'Agents of SHIELD': Can the Future Be Changed?

The SHIELD team has returned to their own time intent on changing the future, but is that even possible?

Not everyone on the team agrees. The first half of the fifth season of Agents of SHIELD not only introduced a terrible version of the future where humanity is barely surviving but also hinted that the SHIELD team has tried to change the future multiple times already and failed.

“Of course they want to prevent that,” executive producer Maurissa Tancharoen tells Entertainment Weekly. “But we’ve also established on the show that you cannot adjust what happens in time.”

That rule goes back to Daisy Johnson’s encounter with Charles Hinton in season three. Charles could show glimpses of a person’s death, but no matter what he or Daisy did they could not stop that death from happening.

Charles’ daughter, Robin, inherited a more general future-sight and has been trying to incrementally push SHIELD towards breaking the time loop from both the present day, as a child, and the future, as an elder in the human community. Leo Fitz doesn’t believe its possible.

“Fitz believes that once you’re in a time loop, no matter what you do, you might think every time you’re going to break it, but you’re never going to break that loop,” star Iain de Caestecker, who plays Fitz, says. “From my character’s point of view, there’s no breaking that.”

Executive producer Jed Whedon adds,“They have very few clues as to what really happens, so they don’t have a complete picture. It’s not like they can just go and say, ‘Okay, if we can stop this one thing from happening, then none of the bad things will occur. A little bit of the mystery is how would we stop it if we could? And can we? That’s some of the stuff we’re going to explore in the back half.”

The future was particularly dark for Elena “Yo-Yo” Rodriguez, who was tortured and forced to provide the Kree overlord Kasius with information about SHIELD.

“Is it preventable?” Yo-Yo actress Natalia Cordova-Buckley says. “I can’t really say, because if I say it is, then it means it doesn’t happen, and if I say it isn’t, that means it does. So let’s hope it is preventable, but we’ll definitely explain why we saw her that way.”

Things aren’t looking good for Yo-Yo in that depart after one brutal part of her future already came true in last night’s episode. Henry Simmons says that his character, Mack, remains determined that the future can be changed.


“Mack is in a place where he doesn’t want to necessarily believe that that is the course of the future,” Simmons says. “Some characters believe that it’s inevitable, but Mack doesn’t believe that. He believes there’s a possibility to change the course of what may come.”

Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD airs Fridays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.