How Graviton May Destroy the Earth on Agents of SHIELD

Agents of SHIELD Season 5 is building towards its own endgame. How can Coulson and his team stop Graviton from destroying the world?

SPOILERS for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. "The One Who Will Save Us All" ahead.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has finally revealed the true "Destroyer of Worlds," and the latest episode dropped tantalizing hints as to just how General Talbot could yet fulfill his destiny. The episode finally explained just which alien forces are approaching the planet; it turned out the Confederacy actually offered a deal to protect the world from Thanos. That essentially turns this entire season into one big tie-in story, an approach Marvel Television haven't taken since Season 1.

But, as terrifying as Thanos may be, the S.H.I.E.L.D. team know that he's not the only threat. They're trapped in a time loop, one in which Graviton's powers literally tear the entire planet apart. So far, events seem to have been happening just as they were destined to. In spite of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s best efforts, the world really seems to be doomed.

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But how could General Talbot, a.k.a. Graviton, shatter the planet like an egg? "The One Who Will Save Us All" finally offered some tantalizing hints.

Graviton Seeks More Power

Adrian Pasdar as Talbot Graviton in Agents of SHIELD

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. introduced the rare element Gravitonium back in Season 1. Theorized decades ago by Doctor Franklin Hall, Gravitonium is a rare mineral that has unusual gravitic properties. It's rare enough that Ian Quinn spent 20 years searching for Gravitonium across six continents. He ultimately found the only known deposit of Gravitonium in the world, and extracted a sample. Curiously, Quinn nowhere suggested that the mine had been tapped out. That means there's potentially more Gravitonium out there.

Aware of the terrifying threat of Thanos, Talbot has now decided that he needs more power. There's one easy way to get it: obtain more Gravitonium, and undergo the infusion process once again. What's more, Talbot may find it much easier to locate more Gravitonium than Hall and Quinn did; his powers will likely allow him to sense fluctuations in the Earth's gravitic field, essentially letting him sense the presence of Gravitonium.

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But this carries real risks. Not much is known about Gravitonium. It's possible that, like fissile material, a critical mass of the substance could generate a chain reaction of unstable gravitic waves. Meanwhile, the Gravitonium deposits are probably part of the Earth's pre-existing gravitic field. Removing them would risk destabilizing the entire world. Thus, so far, there are actually two ways Talbot's quest could threaten the planet.

How Does Daisy Fit Into This?

Agents of SHIELD - Quake promo image

So far, though, the time loop has followed a course that seems to fulfill every flashback and hint dropped in the first half-season. It's true that there are unexpected twists - Talbot's being Graviton is surely the best example! - but nothing has so far contradicted what little we know of the timeline. That means Daisy is still involved with this, and earns the title "Destroyer of Worlds" for quaking the planet apart. Talbot and Gravitonium are clearly important, but they're not the be all and end-all.

There are really two possibilities. The first is that the interaction between Daisy's powers and Talbot's powers will actually be what tears the planet apart. But the more powerful Graviton becomes, the more difficult it will be for Daisy to match him. The second possibility, though, is that S.H.I.E.L.D. uses the Destroyer of Worlds program to match Talbot. Even if Talbot is successful in recovering more Gravitonium, after all, it doesn't mean he'll be the one to be infused with it. So long as that infusion chamber remains active, S.H.I.E.L.D. could still grant powers to anyone they wish - including Daisy.

The reality is that, in spite of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s best efforts, the future still appears to be fixed. Ironically, if Graviton is powerful enough to tear the planet apart, he may actually have been able to stop Thanos - if his powers weren't so dangerous and unstable. With only two episodes to go, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 is building to a climax - and the moment when the timeline can be changed is no doubt arriving.

MORE: Agents of SHIELD Season 6 Can Improve Infinity War’s Cliffhanger

Agents of SHIELD season 5 continues with “The Force of Gravity” on May 11 on ABC.

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