This review contains spoilers.
Unlike last season’s three-pod structure, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in its fifth season is sticking to just two. The first half of the season ended last month on a cliffhanger of sorts as we saw the team work their way towards getting back to the present time. This episode acts more like an anchor bridging the gaps between the first and second pods of the season. Usually, whenever the show does an episode like this, it ties up loose ends from the previous pod while setting up new plot points for the upcoming pod. Unsurprisingly then, All The Comforts of Home does pretty much both of these points and plays like a transition episode building up teases than one with real consequences (which isn’t to say there aren’t any).
Things begin right after the concluding moments of the last episode and thankfully, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn’t stretch it’s cliffhanger for long. We quickly found out that pretty much all of the show’s main cast made it out of the future and back into their present time. Or is it the present time though? For a while I just couldn’t help shake off the feeling that they may have accidentally teleported themselves back in the past by a few years. Anyway, it was a happy reunion for the team albeit one that didn’t last too long as they were quickly thrust into action by a light beam emanating towards the sky from a central location, an occurrence that they’re told is the start of a chain of events that will lead to the earth cracking up. The one doing the telling is Noah, a Chronicom like Enoch who serves an almost similar purpose as his predecessor – being there for the agents’ journey towards their eventual fate while trying not to interfere too much in the way the events unfold.
The real surprise (or not) is that in addition to the core cast, one more member makes it out back to Earth. That member is Deke and he’s amazed at seeing the earth in all its glory, with all the trees, leaves, the sunlight and the bars (where he eats and drinks to his heart’s content). After spending 10 episodes in a bleak future ruled by the Krees and run by metrics aboard a spaceship with barely any trace of daylight, we can completely empathize with Deke’s state of mind. Of course it doesn’t last too long when he realizes he can’t pay for food at the bar with metrics and lands in jail, only for Daisy to bail him out in a humorous though not hilarious sequence. Now that Deke’s back in earth, it’s only going to add more fuel to the fire about the numerous theories surrounding his origin, most notably him being Fiz and Simmons son.
Led by the infected Coulson, the agents head out towards the source of the light beam and come face to face with an old agent Piper. It’s been a while since we actually saw her and the fact that she wasn’t even a major character to begin with makes the events that follow hard to leave an impact. Even so, there’s a fallout and the resultant skirmish leads to one of the most shocking events on the show where YoYo ends up having both her hands slashed. Not only is the imagery eerily disturbing, it serves as some of the darkest moments on the show. The horror of her tragedy instantly sets upon YoYo who realizes that the future she saw aboard the Kree ship (conversing with a limbless YoYo) is coming true. She’s going to fear even more for Mack in the episodes to come and that fear will most likely play a central theme in the hours that follow.
Speaking of which, what’s up General Hale and her daughter Ruby. Hale seems to have kept Ruby enclosed in a secret location and I’m unsure if Ruby is a tease towards someone from the comics (pitch in with the comments). I was half expecting Aida to show up as the one responsible for the ambush with the agents and was quite taken aback when it turned out to be Ruby instead. She’s probably one of the many General Hale is recruiting for a new team she’s building (boy that surely was a mysterious tease towards the end).
On the whole All The Comforts of Home makes for an interesting setup episode with intriguing teases thrown in for good measure. I’m excited to see how the time traveling mechanics unfold and if and whether their actions in the future have any direct repercussions in the present, as usually tends to be the case with time-traveling stuff. I’m also interested in seeing how the show explores YoYo dealing with the trauma of having lost her hands and the horror of the future she saw unfolding before her very eyes.
Overall Score: 8.0 out of 10.0