically. However, with a twist of irony, Andrew was not only Inhuman but a deadly Inhuman named Lash who harbored a lot of self-hate. So much, in fact, that he started offing other Inhumans. He died in the finale, further complicating May's relationship with superpowers.
Ward Became A Zombie God, NBD
Ward is dead, to begin with. Make no mistake. Ward is dead as a doornail. He went full Hydra and then died on another planet. But before he died, his body was controlled by Hive, a godlike Inhuman with nefarious plans for Earth. The team destroyed him in the finale, so he's gone now. I think.
The Spy's Goodbye
In the middle of the season, Bobbi Morse and Lance Hunter left the organization when their mission in Russia was compromised. This out was supposed to lead to a spin-off named Marvel's Most Wanted, which was unfortunately never picked up. Hopefully, they'll be back eventually.
Daisy's Hella Emo Now
She can also kind of fly? After being swayed by Hive, and losing Lincoln, Daisy decided to take a break from being an agent. Flash forward a few months, and she's become a sort of vigilante named Quake. It took three seasons, but Daisy Johnson is finally a superhero.
Coulson Got A Demotion
Also in the flash forward, we learned that Coulson is not the director anymore. According to an official ABC press release, this is because the Sokovia Accords from Captain America: Civil War moved S.H.I.E.L.D. back into the spotlight. Since Coulson is still presumed dead (poor Steve and Tony), he has to go back into hiding.
Life Model Decoys Are Coming
In the second half of the season, we met Dr. Radcliffe, a mad scientist recruited by Hive. In the final scene of the season he introduced his OS, called AIDA, which I assume stands for artificial intelligence... something, but is also a clever reference to Aida — the fictional princess who fell in love with her captor after being accidentally enslaved. Radcliffe alluded to his plans to put Aida in an android body and she will be played in Season 4 by another kind of royalty, Galavant's Mallory Jansen.
That's what happened and what's next on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. this fall. I'm sure there will be plenty of Easter eggs and surprises this season. Someone's going to have to take up Hydra's evil mantle, and I can't wait to see what this team gets up to next.
Images: Kurt Iswarienkio, Kelsey McNeal (5), Nicole Wilder (2)