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Agents of SHIELD - All the Comforts of Home - Review

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “All the Comforts of Home” was written by Drew Z Greenberg and was directed by Kate Woods. The episode sets up the next arc of the season and finally introduces Dove Cameron as Ruby – with a nice twist and reveal at the end of the episode. However, the episode also seems to confirm the inescapability of the time loop in the most shocking of ways – I did NOT see that coming and sat on my couch with my jaw hanging open…

The episode begins with Ruby who seems to be a typical rebellious teenager – but with a hero poster of Quake (Chloe Bennet) on her wall! We’re set up to believe that Ruby is General Hale’s (Catherine Dent) daughter. Is she? Or is this all mental control? Hale is concerned that Ruby skipped class – so are there others – inhumans? – also being kept at this facility or is this another aspect of whatever mind games Hale is playing?

Ruby stops Hale just as she’s leaving to ask if she’s a “good guy.” Ruby is concerned that Hale is going after S.H.I.E.L.D. Up until recently S.H.I.E.L.D. were the good guys… Hale assures Ruby that her orders are just to capture Daisy. Hale clearly has a line she goes to – she does what she must to help the “downtrodden citizens.” Hale shunts responsibility onto her “boss.” Hale, however, insists that she really does all of it for Ruby.

The entire team makes it back – and find themselves in the Lighthouse – but now, not the future. Luckily, Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) recognizes the Lighthouse and figures out that the monolith takes you back to where you left. Once Fitz fires the power up, they are presented by a holographic message from General Rick Stoner (Patrick Warburton), telling them that if they are there, the world must have come to an end. Coulson (Clark Gregg) recognizes him, but it’s clear from Stoner’s clothing and the way he talks about “electronic mail” (as being secure! LOL!) that this message is from the past – the seventies. Coulson remarks that there’s nothing in Fury’s toolbox about this black op – which is a nice shout out to a portion of the story we haven’t heard about in quite a while.

Coulson is concerned that Mack’s (Henry Simmons) injuries get looked after. Yo-Yo (Natalia Cordova-Buckley) uses this as an excuse to suggest Coulson should get his injuries looked after too – it’s a nice, sneaky way to get Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) to check on Coulson and find out if he’s really dying. Coulson, naturally, dodges the suggestion. Simmons wants to check everyone, however. Again, Coulson dodges, saying he wants to be with Daisy when she wakes up.

Fitz and May (Ming-Na Wen) go to see what they kind find. What they find are three monoliths: a time travel one, the kind that sucked Simmons to a different universe, and was the third the kind they found when Daisy went through terragenesis? They also find another chronomicon – Noah (Joel David Moore). I was really tickled to see Moore in a guest role – which he knocks out of the park – because I really enjoyed his work on Forever.

Noah knows Enoch – and knows about Fitz’s trip. Enoch is the one who also told Noah about the Lighthouse. Fitz and May are very concerned about the monoliths, but Noah assures them that the only people who know about the bunker are currently inside it – so the monoliths are perfectly safe. He also tells him that the world itself is still normal and safe…. For now…

When Daisy wakes up, she remembers Coulson icing her – he wishes she didn’t – and she immediately recognizes that they’re back. She’s still concerned that the risk was too great to bring her back. Coulson insists that he doesn’t care; he needed her there. I love the father/daughter chemistry between these two. It’s another fabulous scene between the two.

Noah takes Fitz and May to his command center – which has completely modern technology for monitoring the line between the world and a stranger world. May is still not happy about the non-interference directive. Unless there is an extinction level event. Noah tells them that he is monitoring several potential threats – and S.H.I.E.L.D. is mentioned a lot! May’s remark that they have a small but active fanbase is hilarious and very meta! Because we – the fanbase – are small but mighty!

May keys in on what Noah describes as potential alien activity. It’s a light beaming from the sky. Coulson brings us back to Voss’s words that this is where it all starts. But does this mean that we are already in the time loop? Maybe one of those other events – a well-known political figure, attempting to delete his FBI files – naw, that one’s ripped from the headlines, right? – an Asgardian spotted in the city – is actually where it really starts. Is that Loki? Are we moving toward Infinity War? Are they missing something important because they are focusing on Voss’s self-fulfilling prophecy?

The team focuses on the light. Noah says it showed up a few weeks ago in St Louis, Missouri. The signal is unusual, according to Noah, so possibly alien. Fitz has the zephyr close so the team prepares to head out. Daisy, however, insists that she’s not going. She’s the one who supposedly destroyed the world, so she’s not going near one of the omens – she’s stay and run backend of the mission with Noah’s equipment.

