Spoilers ahead for Episode 10 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 7, called "Stolen."
The big mystery of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s final season has centered on the long-lost Fitz, who may or may not have spent the first part of Season 7 guiding Simmons and the rest of the team through time. "Stolen" unfortunately added a lot more weight to the theory that Fitz has actually been dead all along, and Simmons just used Diana to make herself forget. The episode ended without giving a definitive answer to what happened to him, but it did reveal that Fitz might be the key to everything.
"Stolen" spent most of the hour with Nathaniel Malick and a young John Garrett using Gordon's stolen teleportation powers to try and get their hands on one of the good guys, and the agents operated under the assumption that Jiaying was the target. Malick ended up killing Jiaying, and it turned out that Simmons was the real target. Malick and Garrett kidnapped her and hijacked the Zephyr, flying away from the Lighthouse with, unbeknownst to them, Deke on board. When Simmons asked what Malick wanted with her, he revealed the troubling truth:
Malick: My pal Sibyl ran the numbers, and every outcome where we don't come out on top has one thing in common.
Malick: He's gotten in our way long enough. And now you're going to take us to him.
Depending on how you look at this exchange, it was either very good or very bad news. To start with the potential bad news before considering a sunnier side, an MCU project relying on a scenario centering on one men tends to not end well for that one man. In the worst-case scenario that I can imagine at this point, Malick could do a lot of damage to Simmons, only to get the information he's looking for and discover that Fitz is dead, all hope had been for nothing, and S.H.I.E.L.D. has lost.
That's admittedly a pretty bleak option, but should we ever rule out the worst-case scenario when it comes to poor cursed FitzSimmons after all these years? Another awful possibility is Malick getting the information out of Simmons somehow, hunting down a living Fitz, and then killing him.
On the potential good news side of the situation, Sibyl considering Fitz a target might be proof that Fitz is still alive, and it sounds like there are multiple outcomes where the good guys win as long as he's in the mix. Malick also said that Fitz has gotten in their way "long enough." Malick and Sibyl seem to have reasons to believe that Fitz is alive and has actively caused them problems, and Malick went to a lot of effort to kidnap Simmons.
At the very least, the bad guys think Fitz is alive, and all we have to go on that Fitz is dead is Simmons reverse-engineering a theory after Daisy told her about her devastation in the previous episode. Simmons made some logical jumps, but based on emotional evidence told to her by Daisy rather than actually experienced. The big question in my mind that could make all the difference is: what exactly was Simmons remembering that upset her so much?
If it's that Fitz died and she used Diana to make herself forget, then the team will have to figure out a way to save humanity without Fitz in the mix. If it's something else, then Simmons apparently went through a serious tragedy that she hasn't even considered yet with Diana in her brain. If S.H.I.E.L.D. decides to prove my theorizing for the past two-and-a-half months correct, then we'll learn that Simmons was devastated because she remembered the secret daughter she'd made herself forget and leave behind.
Fitz seems to be the key to everything, but there are still a lot of mysteries to be solved. I just hope that Malick and Sibyl don't know about Diana and are planning to remove it, because Simmons has gone through enough over seven seasons of S.H.I.E.L.D. already without having an implant forcibly pulled out of her brain to dredge up tragic memories. Deke accidentally ending up on board the Zephyr could be the variable that thwarts Malick and Garrett's efforts.
Could Deke sneakily use the inner workings of the Zephyr to cause problems for the bad guys? Or will he directly interfere to try and save his Nana? Will he repair the time drive after the hasty fix to escape to time loop and allow them to jump ahead to the future, or allow somebody from the future to travel back to them, and thus finally bring Iain De Caestecker's Fitz back into the action? We are almost out of episodes, so his return will have to happen sooner rather than later, and I'm open to anything.
For now, I'm going with the theory that Deke will fix the time drive in order to save Simmons and somehow bring Fitz back, who will of course reveal the truth about their daughter. I haven't come this far in Season 7 just to give up on the secret daughter theory!
In all seriousness, find out how Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. handles Simmons' kidnapping and the rest of the aftermath of "Stolen" with the penultimate episode, airing on Wednesday, August 5 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC. For what you can watch following the two-hour series finale of S.H.I.E.L.D., check out our 2020 fall TV premiere guide!