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Recap / Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S5E11 "All the Comforts of Home"

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Team Coulson finally makes it back to the past, but they haven't time to rest, for they are being hunted mercilessly for Anton Ivanov and Aida's crimes.

Tropes in this episode:

  • Abusive Parents: General Hale, of both the physical and the emotional kind, forcing her daughter to go through extensive training to become a killer and calling her a disappointment when she doesn't meet her demands.
  • The Alleged Car: The VW Bus is called a "clunker" whose owner has had a time-and-a-half trying to sell it. Officer Kennedy pulls Team Coulson over, not because he recognizes them as fugitives, but because he can't believe anyone bought it.
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  • An Arm and a Leg: Elena loses both arms to Ruby's chakram.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: After the agents bring up a series of Continuity Nods to worse situations they were in during the past few seasons (for example: fighting Jiaying, fighting Calvin Zabo, fighting Aida, and being trapped in the Framework), May suggests another worse situation... dancing.
  • Badass Normal: Ruby apparently has no superpowers, but she's still skilled enough to cut Elena's arms off while the latter's moving at Super Speed.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • Officer Kennedy is about to pull the team over in a VW Bus and almost ready to capture them, noting that he knows who the owner of said Bus is. He then starts to laugh and wonders if Mack got ripped off buying the Bus from said owner.
    • At first it seems Officer Kennedy has recognized Quake, informed Hale of her and is merely stalling her so she can be captured. Then it turns out Piper was the one working for Hale.
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    • Ruby is initially presented as an ordinary teenager with a fangirlish obsession with Quake, a penchant for skipping class, and a strained relationship with her mother, General Hale. As it turns out, she's a trained black-ops assassin with robot minions, her obsession is more of the "wanting to kill you" variety, and the "classes" she's been skipping are training sessions to make her a better killer.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Hale has her daughter Ruby, whom she considers a disappointment, serving as an illegal black-ops assassin and imprisoned at some military base.
  • Blatant Lies: Hale told Piper she believed in Team Coulson's innocence and just wanted to clear things up. In truth, she wants to kill them all.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: While the MCU's never shied away from severed limbs, no instances have been quite as bloody as the loss of Elena's arms to Ruby's blades.
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  • Brutal Honesty: Noah is quite similar to Enoch in this regard, outright telling Deke that he thinks getting him out of prison was a bad idea.
  • The Bus Came Back: Piper hasn't been seen since last season's Framework arc, and it has been even longer for Creel.
  • Call-Back:
    • In many ways, Team Coulson's situation is just like it was in Season One after the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The only difference is that the military isn't working to find every surviving agent, just them. There's no secret base of Fury's that they can hide in, but that's okay because the Lighthouse serves the same purpose.
    • The Kree beacon Hive used to draw in the Kree Reapers in "Failed Experiments" returns, only this time as a prop to lure S.H.I.E.L.D. into a trap. It was also the first time Piper worked with Team Coulson, which she uses as an excuse for being there, claiming that she recognized it. She also reminds Coulson and May that seeing aliens for the first time is something one doesn't forget, recalling her Freak Out when the Reapers showed up.
  • Child Soldier: Hale has her teenage daughter Ruby working as a covert assassin.
  • Conflicting Loyalty:
    • Piper, between Team Coulson and the orders from General Hale. She ultimately decides to help Team Coulson.
    • Daisy lampshades this when busting Deke out of jail by pointing out that Deke previously turned against her.
  • Continuity Nod: Mack is such a gear-head he even knows the specs on a VW Bus by heart.
  • Cute and Psycho: Ruby is a cute teenage girl, and also an assassin with no qualms about carrying out torture or mutilation.
  • Downer Ending: Elena has been mutilated by Ruby, and a bomb has exploded in the Lighthouse.
  • The Dragon: Ruby apparently serves as this to her own mother by commanding robot minions in covert black ops while Hale commands from HQ.
  • Evil Parents Want Good Kids: Subverted. It seems this way in the beginning when Ruby asks her mom if she's a bad guy. Then it's revealed that Ruby is fully aware of what her mom is, and is working as a black ops assassin for her.
  • Faceless Mooks: Ruby's mooks wear masks similar to hers.
  • Feet-First Introduction: The first thing we see of Ruby are her bare feet.
  • Finding Judas: Averted; Piper didn't turn traitor, she was just being played.
  • First Time in the Sun: After the initial confusion, Deke is completely floored by Earth. He hugs a tree, almost eats ice cream from a trash bin, and enjoys real food and several bottles of booze in a bar.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Deke arrives in the past with no idea of how things work, though that doesn't stop him from finding the nearest bar and getting sauced. He gets arrested because he forgot his Metric isn't considered valid currency.
  • Food Porn: Even for someone who hasn't spent their life never getting to have real food, that's a delicious looking burger.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Noah tries to contain Hale's bomb with his body. It is unclear if this destroyed him, considering that he's not human.
  • Irony: General Hale's daughter Ruby is a fangirl of Quake and asks Hale if she can really be a "good guy" if she's hunting good guys (i.e. S.H.I.E.L.D). The assumption here is that Ruby would be Team Coulson's ally and so the opposite be her giving a kill order on them, as what happens.
  • Jumping on a Grenade: Noah does this to the Kree beacon to contain some of the explosion. Next episode will tell how much good that did.
  • Kill Me Now, or Forever Stay Your Hand: Coulson cuts through Piper's denial about being played by Hale by telling her to pick one side or the other, because he and his team are leaving. Her decision? "I'll cover you."
