SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for the first episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5.
In Season 5, all but one member of the main Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. cast is headed to space. During Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s panel at Madison Square Garden for New York Comic Con, Head of Marvel Television Jeph Loeb unveiled the first twenty minutes of the Season 5 premiere, which was packed with mystery and alien action.
The episode opened with a day-in-the-life look at the mysterious man who kidnapped Director Phil Coulson and his team in the Season 4 finale. The nameless, balding man walks past a fridge door that has several childlike drawings hung on it. Then, he heads to the pool and goes for a nice, long swim, maintaining the same facial expression all the while. Upon coming inside, he completely disrobes -- and then removes his very skin, throwing it on top of his pile of dirty clothes. The episode doesn't reveal his true form, but viewers get a glimpse of his alien silhouette as he showers.
After he steps back into his skin suit, he drives to a warehouse, where he meets a man with a large white truck. Inside, an armed battalion awaits him, and he climbs in with them. They pull out of the warehouse and into the parking lot of a diner -- the same one where Coulson and his team were found in the Season 4 finale. As it turns out, the whole opening sequence was a brief flashback to the day they were abducted.
The bald man and his squadron move quickly, taking all but one member of Coulson's team, as one S.H.I.E.L.D. agent "wasn't on the list." Frozen in time, Coulson's team are swiftly moved to a new location and released. As they come back around, they are greeted with the sight of a monolith similar to -- but not exactly the same -- as the one that transported Simmons to Maveth. Before they have much time to react, the monolith devours them.
The monolith drops Coulson off in a space station undergoing an invasion. When he appears, he encounters several human people frozen in time like he had been just moments before. They are frozen in a moment of distress, as a hole had been blown open in the back of the ship; the three men are seen clinging to various equipment so that they are not sucked into the vacuum of space. Seconds later, the scene springs to life, and Coulson is almost pulled out. One unlucky crewman is, but another manages to seal the gap.
When Coulson makes his presence known, the two crewman are delighted. One -- later revealed to be named Virgil -- says that he is a "true believer" and a big fan of Coulson. The other reveals that the ship is in the midst of an alien invasion. Just as he says this, he is pulled back into the darkness by an unseen monster. Before they have any real time to react, Mack appears and knocks Virgil out.
The scene then cuts to Yo-Yo, who appears in a different segment of the ship. There, she encounters Simmons, who points out a handful of dead bodies. Upon inspection, Simmons discovers these bodies had been "drained," but they don't know by what. Fortunately, they are reunited with Coulson and Mack before they encounter one of these deadly creatures.
When Virgil comes to, he is able to name every single member of Coulson's team. Mack asks how he knows this, but Virgil ignores him and tells Simmons that he's sorry that Fitz was left behind on Earth. When Mack repeats his question, Virgil tells them that he has studied them extensively, and that they are destined to save humanity. Before he can elaborate on what that means, an alien gets him and Coulson's team makes a run for it.
The alien chases the team into a hallway. Yo-Yo attempts to kill the creature with a gun she picked off of one of the dead crewmen, but it is too agile and manages to evade her shots. The alien chases them into a sealed doorway, and they seem trapped -- but Daisy shows up just in time and completely obliterates it with her Inhuman powers.
Elsewhere, May arrives on the ship, but she materializes with a piece of metal inside her leg. With some clever maneuvering and a lot of determination, she frees herself, only for a mysterious masked man (Jeff Ward) to walk into the room. The man wears a maroon jacket and a helmet very similar one seen on Guardians of the Galaxy's Peter Quill. May watches as he bends down and removes something from the arm of a dead man. When she thinks he is gone, she steps out from her hiding place -- only for him to slam her into the wall with his arm pressed to her throat. He tells her that he has been looking for her, and -- with that -- the footage came to an end.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will return to ABC on Friday, December 1, following the conclusion of Inhumans. The series stars Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson, Chloe Bennet as Daisy “Quake” Johnson, Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May, Iain De Caestecker as Leo Fitz, Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmons and Henry Simmons as Alphonso “Mack” Mackenzie.