The end is coming for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s fifth season, but it may arrive a little more quickly for one member of the team; the latest ad for "The Force of Gravity," this week's episode, teases the death of Agent Melinda May.
The ad places May and the alien warlord Qovas against a black field, May gazing off to the left, while Qovas -- facing right -- has turned slightly to look at her over his shoulder. According to the tagline, "Only one will survive."
If you've been keeping up with Season 5, this will probably come as a bit of a surprise. After all, the show has a established a future timeline through the year 2091 that reveals who will and won't survive the new two episodes of the season. Per the flashforward to 2022, May lives through the conflict, going on to become Robin Hinton's adoptive mother.
However, the ad sows the seeds of doubt. Thanks to the promo for "The Force of Gravity," we know that May will engage Qovas in a physical battle. Nevertheless, the outcome seemed pretty clear-cut: May will win, which allows her to participate in the 2022 timeline as we saw it. This ad, though, implies that the result of this battle isn't as guaranteed as we were led to believe.
Since Phil Coulson and his team learned that the Earth was destroyed in the 2091 timeline, they have actively tried to prevent it from happening -- but some members of the team don't believe it's possible. For instance, Fitz and Simmons have explored scientific theories that hypothesize time is linear; in other words, it cannot be changed. Additionally, Yo-Yo met herself in the future, and this encounter led her to believe they are all trapped in a time loop. Because of this belief, Fitz, Simmons and Yo-Yo think they are invulnerable, as linear time dictates that they will live long enough to see their respective futures come to pass.
If May were to die, that would knock this linear timeline theory off course and invalidate some of Robin's predictions. What's more, it would mean that the destruction of Earth is a truly avoidable event. However, May's death would be a massive price to pay just to learn that the future can change, so hopefully such a thing doesn't come to pass.
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 and Elizabeth Henstridge.