#AgentsofSHIELD Season 5 Episode 13 "Principia" Recap and Review

Baby Von Strucker is in therapy. For whatever reason, I thought he was dead, so that comes as a shock. His therapist wants him to open up before they put him on Thorazine, a heavy-duty antipsychotic. He does, but the therapist now probably wishes that he didn’t. He has a super memory courtesy of Lincoln and the memory machine from way back. He knows about the therapist’s daughter, his quirks, and his address. He then stabs the therapist with a pen and gets taken away.

Yo-Yo is still bedridden but stabilizing. She wants Mack to stop babying her and starts making jokes. Coulson tells her that Fitz is working on her prosthetics, but he doesn’t have the equipment. Coulson talks about how cool his robot hand is but admits that it’s not the same thing. She asks Mack if he can date someone with robot parts, but he says that those aren’t the parts that matter. Simmons takes it dirty, but it’s supposed to be sweet.


Fitz tells them that they need more gravitonium.

Daisy has a plan for both the gravitionium and Yo-Yo, Cybertek. They even mention Raina and Quinn. Maybe Quinn will also show up this season. Anyway, all of Cybertek’s scientists are dead, and their death certificates were all signed by a man of a million aliases., one of which I assume is an annoying radio host like the one he played on NCIS. He’s currently in New Orleans, so they’ll go pick him up. Daisy’s coming, but Fitz isn’t. He’s going to stay with Deke, and he is not happy about “babysitting duty.” 


Baby Von Strucker wakes up in a cell without a shirt. He’s at Ruby’s facility. He puts on some clothes and explores. Ruby comes into the cafeteria with headphones on and doesn’t say a word.

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Man of a million aliases knows Mack. His name is Anthony “Candyman” Caine, and he was at the S.H.I.E.L.D. academy. He was booted out, but “Mackhammer” was a goody-goody and loved MC Hammer. The pictures are gold. He can’t help much with the Deathlok stuff, but he does have some info on the “dead” scientists. It’s called Operation Paperclip. Hydra scientists were recruited and disappeared the same way Nazi scientists were after World War II.


Deke has found a baseball mitt and a glove. He wants to play with Fitz, but Fitz is being Mr. Grumpy Gills. He’s eventually persuaded, only to have an alarm go off. Come on universe, let Fitz play catch with his grandson! Anyway, the alert is for another rift flareup.


Simmons finds Yo-Yo on the floor. She forgot she didn’t have arms and she fell off the bed. She wants to have kids with Mack, but she’s afraid that they can’t change the future.

Mack shows shotgun-ax to Caine. Caine tells him that the Deathlok program is a dead end and they talk about how much Mack has changed.

Daisy and May wanted to use the Deathlok program to keep Coulson alive. He doesn’t want to be another John Garrett, rip Bill Paxton, but they refuse to give up on him.


Von Strucker walks in on Ruby training. She doesn’t tell him much, but he remembers her from when they were kids. She has a scar that she got from hitting her head on a table when he was babysitting her. His dad beat him in front of her and her mother. He puts the knife he got from the cafeteria to her throat and demands to see her mother.

Caine brings Mack to talk to one of the Cybertek scientists. He says that the gravitonium was on a cargo ship, the Principia, that sunk in a storm in the Pacific.

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Fitz can’t find it, and he’s frustrated. Simmons tries to get Fitz to sleep. Deke knows nothing about the ocean and brings up bad memories by asking too many questions. After he leaves, Fitzsimmons shift into the completely adorable mode. They want to hyphenate their last name, but they want to do it the wrong way.

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Hale and some bots walk in, and she gives him the lowdown. They were going to lobotomize him where he was essential, so she had him transferred. He lets Ruby go and asks if she’s Hydra. She condescendingly says no. Hydra was a boy’s club. She hated it, and she hated his father. She’s building something new, something that will hereafter be referred to as Haledra, and she wants his help. Specifically, she wants to know what he remembers about his father. He says that he’d rather die. She says that she won’t kill him. She’ll even let him leave the next day if he wants to. After he leaves, she tells Ruby to get inside his head through any means necessary.


Deke finds Twinkies, which I’m honestly surprised he’s never had because Twinkies are supposed to survive an apocalypse. Then his mom shows up. She likes Daisy, which is such an embarrassing mom thing to say. She reminds him of this quote she used to say, something that she learned from her mom, “the steps you take don’t need to be big, they just need to take you in the right direction.” Then she tells him to leave because he knows what happens when he gets close to people. Then she gets stabbed by a Kree, who Deke subsequently kills. Simmons rushes in and asks him what’s wrong.


While ranting about Fitz, he gets an idea. The gravitonium isn’t at the bottom of the ocean. It’s in the sky.


The rest of the team find it and Caine gushes about how cool it is.


Von Strucker has nightmares. Ruby comes in, and they talk. He doesn’t just remember facts. He remembers pain like it’s the first time he’s felt it. They bond over parental issues and then she tells him the truth. Her mom is using her to get to him. Then she adds a little twist. What if it were their team and not hers? The best lies always have a little truth in them, and she leaves him to think about it.


Coulson, Daisy, and Mack are on the ship with May and Fitz watching. The crew is all dead from lack of oxygen, but somebody took the gravitonium from the engine room, at least most of it. Mack found a little. Here’s where Deke comes in. He tells that they can’t touch it, but they can use a plastic box to contain it. After that, they’ll have 90 seconds to get off the ship. Coulson takes this time to make an MC Hammer joke while Mack secures the gravitonium.


The person that took most of it was a Haledra bot, and there are several of them. Mack tells Daisy and Coulson to go on ahead, making me very nervous, but he manages to get out and brings a few of the bots with him.

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Caine leaves and surprisingly doesn’t turn them in or screw them over. Instead, he’s going to look into the Deathlok program.

Yo-Yo and Simmons talk. Yo-Yo apologizes for her breakdown. Simmons uses the same quote that Deke’s mother used earlier, and Deke overhears. She also has the monolith shard. He’s obviously having a moment, but he doesn’t tell her. He does tell her that the rest of the team is back. He then follows Grandpa to work on the rift.


Mack got Yo-Yo beer and arms from the Haledra bots.


Ruby sees Von Strucker in the cafeteria. He’s staying, so she shows him Creel. Hale asks Ruby how she got him to stay. She says that she told him the truth, so maybe she will go against mommy dearest one of these days.

Old school episode and I loved it. Nothing could ever top the Fitzsimmons wedding, but this at least managed to follow it. 9/10.