When Does 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.' Season 3 Premiere? Here's What We Know About The Marvel Heroes' Next Mission

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will bring its second season to a close with a two-part finale on Tuesday night that promises earth-shaking developments for its audience and characters. I expect the show to go hard on any finale (you too, midseasons!), and especially with the recent release of Avengers: Age of Ultron, the repercussions of the machinations happening both on S.H.I.E.L.D.'s screen and off should be considerable. Since the integration of the HYDRA infiltration carried over from Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the series has become a web of shifting alliances, integrating new players in the national/international security game and finally delivering on the Inhumans front. There's a lot going on, which is why I'm jazzed that ABC decided to renew Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for Season 3. [UPDATE: ABC has announced that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D will premiere on Sep. 29.]

The order wasn't much of a shock. While the show doesn't kill in the ratings, it maintains a steady audience. And with how packed the calendar of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is for the next several years, S.H.I.E.L.D. provides a handy vessel to generate some additional excitement for its big-screen brothers and sisters. ABC placed an order for 22 episodes in Season 3, meaning that, though no official premiere date has been announced, S.H.I.E.L.D. will likely be back in the fall. And considering that Seasons 1 and 2 premiered on Sept. 24 and 23, respectively, Season 3 should return around the same time this year.

But what exactly can audiences expect when Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. does return? Here are a few things to look forward to from Coulson and friends.

More Toys From Nick Fury's Toolbox

There's precious little concrete evidence to go on when it comes to predicting Season 3. But along with the good tidings of the show's renewal, ABC also released a promo image. Looks to me like the logo is constructed from files like those in Nick Fury's toolbox. Showrunners Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen told Zap2It that Fury is always a presence in S.H.I.E.L.D. , even if Samuel L. Jackson can't physically show up every week. Look for his hands-off management to still be felt throughout next season's missions.

A Resolution To A Cliffhanger

Whedon described the inevitable Season 2 finale cliffhanger to Zap2It like so, and it's giving me serious palpitations already: "You will leave with a mystery of something you desperately want to know what's happening, the promise of something you're very excited to see happen, and a little bit of a resolve of all the things you've seen happen this year." Never before has such a minuscule amount of information made me so excited. Also, don't judge me for hoping that #2 on this list is some Philinda action.

New Players & Maybe A Hawkeye Cameo!

Casting notices will start hitting the internet over the summer, but it's safe to say even now that S.H.I.E.L.D. will bring some new characters into the fold next year. If Skye goes rogue to explore her powers, as I expect she might, the show would be introducing a whole separate plotline's worth of allies and enemies. And I know better than to hope that I can escape a two-hour finale with all my agents in tact. I'm already steeling myself against losing someone else before Season 2 is out.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Renner told Zap2It that he's absolutely into making an appearance, should the right circumstances present themselves. (He's got to finish renovating the dining room first.) Will Coulson call in Hawkeye for Season 3? The possibility, at least, is there.

The Effects Of A Civil War

Captain America: Civil War has a release date of May 6, 2016, which should fall right around the last three to four episodes of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3. The rift in the Avengers will rock Coulson's world for sure, so I'm betting those ripples will be felt on ABC as well.

Images: Mitchell Haaseth/ABC; Giphy (3)