The Agents of SHIELD season 6 finale raised a lot of questions for the show's seventh, and final, season. ABC chose to air the last two episodes of season 6 back-to-back, as SHIELD faced higher stakes than ever before. If Izel and Sarge succeeded in opening a gateway to their home dimension, this entire plane of reality would fall.
Mack may have trusted his team when he surrendered himself back in Agents of SHIELD season 6, episode 10, but he's swiftly left second-guessing himself. Daisy's decision to trust Sarge runs counter to everything Mack believes in, and he's apparently proven correct when the spirit of the demonic Pachacuti takes charge. Pachacuti's attempt to kill May backfires, and soon May is holding her own in a deadly duel against Izel.
Agents of SHIELD season 6 ended on a painful note of triumph - one that was unexpectedly subverted with the arrival of Simmons and a team of technicians. The Chronicoms have declared war on humanity, and they're determined to destroy SHIELD before they move on to conquering the planet. That sets up a lot of unanswered questions for next year's Agents of SHIELD season 6.
11. How Did May Survive Her "Death?"
The Agents of SHIELD season 6 finale moved Agent May to center-stage. Nobody had been affected more by Sarge's arrival on Earth than Melinda May, who found herself daring to hope that Sarge could be the key to bringing back Phil Coulson, the man she loved. In the end, that led to May making what seemed to be a fatal mistake, as she appealed to the humanity within Sarge - and it was overwhelmed by the demonic presence of Pachacuti. She was stabbed through the chest, and tossed into the portal to Pachacuti and Izel's realm as a sign that it was time to begin the invasion.
Fortunately, May was still alive when she was thrown into the portal, and she entered a realm where concepts such as life and death are meaningless. As such, it was impossible for May to die, and instead her body recovered at speed. That allowed May to fight against Izel's allies, killing them with the blade she had herself been stabbed with. When May eventually returned through the portal, though, she once again became part of a realm where death is possible. Her body began to fail her - until Simmons arrived on the scene to stabilize May's condition.
10. How Did The Chronicoms Take The Lighthouse So Easily?
Meanwhile, the Chronicoms' first strike against SHIELD is a success, and they take the Lighthouse with astonishing ease. They're able to do this because, back in Agents of SHIELD season 6, episode 6, the Chronicoms trapped Fitz and Simmons within their Mind Prison. That meant they obtain recordings of the two SHIELD agents' mental engrams, and as a result they have full access to their knowledge and memories. They knew all the access codes, overrides, and even the emergency procedures that were deliberately kept off the books in case of hackers. SHIELD didn't stand a chance.
9. What Are The Chronicoms' Plans?
The Chronicoms believe SHIELD are the only ones who can stand in their way, and they intend to use time travel against them. Their first strike on the Lighthouse captures Fury's Black Box, which gives them access to the entire history of SHIELD. Their goal will be to rewrite the past in order to ensure SHIELD can't stop them in the present day. They underestimate Enoch, however, who insists on acting as humanity's protector and saves Fitz and Simmons.
8. How Have Fitz And Simmons Unlocked Time Travel?
With Enoch's help, Fitz and Simmons escape and begin a counterstrike - using the same secrets of time travel. They modify the jump drives SHIELD has been working with throughout season 6, turning them into time machines. What's more, they appear to have made a few other discoveries along the way. When Simmons arrives in South America, she and a team of technicians seem to appear out of nowhere; later, Simmons makes a throwaway comment about how time to think isn't a problem any more. It seems the two SHIELD scientists have figured out how to manipulate time, even stopping it around them.
7. How Has Coulson Returned (Again)?
The mental engrams of many high-level SHIELD operatives were recorded back in Agents of SHIELD season 4, when they were trapped in a virtual reality called the Framework. Fitz and Simmons realized the Chronicoms could use these, and they stole them from the Lighthouse before making their escape. These recordings prove key to the next stage of their plan.
