The pieces are finally beginning to fall into place in Agents of SHIELD season 6, episode 8 - but there are still a lot of unanswered questions. Mack has been forced into an uneasy partnership with Sarge and his team, with the fate of the planet potentially on the line. It's still unclear whether Sarge is an outright villain or just an antihero who doesn't care about collateral damage, but in "Collision (Part I)," Sarge's plan kicks into gear. It involves driving a bomb into the Shrike that will blow a crater some 200 miles wide - with an entire city destroyed in the explosion.
Assuming Sarge isn't the true villain of season 6, though, that position is presumably occupied by the Shrike's creator. This episode confirms that the Shrike were made by an ancient entity named Izel - the same woman who's captaining the spaceship Fitz and Simmons are returning to Earth on. Her origin remains something of a mystery, but it appears to be tied into the mythology Agents of SHIELD has established over the last six years.
So what is Izel, what does she have to do with Sarge, and just who is the real enemy in Agents of SHIELD season 6? Let's explore the answers.
7. What Is Izel?
Agents of SHIELD season 6, episode 8 reveals that the Shrike's creator is a mysterious woman called Izel. According to Dr. Benson, Izel is a little-known figure in Incan mythology, some sort of angel or demon or god. It seems she first arrived on Earth millennia ago, and ancient carvings clearly show her creating Shrike as her agents even that far back. But for some reason Izel left Earth, beginning a quest across the cosmos. She's now returning to the planet - on the same spaceship as Fitz and Simmons.
Speaking to Fitz and Simmons, Izel says she's been striving to recover the Dialis - the three Monoliths that were left on Earth millennia ago, and that were such an important part of Agents of SHIELD seasons 3 and 5. She's unaware that the Monoliths were destroyed.
6. Where Does Izel Come From?
Dr. Benson says that Izel escaped "from a realm of fear and darkness." That's a pretty vague description, but it may well fit in with Agents of SHIELD season 5, which revealed that three Monoliths can be used together to access the Dimension of Dreams. Given that plane of existence was literally shaped by a person's greatest fears, it's possible Izel had been imprisoned there by her own people, and broke out millennia ago. She could be wanting the Monoliths in order to try to get to her own people.
5. What Is Sarge's Secret Origin?
Sarge may have negotiated his freedom with Mack, but the director of SHIELD is no fool; he refuses to allow Sarge to take his entire team with him, and further insists on him acting under the watchful eyes of Quake, May, and Deke. Quake has only just returned to Earth, and she's still pretty shaken up over the Coulson doppelganger, so she takes this opportunity to ask a few questions. Sarge is about as elusive as ever, but he does reveal one small detail - he claims Izel killed his family. This revelation may well explain why Sarge is so secretive; because he simply doesn't want to dwell on his past, to remember the loved ones he's lost.
4. What Is Sarge's Bomb?
Agents of SHIELD season 6, episode 8 finally reveals Sarge's plan to kill Izel. He's allowed the Shrike to gather together and trigger their exothermic energy release at one of Earth's ley lines. Now the reaction has started, he aims to drive his lorry straight into the Shrike; it contains a massive bomb, one powerful enough to blow a crater that's 200 miles wide. To give a sense of scale, this dwarfs the largest US nuclear test in history, at Bikini Atoll in 1954. That hydrogen bomb had a yield of 15 megatons, and left a crater just 1.24 miles in diameter. It's unclear whether this is an indication of the sheer power contained in the explosive device on the truck, or a measure of how powerful it will be if it's detonated on a ley line and triggers an additional release of energy from the Shrike.
3. Will Snow Switch Sides And Join SHIELD?
Sarge never planned to die in the explosion himself, though. He uses his portal technology to escape, and abandons Snowflake aboard the truck. She's understandably upset, and helps SHIELD track down the bomb. This raises the curious question of whether or not the slightly psychopathic alien could wind up becoming an ally rather than an enemy. Certainly she has the hots for Deke, and in fact Quake and May walk in on the two all over one another.
2. Did Izel Destroy Chronica II - Or Did Sarge?
The destruction of Chronica II, first mentioned in the episode "The Other Thing," is becoming a lot more complex. It seems that Sarge came within a hair's breadth of killing Izel on Chronica II, but she somehow escaped. But it's interesting to speculate whether Izel was responsible for what happened on Chronica II, or whether it was actually all on Sarge. The explosives he's working with are pretty powerful; could he have miscalculated the effect, and detonated one of his bombs at a Shrike hub, thus triggering a wave of energy that destroyed the entire planet? If this is the case, the real issue is that worlds are being caught in the crossfire between these two opposing forces.
1. What Is Enoch's Plan?
A final zinger reveals that Enoch appears to be inciting a civil war among the Chronicom, who are dividing between the Hunters and the Archivists. The Hunters still aim to save Chronica II by rewriting history, and they're using Fitz and Simmons' mental recordings in the hope of figuring it out. Enoch, meanwhile, is surreptitiously contacting his fellow Chronicom Archivists. These Archivists have been away from Chronica II for millennia, working among other races, and as a result they have a far higher degree of empathy than the Hunters. Enoch clearly believes these are the beings who truly represent his race, and he appears to be setting them up for a confrontation with the Hunters.