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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Principia

"I got to see a flying boat and a robot fight. Best day ever."

You guys, this was such a cool episode! A flying ship, Mack Hammer, more goofy Deke, what was not to like?

So, now Deke knows Fitz and Simmons are his grandparents. We even got to meet Deke's mom, a.k.a. Fitzsimmons' daughter. Okay, we didn't meet meet her, it was only part of Deke's hallucination, but still, pretty neat. Jeff Ward nailed Deke's dumbfoundedness at realizing Simmons was his grandmother. And later he had such a weird and hilarious exchange with Fitz. "Is that a new sweater?" Ward's delivery was on point. I rewatched that bit a few times and it cracked me up in every single one of them.

Deke wasn't the only character amazed at the stuff around him. Tony "Candy Man" Caine, an old friend of Mack's, joined the team for a traditional spy mission, and fun was had in what turned out to be a solid main plot. It was the first time in weeks that it didn't feel like the show was trying to squeeze too much into not enough time.

We learned more details of Mack's backstory, including that he used to be called Mack Hammer (he was a big fan of MC Hammer) and had this adorable mustache during his time at the Academy. And Mack came forward as a champion for Elena, quickly figuring out while fighting robots that their arms could be useful for her. Now Fitz has the material he needs to create bionic arms for Yo-Yo. Yay.

But Yo-Yo wasn't in her best state of mind. Not having her arms anymore is getting to her, as she is tired of people doing things for her all the time. Coulson tries to convince her that a bionic arm is much cooler, but when she asks if it feels the same way as a natural arm, he admits that it doesn't. She also can't let go of the feeling that the world is doomed. Jemma tries to convince her that they will change the future, but Yo-Yo, once optimistic, can't see it. It takes her a while to shake the negativity away and hold her head high, but it's clear she has to summon a lot of internal strength to do it.

Future Yo-Yo was very specific that they had to let Coulson die, that trying to save him would set the end of the world in motion. Why isn't Yo-Yo sharing this information? She is understandably in a terrible emotional state from losing her arms, but I hope she breaks the news sooner rather than later. More importantly, I hope she doesn't grow detached, decide to operate solo and betray the team's trust right before they are about to get Coulson his cure.

The other plot of the episode focused on Werner Von Strucker, whom I had no idea was going to be back. The cold open was terrific and it immediately turned Werner into a more interesting character than he was in his previous appearances. Going by the name of Alex now, he has become a broken young man after everything that Grant Ward, Hydra and S.H.I.E.L.D. put him through. Spencer Treat Clark did a good job conveying just how damaged Alex is; there were these moments when his eyes slowly lost focus and he stared at nothing. Chilling.

The way the script guided us through his journey was pretty clever. We start at the clinic where he is being chemically lobotomized, later he is at this unknown location and enter Ruby, which informs the audience just where Alex is. But he is still unaware. Ruby and Alex's interaction was electrifying and I'm so on board with them as a possible villainous couple. She is creepy and a cypher. We don't know yet if she is loyal to her mom or is just waiting for the right opportunity to break free. She told Alex the truth to gain his trust. Then she also told Hale the truth. Is she playing Alex? Is she playing Hale? Is she playing everyone? Hale has yet to become a more layered villain – why is she so obsessed with S.H.I.E.L.D.? – but the team she is assembling could easily carry the second half of this season. Heck, as of now, I'm even kind of rooting for Ruby and Alex.

Intel and Assets

- Coulson is firm in his decision to not try to circumvent death yet again, but May and Daisy aren't having it.

- This show can't escape Hydra the same way that Alias couldn't escape Rambaldi. General Hale worked with Wolfgang Von Strucker and wants something from his work. That she wants to get it from Alex's memory is even reminiscent of how Prophet Five extracted a pivotal information from Sydney's memory concerning the location of a Rambaldi device.

- Cybertek, gravitonium, Deathlok, Von Strucker... The show is busy bringing back old characters and tying some loose ends.

- Due to having his memory enhanced by electricity, Alex was left with a super memory. I know it's unlikely, but it would be nice if he had a happy ending. The guy has been nothing but used as a tool by both bad and good guys, he deserves to live free and on his own terms.

- S.H.I.E.L.D.'s last remaining center of operations is haunted. These guys are so not lucky these days.

- Good time travel continuity: Simmons now has the piece of the white Monolith that will stay with the Fitzsimmons family and be used by Flint in 2091 to rebuild the Monolith.

- Fitz and Simmons are having the best time as a married couple. They can't stop calling one another "wife" and "husband." It's adorable.

- A ball of gravitonium, which can literally modify gravity around itself, is contained by a plastic box? Yeah, right.

- The VFX/CGI teams are doing such a terrific work this season. The floating ship was visually awesome.