The Chronicoms have Fury's Black Box, which means SHIELD need access to their most dedicated historian. Phil Coulson had written his dissertation thesis on SHIELD's history back before he ever joined up, and he continued to study the past throughout his entire career. Given they have access to Coulson's engrams, Fitz and Simmons decide to create a Coulson android (in Marvel terms, an LMD) and program it with his knowledge, memories, and personality. Coulson has returned, after a fashion - and long-term fans will find this pretty amusing. Agents of SHIELD season 1 had focused on the mystery of Coulson's (first) resurrection, and at the time most fans believed he was an LMD.
6. Is Simmons An LMD As Well?
If Fitz and Simmons are working with LMD technology, there's no reason to assume they stopped with Phil Coulson. In fact, the Gemma Simmons who rescues Mack and his team seems ever so slightly out of character, a little more emotionally distant than usual. It's entirely possible that she's another LMD, and that the real Simmons is elsewhere.
In the comics, SHIELD is well known for having multiple LMDs of every high-ranking operative. Given Fitz and Simmons have the brain patterns of a number of key agents - namely Quake, Mack, Yo-Yo, Daisy, Coulson, themselves, and even Jeffrey Mace - they could potentially have teams operating throughout history.
5. Why Doesn't Simmons Know Where Fitz Is?
Whether she's really an LMD or not, the Simmons who's with Mack and his team has some sizeable gaps in her knowledge. For one thing, Simmons has absolutely no idea where Fitz is. This makes sense; the Chronicoms have the ability to record and manipulate memories, and as a result SHIELD will only be able to stop them if they compartmentalize their missions and reduce the risks should an agent be captured.
4. What Year Are SHIELD In?
Simmons takes the SHIELD team on preprogrammed coordinates to the Island of Manhattan, sometime in the twentieth century. The Empire State Building is the only one breaking through the clouds, and it was clearly still under construction, meaning this is probably 1931. There have been reports that Enver Gjokaj (Agent Carter's Daniel Sousa) may have been on set for production of Agents of SHIELD season 7, so this may lead into the story of the Strategic Scientific Reserve, which ultimately became SHIELD.
3. What Happened To Flint And Piper?
Agents of SHIELD season 6, episode 11 had seen Izel use the Monoliths to recreate Flint, the young Inhuman who had saved the SHIELD team back in season 5. Flint served a crucial purpose in Izel's plans, his powers allowing her to reform the Monoliths, but when that was over she cast him aside and shattered his knee so he'd hold Mack and Yo-Yo up. Mack had Piper take Flint away on a Quinjet - and from that point on, he was pretty much forgotten.
Daisy assumed that, given Flint had been created by the Monoliths, he was just another phantom. Back in season 5, though, those projections only existed in the immediate vicinity of the Monoliths; Mack was able to take Flint out of the Temple and stow him aboard the Quinjet. It's possible that Flint is something else, something akin to the Coulson doppelganger created by the Monoliths that had endured for millennia. If that's the case, Flint and Piper are still out there. It's possible they too have been picked up by Fitz and Simmons, and will be part of another team in another time-zone.
2. Was Izel The Real Villain, Or Was Sarge?
At first glance, the Agents of SHIELD season 6 finale suggests that Sarge was the real villain all along. In fact, Izel even suggested that Pachacuti was the real instigator of the invasion plan that had been hatched a millennia ago. After Sarge's death, Quake sadly told May that nothing of Coulson had been left inside the ancient being.
That may not be entirely true, however. Although Sarge stabbed Agent May, he then cast her near-lifeless body into his dimension. That single act saved May's life, and placed her in the position of being able to stop the invasion. Certainly Izel saw this as an act of betrayal, with Sarge purposefully sabotaging their plans. It seems that the spirit of Pachacuti and the goodness of Phil Coulson really were battling it out in Sarge, right up to the end.
1. Why Didn't SHIELD Use Quake Against The Monoliths?
The Agents of SHIELD season 6 finale did feature one tactical error on SHIELD's part, though. The Monoliths were the key to Izel's plans, and they work in response to vibrations. Quake's powers are vibrational in nature, and in season 3 she was able to trigger and control the Monoliths. SHIELD seem to have forgotten that fact, and as a result they settle for using Daisy as a diversion or a weapon against Sarge and Izel.