In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D’s opening episode for season three, “Laws of Nature,” Marvel spares no time to slowly ease into the newest season. No, right from the get go AOS is running smoothly as if it’s in mid-season form, with no missteps between the action, story, and possible Easter Eggs. AOS instantly feels like the Marvel property it was always meant to be. If every episode going forward runs as seamlessly and fluid as “Laws of Nature”, one can only imagine how good it will be once all the pieces of this season’s plot are in play.
After Joey Gutierrez (Juan Pablo Raba) ingests the Terrigen infused Fish Oil capsules from season two’s finale, he is almost instantaneously hunted down by a mysterious black ops team (later to be revealed as the Advanced Threat Containment Unit) when he is unable to control his abilities, setting fire and melting various objects around his apartment block. It is from this point where we also get a look at where all the characters have come since last season, as well the MCU’s current struggle with super-powered and alien individuals, after several large scale catastrophes to include The Battle of New York (Marvel’s Avengers), the attack on London (Thor: The Dark World) and of course most recently, Sokovia (Avengers: Age of Ultron). AOS also briefly touches upon the need for the Advanced Threat Containment Unit, since the last agency who handled these matters, is no longer trusted or even known to exist since the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. This is where we are introduced to Rosalind Price (Constance Zimmer), the head of the ATCU and a possible ally for the Agents moving forward, who I have some theories about I’ll touch upon later. But let’s not forget our first villain this season either, in Lash (Matthew Willig), a destructive Inhuman who if anything like his comic counterpart, will be seen alot in the coming season, as more and more Inhumans begin emerging.
Overall, AOS could not have had a better start to its third season. Marvel easily shows how “everything is connected” within their cinematic world, without overcompensating in their films. AOS stands strong on its own without the need of the bigger film powerhouses, but doesn’t shy away from reminding the audience it’s aware of what happens in the rest of the MCU world. Even Marvel’s most recent film Ant-Man, gets a nod and name drop in a theory Fitz’s (Iain de Caestecker) has about what happened to Agent Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), when she was engulfed by the ancient alien monolith. Even HYDRA is not forgotten but seems to be in limbo until they return as the forefront villains.
With such a strong start to the third season, one can only wonder what lies ahead in future episodes.
Random Thoughts and Theories:
Advanced Threat Containment Unit: With the way the ATCU is being introduced, I have a sneaking suspicion this could be laying the ground work for S.W.O.R.D or at least some variation of it. I would even go so far as to put money on the ATCU, being the beginning of S.W.O.R.D or the Sentient World Observation and Response Department.>
Rosalind Price: If the ATCU will eventually become S.W.O.R.D, I would guess to say it’s highly probable Rosalind Price could be Special Agent Abigail Brand. Price has been shown to have worked for multiple government agencies, Zimmer who plays Price is a strong actress who could pull off a long term role as Brand and finally, AOS has established Price goes by a variety of aliases, with her real name unknown. Maybe Brand is another one of these aliases?
Agent Simmons: I have only seen a couple theories for Simmons location, two of which being the most plausible in Hala, the Kree home world or the Blue Area of the Moon, which is deeply connected to the Inhumans in the Marvel mythos. However, I don’t see it being either of those. Both are too big and important in the MCU, to be left to AOS to establish. Especially with James Gunn handling the cosmic end of the MCU and the upcoming Inhumans I would guess this alien planet is some kind of former Kree satellite city or maybe colony, rather than something as important as Hala or the Blue Area of The Moon.
Joey Gutierrez: An interesting theory online suggested Joey, the first openly LBGT character in the MCU, could be some kind of homage or inspired character of Joey the Morlock. Since Marvel cannot use the Morlocks in their properties, the theory suggest that AOS will use some kind of underground group of Inhumans instead, with them recently developing powers and hiding out from the world. I see this theory as unlikely, with Joey most likely being a new character from Marvel, who they will be using going forward. But, it’s an interesting theory worth mentioning none the less.