One question has plagued Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fans all summer: Where is Jemma Simmons?
Sucked up into the mysterious monolith she was studying in the last moments of season two, Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) could be quite literally anywhere in the Marvel universe. But, the time for theorizing is finally over as the ABC hit returns for season three, bringing along with it some answers. (Just some—this is a Marvel production, after all!)
E! News was lucky enough to attend a screening of premiere, where we spoke with the cast about the season ahead, and trust us: The episode is not to be missed. Let us fill you in on what to expect—well, as much as we can without Marvel siccing the Avengers on us!
The Hunt for Jemma
Some time has passed since the events of the finale and there's still no sign of Jemma, something that's fundamentally changed poor Fitz (Iain De Caestecker). "Wherever Simmons is, Fitz will be looking for her, you can expect," he told us. His search in this first episode will show Fitz in a surprising, new light—and it's a good look for the character. As for where exactly Jemma may be? Well, you're going to have to wait and watch for any information on that.
Daisy In Control
Last season, we said "Goodbye, Skye" as Chloe Bennet's character learned she was actually Daisy Johnson. And in this first episode back, Daisy's embraced a new role in the team. "There's been a time jump and everything's changed a lot," Bennet said. "And Daisy is in the field in her new awesome outfit, trying to find Inhumans, and deal with the repercussions of the fish oil." We'll see pretty quickly just what havoc the Terrigen that fell into the ocean at the end of season two is already wreaking on the world, as well as Daisy and Coulson's (Clark Gregg) plan of action to handle the resulting Inhuman outbreak.
An M.I.A. May
At the end of last season, Agent May (Ming-Na Wen) stepped away from the team for a little "me time," and in the opener, her plans for the future remain unclear. "I think people will be surprised in the first episode. There's going to be a huge question mark about Agent May when they see it," Wen revealed. "That, I think, is a good push for her journey this season, is figuring out for herself where she belongs and where she should really now start prioritizing her life, you know? Whether it's personal stuff, family stuff, or S.H.I.E.L.D."
A New, Shadowy Government Organization
You didn't think S.H.I.E.L.D. would be the only ones handling the influx of Inhumans, did you? "It becomes clear very quickly that S.H.I.E.L.D.'s not the only people trying to track them down and there's another very formidable organization run by a very formidable person played by Constance Zimmer, a character named Rosalind Price," Gregg teased. "She's kind of the female Coulson. She's tough and formidable and funny and smart, and he can't tell if she's gonna cut off another piece of him." Rosalind quickly proves herself to be no joke, though her motivations remain murky, at best. "You know, I don't even know if she's good or bad, to be honest, and that's been fun to play with," Zimmer admitted. "Everybody is kinda looking over their shoulder."
As for rumors that sparks may begin to fly between Coulson and Rosalind? "There's truth to it. The question is: What kind of sparks?" Zimmer said with a laugh.
Mockingbird on the Mend & Hunter's Plot for Hydra
When we last saw Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki), she'd just taken a brutal beating from Ward (Brett Dalton). And, though some time has passed when the premiere picks up, she's still got some healing to do. " She's been through it. She has only one lung now and she's only able to use one of her knees, so it's a lot of rehab and her trying to find her identity again," Palicki said. "So she's going to be hanging in the lab a lot with Fitz, which is going to be a fun dynamic. Him telling her what to do, she rolling her eyes."
While Bobbi's taking it easy, Lance Hunter (Nick Blood)'s got Hydra on the mind. "It's kind of tunnel-vision on Ward, really," Blood admitted. "I think he's determined to avenge the torture of Bobbi and he's hell-bent on that, really. He was never particularly a hardcore S.H.I.E.L.D. guy and I think he's not quite as dedicated to the cause as you'd think and it's certainly more personal for him now."
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns tonight at 9 p.m. on ABC. And be sure to check back with us after the premiere for more scoop on what's ahead from Clark Gregg and Chloe Bennet!