Mack insists that they need to be covert because they are all on the most wanted list. Noah reveals that there are tunnels running out from the Lighthouse. I loved that Simmons likens it to an Agatha Christie novel – a nice British mystery you could curl up and read on a rainy Sunday afternoon – and Mack immediately links it to C.H.U.D. – a horrific science fiction movie!

May seems a little disappointed in Daisy as she leaves with the others through the tunnel for River’s End – fyi, the Lighthouse is still, theoretically in Ontario, Canada, and there’s no River’s End here… I’d be happy to scout locations for them if they wanted to film here and make it more authentic! LOL! There’s a great moment as the team emerges into the sunlight and just drink in being home.

I love that Coulson picks an old VW van and asks Mack to procure it for them – but Mack has conditions! They have to return it when they’re done. Again, their responses are so THEM. Yo-Yo knows it’s coming, because she knows Mack. May is exasperated and Simmons admires Mack’s principles. Coulson promises no stealing.

Noah tells Daisy that it doesn’t bother him that Daisy is typing with his keyboard – but it clearly does! Daisy tells him that she’s setting up an alert for the team. Because it’s inevitable that they’re going to get in trouble!

One of my favorite scenes – possibly ever – is when they are all wedged in the “borrowed” van and each finds a way that it could be worse by referencing the horrible things they’ve been through! Fighting an alien in a dystopian future, being trapped in a virtual reality fascist state, stuck at the bottom of the ocean, stopping a crazy robot lady, falling out of a plane, fighting Daisy’s mom, or fighting Daisy’s dad. And I love that May’s only contribution is DANCING! Of course none of the danger is going to bother the Calvary!

It looks like they are about to get caught when a cop pulls them over – but Officer Kennedy (Antonio Aaron) just wants to talk about the van! He knows who owns the van – but he wants to know if it’s a clunker. Luckily, Mack is easily able to techno-car babble his way out of it. And it actually helps them return the van as they can leave a note on it to return to John Nickel.

The first surprise of the episode is Deke (Jeff Ward) arriving in the present! And as much as the team enjoyed the sun on his face – Deke’s joy surpasses them exponentially. Ward is hysterical in this sequence as he literally hugs a tree and then discovers that he doesn’t actually like the real taste of beer. I was really, really glad that he didn’t try that ice cream out of the trash. He does discover a drink that he does love – and the FOOD! Unfortunately, he has no idea about money… and he’s the one who ends up getting thrown in jail.

We get a gorgeous hero walk as the team is reunited with the Zephyr. May is happy to be back behind the wheel, but notices that Coulson is not well. Fitz and Simmons have discovered that the light is actually being sent from Earth – it’s not coming from space. It’s the beacon that HIVE used to call the Kree to Earth.

Mack finds Yo-Yo in the cargo hold, and she’s clearly bothered. Yo-Yo tells Mack that Elena said disturbing things. But Mack tries to convince her that Kasius was just messing with them, and they can’t let it rattle them. But Elena can’t let it go. Mack insists that they will change the future, and they can’t let Kasius in their heads because they need their heads in the game. Yo-Yo comforts herself with the fact that they don’t know what’s true and what’s not – and those words are going to haunt her – and Mack – by the end of the episode.

Daisy’s alert tells her that Deke has been arrested. Daisy wants Noah to go and rescue Deke before he tells the police about them, but Noah won’t go because of his non-interference directive. Daisy is forced to go – and takes Noah’s clothes for her disguise.

The team breaks into the aerospace lab – and in another surprise – they find Piper (Briana Venskus)! Hilariously, Benskus is also on The Walking Dead this week. Seems like her career is feast or famine! The team are happy to see her – and Simmons rushes in to hug her – even May smiles to see her. Piper doesn’t know how to stop the beacon – and it’s about to fire up again.

Daisy tells Chief Wellins (Stewart Skelton) that she’s Deke’s state assigned social worker – assigned to supervise him. She tells him her name is Sinara (at which Deke snorts!) Smith. Daisy tells them that she put out an alert when he went missing – and of course, Daisy easily hacked that into the system.

