What a long, long month of anticipation, waiting for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 Episode 11. And I'm happy to report that "All the Comforts of Home" did not disappoint.
The story hit the ground running almost as quickly as Team Coulson did on their return to the present, re-introducing old plot threads and continuing the current ones wonderfully.
Not to mention the fact that I am very, very happy that (SPOILER ALERT!) Deke's not dead!
Some might argue that Deke's storyline was wrapped up quite well with his heroic sacrifice to make sure the monolith had power. Fair point.
I found him one of the best parts of the Dystopian Future arc the first half of this season, and I'm reasonably certain that there's plenty of story to be had by bringing him back to the present with the team.
Daisy: How do you show up in another time and, like, *immediately* get arrested?
Deke: Have you *tried* Zima?
While the Zima product placement (I admit, I had to check to see if it was a real brand) definitely distracted, Deke still provided a large part of the episode's brief moments of joy.
Even as the team basked momentarily in the success of their mission to get home, they still had to face reality: a truly psychotic woman called General Hale was out to get them.
With her Quake-obsessed daughter Ruby as her deadly (if not exceptionally reliable) weapon at her disposal.
I know I'm not the only one who thought of the late, lamented Sinara when Ruby showed up to ruin Team Coulson's day (and disarm Yo-Yo). That brief encounter was definitely a highlight of the episode.
Brutal, heart-stopping, and horrifying. Not to mention the fact that it was the first concrete evidence of Future!Yo-Yo's fate... In short, a major moment in the episode, and significant for the arc as a whole.
While we now know how Yo-Yo lost her arms, we still aren't certain that everything Future!Yo-Yo said is true or accurate, as Mack fairly pointed out. She was pretty far gone, and Kasius loved to manipulate people.
Does that include us, the audience? Or would that be too meta?
Though perhaps my favorite individual moment of "All the Comforts of Home" was the team's wry recap of all the insanity they've had to endure over the past four and a half seasons:
Coulson: These things look roomier from the outside.
Mack: It’ll get us where we need to go.
May: Hey, could be worse.
Simmons: True. We could be enslaved by an alien sociopath in a dystopian future.
Mack: Or we could be trapped in a virtual reality fascist state.
Fitz: Or stuck at the bottom of the ocean.
Yo-Yo: Or stopping a crazy robot lady.
Simmons: Or falling out of a plane.
Mack: Fighting Daisy’s mom.
Coulson: Or fighting Daisy’s dad.
May: Or *dancing.*
Y'know, they make it sound bad when they put it like that! (Do stop by our Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. quotes page for a rundown of some of the best lines of the night!)
There were actually a few continuity nods through the episode, including Fury's Toolbox, the Kree-calling beacon, Talbot, and (surprise!) Carl Creel's return.
General Hale's recruitment of Creel for a "team" made her ever more an a doppelganger of DC's Amanda Waller. (See: Suicide Squad and Arrow)
It's hard to tell at this point which of the two ruthless female authority figures is more psychotic and downright evil, but Hale's absolutely giving Waller a run for her money.
At least Waller's objectives were generally more or less clear! There's still a lot of mystery in this plotline, and it's wonderful.
While I already miss the hilariously deadpan Enoch, Joel David Moore's Noah made an entertaining replacement, even throwing a bit of shade on his fellow Chronicom.
Curiously, for all Noah's referral to Enoch as reckless and Noah's insistence on non-interference outside of "species-extinction events" (hah), he immediately and without hesitation attempted to save Fitz and Daisy from the exploding beacon.
I'd be sad if that were the end of Noah (we hardly knew ye!), but at least we know that Enoch of this time frame is still out there somewhere!
A few assorted thoughts before I turn the discussion over to you, fellow fans:
- Joel David Moore, who played Noah, is possibly best known for his despondent yet droll squintern Colin Fisher on Bones. Got a bit of a similar vibe here.
- Speaking of Noah, there's got to be a reason that the Chronicoms' names sound rather Biblical.
- One of the items of interest Noah mentioned was "An Asgardian spotted in the city." Thor: Ragnarok reference, perhaps?
- Now we know the origin of The Lighthouse! It is a bit odd, though, that it didn't even rate a mention in Fury's Toolbox, according to Coulson.
- Well, the team's reunited with Agent Piper! Too bad it only cost Yo-Yo's arms.
- Why is Ruby so hung up on Quake, anyway?
- Coulson's playing coy about the ominous black veins on his chest. I know there are other concerns at the moment, but what if he just dropped dead because he didn't even bother to get it looked at?
You can always watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. online – and there's big news! The next installment will be Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s 100th episode!
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 Episode 12, "The Real Deal," is written by Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen, and Jeffrey Bell and looks to be a truly epic celebration of this series.
Tune in on Friday, March 9, 2018 at 9/8c on ABC for this landmark event!