Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ended Season 4 on a crazy cliffhanger that revealed Coulson had been transported to outer space, and fans have had to spend a long hiatus wondering what's next now that most of the major characters are no longer on Earth. We now have an idea that S.H.I.E.L.D. will be staying in space for a long time in Season 5, and a whole bunch of new characters are on the way. Executive producer Jed Whedon has revealed why the show is going to space for the fifth season, saying this:
We were talking about different versions. Different ways to depart from what we'd done. Last year was a little bit of a kitchen sink season. you know we did Ghost Rider, then we did L.M.D.s and then we did The Framework. So it was somewhat out of necessity to go somewhere totally new. But you know once you hit on that idea you know we explored other things but we kept going back to this. Nothing's going to be cooler than going outer space, so here we are.
Fans will remember that Season 4of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was split up into three different arcs, beginning with the introduction of Ghost Rider, moving on with the rise of Life Model Decoys and A.I.D.A., and ending with the digital Framework that had most of the agents trapped in a false (and pretty terrible) reality. While breaking the season up into smaller arcs worked quite well, it also meant that the show went through a lot of stories quickly. Jed Whedon's comments indicate that the team at S.H.I.E.L.D. wanted to go in a bold new direction for the first arc of Season 5.
The first 17 minutes of the Season 5 premiere were released, and they explained how exactly all the agents except for one were actually taken up into space. There's precedent for the series suddenly sending characters into space, as we saw with Simmons' stint on Maveth in Season 3. Poor Simmons undoubtedly won't be happy to be stuck in space yet again, although at least she has company during her journey this time. Still, this should be a pretty inconvenient twist for the characters, especially when some of them will still be dealing with the aftermath of the Framework. Mack won't even have his shotgun-axe to console him.
That said, trailers indicate that Mack will be dropping hilarious movie references as guides for how to survive when being chased by aliens, and those first 17 minutes have some funny moments. Even if space won't necessarily be fun for the characters, we probably have a lot to look forward to as viewers.
Fortunately, we don't have too much longer to wait before Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns to the airwaves. The two-part season premiere will air on Friday, December 1 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Don't forget to check out our midseason 2018 TV guide for other important dates for the small screen, and our breakdown of 2017 TV cancellations is helpful as well.