Agents Of SHIELD Season 5 Episode 1 Explained: Back To The Future

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Why is SHIELD In Space?
Why is SHIELD In Space? ABC

Agents Of SHIELD Season 5 episode 1 was supposed to be just “SHIELD goes to space” but it ended up being much much more. Below, we’re breaking down all this crazy space and time-travel stuff. Major spoilers for the Agents of SHIELD Season 5 premiere ahead.

In the Season 4 finale, Agent Coulson, Simmons, May, Daisy and Mack (everyone but Fitz) were transported to outer space by a monolith similar to the one we saw in Season 3. At first the team thinks they were just transported to space, as the ancient Kree tech allows the users to teleport. But later in the episode, Coulson discovers the monolith actually acted as a gateway or what Simmons called a “temporal shift,” aka time travel. When they arrive in the space ship, Coulson meets a man named Virgil, the only “true believer” left of the humans now living among the oppressive Kree civilization. Elders, now all dead, believed this SHIELD would come save them. But the Kree killed them all, along with all data and records from Earth, to keep the current humans focused on the future.

Jeff Ward as Deke.
Jeff Ward as Deke. Marvel

So far, it’s unclear why the elders thought SHIELD would come save them. It’s possible it has to do with the people who sent SHIELD to space in the future. They appeared to be Kree living in disguise or they could even be people from the future who traveled back in time. But we do know an interesting piece of information about how Earth was destroyed and became uninhabitable...and it’s not what you’d think. There was no Kree invasion or natural phenomenon. Deke, the Star-Lord guy played by Jeff Ward, reveals it was Quake who tore the world to pieces.

Eve Harlow as Tess.
Eve Harlow as Tess. Marvel

The ship that SHIELD and the new characters, Tess (Eve Harlow) and Deke, live on was built over 90 years ago by humans. Deke and every human on the ship was born there. They are the last remaining humans. The Kree (mainly their leader named Kasius played by Dominic Rains and his assistant Sinara played by Florence Faivre), play cruel games on the humans. The one we saw in tonight’s episode is called “The Renewal.” Each person has a “metric” embedded in their wrist. Once it beeps a red color, the Kree put a gun in the room and all humans need to kill a certain amount of people. “A life spent, a life earned,” Kasius kept saying. What does that even mean?


We also failed to mention there are these weird creatures called “roaches” that drain the blood out of humans to preserve the bodies, a process the humans call “a vacancy.” There’s also a clear tie-in to the Inhumans origins. If you are familiar with the comics, you know Inhumans such as Daisy are a result of the Kree’s experimenting on humans. In the promo for next week's episode, we see Daisy has met another Inhuman on the ship. This probably means the Kree are still doing some wild shit.

The first episode also clears up loose ends from last season. Deke took what remained of AIDA’s framework technology (minus the Darkhold stuff) to design a virtual reality speakeasy. It’s sort of like drugs of the future. Some humans are addicted to it. It’s certainly appealing considering there seems to be no way out of Kree captivity and no hope of preserving the human race. Not to mention, SHIELD has no foreseeable way back to the present timeline.

Did you think this episode of Agents of SHIELD was as insane as we did? Let us know in the comments.

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