Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has inspired plenty of theories on Season 2’s Age of Ultron connection, Inhumans, or even a Secret Warriors spinoff, but the Avengers-adjacent drama has at least one major tie to the next big-screen epic. Cobie Smulders has confirmed her return to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. before the Season 2 finale, but what brings Maria Hill back in Coulson’s orbit?

We’d heard rumblings that Hill would return at some point over the second season, though Smulders herself confirmed during her Jimmy Kimmel Live! appearance that that Maria Hill would pop up again in an upcoming installment. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 has been said to feature a direct Age of Ultron tie-in, though exactly what would bring the fallen S.H.I.E.L.D. bigwig away from her new Stark gig isn’t entirely certain as of yet.

In the meantime, so reads the synopsis for next week’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. outing, “The Frenemy of My Enemy”:

In “The Frenemy of My Enemy,” a dangerous new alliance is formed as Coulson and Hunter turn to the last person anyone would expect – Grant Ward! As the war between S.H.I.E.L.D. factions continues, Skye and Lincoln will find themselves drawn into this conflict.

“The Frenemy of my Enemy” guest stars Henry Simmons as Alphonso “Mack” Mackenzie, Henry Goodman as Dr. List, Kyle MacLachlan as Cal, Jamie Harris as Gordon, Maya Stojan as Kara, Dichen Lachman as Jiaying, Luke Mitchell as Lincoln Campbbell, Kris Lemche as Ethan, Staci Roberts as Paula, and Trenton Rostedt as Hoodie Guy.

Of course, the “Dr. List” referenced above is the same scientist we’ve seen palling around with Baron von Strucker and those miraculous twins, so might he be the one to precipitate Maria Hill stepping in? How else might Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 set up The Avengers: Age of Ultron by Cobie Smulders’ return appearance?

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