5:55 pm EDT, August 2, 2016

‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ season 4 synopsis offers context, questions… and traitors?

Simmons is doing WHAT, now?

ABC’s synopsis for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4 suggests that rifts may be growing through Coulson’s team.

The new summary begins by setting the stage for the new season, and offers an explanation for why Jason O’Mara’s still-nameless character has stepped into the role of Director.

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“In light of the Sokovia Accords, and with Hydra obliterated, S.H.I.E.L.D. has been legitimatized again and no longer needs to operate in the shadows,” ABC says. “Since the world presumes that Coulson is dead, the organization needed a new Director to be the face of the organization.”

That sounds… surprisingly reasonable. But will the new Mr. Director share Coulson’s loyalty and values? The synopsis continues:

“Coulson finds himself back in the role as an agent and teamed with Mack, and together they are tasked with tracking down and confirming the presence of Enhanced people, aka Inhumans. They have been trying to track down and capture Daisy, aka Quake, who has gone rogue in an attempt to atone for sins from the past.

agents of shield 3x20

“But with the world believing that Daisy is a dangerous outlaw who has taken down banks and bridges, the new Director has no qualms about taking her down for good.”

Okay, so that could be an issue. But everyone else is working together, right? Team unity and all that? It’s all good?

Well… sort of…

“Agent May is tasked with training specialist strike teams,” ABC says, “and Fitz and Simmons have taken a big step forward in their relationship. But with Simmons’ new promotion as Special Advisor to the Director in Science and Technology, Fitz, as well as her former team members, finds it hard to confide in or trust her since she’s now the Director’s confidant.”

Related: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. cast discuss FitzSimmons’ romance: “It’s not easy”

While Simmons is no stranger to being a source of suspicion among the team (see: leaving Fitz for Hydra, not trusting Inhumans, the whole space-boyfriend thing) it’s kind of a bummer that our resident biochemical genius will once again be playing the outcast. Still, it’s certainly a way to build tension into both new and old relationships in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4 — and let’s face it, this show moves so quickly, this could easily be old news by episode 2.

ELIZABETH HENSTRIDGE, IAIN DE CAESTECKER

Finally, the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4 synopsis touches on our brand-new and returning antagonists.

Robbie Reyes will roar into the lives of Agent Coulson and the team as a junkyard mechanic who can turn on a dime into the terrifying Ghost Rider. Will Robbie be a friend or foe to S.H.I.E.L.D. – as well as the world, itself? Meanwhile, Fitz discovers that socially awkward genius and friend Dr. Radcliffe has started putting the finishing touches on a new, secret invention.”

Clearly, our intrepid agents will be grappling with foes of science and the spirit in season 4. But as eerie and uncanny as Life Model Decoys and magical burning skulls may be, we suspect that the true challenges will probably come from within.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4 premieres on Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 10:00 p.m. on ABC.

What do you think will be the biggest challenge in ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ season 4?

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