Yo-Yo: "How are you gonna feel about dating someone with robot parts?"
Mack: "Those aren't the parts that matter."
Simmons (surprised): "Mack!"
Mack is such a prude that Simmons' interpretation didn't even cross my mind.

Fitz: "I was just coming to see you."
Coulson: "Tidings of comfort and joy?"
Fitz: "Warnings of doom and gloom."

Fitz (to Coulson): "I'd say our days are numbered. Sorry, that was insensitive."

Deke: "How deep?"
Simmons: "Five miles where we're looking."
Deke: "Five miles? Are you serious? What's it like down there?"
Simmons: "Dark."
Fitz: "Cold."
Deke: "So, did you guys go visit, like, on holiday? Do they have hotels, or is that, like..."
Clever and subtle callback to Fitzsimmons at the bottom of the sea.

Simmons: "We should hyphenate our last names, yeah?"
Fitz: "Uh, yeah, of course. Mr. and Mrs. Simmons-Fitz. Sounds great. Rolls right off the tongue."

Caine (re: flying ship): "You guys see stuff like this all the time?"
May: "U-hum."
Daisy: "Pretty much."
Coulson: "Yeah."
Davis: "Yep."

Coulson: "Hey, Mack Hammer. Can't touch this."

Fitz: "Deke, are you coming, or is this another play day?"
Deke: "Yeah, after you, grandpa."

Mack: "Guess what I got you."
Yo-Yo: "I don't know. I'm stumped."

I had a great time watching this one. Three out of four floating ships.


  1. "More importantly, I hope she doesn't grow detached, decide to operate solo and betray the team's trust right before they are about to get Coulson his cure."


    Ah the Wesley gambit. At least she already got slashed in advance. And you know what I can buy what happened in Angel a bit more (even tho he probably should have told somebody) because he was at least trying to prevent a horrible outcome. Yo-Yo so far has just done nothing for the past 3 episodes when all signs point that she should. Yeah the trauma of losing her arms has got to suck but between Future Yo-Yo failing to warn her about something that happened like 24 hours later I'm starting to believe that Yo-Yo just doesn't know what she's doing. She best get talking soon.


    Anyone else a little weirded out that this likely underage girl (Dove is in her 20's but I'm pretty sure Ruby isn't supposed to be) is trying to seduce this guy? For whatever reason I had less of a problem whenever Faith would pull this stuff on Buffy. Not really crazy about General Hale or Ruby Hale atm tbh but I suppose Ruby is the better of the two.

    Below is my little Twitter-based tirade when someone said that Daisy and May were wrong for trying to save Coulson's life against his will. I'm not saying they are are necessarily wrong BUT:

    At this point I'd say Coulson is more in the wrong because he's being a coward and a hypocrite for wanting to opt out and die while forcing others to take over for him and taking away THEIR CHOICE. he started this s**t. And keeping in mind this is coming from someone who would be cool with Coulson dying so Daisy can take over the main character slot. but him giving up like this is pretty nerve wracking. Like at least in SUPERNATURAL when someone was fated to die they didn't necessarilly want to be saved because of a chance of some horrible consequences. Coulson's letting himself die because he's become jaded and selfish (he hasn't been informed about the Apocalypse warning thanks a lot Yo-Yo). This whole thing is kind of like that episode of TNG (Ethics) where Worf wanted to die and Riker pointed out how he was being kind of a dick. while there was some smug self-righteousness on Riker's part what he said wasn't entirely wrong. Also what is his deal with life-extension per se? I thought his issue the first time was that he was BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE? Right now he's dying but he hasn't actually died yet. If they can save him BEFORE he actually dies what exactly is his problem (outside of him just being cynical and depressed)?

  2. Wow so much continuity, they are really pulling out all the stops and saying goodbye to the fans. That's all I could think of watching this episode.

  3. I loved this episode! Agents of SHIELD has been so dark lately (and yes, I've seen the next episode), it was refreshing to have one this lighthearted. It still had a few dark moments - Elena dealing with her devastating loss (I still can't believe AOS went all the way with body horror of that) and Deke watching his greatest fear, his mother being killed by the Kree right in front of him. And Alex is going through so much - this season is really bringing back a lot of past characters!

    But Mack's old academy buddy (I hope he doesn't turn out to be evil if he shows up again) brought a fun tone, and the flying ship was just so cool!

    I love that Deke was the one to figure out who Fitz and Simmons are to him! And it was awesome to "see" Fitzsimmons' daughter as an adult.

  4. Much agreement that this was a fun episode, and I really enjoyed the Deke Fitzsimmons stuff, the flying ship, Jake Busey, and Mack bringing the robot back for Yo-yo. Mack. What a guy. He'd better not die.

    I was also wondering why Yo-yo hasn't shared what she knows about Coulson dying. Seems like important information. Even though she's had more than enough to deal with.


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