Agents of SHIELD season 6, episode 10, "The Leap" finally began to unravel the mysteries of season 6 - but still left a lot of unanswered questions. Agents of SHIELD season 6, episode 10 explored the immediate ramifications of last week's shock ending, in which May had apparently killed Sarge. But this is a superhero show, meaning death is something of a revolving door.
Episode 9 had hinted that Izel is a body-snatcher, and as a result many viewers had suspected that May was under Izel's control. Those suspicions turned out to be well-founded; but, however predictable the twist may have been, Agents of SHIELD handled it deftly. The episode swiftly built up a strong sense of paranoia, with both the cast and the audience struggling to work out who Izel was possessing at any time. By the end of Agents of SHIELD season 6, episode 10, Izel had helpfully answered a lot of the questions that have been running through this season. There was probably a bit too much exposition, but on the whole it was effective.
Agents of SHIELD season 6, episode 10 put Director Mack to the ultimate test, and it remains to be seen how he's performed. The episode ended with Izel leaving with two hostages, Mack and Yo-Yo, having captured the ball of Gravitonium that contains the energy of three Monoliths. Mack trusts his team to get him out of this - and he seems to have a plan.
7. Why Did Izel Shoot Sarge?
The previous episode had ended with the Izel-possessed Agent May shooting Sarge four times in the chest, apparently killing him. To Simmons' amazement, however, Sarge's heart began to beat once again; his body then healed at an incredibly advanced rate. When Sarge escaped and confronted Izel, she revealed that she knew critically wounding him would trigger his abilities - and also potentially his true memories. Everything Sarge remembers from his past was fake, and only a shock on this scale could force his true memories to the surface.
6. What Are Sarge And Izel?
Agents of SHIELD season 6, episode 10 featured something of an extended info dump in which Izel explained that she and Sarge - actually the ancient alien called Pachacuti - originate from a realm of non-corporeal beings. Hungry for physical form, they created the Monoliths as a way to achieve it; when the Monoliths were destroyed in Agents of SHIELD season 5, it created an opening to their plane of reality. Although Coulson was able to close the rift before it threatened the entire planet, he had to enter the sphere of energy created by the Monoliths in order to do so. The Monoliths apparently reacted to Coulson's presence, and created a duplicate body, which they projected through time and space. Pachacuti became trapped within this shell, and Izel pursued him to this plane of existence before the Monolith-created portal was sealed. Sarge's connection to Coulson has finally been explained.
At the end of Agents of SHIELD season 6, episode 10, Fitz watched a recording of Izel's exposition and told Deke that the SHIELD team had encountered something like this before. He compared Izel and Pachacuti to Ghost Rider, a formless spirit that could inhabit the bodies of others. It's a fair comparison; it seems that Izel and Pachacuti are the MCU equivalent of demons. Back in Agents of SHIELD season 4, Ghost Rider revealed that he fought on the front lines of "a war that's been going on forever." It looks as though SHIELD have just met some of his opponents.
5. What Is Sarge And Izel's History On Earth?
Presumably, the Monoliths transported Pachacuti's body back to the time of the ancient Incas, given Agents of SHIELD season 6, episode 8 revealed he became part of Incan mythology. Izel arrived there too - possibly some time later - and swiftly decided to share the gift of physical form with the rest of their race. Fortunately for humanity, Pachacuti had absorbed enough elements of Coulson's psyche to feel protective towards Earth, and he stopped her opening a portal.
It's reasonable to assume both Izel and Pachacuti were taken offworld when the Kree arrived on Earth; according to season 3 they visited the same kind of geographic location, and are known to have been interested in the Monoliths that they found there. It's taken Izel all this time to track the Monoliths down - and, while their physical form has been destroyed, their energy still remains.
4. Why Did The Chronicoms Hide The Monoliths In The Lighthouse?
It's difficult to say whether or not the Chronicoms knew what the Monoliths were; certainly it's unlikely that they encountered Izel and her kind before, otherwise they should have recognized what was happening when the Shrike arrived on Chronica II. But, while they may not have known just how powerful the Monoliths were, they certainly knew enough to believe they were dangerous. They secreted the Monoliths in the Lighthouse, a facility on the same backwater world they'd been discovered on, one that had been carefully erased from human records but was impregnable enough to literally survive the end of the world.
3. Why Did Mack Lock Up Daisy And Yo-Yo?
To the credit of SHIELD, it didn't take the team long at all to put the pieces together and work out what Izel is. Agents of SHIELD season 6, episode 10 saw Mack step into the role of director in a more forceful way than we've seen to date, issuing orders and expecting blind obedience. Once he'd proved that Yo-Yo and Daisy weren't possessed, he got them to lock themselves away. Mack claimed this was to prevent Izel possessing them, but this explanation seems spurious; he had no reason to assume she couldn't walk through walls. The more likely explanation is that he wanted to signify his authority, making himself a tempting target for Izel and thus protecting his people.
Izel may think she's in charge, but the episode seems to hint that Mack has a plan. It involves ensuring that he is one of Izel's prisoners. Whatever the plan may be, Agent May appears to have figured it out. She told Daisy that Mack is trusting his team.
2. Is It Possible Coulson Could Return?
Agents of SHIELD season 6, episode 10 subtly hinted that Phil Coulson could return. The Monoliths created an exact genetic duplicate of Coulson, and they even seem to have copied his soul. While Pachacuti possessed this body, he grew confused because he could feel the force of Coulson's memories and the depths of his emotions. Izel described Pachacuti's mind as influenced by "a holdover, an echo from the man whose body you inhabit."
This inevitably raises the question of just what would happen if Pachacuti left the body he now inhabits, either to take another host or to return to his own non-corporeal realm. That could have the same kind of effect the SHIELD team saw with Izel, with Coulson's mind reasserting itself. For the Coulson duplicate, it's likely he'd remember everything right up to Agents of SHIELD's 100th episode, when the doppelganger was created and possessed by Pachacuti.
1. How Can SHIELD Stop Izel And Sarge?
The stakes get higher for Agents of SHIELD. This time round, if they don't manage to stop Izel, they won't just lose the world; an entire dimension of non-corporeal beings will invade this plane of existence, possessing host bodies across the universe. Unfortunately, Izel isn't going to be easy to beat; while she doesn't seem to be as powerful as Ghost Rider, she's definitely beyond SHIELD's capabilities. Their only chance may be persuading Sarge/Pachacuti to help; the Agents of SHIELD season 6 trailer released at SDCC 2019 proves he has powers of his own.