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Quake Could Be More Powerful Than Ever After Agents of SHIELD Season 5

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 has come to a dramatic close, with Quake successfully defeating Graviton and saving the Earth. It was a tremendous victory, achieved because the episode gave Daisy a significant power-up.

S.H.I.E.L.D.'s fifth season saw the showrunners toying with the audience's expectations. Time and again they dropped hints and clues, only to pivot away from them. Will Daisy become the Destroyer of Worlds, or will Ruby? In the end, neither was; the real Destroyer of Worlds was actually General Talbot, a twist that slipped under everybody's radar even though he started dressing in blue and bearing a Graviton beard well before he was exposed to Gravitonium. In exactly the same way, "The End" opened with a fake-out, with S.H.I.E.L.D. convinced the Centipede Serum could either be used on Coulson or on Graviton; they had to choose to save their fearless leader or to save the entire world. In reality, there was no way to use the Centipede Serum, and it was Coulson who made the choice for them. He slipped the last remaining sample of the serum into Quake's gauntlet, and in so doing changed the timeline and saved the planet.

Related: Agents of SHIELD Season 6 Should Stay Cosmic

It turned out that boost was what Daisy needed in order to defeat Graviton. She broke free of his grip, and literally blasted General Talbot into space. It's the second time S.H.I.E.L.D. has dealt with a powerful enemy by sending them into space, and both times it's cost Daisy dearly; the first time she lost Lincoln, this time she's lost her father figure. But Coulson may well have left her a lasting gift; it's quite possible that the Centipede Serum will boost Daisy's powers permanently.

What Does The Centipede Serum Do?

The Centipede Serum was developed under the orders of Hydra leader John Garrett, and seems to be a logical next step from Daniel Whitehall's particle infusion generator. It seems the core component of the serum is a chemical that alters the DNA, allowing foreign elements to be grafted into it. The first version of the serum was dangerously unstable, as it incorporated Extremis. Hydra eventually learned how to prevent subjects flaming out, and it then became usable for Garrett; he had a variant strain created that included Jiaying's DNA, allowing him to stay alive even though his body was deteriorating as a result of the Deathlok Program.

The standard Centipede Soldiers were physical powerhouses with advanced strength and resistance to injury. The addition of a dendrotoxin - ironically developed by Fitz and Simmons - meant their powers were stable and they didn't need repeated exposure to the serum. A side-effect of their powers, however, was the fact that they needed to rest after action, and tended to consume enormous amounts of energy for their bodies to metabolize.

Related: Agents of SHIELD Season 5 Tying Into Infinity War Was A Mistake

Daisy apparently used the last vial of Centipede Serum. The fact S.H.I.E.L.D. believed its effects could save Coulson suggests that it was a later version of the serum, one that didn't require repeated exposure. It's unknown exactly what components were part of this version of the Centipede Serum; given Extremis seems to have been in every version, that seems likely to have been in the cocktail, but certainly S.H.I.E.L.D. had added Jiaying's healing properties into the mix in order to keep Coulson alive. So the sample Daisy injected herself with likely contained both Extremis and Jiaying's powers. It also possibly contained a variant of the super-soldier serum, and even sources of Gamma radiation, both of which were common components in the Centipede Serum.

Page 2 of 2: What Quake's New Powers Mean

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