Tonight’s Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD revealed that one of the agents isn’t long for this world.
Spoilers for Agents of SHIELD Season 5, Episode 10, “Past Life”,
Tonight’s episode of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD revealed that none other than Phil Coulson himself is dying.
The revelation was made by the seer, Yo-Yo, from the future, to her past self. Not only does she tell our Yo-Yo that Phil Coulson is dying, but it's SHIELD’s attempts to save Coulson that leads to the destruction of the Earth.
This is also confirmed by Coulson’s actions in the episode. Daisy Johnson, who is destined to destroy Earth, planned to stay behind in the future so that she can never return to her own timeline and destroy the planet. Coulson ICEs her and carries her lifeless body onto the trawler to escape. He says that he needs her to lead.
He needs her to lead because he is dying. As Coulson bends down to lift Daisy up, his shirt falls opens and reveals a creeping black scar spreading over his chest. The scar does not seem to be natural.
This may, in fact, be the debt that Coulson owes to Ghost Rider finally manifesting itself. Fans who watched the fourth season finale of Agents of SHIELD will remember that Coulson temporarily took possession of the Ghost Rider in order to defeat the rogue life model decoy called AIDA. At the time, Mack noted that the Ghost Rider doesn’t do anything for free.
Mack was right. Robbie Reyes, who is the regular wielder of the Ghost Rider, asked Coulson when he was going to tell his team the truth. Coulson didn’t seem in much of a hurry. Being abducted by Enoch and sent to the future probably interrupted whatever timeline Coulson had in mind.
It seems likely that whatever is killing Coulson was the cost of wielding the Ghost Rider’s power. His impending death explains why he needs to make sure Daisy is ready to lead. No further details were given on Coulson’s state in this episode, but there’s still plenty more of Agents of SHIELD Season Five to go.
Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD returns to ABC on March 2nd.