Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is receiving all kinds of buzz with its 100th episode airing March 9th with “The Real Deal” (5×12).
So, we have another week to wait until we get that episode, but first…we got the exciting treat of having the show back with “All The Comforts of Home” (5×11) with the team finally back on Earth in their own time.
This episode definitely has a lot of twists that I didn’t expect and I was pleasantly surprised that they weren’t completely predictable. We see the return of Coulson (Clark Gregg), May (Ming Na), Daisy (Chloe Bennet), Mack (Henry Simmons), Yo-Yo (Natalia Cordova-Buckley), Fitz (Iain De Caestecker), and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge). They find themselves in the correct time, but still in The Lighthouse. They find out that the lighthouse is actually an old S.H.I.E.L.D. super secret bunker with a lot of extremely dangerous artifacts, including monoliths stored there. They also find out while taking a tour of the lighthouse that they’re not alone. There’s another chromocon, Noah (Joel David Moore), who is waiting for them and has been monitoring Earth while they have been gone. They are able to monitor the area and they find out that they’re all number one on the wanted lists.
Nonetheless, they need to go into the nearby town for some things. The lighthouse ends up being way ahead of its time with all kinds of secret tunnels and access areas. Daisy feels like she needs to hang back because she’s still so worried about ending the world, which I just have to say that eventually she’s going to have to get over that and I’ve been waiting for May and Coulson to knock some sense into her. There’s some great banter between Daisy and Noah have this great banter and like tension about using Noah’s computer equipment, until an alert comes up that Deke (Jeff Ward) from the future (who we totally expected to be long dead) has somehow been dropped in their time and has been arrested. This is the catalyst that pulls Daisy out of the lighthouse to spring Deke from jail, posing as a social worker. I found the interactions between Daisy and Noah and then later Daisy and Deke to be super entertaining. It was definitely banter and humor that was needed in this episode.
We get to see General Hale (Catherine Dent) once again and we get to see whom she calls her daughter, Ruby (Dove Cameron). We’ve known for weeks now that Dove Cameron is going to join the cast, but without any information more than her character name and that she’s General Hale’s daughter, it’s left us to wonder where she fits into the scheme of the second half of the season. From the first part of the episode where we find a fiesty Ruby being lectured by her mom about not attending class, I assumed given her ‘Quake is my hero’ poster (seriously, do you know how long sometimes it takes us to get posters for things? I feel like Ruby is lucky to be able to have a kickass poster of Quake, especially given that she’s number one most wanted at the moment), that we’d see Ruby running into Daisy and maybe give Team S.H.I.E.L.D. info that she’s gotten from being the daughter of General Hale. That is so not the case. They tried to trick us, for sure, instead we find out that Ruby is part of some kind of creepy killer super soldier teen program (and who knows if she’s even actually General Hale’s daughter).
Meanwhile, Coulson and the others realize that there’s a Kree summoning beacon active and they have to shut it down, which leads them not only to the beacon but also to a familiar face. Agent Piper (Briana Venskus) is also in the facility with the beacon and though this agent was trained by May and has helped all of them get out of the Framework before…it’s been a while since S.H.I.E.L.D. has been a real thing and she was also wanted, so she did what she needed to survive…she flipped her loyalties to stay alive. For anyone who also watches Supergirl, you’ll know that Briana Venskus also plays Agent Vasquez of the DEO. In my brain, she’s always Agent Vasquez since that’s where I saw her first, so there was a lot of me yelling “Vasquez, no!” and then “Vasquez, yes!” and then “Vasquez, choose the right side!”. The moment is very reminiscent of a moment in Supergirl‘s “Manhunter” (1×17). Nevertheless, there was a lot of flailing over the scene where Agent Piper had to make a choice as she finds out that she was played by the people she was supposed to be flipped too.
In this huge fight scene, we’re led to believe that the attackers that they’re fighting (the ones that Piper was told would take them alive and not kill her friends) that they’re all robots. They manage to get all of them down, except one, whom we later find out is actually Ruby (and who is disappointed that Daisy wasn’t with the others). During this, something that Yo-Yo saw from her future self-comes true and it’s seriously shocking…she puts herself in front of Mack (fearful of his death after talking to her future self) and ends up with both of her arms chopped clean off from about the elbow area down. This obviously launches our heroes into immediate action as Ruby gets away unscathed. Piper joins the others and make way back to the lighthouse so that Jemma can properly care for Yo-Yo’s injuries. Now, if you’re anything like me, you were gasping and freaking out one moment and then basically assuring Yo-Yo as you talked to the TV that it was fine because Fitz could fashion her two bionic arms.
Ultimately, the team is left wondering if Yo-Yo will be okay as Jemma works to stabilize Yo-Yo. There’s this wonderful comforting moment when Daisy has returns and has obviously been informed of what happened and immediately goes to hug Mack.
My favorite parts of this jarring episode had to be when May says, “We have a small, but active fanbase”, which is an obvious nod to the fans. The other part has to be when they’re all stuffed into the VW van and they bring up that it could be worse and they go on to basically list every single huge event that has gone on in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the last five years, “being enslaved by an alien sociopath in a dystopian future, or we could be trapped inside a virtual-reality fascist state, or stuck at the bottom of the ocean, or stopping a crazy robot lady, or falling out of a plane, fighting Daisy’s mom, or fighting Daisy’s dad, and then May’s hilarious answer of dancing. These have all been great nods to the last ninety-eight episodes that came before.
What was your favorite part of this episode? Were you as shocked by the reveals as I was? What are you looking forward to in the 100th episode, which airs next week – March 9th?
Photo Credit: ABC Network Television/Byron Cohen