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Fans of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have been waiting quite a while for the series to come back. The Season 4 finale back in May ended on a killer cliffhanger that seemingly saw all the major characters abducted from Earth and marooned in outer space, and the Season 5 premiere was pushed back until December. We've had to wait, wonder, and speculate about what's happening with S.H.I.E.L.D. in space. Luckily, some epic promos have been released to whet our appetites for new content, and we now have an idea of how long the show will take place in space. When asked about what's in store for the milestone 100th episode of S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb had this to say:
Look, this is not going to come as a surprise to anyone that's ever seen a 100th episode, that there will be a significant event. That's all I can tell you. They gotta get home from space!
Jeph Loeb indicates in his comments to ComicBook.com that Coulson and Co. will still be in space by the time the 100th episode rolls around, and that won't exactly be a couple of episodes into Season 5. The premiere two-parter will cover Episodes 89 and 90, which means that the characters will likely still be in space for another ten episodes after the events of the premiere. Loeb didn't go into any detail, so it's entirely possible that the agents will remain in space beyond Episode 100, and they only manage to figure out how to get home in that particular hour. Either way, we should prepare ourselves for S.H.I.E.L.D. to spend a lot of time in space in Season 5.
That said, it hasn't yet been confirmed if all the agents who were seemingly abducted in the Season 4 finale were actually taken into space with Coulson. The trailers for Season 5 have teased a lot of action, and almost all of the characters from the Season 4 finale pop up in at least a scene or two, but there's one noticeable absence: Fitz. S.H.I.E.L.D. could very well have left Fitz behind on Earth for some reason. He's enough of genius that the folks who did the abducting might have wanted to keep him on hand, and S.H.I.E.L.D. does love to tragically separate Fitzsimmons.
If Fitz is still on Earth, S.H.I.E.L.D. would be able to switch between the plots in space and the plots on Earth easily enough. Screentime on Earth could also explain how Lance Hunter will return to the the action, given that he's probably not in space as well. We'll have to wait and see. S.H.I.E.L.D. is clearly willing to try new things in Season 5, and there are big reasons to be excited about what's to come.