Before tonight's Agents of SHIELD episode aired, we were treated to a sneak peek of a scene between Agent May (Ming-Na Wen) and Rick Stoner (Patrick Warburton), which hinted at a big change in the timeline centered on Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The clip implied that "Project Insight," which was originally set into motion in the MCU in 2014, was being launched nearly 40 years earlier, presumably due to the Chronicoms interference. Sure enough, "A Trout in the Milk" confirmed that Project Insight was now being launched in 1976, and here's how the team tried to stop it...
Originally, Project Insight was a secret SHIELD operation that was introduced in Captain America: The Winter Soldier which centered on three Helicarriers that were intended to be used against large threats like the ones seen in The Battle of New York. However, the project was co-opted by Hyrda and used against SHIELD. Alexander Pierce had intended to use the Helicarriers to kill about 20 million people, but the plan was thwarted by Cap and Co when the Helicarriers' targeting systems were turned on each other. During Agents of SHIELD, the project no longer involved Helicarriers since they hadn't been invented yet in the '70s. Instead, SHIELD (unknowingly via Hyrda) planned to launch a satellite, which was intended to have the same effects as the original Helicarriers.
The team planned to flood The Lighthouse in order to stop the launch, but things took a turn when Mack discovers his parents have been taken hostage on the base. Instead, they alter the plan and decide to blow up the satellite mid-launch from the air, solving their problem but creating a new one... they've now given up their position.
Since the team took out the 1970s version of Project Insight, there's always a chance the original plan from The Winter Soldier could still happen, but based on a previous teaser for this season, we have a feeling the timeline has officially been changed. During the teaser, we see the Triskelion blow up from what appears to be from a hit from the Chronicom ship. In Winter Soldier, the building was damaged due to a Hellicarier.
Things seem to be changing at a rapid rate as the season progresses. Characters who previously died in 1970 are now alive in 1976, and we suspect Jemma's memory loss could have something to do with the changing future. What do you think is going on with Agents of SHIELD's time travel? Tell us in the comments!
Agents of SHIELD airs Wednesday nights on ABC at 10 PM EST.