The following contains 5.97 sextillion metric tons of spoilers from the Season 5 premiere of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
It was, as promised, a world of difference when Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. uncorked its Season 5 premiere, as Coulson & Co. came to realize that the big question was not so much where in space they were, but when. Plus, what… happened to Earth?
Because just as they were getting acclimated to their new digs in “The Lighthouse,” to which they each were transported via a Kree monolith similar to the one that took us to Maveth, May and Simmons discovered while stealing a trawler that Earth is no more, almost entirely blown to smithereens.
Coulson in turn gleaned from his new acquaintance Deke that they are nowhere close to the year they left, but instead got deposited far into the future — as affirmed by the yellowed postcard that Fitz had planted however long ago for them to find, assuring, “[I’m] working on it.”
Deke had an even bigger bombshell to drop, though. After Daisy followed him to where he has carved out (and hawks) a little bit of comfy Framework, Deke revealed that Earth’s destruction was caused by… Quake!
“I think that, at first, she doesn’t believe it,” Chloe Bennet, who plays Daisy, offered during our visit to the S.H.I.E.L.D. set this week. “She’s just genuinely, ‘No, I’m literally not powerful enough, I don’t know what you’re talking about.'”
So for the time being, Daisy’s focus will be “that my friends are safe and that we get the f–k out of here,” says her portrayer. “But I think the more that it comes up, as you’ll see throughout the season, it’s kind of made a thing. And it does end up kind of haunting her a little bit.
“It’s yet another issue that she gets to have,” Bennet continues, “because having eight dead boyfriends and a dead parent, and then a dad who’s brainwashed and working as a vet in Indiana, and, you know, having almost died… that’s not enough. Apparently.”
For those who did not directly cause Earth’s end, that grim reveal “raises the stakes so much,” said Elizabeth Henstridge, “because when you think about everybody that’s not with us, what does that mean?” Those “not with us” of course includes Jemma’s love, Fitz, who was purposely left behind at the diner by the agents who grabbed the others.
Although Fitz was completely missing from the two-hour premiere, “He, you know … might be turning up in space sometime,” said Iain De Caestecker. “But he’s not there right now…. That’s my answer, and I’m sticking to it.”
How exactly is Fitz toiling away in the “past” to find his friends and hopefully avert Earth’s fate? And until he does so or doesn’t, why does Deke think Coulson is there to “save” those indentured aboard the Lighthouse?
“The idea is that S.H.I.E.L.D. has to somehow save the future, save the planet — whether that means fixing it there, or liberating its people, or figuring out a way to put things back together,” said exec producer Jeffrey Bell. “[Those are] questions that they will unravel over the course of a whole bunch of episodes.”
Surveying the shocking opener as a whole, Bell noted: “We thought it was a pretty cool way to start the season, and a nice, ‘I didn’t see that coming,’ hopefully. It’s a way to put our team together, because they’ve been so fractured over the last season, and solve something together. Hopefully they’ll leave the place a little better than when they found it!” (With reporting by Scott Huver)