Post Mortems

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Bosses Talk Team's Final Life-or-Deaths Dilemma, Looming Infinity War Threat

Agents of SHIELD Recap Finale

And there you have it. With the penultimate episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5, we now know exactly what Yo-Yo’s future self meant with her ominous warning about saving Coulson’s life.

“Phil Coulson is dying, and you have to let him. It’s already begun. He’s sick and he knows it,” frail, double-amputated Elena told her younger self back in Episode 10. “We tried to stop it. Loyalty. It cost us the world.”

As the team came to realize in this Friday’s episode, they may have a chance to neutralize the threat that the ever-powerful, gravitonium-gobbling, person-absorbing Talbot represents, if they can somehow dose him with a Centipede serum/Odium cocktail.

Or…. or, they can use the Centipede serum to fix what ails Coulson. But they cannot do both. Meaning, they can either save Coulson or save, you know, the rest of the world.

At the time that the S.H.I.E.L.D. writers put those cryptic words on future Yo-Yo’s mouth a half-season ago, “We had a sense of how were were going to play that out,” executive producer Jeff Bell explained to TVLine.

“A lot of the big stuff, we arced out of the season, and some of the details about how to get there were left open,” he added. But forcing the team to literally choose between the needs of the few (or the one) versus the needs of the (very) many “seemed to be where we were always going.”

But hey, at least “Philinda” got in an epic lip-lock before things got all-too-real, right?

Of course, the heated debate the team is about to have, over which path to take, could wind up being small potatoes if TV’s S.H.I.E.L.D. — having already made passing references to the events of Avengers: Infinity War — fully dovetails with the end of the blockbuster movie. (No spoilers here!) After all, this week’s episode revealed that it is now daylight again on the East Coast of the United States. And if you subscribe to the math that Infinity War spanned a little over 24 hours, big things should be happening soon.

Should S.H.I.E.L.D. fans worry that small and big screen worlds will calamitously collide in the TV show’s season finale next Friday?

“We think of our last few episodes taking place during the film,” co-showrunner Jed Whedon said when presented with our math. “You’re free to worry about anything you want to worry about,” he chuckled, “but for us, really, [Episodes] 19 through 22 are pretty much one day.”

“It’s sort of an unspoken Marvel rule not to address time,” Whedon noted, admitting some surprise that the latest Avengers film dodged the guideline with some of its dialogue. “In Infinity War, they say, ‘In the last five years…’ or whatever they say, and I couldn’t believe it. We’re told never to do that!”

Want scoop on S.H.I.E.L.D., or for any other show? Email InsideLine@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.