Marvel Television boss Jeph Loeb was quick to point out during the Agents of SHIELD panel at New York Comic Con is that this particular con has always been special to the show. They premiered their first episode at this convention, and now they were here getting ready to talk about their upcoming fifth season. Loeb isn't the only one crucially aware that the people in the crowd were the ones that have kept the show going for five seasons.
The cast on the panel, which consisted of Clark Gregg, Chloe Bennet, Ming-Na Wen, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, Henry Simmons, and new series regular Natalia Cordova-Buckley, were entertaining as they always are. This also included Loeb getting a smooch from De Caestecker, but it was a question from the audience that sparked Loeb to show his cards likely a little earlier than he planned. A fan asked if they had anything to show us from Agents of SHIELD Season 5, and Loeb revealed that they had the first 20 minutes of the two-hour premiere to show us.
Here is a spoilery recap for the first 20 minutes of the episode (but nothing major):
The episode begins as we follow a man through his routine. He is played by Joel Stoffer and IMDB says his name is Enoch. It's quite obvious Enoch is a little off, and we see just how off when he replaces his skin. He is part of the squad that took Coulson and company at the end of the previous season. The team is frozen, and as they are being taken out, one of the soldiers confirms that someone was left behind. At the time, we don't know who it is. The group is rolled into a room and we see a giant white monolith similar to the one that transported Simmons in the third season.
We cut to what looks like a space station and a window is blown open. Coulson appears and time catches up as people get sucked into space. A man hits the button and seals the room. One of them says he's not sticking around, but is jerked back. The remaining man is introduced as Virgil, and he knows who Coulson is. He acts like he is meeting an idol, or even someone he worships. We find out that the other members of the crew are slow to arrive and when Mack arrives, he punches Virgil out before we get anymore information about the things attacking people.
Elena also pops in and nearly kills Simmons, who is also in the room wearing a gas mask. There are dead bodies everywhere, and they have been drained. There's something on this ship killing people. Next we cut to May, who phases in with a pipe through her leg. Everyone except May meets up and we get a line from Elena: "I thought SHIELD would have a space division, like SPEAR." A SWORD reference? Maybe.
Back in the room with the broken window, a man comes through. He looks human and is wearing a mask that looks like Star-Lord, with blue eyes and a maroon leather jacket. He's played by actor Jeff Ward, but it's unclear who he is.
Meanwhile, everyone eventually runs into one of the monsters, which kills Virgil only after he reveals they are there to save the human race and not everyone on the station. As they are about to be trapped, Daisy appears and quakes the crap out of it. It appears the one left behind is Fitz.
May has freed herself and is hiding when the mysterious man comes in the room. May hides and watches the man take off of his helmet. He is human and he leans over one of the bodies. There is a black circle with a design on it that he seems interest in. May watches him pull out a knife and cut the symbol off of the dead body. She thinks he is gone, but he attacks her and pins her to a wall. He says, "I've been looking for you."
What does all of this tell us? Not much, actually. We still don't know who this man is or even the subtitle for the second season. We're in space, but who knows when? Virgil talked about "legends" and "history", which were odd choices of words. All we know so far is that something bad is going on with these aliens and the human race is at stake. It also looks like it's keeping the same tone as the previous season, so it's bloody and a little brutal.
Agents of SHIELD Season 5 debuts December 1st with a two-hour premiere.