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Warning: MAJOR spoilers ahead for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., don't read any further if you haven't seen this week's episode yet.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has gradually become one of the most cohesive and interconnected fictional landscapes ever created. Ideas introduced in one narrative can have insane implications later in an entirely different corner of this ever-expanding world. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has almost always acted as the epicenter of the MCU, and last night's episode put its connection to Netflix's Luke Cage on full display. Although it did not directly reference it by name, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. kicked off last night's story by seemingly introducing audiences to the deadly Judas bullets that almost killed our favorite Harlem-based hero in September.
Let's rewind a little bit before we go any further. Last night's episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. opened with a joyous celebration. S.H.I.E.L.D. director Jeffrey Mace publicly acknowledged the undercover activity of Daisy Johnson and brought her back into the fold after her work earlier in the season. However, the ceremony was ultimately cut short when a sniper fired on the crowd -- narrowly missing our heroes. Springing into action, Mace used his newly revealed, Captain America-esque super strength to block the assassin's bullet with his podium; as the bullet struck the wood, it mysteriously began to drill and spark before subsequently exploding in grand fashion.
As fans of Luke Cage already know, the Judas bullet is one of the most deadly new weapons to enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe in recent months. Developed by Hammer Industries, the unique (and expensive) round is derived from salvaged Chitauri technology found after the Battle of New York, and is one of the few weapons that can pierce Luke Cage's nearly impenetrable skin. Whoever fired on Mace and Daisy clearly had the skills and resources to obtain the deadly bullet -- thus making them incredibly dangerous.
For the sake of comparison, check out the first appearance of the Judas Bullet on Luke Cage below to see how it stacks up against what went down on last night's episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
If that truly is a Judas bullet, it remains unclear exactly how Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will handle the presence of the deadly sci-fi weapon going forward. On the one hand, it could become a major plot point as Season 4 of the ABC series progresses. On the other hand, now that Luke Cage has officially introduced the lethal threat into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it could just represent a new peril that our heroes will have to contend with from time to time. Life as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. is never easy, is it?
We will just have to wait and see how the Judas bullet will factor into the rest of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s story. The ABC series airs every Tuesday night at 10 p.m. EST. For more information related to all of the most highly anticipated spring television debuts, make sure to check out our comprehensive midseason premiere guide!