The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. team seem to have finally found a way home. So far, Season 5 has seen Coulson and his team stranded in a dystopian future, one where the Earth has been destroyed. Strangely, though, the story has teased that they're there in fulfillment of an ancient prophecy - and that they may well be able to save the human race. The episode "Rewind" revealed the source of that prophecy, an Inhuman who has the power to see the future. Now, finally, the pieces are falling into place in the latest promo.
The last episode saw May greeted by an aged Robin Hinton. Only a child in our own time, it seems Robin survives the Earth's destruction, and lives on to 2091. Robin's Inhuman mind transcends time and space, and she used that power to manipulate events to bring S.H.I.E.L.D. to the future. In the present, the child Robin had the team taken to the Monolith at just the right moment. In 2091, she opened the Monolith, and attempted to have S.H.I.E.L.D. greeted by the True Believers. Given Robin seems to actually have control of the Monolith, it's clear she can actually send the team home.
It's been something of an open secret that the S.H.I.E.L.D. team has to return home. The present and the future are inextricably linked, in a strange and mysterious way. Deke has suggested Daisy is herself responsible for the Earth's destruction, meaning her return to the twenty-first century was always part of this timeline. The real question, of course, is whether or not S.H.I.E.L.D. can save the Earth.
Previous episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have suggested that time is fixed. In the episode "Spacetime," the team met Robin's father, Charles Hinton. When he foretold what seemed to be Daisy's death, the S.H.I.E.L.D. team went to great effort to try to change the future. Fitz insisted it was impossible, arguing that the nature of time means that anything actually foretold simply has to happen. Fortunately, in that case, the vision had been misinterpreted. Season 5, of course, isn't dealing with a vision; it's actually confronting the issue of time-travel. This time around, the future hasn't just been seen - it's been experienced.
Meanwhile, it's doubtful that Coulson will agree to go home straight away. As the S.H.I.E.L.D. team knows, Kasius plans to destroy the Lighthouse in order to end his exile. There's no way Coulson will abandon the Lighthouse's inhabitants to the threat of extinction. So he and his team are actually aiming to save the world twice.
Right now, there are still so many questions plaguing the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Robin's appearance has given them a way home, but without more answers, the world may still be at risk.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. continues with ‘The Last Day’ on Friday, January 19.