REVIEW: Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. s5e13 “Principia”

Agents see flying ship

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD! Last week, the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. used the Gravitonium in Deke’s belt buckle to stitch back together the hole into the fear dimension. Unfortunately, that was only a Band-Aid. In order to fix the rip in space-time permanently, the agents need more Gravitonium. Daisy, Coulson, Mack, and May go looking for the Gravitonium, following the trail of Ian Quinn whose association with Agent Garrett in season one. FINALLY, we were going to get Ian Quinn and Graviton, the payoff from the THIRD episode of the show, way back in season one. We’ve been patient (maybe) so it’s payoff time, right? WRONG!!!! No Ian Quinn, no Graviton. We are five seasons in and still we wait.

Tony Caine: Listen, ladycakes, I take orders from two people–No One and Not You.

What we do get is a new (hopefully recurring) character in Tony Caine, aka Candy Man. Played by Jake Busey, Tony is a S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy drop out who roomed with Mack. His job is called Project Paperclip (think WITSEC for scientists that were part of Cybertek’s “incentive” program.) Tony is fresh eyes. We’ve seen Mack grow from season two and we’ve been along for the crazy ride that is Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Tony is outside of all that, looking at it for the first time. From his surprise at Mack’s ruthlessness to his awe that the agents face oddities like killer robots and seafaring vessels that fly regularly, Caine reminds us that this isn’t supposed to be normal.

Agent Caine

In addition to finding the Gravitonium, Mack and then Daisy and May ask Caine about the Deathlok program. Mack just wants arms for Elena. Daisy and May want to save Coulson, whether he wants that or not. Now they’ve decided to do so behind his back. This is frustrating the heck out of me. Yo-Yo has had plenty of time at this point to tell everyone EXACTLY what future Elena told her. Maybe if they knew that their attempts to save Coulson would break the world, they’d let him die (probably not, but one can hope). I understand that Yo-Yo is losing faith, but it seems like she’s just accepted the end of the world without making any attempt to change it. But let’s celebrate because Mack brought Yo-Yo arms and beer back from the mission.

Simmons: Hey, I was thinking–we should hyphenate our last name, yeah?

Fitz: Uh, yeah, of course. Mrs. and Mrs. Simmons-Fitz. Sounds great. Just rolls right off the tongue.

While all this is going on, you have Deke eagerly trying to get to know Fitz-Simmons—the two people he hadn’t interacted with in the future. Fitz is irritated and dismissive. Simmons mothering everyone felt a bit forced, but if you think back, she always did that. It’s just now we know that she and Fitz are Deke’s grandparents. Deke’s fear manifestation was also a bit confusing. His mother appears and talks about his new friends and how he likes Daisy. She gives him advice about moving forward and encourages him to keep trying. Then she warns him to not get close to anyone because everyone leaves him…and it killed by a Kree. The fear is clearly losing people he cares about, but why encourage him first. It almost seemed as though they just wanted an excuse to make his mom say the same line as Simmons.

The steps you need don’t need to be big. They just need to take you in the right direction

Agents of Shield s5e13 Strucker Kid

Then there’s the B plot. Werner von Strucker, going by the name Alex Braun now, is kidnapped and recruited by General Hale’s daughter Ruby to team with her and Creel. There is something very wrong behind Ruby’s eyes, a lack of emotion that sends a shiver down my spine. Hale wants Alex because apparently Lincoln gave him powers in season 3 when he zapped Von Strucker while using the memory machine. Now Alex remembers everything—everything he’s heard, read, seen, or experienced. Beatings and torture are still fresh in his mind. It’s an awful existence. However, he still seems the same naive kid that ran to his godfather Malick for help, only to be stabbed repeatedly. This episode definitely had it5e13s ups and downs.

Verdict: 3 out of 5

Carolyn is the TV/Movie Coordinator for In addition to being a die-hard Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fan, Carolyn loves the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Earth-199999).  When not engrossed in the MCU, Carolyn can be found binging old school wrestling and living on Twitter.  She subscribes to the philosophy “Music is life”.

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