SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for "Inside Voices," the latest episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. just set the stage for Graviton -- again. "Inside Voices," the latest episode, revealed that Franklin Hall isn't gravitonium's only victim. In a flashback sequence, Ruth Negga's Raina sacrificed Ian Quinn (David Conrad) to the gravitonium, where the Season 1 villain has been ever since.
The flashback, which ran as a tag before the credits, took place four years prior to the events of the episode. The scene found Raina and Quinn in a van together on the way to a destination unknown, with the gravitonium in tow. Looking relieved, Quinn thanked Raina for her assistance, saying, "How you got through to Garrett, I'll never know, but thank you."
"He learned to trust me in the end, and this is what I wanted," she replied. "This act cements a bond."
"Yeah. It does," he agreed. "You have my undying loyalty now. I never wanted any of that Hydra nonsense. I just wanted the gravitonium."
At that, Raina stood and uncovered the gravitonium. "Oh, no. You misunderstand. It wanted you," she said, opening the crate. Once freed, the gravitonium reached out and grabbed Quinn. It covered him completely and, once it had him, retreated back into the crate. Raina then closed it and sat back down with a sly smile on her face.
Prior to the flashback, the episode set up the fact that there was not one, but two people trapped inside the gravitonium. When Carl "Absorbing Man" Creel touched the gravitonium in an attempt to absorb it, he failed. Instead, he got flashbacks to Season 1 episode 3, where Franklin Hall was merged with the element. "It's alive," he told Hale with horror.
The experiment continued to affect Creel throughout the episode. "It won't leave my head. Whatever's in there, I can't control it," he explained. It even influenced him to track down Coulson, who he almost choked out. "Gravitonium... It hates you. It wants you dead," he hissed, then quoted Hall's final words before the gravitonium took him.
Later on, as Creel helped Coulson and Brigadier General Glenn Talbot escape, he had an episode that made him pause. "Can you hear them arguing?" he asked, to which Coulson shook his head no. However, the voices continued, and even tried to prevent Creel from resuscitating Coulson when a punch to the chest stopped his heart. "They never agree on anything, but they agree I shouldn't help him," he revealed.
By revealing gravitonium's sentience, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. seems to be building for the arrival of Graviton. However, it's unclear what form Graviton may take at this stage. Like CBR speculated back in January, he could rise of his own volition, taking on the shape of Franklin Hall -- or, now, the recently reintroduced Ian Quinn. Since Absorbing Man has been exposed to the gravitonium, he could also ultimately transform into the element, becoming Graviton himself (though this seems unlikely). It's also possible that Ruby and Werner von Strucker will beat General Hale in the race to rebuild the particle infusion chamber, allowing Ruby to bond with the gravitonium and become the Destroyer of Worlds -- perhaps even driving her mad in the process. Either way, it seems like the show is making good on its Season 1 promise to introduce Graviton.
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.