The cast of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 hit New York Comic Con to share a few precious details — and footage! — from the out-of-this-world adventure.

The cast of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 (including the newly-promoted Natalia Cordova-Buckley) took over the massive theater at Madison Square Garden to tease the new season. Led by Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb, the panel covered everything from the technical bits to the jaw-dropping revelations waiting for the audience in space.

A Date to Remember

It’s time to sort out your winter break plans now because you might be spending it glued to your TV. Early in the panel, Loeb dropped the date we’ve been waiting for ever since Inhumans took over our agents’ slot.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 will premiere on December 1 at 8:00 p.m. with a two-hour episode, before settling into its normal time at 9:00 p.m. the following week. The series returns a short three weeks after Inhumans wraps up its eight episode run, giving Marvel TV fans time to catch Hulu’s Runaways on November 21.

And though the wait for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s return has been longer than previous years, trust us, it’ll be worth it because…

The premiere will knock your socks into orbit

Fans attending the Madison Square Garden panel were treated to a surprise sneak peek first 20 minutes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 after a “fan” (Clark Gregg’s daughter) asked to see some clips.

Without delving into spoiler territory, the season opens in ways completely unexpected and surprisingly terrestrial, given where the previous season left us. The episode hits the ground with both feet already in motion as our agents are thrown head first into the action.

But one burning question that won’t get answered in the first 20 minutes is the whole crew makes the jump intact… or at all?

Previous seasons of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. opened with various time jumps where we find the characters already comfortable in whatever new setting we last saw them. Season 5 promises to turn that tradition on its head. Teases Clark Gregg, “That scene [from the finale] might not be the very first moment you find him in.”

Jeph Loeb elaborates. “Every season the way the story has been told is the audience knows more than the team does. This is the first time where… the mystery that’s in front of them, is something that the team and the audience are learning at the same time.”

Space is a horrible place and no one should go there

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s VFX team, lead by superstar Mark Kolpack, has outdone themselves again this year by giving life to a threat that had the Madison Square Garden theater screaming. Scenes set in outer space are claustrophobicly nerve wracking in a way that nothing but being stranded amongst the stars can be.

Along the way two fan favorite characters proves themselves to be the MVPs of survival in space — both in dramatically different ways. One is less than enthusiastic about being off world.

Again.

Going poddy once again!

Season 4 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was split into separate pods, each with their own contained story leading into the next. Season 5 will be no different, with the first 10 episodes being their own space-centric plotline.

According to Jeph Loeb,“The where, why and the how the hell do we get home is there… are the things that going to be driving this particular pod.”

But Chloe Bennet stresses not everything is celestial doom and gloom. “The characters are so resilient, even in the most moments of tension and fighting there is always a moment of humor,” she says. “As dark as it gets there’s always that little bit of lightness.”

Daisy for Director?

Speaking of Chloe Bennet, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has seen its fair share of Director shake-ups. Assuming our S.H.I.E.L.D. team makes it back to Earth, many fans think Daisy could one day follow in the path of comic book counterpart and take the title for herself.

But Bennet herself isn’t so sure Daisy has been in the right mind frame to take up the lofty mantle of Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. quite just yet, reflecting that “The beginning of last season was her running away from that. She felt such guilt, I think Coulson has that too. She ran away from the people that she loves to protect them and she realized that’s not how families work.”

Clark Gregg firmly disagrees. “Inhumans, they can take any form, gender, orientation, ethnicity and there’s a lot of people in the world that want to eradicate them,” he says.

“That hits Coulson on a deep level of being wrong and antithetical to what it means to be human. To have someone who’s probably the closest person in the world to him be an inhuman, is a deep reason why he is up for the idea of having Daisy, who’s more than up to the challenge, who’s an inhuman, who has so much humanity in her, be the one who’s leading S.H.I.E.L.D.”

Satellites of love

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has given fans plenty of shippable couples to stress over, but how many are still standing after the events of season 4?

Mack and Elena went through an emotional ride during last season’s emotionally wrenching Framework storyline, but Henry Simmons says that enjoys the ups and downs between the two lovers.

“There’s always a bit of conflict between them, which I like. When you go through something like that you see what people are made of. It will reveal your true nature,” he says. Natalia Cordova understands they might be slightly occupied in the upcoming episodes. “They’re still quite shaken up by what happened,” she says, “but at the same time it’ll be a challenge but they have to get over it because they have a bigger challenge. Personal conflict takes a back seat where they’re at.”

As for the ever-threatened S.S. Fitzsimmons, the weather-battled, strife-hardened ship will have its strongest test yet to come. Not much can be said about Agents of SHIELD season 5 opener, but Fitz and Simmons have hit yet another complication in their blossoming relationship.

“We’re back to square zero again, kind of” Elizabeth Hemstridge remarks. Meanwhile, Iain deCastecker knows there is still a lot of residual trauma that Fitz needs to deal with before being with his true love. “He bares a lot of guilt about [the Framwork],” he says. “The person that he was in that world is rooted in him somewhere.”

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 premieres at 8:00 p.m. on Dec. 1.

What are your theories for the ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D’ season 5 premiere?

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