Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s first arc of Season 5 is nearly complete, but there are a lot of unanswered questions. How did the world really be destroyed? What will the S.H.I.E.L.D. team do to fix it? What will happen to the Lighthouse population?
I have a theory but, before that, here’s what we know so far:
- After defeating Aida, the S.H.I.E.L.D. team and Ghost Rider part ways. The Ghost Rider takes the Darkhold to a safe place, while the S.H.I.E.L.D. team, facing certain arrest, head to a diner for one last meal together.
- Enoch captures most of the S.H.I.E.L.D. team from the diner and sends them to the future via the White Monolith.
- Fitz, left behind by Enoch, is arrested by the military. For six months, he unsuccessfully tries to locate the team. He does succeed in getting the attention of Lance Hunter, who breaks him out.
- Hunter and Fitz locate Enoch, who leads them to Polly and Robin Hinton. Learning from Robin that Fitz will be needed in the future, Enoch tells them where to find his Chronicom stasis pod, which is in U.S. military custody.
- Fitz and Hunter steal the stasis pod and escape the military facility with Zephyr One and most of their S.H.I.E.L.D. equipment. General Hale mysteriously executes her two subordinates in cold blood after their failure to capture the group.
- Fitz leaves a crate of S.H.I.E.L.D. tech in what will become the Lighthouse before being put into stasis by Enoch and left orbiting the solar system for decades in a Chronicom ship.
- The Earth is destroyed by some force that breaks apart the planet. A portion of the surface remains with atmosphere, but is overrun by Vrellnexians (“roaches”). A few humans takes refuge in the Lighthouse bunker/space station, which remains habitable. Quake is blamed, earning the moniker “Destroyer of Worlds.” (although this might be due to Deke’s lack of historical information, the fact that Kasius believed it as well leads me to believe that Daisy was indeed blamed for the disaster when it happened)
- The Kree, led by Kasius, arrive at the Lighthouse, the last remnant of humanity, and take control, destroying all historical documents and beginning a program of breeding Inhumans to sell.
- Coulson and co. arrive at the Lighthouse in 2091. Eventually, they discover that someone is still alive on the surface and was communicating with Virgil on the Lighthouse.
- Daisy is captured by Kasius, who plans to sell the “Destroyer of Worlds” to the highest bidder.
- Fitz is awoken by Enoch and arrives at the Lighthouse, posing as a bounty hunter at the auction for Daisy.
- Flint undergoes terrigenesis and develops the ability to move and fuse rocks together with his mind.
- With Fitz’s help, everyone except May escapes. Mack, Yo-Yo, and Flint stay behind to try to protect the Lighthouse population, while Coulson et al. take the trawler to the surface to seek out Virgil’s friends. While escaping the Kree, they discover that the Lighthouse’s artificial gravity is generated by gravitonium.
- May is sent to the surface by Kasius, but is rescued from certain death by Enoch. They are both picked up by an elderly Robin and her allies aboard an ancient Zeyphr One.
- Kasius learns from Sinara that other humans are still alive on Earth.
Whew! Now, with all that being said, here’s my theory.
At the end of Season 4, Aida was defeated, but the other big bad of the last half of the season was still at large.
After his fight with Daisy, The Superior was left crippled. Aida “fixed” him by leaving his head alive and giving him a set of LMD bodies to control. The two set out to finish Fitz’s machine, create human bodies for themselves, and reshape the world in their own image.
With Aida dead, however, The Superior was stuck. He couldn’t create a new body for himself and so was left in a state that he despised. His only option was to seek revenge against the S.H.I.E.L.D. team. He first tried to locate them using Fitz (I suspect that “Hale” was actually an LMD under The Superior’s control) but, when Fitz also escaped, he decided it was time to end his life, take the rest of the world with him, and make sure it was all blamed on Quake—the one who crippled him.
Eventually, The Superior got his hands on the gravitonium and used it to construct a device that would break the world apart slowly. At the same time, he planned an elaborate ruse where Daisy would get the blame (perhaps using one of the Daisy LMDs to “destroy” the world in a very public fashion).
As panic set in and Quake was blamed, a handful of humans sought refuge in the Lighthouse bunker—which was hastily modified to function as a self-contained living environment. Meanwhile, Robin and a small number of supporters sought refuse elsewhere, retaining control of the Zephyr. Kasius eventually arrived and took over, although he was unaware of Robin’s existence outside the Lighthouse. (alternate theory: Robin and co. operated from within the Lighthouse initially, but had to flee in the Zephyr with the Kree arrived)
With all that being said, the question remains—how will they fix things?
I do suspect that Flint will play a role. I’ve seen some speculation that he will “stick” the world back together, piece-by-piece, but I doubt this will happen. Even if he could do this, the world would still be totally wrecked. There would be no cities, no plants life, and no people, with the exception of the Lighthouse refugees. Also, it would permanently detach AoS from the MCU, as you can’t just blow up the Earth in such a permanent fashion.
Instead, I suspect that the team will—with Robin and Enoch’s help—locate either the White Monolith in the future, or a White Monolith portal generated from the past, and use it to return, along with Flint and the bulk of the Lighthouse refugees. Taking the refugees with them into the past is the only way to save them since, as mentioned, they can’t leave that future intact without jettisoning the series from the MCU entirely.
Once in the past, the team will track down the gravitonium device. Flint will play a key role by accompanying the team to the device and preventing it from beginning to fracture the crust, buying Fitzsimmons the time they need to shut it down safely.
So...plausible? Have I forgotten some key detail that unravels this whole thing? Any other theories?