SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major "Orientation," the Season 5 premiere of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has blown up the world -- literally. In "Orientation," the Season 5 premiere, Director Phil Coulson and his team discovered that they had been hurled into a future where the Earth has been destroyed and the last surviving members of the human race live on a spaceship overruled by the Kree. However, the story behind the Earth's destruction remains a mystery, though one character is pretty sure he knows who to blame.
Asked what happened to the planet, Tess shrugged. "Good question. Ask anyone, they'll give a different story," she said. "All we really know is the planet was torn apart. Some cataclysmic event. Then the Blues showed up, restored order, but destroyed all historical data -- files, books -- so it would keep us focused on the future. Now they oversee everything that's left."
Deke has his own theory. "Daisy Johnson. You say you're not dangerous. Quake. You see, I'm the one person that's pieced the history together, that has an idea of what happened. You want to know what kind of force can tear a planet apart? It was you," he revealed. "Because S.H.I.E.L.D. tried to save the world, and you want to see the consequences? Take a look. You see an Earth that can be saved? It's too late. It's already been quaked apart."
That's right: Deke blames Quake for Earth's destruction. Though he doesn't detail how she was powerful enough to do so, he seems pretty convinced she is the reason that humans are on the brink of extinction. "We are a breath away from extinction. We make one wrong move, and -- in a blink -- mankind is gone for good," he spat. "You think if you work hard enough, if you inspire them, that you can put the pieces back together? You think you can save mankind? Give them back a world with freedom and justice and all that other Pledge of Allegiance garbage? I'm telling you to make peace with it. Surrender to it and make this your home, just the way it is."
Of course, it's worth pointing out that Quake isn't the only person in the Marvel Cinematic Universe capable of destroying an entire planet. After all, Avengers: Infinity War is just around the corner, and the climactic movie will bring Thanos the Mad Titan to Earth. As seen in the massively popular trailer, he begins to destroy Earth with his machines in Infinity War, which hits theaters in May. As such, he could also be responsible for Earth's destruction.
It's possible, then, that Deke misunderstands the information he "pieced together" off of the remaining historical records. He may have been fed a false story by the Kree, who know all about Deke's opium den of a Framework program: "Of course they know about it. They're crazy about it, because I'm improving people's lives. I'm giving them something other than just hour after hour of endless grind." That being the case, they may have manipulated the Framework to further stamp out the faith of any True Believers, who believe S.H.I.E.L.D. will appear to save humanity, by blaming Quake instead of Thanos. Likewise, he could be correct that Quake destroyed the world but wrong about the reason why. If it is true that she destroyed Earth, she may have done so in a bid to end Thanos' -- or some other power's -- forces. Either way, Deke's intel that Quake destroyed the world may be misleading, but we'll have to wait for more episodes to find out for sure.
Airing Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 stars Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Henry Simmons, Ian De Caestecker, Natalia Cordova-Buckley, Elizabeth Henstridge, Nick Blood, Jeff Ward, Eve Harlow, Pruitt Taylor Vince and Coy Stewart.