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3 questions ahead of the 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' season 5 premiere

The Marvel heroes are heading to space this season.
Agents of Shield season 5
"Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." season 5 debuts Friday, Dec. 1, at 9 p.m. on ABC. Photo by ABC

Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and his team are back in action when "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." season 5 kicks off on Friday night.

Between taking on evil government agents and getting trapped in a computer-generated mind prison, the Marvel heroes have been through a lot over the years. However, this season, Agent Coulson and his crew have a new challenge to face that's truly out of this world.

Here are a few lingering questions we have ahead of the "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." season 5 premiere.

1. Why are they in space?

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Season 4 ended on a huge cliffhanger, as fans saw Agent Coulson awaken on a spaceship after getting arrested with his team by a shadowy organization. As Mack (Henry Simmons) points out in the 17-minute preview for season 5, taking a trip to space is pretty much the last frontier for the S.H.I.E.L.D. crew, but it isn't exactly clear why they were transported off of Earth.

Now, space isn't exactly new for the Marvel universe thanks to the critically-acclaimed "Guardians of the Galaxy" franchise, as well as the less than stellar "Inhumans" series on ABC. However, this will be the first time that Agent Coulson and company will be fighting baddies  away from their home world, and the upcoming premiere promises to explain why these Earth-bound heroes are needed in space.

2. Will we see more of Ghost Rider?

"Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." debuted the MCU's non-Nicolas Cage Ghost Rider during season 4 with Gabriel Luna's take on the demonic hero. The Spirit of Vengeance played an important role in wrapping up last season's threads, as Ghost Rider was seen taking the magical Darkhold book to another dimension in the finale.

Although the mystical hero's appearance on the show was meant as a thematic tie-in to last year's release of "Dr. Strange," it's hard to see how he'll fit in on "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." now that the series seems to be focusing on space adventures instead of magical ones. That being said, Ghost Rider is still alive and kicking in the MCU, so there's always a chance that he makes an appearance this season.

3. Is this the final season?

Depending on where season 5 takes the show, "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." can very well continue on for several more installments. However, since the upcoming season will coincide with the build up for "Avengers: Infinity War," it would be fitting for the series to come to a close alongside what's being billed as the big finale for Marvel's current run of cinematic projects.

The blockbuster will feature Josh Brolin as the intergalatic villain known as Thanos, so it's perfect timing to have a space season on "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." Finding a way to tie in what's going on with the show with the seemingly universe-ending events of the next Avengers flick would be a fitting send off for the series and phase 3 of the Marvel movie universe. 

"Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." returns Dec. 1 at 9 p.m. on ABC.