Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has just aired its penultimate episode, and it’s definitely raised the stakes higher than ever before going into its series finale. All season, the team have been trying to prevent the time-travelling alien Chronicoms from altering the past so that they can weaken Earth and invade the future. This mission has been getting out of hand, though, as the weeks have gone by and now we know that they’ve officially failed and a brand new timeline has been created.
In the season 7 premiere, the gang agreed that they could make ripples in the past but had to avoid creating waves that would irrevocably change the timeline. A major wave was created last week, however, when Daisy’s mother Jiaying was killed before she had even had her daughter. In contrast to classic Back to the Future rules, Daisy didn’t blink out of existence, and in the latest episode, “Brand New Day,” it was explained that this is because a new divergent timeline has been created.
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Daisy’s recently revealed sister Kora was the one to reveal the bombshell, explaining that the gang are now stuck in this new timeline where she’s still alive but her mother is dead, as are Mack’s parents, and Nathaniel Malick wasn’t killed in his youth. This generally fits with the form of time travel explored in Avengers: Endgame, which saw the Avengers create various offshoot timelines with their meddling. The difference is that they were able to return to their original present when they were finished and S.H.I.E.L.D. can’t leave the one that’s changed around them.
This revelation has opened a can of worms that the finale will have to deal with to some extent. Will the team be able to return to the original timeline? Are they cut off from the prime MCU timeline for good? Why is this fated to be their last ever mission, according to Enoch? Find out in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s two-part finale, airing next Wednesday, August 12th on ABC.