"Laws of Nature" is the first episode of the third season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..
When Coulson and the team discover a new Inhuman, S.H.I.E.L.D. comes face to face with another organization searching for powered people. And still reeling from Simmons' dramatic disappearance, Fitz goes to extreme lengths to try to learn how to get her back.
In Seattle, Joey Gutierrez undergoes Terrigenesis. He has no control over his powers, to liquefy metals, so he creates a lot of chaos in the city streets. A heavily-armed Black Ops unit surrounds Joey and tries to apprehend him, but Joey's powers cause their guns to melt and a car to explode. Joey uses the explosion to run away from them and hide in an alley.
As they corner him, S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Daisy, Mack, and Hunter arrive on the scene to protect him. Daisy uses her powers to push away the soldiers while Mack calls down a unit from S.H.I.E.L.D.'s plane to collect Joey. They escape in the nick of time. Coulson meanwhile takes a picture of the soldiers' mysterious leader as her men inform her of Joey's escape.
Back at the Playground, Coulson has his team hard at work trying to uncover the identity of the black ops unit that has repeatedly beat them to the new Inhumans. With the picture Coulson took, they find that she has worked for numerous governmental organizations around the world under a series of different aliases. Daisy and Mack try to bring Joey up to speed on what has happened to him. Coulson has Bobbi and the science team take a look at one of the unit's weapons recovered from the battle. Bobbi has taken over as head of the science team since Simmons' disappearance, while Fitz has completely lost himself in finding a way to bring her out of the monolith. His frequent dereliction of his duties at the Playground has Coulson and Bobbi at the end of their rope with him.
Bobbi calls Fitz to tell him she can no longer cover for him. Fitz, however, is in Morocco chasing down a lead on the monolith. He's researched the artifact's history, and came to the conclusion that a Moroccan gangster named Yusef Hadad is in the possession of a scroll casing that explains exactly what the monolith is. Fitz is willing a briefcase that has something Hadad would want in it for the scroll. Hadad's men take Fitz as their hostage and force him to open the case in exchange for his life. Fitz calls their bluff, and Hadad gives him the scroll. Fitz opens the briefcase to reveal the splinter bombs inside. However, the bombs are a trap, as they emit a blinding light the moment Hadad touches them. Fitz grabs the scroll and the briefcase and runs away.
Coulson gives Daisy and Mack permission to go after Lincoln, since they believe he could help Joey adjust to his new life. Meanwhile, Bobbi found the weapon to be a DARPA make, and found the unit's leader on surveillance footage from a DARPA facility. She also found that the only time of the day that she is alone is when she takes the train late at night. Coulson and Hunter confront her on the train, only for the other passengers to pull guns on them. The whole things was just a trap to detain Coulson. The woman, who reveals her "name" (or current alias) is Rosalind Price, asks Coulson why he's been killing Inhumans. Coulson can only answer with confusion, saying that her men beat them to the Inhuman each time.
Rosalind tells him that only recovered corpses. Suddenly, both of their phones start ringing. Coulson knows this means the mysterious third party that's been killing Inhumans has revealed itself, and Rosalind goes into another section of the train to take the call. Coulson asks one of Rosalind's men to help him grab his phone, but Coulson and Hunter instead take down their captors. The two S.H.I.E.L.D. agents set off an explosive to escape the train.
Daisy and Mack confront Lincoln. Since he turned on the other Inhumans, Lincoln has been working as a doctor in a hospital. The two agents try to convince him to come back to the Playground with them. Things get tense between them, and Daisy tells Lincoln to calm down once the lights start to flicker. However, Lincoln isn't the one doing this. The power goes out, and they leave the hospital room to see a monstrous figure kill a security guard with an energy blast. It demands to be brought to "the Inhuman", but lunges toward Lincoln once he sees him.
The monster tries to kill Lincoln, but Mack and Daisy help Lincoln fight him back. The monster uses his powers to burn a hole in the wall and runs away. They follow after him, but the monster burns a whole in the floor to escape. Although they were safe for now, Lincoln runs away when the police arrive, saying that S.H.I.E.L.D. has ruined his life.
The S.H.I.E.L.D. agents regroup at the Playground. They watch President Ellis give a speech where he announces the formation of the Advanced Threat Containment Unit, a special task force dedicated to protecting the Earth from alien threats in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s absence. Joey, meanwhile, finally shows signs that he's ready to accept his life as an Inhuman. Coulson talks to Fitz in his lab. Fitz opens the scroll, but it only has one word: "Death." Coulson tells Fitz it's time him to say goodbye to Jemma and accept that she's died. Fitz reluctantly says he's ready to do that, too, but once Coulson leaves he runs into the room holding the Monolith and starts pounding it with his fists and screaming for it to do something.
Elsewhere, Simmons tries to hide from something on an alien world.
- Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson
- Chloe Bennet as Daisy Johnson/Quake
- Iain De Caestecker as Leo Fitz
- Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmons
- Nick Blood as Lance Hunter
- Adrianne Palicki as Bobbi Morse
- Henry Simmons as Alphonso "Mack" Mackenzie
- Luke Mitchell as Lincoln Campbell
- William Sadler as Matthew Ellis
- Constance Zimmer as Rosalind Price
- Matthew Willig as Lash
- Juan Pablo Raba as Joey Gutierrez
- Andrew Howard as Luther Banks
- Ido Mor as Yusef Hadad
- Jude B. Lanston as soldier #1
- Daniel Messier as heavy
- Katie Hilliard as Tina Adams
- Mike C. Nelson as Witness
- Sufian Kassam as Driver
- Kacey Montoya as Reporter
Continuity and References to the Marvel Cinematic Universe
- Lash is introduced.
- Matthew Ellis appears.
- The events of New York, London and Sokovia were mentioned.
- Project T.A.H.I.T.I. was mentioned.
- Kree are mentioned.
- Pym Technologies is mentioned.
- Splinter Bombs are seen.
- It was announced that Season 3 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will introduce the Secret Warriors to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, assembled by Director Coulson and led by Daisy Johnson (Skye).
- In the background you can see Coulson has the axe that Mack used to cut off his hand hanging on the wall in his office.
- Chloe Bennet had to have her hair cut for this season to go along with the comic book version of Daisy Johnson. However, they went with a more fashion-forward style than in the comics.
- First episode of the series to not feature an appearance by Ming-Na Wen (Melinda May).
- President Ellis' speech marks the first shift to Captain America: Civil War.