As Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. heads towards next week's two-hour season 6 finale, it unexpectedly brought back a season 5 character: Flint (Coy Stewart). In last week's episode, "Leap", the season's Big Bad Izel (Karolina Wydra) unveiled the truth about Sarge's (Clark Gregg) connection to the late Phil Coulson: he is really a non-corporeal being from Izel's realm named Patchakutiq who is inhabiting a genetic copy of Phil Coulson made by the three Monoliths, Space, Time, and Creation.
Izel infiltrated the Lighthouse to steal the Gravitonium Containment Device, which gives her access to the Monolith's power and the ability to open the Fear Dimension. Because she has the power to body swap, Izel took over the body of Yo-Yo Rodriguez (Natalia Cordova-Buckley) and escaped S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters aboard Zephyr-One with the Gravitonium Device and a hostage, S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Mack Mackenzie (Henry Simmons). Their destination was South America where they would rendezvous with Dr. Marcus Benson (Barry Shabaka Henley), who was researching Izel's origins.
In this week's episode, "From the Ashes", Izel learned that Benson had found the ancient temple located at the intersection of ley lines that would allow for her people to breach into Earth from her dimension. To coerce Benson's cooperation, she used the Gravionium Device to open the Fear Dimension and manifested Benson's deceased husband. However, Mack and Yo-Yo teamed up to save Benson by getting him into a Containment Module and dropping him to safety. But that didn't deter Izel since she already had the coordinates to the temple. Once they arrived, Izel revealed that while she has the Gravitonium Device, she still needed the Monoliths, which are long destroyed. Despite Mack and Yo-Yo's claims that nothing she could do would convince them to help her solve this problem, the Fear Dimension manifested Izel's solution from the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s minds: Flint.
In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5, Flint was one of the Agents' allies aboard the Lighthouse in the post-apocalyptic future of 2091. Flint was a young Inhuman teen who forcibly underwent Terrigenesis by the Kree led by Kasius (Dominic Rains). His transformation unlocked his genetic potential, which was geokinesis, the power to manipulate the Earth. It was thanks to Flint's powers that S.H.I.E.L.D. was able to time travel back to 2018; the young Inhuman was able to rebuild the Time Monolith, which was then powered by Enoch (Joel Stoffer), to take Coulson and his team home. Rather than join his new friends in the past, Flint opted to remain in 2091 with Tess (Eve Harlow). The last fans saw of Flint in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5, he accepted a keyring-sized globe of the Earth from Tess, which she called "a blueprint" of what Flint needed to do to restore the planet with his geokinesis.
What isn't yet clear is whether this is indeed the real Flint who appeared in the temple. If Flint is a manifestation from the Fear Dimension and not the genuine article, then he would essentially just be an illusion who couldn't actually rebuild the Di'Allas, which is Izel's name for the Monoliths. So this has to be the real Flint, complete with his Inhuman geokinesis powers, somehow plucked from 2091. If that's the case, then the Fear Dimension preyed on Yo-Yo and Mack's knowledge about the boy's abilities to repair the Time Monolith as well as Mack's affection for Flint.
In the time they spent fighting in the Kree in the future together, Mack developed a father-son-like bond with Flint and invited him to become part of a family with Yo-Yo in 2018. Though Flint is surely a welcome sight for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fans, his unexpected arrival in season 6's endgame now brings Izel one crucial step closer to destroying the world with the Shrike.
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 6's 2-hour finale airs Friday, August 2nd @8pm on ABC.