Someone has alerted Hale to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s presence at the lab, and she prepares to go after them. Meanwhile, Piper tells them she tried to carry out her mission, but there was no news on how it turned out. Mack is impressed that Piper recognized the beacon, but Piper reminds them that the beacon was her first mission – and aliens left an impression on her. Piper sent everyone away when the scientists working on it couldn’t get it to shut off.

Daisy has paid Deke’s bail and left a small contribution to the police fund to smooth things over. Chief Wellins is happy to have Daisy take Deke off his hands. Kennedy stops them before they can leave, saying there’s paperwork for them. Daisy tells Deke that she was worried he might have talked about them, and Deke tells her that he knew they were covert – and he survived the Kree after all. Daisy points out that he survived by ratting people out! Daisy was worried that Deke would be emotionally distraught, but Deke is thrilled to be there! And he’s super excited about gummi bears! Kennedy gets them to leave a number where they can be reached – and he looks very suspicious.

Fitz and Simmons disable the beacon. The device that Fitz finds inside was installed a bit sloppily… and then Piper reveals that she’s a traitor! The beacons wasn’t meant to call aliens – it was meant to call them. Hale’s people arrive – all wearing helmets. Yo-Yo is completely freaked out. '

The team is clearly outgunned, and May gives the signal to put their weapons down. It’s May, Mack and Yo-Yo on the front lines while Piper has Coulson, Fitz and Simmons in her sights. It seems like Piper has simply been sucked in by Hale’s lies. She tells them that she did tell their story to Hale and Hale just wants to bring them in.

However, when the leader – and the big reveal is that this is Ruby – is asked what to do, her orders are to kill them. Yo-Yo takes away their guns – and the fight is on. However, it’s clear that Ruby is not impressed by Yo-Yo’s smug smile. Piper insists that it’s supposed to be capture not kill. When Mack shoots one in the eye, they discover that they are robots – and we all know how Mack feels about robots!

Piper insists that she just wanted to help. Fitz and Simmons start packing up the device even as Coulson insists that she pick a side. Piper tells him that she’ll cover them. Mack and Yo-Yo are losing when Yo-Yo flashes to help Mack and Ruby takes off both her arms!!!! Mack wants to take her to the hospital, but Yo-Yo insists it’s too risky. She also insists that it’s all coming true – it’s a nice echo of the earlier conversation.

Deke and Noah meet, and they are interrupted by the return of the team. May urges Daisy to find her somewhere to land quickly – and did Rick Stoner out do himself with the landing whirlpool! Simmons works to save Yo-Yo’s life while Mack looks on. Fitz and Noah bring the beacon to the storage room. Daisy doesn’t say anything, but just goes up to Mack and hugs him.

Ruby returns and is revealed to be the leader of the strike team. Hale is angry and wants to know what happened. Ruby says they’ll have to seek medical attention and they have them right where they want them – but Hale points out that they had already had them! But Daisy wasn’t there! And that’s who Ruby wants. Hale reiterates that Ruby is her daughter – and a disappointment – who apparently lives in a cell, not a house.

They’ve made sure that there are no trackers on the beacon. Fitz is waiting for it to cool down, but Noah points out that it’s heating up – and then tells Daisy and Fitz to run, just before he jumps on it and it explodes.

In the final scene, we see Hale recruit Creel (Brian Patrick Wade) for her team. He’s interested in joining a team where he wasn’t interested in being a hired gun – seems like a pretty slight difference… Hale is clearly pleased when he gets in the car.

This was a pretty solid episode with a couple of powerful surprises. Natalia Cordova-Buckley delivers yet another terrific performance. Jeff Ward is really bringing the comedy. I wonder how long we can expect him to stick around? What did you think of the episode? This week is the 100th episode – what are you hoping to see? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Favorite Lines: 
Coulson: Did you really think with everything we’ve been through, you and me, that there was any universe in which I left you behind?
Fitz: That’s quite unsettling.
May: We have a small, but active, fanbase.
Mack: Annnnnd we’re back.
Daisy: Dope-ass is a good thing.
May: C’mon! We’re damn spies!
Yo-Yo: Baby, I don’t need a rock to crush it!
Noah: Enoch is very reckless. But you know this. You’ve met him.
Deke: This is awesome! I thought that I was gonna die, but instead I’m about to go for a walk outside. Also? There is an outside!
Fitz: Basically, it’s a timer…
Fitz: Too late for that.
Simmons: It looks a lot like kill.
Noah: I believe saving you from imprisonment was wrong. Deke: Oh. Alright. Cool. You seem fun.

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