SPOILERS for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. "All Roads Lead..." ahead
The latest Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode, "All Roads Lead..." featured a major twist in the form of a death of a character, so we explore if the team actually changed the timeline and saved the world. In a surprising moment at the end of the episode, Yo-Yo killed Ruby, the young Hydra agent who had seemingly become the Destroyer of Worlds when she went through the Particle Infusion Chamber to be infused with Gravitonium. Afterward, Yo-Yo declared she had saved the world - but did she?
Ever since the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 premiere, the team has focused on getting back to the present and preventing the Earth from being destroyed. The agents uncovered a handful of clues as to what actually broke apart the planet. They learned that it was destroyed by someone known as the Destroyer of Worlds. Those in the future were lead to believe that to be Daisy Johnson aka. Quake. However, the introduction of the Particle Infusion Chamber and Hale's plan to infuse someone with Gravitonium seemed to mean the Destroyer could be anyone - namely Ruby.
In "All Roads Lead..." we see Ruby be infused with eight percent of the Gravitonium mass before Hale insists the process be stopped due to Ruby's distress. After she's let out of the chamber, Ruby has gravity-related powers, but she's also plagued by the voices of Franklin Hall and Ian Quinn, who were absorbed by the Gravitonium. Ruby has trouble controlling her powers, and accidentally kills Werner von Strucker, but Hale and Daisy believe they can talk the girl down. However, Yo-Yo arrives and sees Ruby - who was the one to cut off Yo-Yo's arms earlier this season - and uses her Inhuman speed to kill Ruby.
What Ruby's Death Means For the End of the World
Although Ruby no doubt acquired powers by being infused with Gravitonium, she may not be the REAL Destroyer of Worlds. If she isn't the person to crack the Earth apart in the time loop the agents have found themselves trapped in, then killing her may not affect the timeline. In fact, Ruby's death might actually be part of the timeline that leads to the Earth being destroyed. We - the viewers - and the agents don't know for certain who destroys the world, they only know it to be someone nicknamed the Destroyer of Worlds. However, since there's still plenty of Gravitonium left that could be infused in someone else, there could be another Destroyer.
Further, Yo-Yo killing Ruby has massive consequences in the form of Hale turning to Qovas and his mysterious alien race. With the loss of her daughter, Hale has turned against S.H.I.E.L.D. and tells Qovas they have the Gravitonium he seeks - and she doesn't care if he kills them to get it. Yo-Yo's actions have effectively brought the wrath of an alien race down on S.H.I.E.L.D., which will be explored in next week's episode, "Option Two."
Plus, Yo-Yo killing Ruby deviates from the advice given to her by her future self, who said they only way to save the world is to let Phil Coulson die. While she might want to believe there was another way to save the world, one that doubles as revenge against the person who cut off her arms, the fact is we don't know for sure that Yo-Yo's actions in "All Roads Lead..." saved the world. Although Yo-Yo believes killing Ruby saved the world, it's more likely this is just another part of the time loop.
Since we've yet to see a moment when the agents are forced to decide whether to save Coulson or let him die, the most pivotal, timeline-changing moment is still ahead in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5. Of course, with only four episodes left in the season, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will have to wrap up this storyline soon. As such, the mysteries of the Earth and its destruction will be revealed soon enough.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 continues Friday April 27 with "Option Two" at 9pm on ABC.