10:30 am EDT, May 19, 2020

Here’s what to expect from the ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ season 7 premiere

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The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 7 premiere is just around the corner, and we have a few hints for the final season.

It’s been a long and winding (and re-winding) road for fans of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but at last, the end is near. Marvel TV’s first foray into live-action begins its final season on May 27, with a time-twisting adventure full of arcane technology, grin-worthy throwbacks, and a few surprises to set up the final 13 episodes.

(And of course, a couple of emotional wrenches tossed in the works, just for good measure.)

But enough of the vagaries! Here’s a bit of what you can expect from Mack, Coulson, Daisy, Simmons, and the creepy Chronicoms when Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 7 premieres next week.

6 hints for the ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ season 7 premiere

Threads upon threads

Listen. There are more important things to know about the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 7 premiere than the fact that the cast looks really, really good in their 1930’s threads. Honestly, to the point that it’s almost distracting. What’s Daisy up to? Rocking those finger-waves! What is Mack doing in this scene? I dunno, but I do know that I am enjoying watching it Very. Much.

The man of the hours

Much more central to the heart of “The New Deal” is the status of the man who has always been at the heart of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Phil Coulson. After returning to the mortal coil from “Tahiti” at the show’s beginning, Coulson has endured loss of limbs, loves, and his own life. Now he is reborn as a super-advanced LMD, extraordinarily capable and fully personified, while also hindered by the realities of an artificial life he never wanted.

That dichotomy between true heart and synthetic form animates Coulson’s arc from the first moments of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 7 premiere. He loves and wants to help his team; he hates and wants to be free of the body that makes that possible. The situation is complex and the episode treats it as such — “The New Deal” is clear that this conundrum cannot and will not be resolved quickly.

Related: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. chose the right path for Coulson’s continuation

Still, however matters conclude, Coulson’s return feels like a joyful shot in the arm for the final season. The twinkle in his eye is back, as are his proud smiles watching Daisy in action, the one-liners and thoughtful quips as already weird situations get exponentially weirder. This being Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s final season, those qualities are necessarily limited, but they are all the more precious and wonderful for their brevity.

Time-travel… explained?

Another pressing question on which the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 7 premiere offers some clarity is that of time travel. Skipping through time and space isn’t exactly a novel occurrence for our intrepid agents, but the specifics of the current scenario — following the ill-intentioned Chronicoms through history to thwart their plans of world domination — certainly provide lend a twist to the stakes.

agents of shield season 7 premiere

Unless your name is Deke Shaw, none of the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have gone farther back in time than their own contemporary age. And though 1931 isn’t exactly recent, the season premiere pointedly illustrates just how easily it could be for the team’s influence on the past to effect their future.

So, like Avengers: Endgame before it, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. carefully lays out its own approach to traipsing through the past — one that will have both exciting and ominous consequences just within the scope of the premiere.

A twisted mission

Some of these consequences necessitate what you might call a somewhat counter-intuitive approach to S.H.I.E.L.D. history. In the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 7 premiere, the realities of the organization’s origins, particularly those concerning Hydra and its associated shady characters, create unexpected demands from a team that has always proudly aligned itself on one side of that binary.

agents of shield season 7 premiere

But it’s not just the fact their circumstances require a new approach to Hydra. The nature of the team’s true enemy, the rapacious and nearly-unstoppable Chronicoms, creates new stresses on members already strained to the breaking point. And as the pressure mounts and choices narrow, more drastic, violent options become increasingly more appealing… at least for certain members of the crew.

Deja-vu

Judging from the premiere, it seems like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 7 will be one of familiar elements turning up in unexpected places (and costumes.) That’s certainly true for Patton Oswalt’s character, a version of the Koenig template that is different from his antecedents far beyond the fact of his mustache.

But Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fans should keep a keen eye out beyond the surface at all times. Names and factions we already know could lurk behind every door, ready to play unexpected roles in the new adventure. With time as their playground, and everything old suddenly new again, the agents are bound to run into a few highly relevant figures that will (one way or another) determine the course of history.

agents of shield season 7 premiere

Star-crossing intensifies

Meanwhile, though time travel and omniscient enemies preoccupy most of “The New Deal,” the question of unresolved relationships lurks large in the background. For Fitz and Simmons, the lack of resolution seems almost to be the point — not that a degree of purpose makes the mystery any easier to bear.

At the same time, Coulson and May face fewer mysteries, but more than their own share of unresolved issues. The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 7 premiere already has plenty of material on that score (for example, they were both literally dead) but the opening episode suggests that there may be a few more bumps on the road than we were led to anticipate.

Yes folks: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is back, and the drama is real.

The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiere, “The New Deal,” airs on Wednesday, May 27 at 10:00 p.m. on ABC.

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