Agents of SHIELD: [SPOILER] Returns in 'A Life Earned'

SPOILERS for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 'A Life Earned' ahead

In this week’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5, 'A Life Earned', a key character returns in a surprising fashion - Leo Fitz (Iain de Caestecker). At the end of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4, the Marvel TV series teased a storyline for season 5 unlike any they’d explored before. After the agents were kidnapped from a diner where they were sharing a meal following their time inside the Framework, Coulson was shown waking up in space. Now, three episodes into season 5 we know Coulson and the majority of the S.H.I.E.L.D. team were transported through time to the future in order to help save the remainder of the human race who have been subjugated by Kree.

The humans and their Kree overlords live on a space station known as the Lighthouse that’s embedded in a chunk of the destroyed Earth. But, while most of the team were sent through the Kree monolith to the future in the season 5 premiere, one agent was notably missing. The absence of Fitz in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 has left fans wondering why he wasn't transported to the future along with the rest of the team. Now, the latest episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., 'A Life Earned', offers some hint that we'll soon find out what happened to Fitz.

Related: How Did Earth Get Destroyed on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?

Throughout 'A Life Earned', Daisy Johnson (Chloe Bennet) learns what exactly the Kree leader Kasius (Dominic Rains) does with Inhumans - he auctions them off to the highest bidder as soldiers for aliens. Since Daisy is known as the Destroyer of Worlds for her role in Quake-ing the Earth apart, Kasius holds a special auction for her. It's during this gathering at the very end of the episode that a mysterious masked person bids to buy her, and that person is revealed to be Fitz!

That's all we get to see of Fitz as the episode ends there, but this brief appearance does seem to confirm the left behind agent has found a way to travel through time. Considering Fitz hasn't aged since we last saw him at the end of season 4 (and he'd be extremely old if he'd lived his life up to this point in the future), it seems certain he's traveled through time. Of course, that then poses the question of how he managed to get to the future. It's possible Fitz may have gone through the Kree monolith, but he wouldn't have done that without a plan to get his friends home. So he must have figured out a way to either go back through the monolith, or another means of returning to their original time.

Considering the synopsis for next week's episode, 'Rewind', focuses on Fitz and returning Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. star Nick Blood as Lance Hunter, it seems we'll learn how Fitz came to be in the future. The title of the episode additionally hints that we'll rewind in time to learn what happened to Fitz after the rest of his team was kidnapped from that diner in the season 4 finale. So, fans curious about Fitz's story won't have to wait long to find out where the agent has been. Though, what he's doing in the future and how he plans to get his team home remains to be seen as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 continues.

Next: Season 5 Successfully Soft Reboots Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 continues next Friday with 'Rewind' at 9pm on ABC.

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