SPOILERS for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 episode 'Inside Voices' ahead
In the latest episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., 'Inside Voices', Coulson dies - and comes back to life - but what exactly does it mean for season 5? Ever since the season 5 premiere revealed the Earth is cracked apart at some point in the near future, the team has been trying to save it. Meanwhile, viewers have been trying to piece together how exactly the world is destroyed. We've been given few clues, such as someone called the Destroyer of Worlds being involved, but the mystery remains.
When Yo-Yo ran into herself in the future, her future self told her that one way for the agents to save the world was to not save Phil Coulson from dying. Specifically, future Yo-Yo said Coulson was already dying and the agents had to let him. After returning to the present, it was revealed Coulson is dying from his Avengers injury. According to him, his deal with Ghost Rider undid the Kree tech that brought him back to life. However, the latest episode of the show offers a curious development with Coulson and the season 5 mystery.
In this week's episode, 'Inside Voices', Coulson dies and comes back to life in what seems to be a key moment of the season 5 story. Further, the episode features some other interesting developments related to both Coulson and the Gravitonium in Hale's possession. But what impact, if any, does any of it have on the overall season 5 mystery? We break it down.
Coulson Dies & Comes Back to Life - What it Means
In this week's episode, Coulson attempts to fight off one of General Hale's android guards, but the android punches Coulson directly in the heart. This results in Coulson's heart stopping and when Glenn Talbot checks for a pulse, he doesn't find one. Thankfully, Carl Creel uses his abilities to send an electric current through Coulson's heart that restarts it. And Coulson is brought back to life once again. After Coulson is brought back, Talbot quips, "You know, you die more than anybody I've ever met." While it's undoubtedly a funny line, it also might foretell what's to come on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
We knew Coulson was going to die and we knew his life hanging in the balance was a key part of the events that lead to the Earth being destroyed. Based on future Yo-Yo's warning, it sounded like the agents could save the world if they simply let Coulson die. Due to these comments, it seemed she was talking about Coulson's Avengers injury that's slowly killing him - again. However, the agents have been searching for a way to save him, despite him having come to terms with dying for good.
As a result, viewers have been lead to believe the agents will be unable to change the timeline by letting Coulson die because, as we've seen with the team's efforts to find a way to save Coulson, they can't simply watch their leader die. Additionally, Yo-Yo didn't share what her future self told her in regards to Coulson dying potentially saving the world. Though, given how Simmons, Yo-Yo, and Fitz have taken the fact that they make it to the Lighthouse in the time loop for granted, it's not surprising that the agents may make the same moves and decisions they always do in the loop.
But, what if Coulson's death in 'Inside Voices' is the death needed to change the timeline? Earlier in the episode, Robin, the future-seeing Inhuman, says of Coulson, "He's gonna die." When May says they're going to save him, Robin looks skeptical - potentially because she knows it's about to happen and there's no way to stop it. It's possible Coulson's death in this week's episode is part of what helps the agents save the earth, though it's unclear how exactly. Or, if it's part of the time loop, it may be another event leading directly to whatever destroys the Earth.
We still know very little for sure about what exact events lead to the destruction of the world. As revealed in last week's episode, we don't even know the true identity of the Destroyer of Worlds. However, 'Inside Voices' offers new insight about both Coulson and the Gravitonium that might help us understand the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 mystery.