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • May acknowledging that S.H.I.E.L.D. has a small, but active fanbase.
    • The team listing off a long list of just some of the stuff they've gone through over the past few years. It qualifies as this considering that, the week the episode aired, its showrunners acknowledged in an interview that Season 5 may be the show's last.
    • Mack saying "And... we're back" when the next arc starts. The episode aired after a month long hiatus for the 2018 Winter Olympics.
  • Legion of Doom: It seems like General Hale is trying to start her own superpowered team, with her daughter Ruby and Carl Creel being the first recruits.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Ruby and her mooks all wear imposing black face masks, though in the latter case the masks are their faces.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Ruby's strike team is composed of LMDs. When S.H.I.E.L.D. finds out, they shoot at them with extreme prejudice to take them out.
  • Mommy's Little Villain: Ruby is trained to be a killer by orders of her mother. That said, she doesn't seem to be totally into the cause, given that she skips her training sessions and outright asks her mother if she's one of the bad guys. Ruby's dialogue implies that she's really just hoping for a shot to kill Quake.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Piper's reaction when she realizes she had been played by Hale and her people want to eliminate S.H.I.E.L.D. is one of denial and then horror.
  • Mythology Gag: In the original comics, General Rick Stoner was the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. before Nick Fury. He's a rather obscure character, but Coulson has heard of him.
  • Non-Answer: Ruby asks her mom if she's a bad guy. She merely replies her orders are to capture S.H.I.E.L.D.; while the audience knows she's definitely a bad guy after she killed two subordinates and has her daughter working as an illegal black ops assassin.
  • Noodle Incident: Apparently something called the "Hydrogen Wave Crisis" occurred in 1972, and ties in to the history of the Lighthouse, though this isn't expanded upon.
  • Oh, Crap!: Noah has a subdued version when he realizes the Kree beacon is about to explode.
    • Quake reading how the team now tops every "Most Wanted" list and thus every law enforcement agent in the country is on the lookout for them, making "blending in" impossible.
    • And later, when she discovers that Deke has followed them into the past.
  • Out of the Frying Pan: Team Coulson has left a Bad Future for a present where they aren't just wanted, but the most wanted.
    Mack: [resigned] And... we're back.
  • Product Placement: On the one hand, Zima gets described as "Beer, but delicious". On the other...
    Daisy: How do you show up in another time and, like, immediately get arrested?
    Deke: Have you even tried Zima?
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Deke has a whole bunch of these in succession:
      • His initial reaction to hugging a tree is met by a woman who thinks he is high.
      • His initial taste of real beer is nothing like his simulations at the Lighthouse, as he immediately spits it out and asks for something that doesn't taste as bad.
      • Drinking multiple other drinks gets him really hammered, another thing that his simulations never captured.
      • The fact that he has no money to pay for everything he consumed at the bar because his Metric isn't valid in this century.
      • His attempt to flee the bar ends up with him clumsily running into a pool table due to his drunkenness and earns him a night in the slammer.
    • Given the mysterious circumstances of their disappearance, law enforcement has only amped up their efforts to find Team Coulson, meaning they're now literally the most wanted people in the world.
    • Elena finds out the hard way that super speed isn't always the answer when dealing with a professional assassin.
  • Robotic Reveal: Mack shoots one of Ruby's mooks in the eye, revealing it to be a robot.
  • Shout-Out: When Noah reveals the subterranean tunnels to River's End, Jemma compares it to an Agatha Christie novel, while Mack compares it to C.H.U.D..
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Noah has the exact same attitude and mannerisms as Enoch, to the point where Team Coulson is able to predict how his sentences end.
  • Stealth Pun: The team uses a VW "Bus" to get around, almost similar to the Bus in seasons 1 and 2.
  • Technology Marches On: In-universe, the video of General Rick Stoner boasts of how the Lighthouse will contact the relevant parties through the highly advanced method known as electronic mail.
  • Tempting Fate: Coulson saying that "as long as we don't make waves, we'll be okay." Guess how long that lasts.
  • Unstoppable Rage: After seeing Elena's Ruby-induced mutilation, Mack goes crazy and lays into the assassin's Mecha-Mooks.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Piper believes she's helping her teammates, ignoring she's being used to set up a trap so S.H.I.E.L.D. will be killed.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Noah dies in his first appearance. (Or, at least, this is assumed.)
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Hale at least claims that she wants to create a better world. Her actions and attitude, however, cast some serious doubt on this.
  • Wham Shot:
    • When the team explores the Lighthouse in the present, they soon find 3 monoliths stored in glass cases. One is the black one used for Space, one is the white one used for Time, and the third's function is unknown yet. Fitz is unsettled by them.
    • At the end of the episode, the Beacon explodes next to them.
    • When the camera pulls back and we see the damage Ruby has done to Elena.
    • The female assassin walks into Ruby's bedroom where General Hale is waiting for her, she opens her mask and reveals herself to be Ruby. Then it turns out her "bedroom" is actually a lockup in a secret military bunker.
  • The World Is Just Awesome: After finally returning to Earth and stepping into fresh air, Team Coulson takes some moments to appreciate the beauty. Even more so with Deke, who's never seen the world like that and goes so far as to hug a tree.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Elena loses her arms just like in the Bad Future, leading her to cite this trope.


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