‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Season 5×11 Review: “All the Comforts of Home”

Disclaimer: Spoilers for the episode below. Previous episode review here.

Our second and final S.H.I.E.L.D. recap refresher before tonight’s 100th episode. Since this episode is a week old, I’ll be recapping the main points of the episode in a shorter style review.

“And we’re back.”

Indeed you all are, Mack. “All the Comforts of Home” lives up to its name by bringing our favorite agents back to 2018. Furthermore, it introduces (and in some cases reintroduces) some characters that look to be a driving force for the back half of the season. Let’s run down the new additions to the cast:

General Hale – First seen in “Rewind” interrogating Fitz, Hale is someone we’re not quite sure whether to trust or not. She has her orders to bring in S.H.I.E.L.D. but at what cost? Talbot is still in a coma following the events of season 4, and Hale has not exactly done much to prove she is, as her daughter asks, a good guy.

Ruby Hale – General Hale’s daughter. Ruby opens the episode and she first comes across as a bratty millennial teenager who doesn’t exactly look up to her mother. She’s chastised for skipping school and there’s some obvious uncomfortable and awkward tension between the two. It isn’t until the end of the episode that the truth is revealed. Ruby is some form of assassin working for her mother. When she “skipped school,” she actually skipped training. There is definitely more to this girl than meets the eye and it will be interesting to see her character develop in the coming weeks. Especially, since her obsession with Quake and slicing off Yo-Yo’s arms will definitely have her come up against the agents soon again.

Piper S.H.I.E.L.D. has done a great job making us care for the main cast of agents populating the show. Over five seasons we’ve seen FitzSimmons, May, Mack, and even Coulson grow and evolve. They feel like real people that the audience can connect with. The same can’t be said for the supporting cast. Aside from Agent Tripp (and the recurring cast who later got bumped up to a series regular), S.H.I.E.L.D. has struggled to make us care about the minor agents that populate this universe. Example A, Piper. She’s actually appeared in six prior episodes to “All the Comforts of Home,” yet, I just couldn’t care less about her. I do not know if her third act double agent-esque twist was supposed to make the audience care, but I didn’t. She has had zero character development despite being one of the more recurring minor agents. She’s still alive by the episode’s end so whether or not she actually appears in more episodes is yet to be seen. I foreshadow either a death or an absence in a number of episodes until she’s deemed worthy to the plot.

Carl Creel – We haven’t seen the Absorbing Man since an early season 3 episode, but I am all for S.H.I.E.L.D. bringing back fan favorite characters (still waiting for Deathlok to return AoS Writer’s Room). We don’t get to see much of Creel (including his awesome powers), but we get a tease for more to come. Apparently, General Hale is forming some sort of team and Creel reluctantly agrees to join it. Will Daisy have to assemble the Secret Warriors again? Who else could be recruited for Hale’s team? Franklin Hall/Graviton perhaps?

Rick Stoner – A quick shout out to Patrick Warburton for making a surprising cameo appearance as former S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Rick Stoner. It was short but sweet. Warburton is one of those popular actors who is in a lot of good stuff but is never the main lead, so I always enjoy his roles wherever he might pop up. Now can I have Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter chew some scenery with Warburton’s Stoner please?

Noah – Enoch’s replacement, who thankfully looks to have bit the big one by the episode’s end. He’s annoying and everything I definitely want to see less of on S.H.I.E.L.D.

Final Verdict: A relatively slow episode in terms of action, but necessary in terms of setting up what is to come. Deke’s still alive and now in 2018 (him enjoying Earth food and getting drunk off Zima was pretty funny). Also, the brief bit where the agents mention all the previous big bads they have had to fight was a nice callback. If season 5 truly is the final season then I am enjoying all the callbacks the writers have been dropping into these episodes.

Grade: 8/10