It's taken a few episodes, but now we finally know what Deke has been up to since getting a shot at a new life in the present day — he's taking full advantage of all that future knowledge to make himself rich and famous. Because of course he is.
Spoilers ahead for "Code Yellow," the latest episode of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which aired Friday, May 31, 2019.
Deke played a key role in the last season of S.H.I.E.L.D., as a member of the far-flung future where the team found itself in a post-apocalypse they successfully averted. Deke escaped to the present with them, essentially a man lost in time and a remnant from an aborted timeline. So, with a fresh slate in a world with the technology level of his distant past, he decides to leverage some of that future knowledge to solve world hunger — and repurpose the Framework as the coolest video game system in the history of mankind.
We catch up with Deke as a hotshot entrepreneur running his own hipster startup, a place with a Facebook/Google/Silicon Valley vibe to it all. In addition to the Framework, which he's turned into an action movie-style video game (complete with his own private end to the simulation, where a busty, fantasy version of Daisy hilariously saunters in to congratulate him on a mission well done). Hardcore fans of the show might also notice that his social media influencer girlfriend is played by series producer Maurissa Tancharoen, making a fun cameo in front of the camera.
Deke's life seems to be going pretty well, but things go sideways when Evil Coulson shows up in his conference room unannounced. He, understandably, assumes the S.H.I.E.L.D. team have managed to resurrect their fearless leader once again. It also raises a few questions — namely why Deke is on such outs with the rest of the team. He clearly hasn't been kept in any contact with the team for what looks to be about the past year that has passed between seasons. What, exactly, led to those outs? Hopefully we'll find out soon, since Deke is officially back in the fold.
This meeting with Deke also provides some insight into what Evil Coulson and his team are doing on our Earth. The team tracks his movements to determine he's apparently killing aliens/outsiders, and his tech is apparently capable of tracking beings that don't match the signature of the world they're on. It led them to a man possessed with an alien bat, and it also leads them to Deke, who has a different signature seemingly due to his time displacement. For what it's worth, Coulson doesn't care all that much for the details — he hunts things that don't fit. And Deke doesn't fit. May's investigation also provides some insight into that tech Evil Coulson launched into the sky, and it seems to be tracking tech, likely to help find these outsider creatures.
But why, exactly, are they hunting them down? That we don't know.
Though he seems to be enjoying his life as a famous rich guy, it's clear Deke misses his brief tenure with S.H.I.E.L.D. His, ahem, Framework sim makes that abundantly clear. We finally get the payoff when he uses the tech to capture Evil Coulson's biggest muscle man, and Mack gets a look at what, exactly, is keeping him so distracted. You could feel the embarrassment seeping through the screen. Oh, Deke. Poor, poor lovesick Deke.
He might be enjoying the fancy life, but Deke still has his future-honed survival skills. He stabs Evil Coulson in the hand to escape, and shows that classic ingenuity to help out Mack's team and also rescue his girlfriend. Though, yeah, that doesn't work out all too well for him.
Oh, Keller. We hardly knew ye. Yo-Yo's new boyfriend was shaping up to be a decent guy, and a solid addition to the ensemble — at least until he's possessed by that alien bat and Yo-Yo is forced to stab him through the chest and kill him. This happens just after Keller comes clean with Mack that he's dating Yo-Yo. R.I.P. Keller.
Evil Coulson also seems to have something in common with OG Coulson (aside from his face): He also has an affinity for Agent May. Evil Coulson has kidnapped May, and you know that ain't gonna go well.
Post-credit scene: This was a fun one, focused on Tancharoen's cameo as an influencer. We get to see a few of her posts, including the final one where she runs off with Deke's assistant (who turns out to be a sexy S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in disguise). Sorry, bro.