The Multiverse Theory can give you a real headache if you think about it too hard (or if you don't think about it hard enough), but is Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. actually going to put us through that madness in Season 5?
The theory suggests that for every hypothetical action or inaction, there is a parallel universe that exists for that hypothetical outcome, creating an infinite number of universes with infinite versions of our favorite characters. The idea of this possibility was raised in Friday's episode.
While Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) struggled to help a young inhuman control her abilities and win a slave-trade death match, the rest of the gang was investigating who had them transported to the future and why. The crazy answer? Someone surviving on the earth's surface — besides the cockroaches.
The who and the why of their field trip to this dystopian future are still a mystery, but the radio signal communicating with Virgil (Deniz Akdeniz) - the guy who heartily greeted Coulson (Clark Gregg) in the premiere - wasn't just an audio loop. It was a real person, communicating from the surface of what's left of the quaked apart earth.
Ever since the premiere revealed that the team traveled to the future, we've been wondering what the objective of this mission actually is. Time travel back to save the Earth? Destroy the Kree regime enslaving humans and inhumans alike? Find a new planet to call home? Whatever the purpose of this mission is, it's been set aside in favor of basic survival. But we might have gotten our first clue about how this bananas new premise could be solved.
In one of his many heated discussions with, Daisy (Chloe Bennet), Deke (Jeff Ward) mentioned the theory of the multiverse as an explanation for why this foray into time travel is possible. So there's a universe where Daisy quaked the world apart, and there's one where she decided to go for pizza instead. And then there's one where she decided to go for Chinese. And on and on we go.
This theory begs the question: did the team simply time travel to their own future or did they jump 80 years into another universe's future? The fact that Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) sent them a message presumably from the past seems to suggest they're still in their own universe, but if you haven't learned by now not to take Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. at face value, you're way behind the curve.
If they're in another universe, then there's every chance they can simply return from whence they came and everything will revert back to normal. After all, it's not like it's their earth that broke apart. If not, they've got some serious work to do to make sure Daisy never quakes the planet apart or to break the status quo keeping humanity under Kree control.
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D airs Fridays at 9/8c on ABC.