Agents Of SHIELD Season 5, Episode 13 “Principia” Recap And Review

Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD just celebrated its 100th episode. Despite the ongoing threat of the end of the world, there was still time for some festivities. Meanwhile, General Hale continues her plan against SHIELD and is about to bring in another recruit.

At least if the agents fail to prevent the Earth from shattering, they won’t have to worry about Hale.

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Warning: There will definitely be spoilers for Season 5, Episode 13 of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, “Principia,” below.

The Return of a von Strucker

Werner von Strucker, Season 3.

Last seen in Season 3 after getting tortured by Grant Ward, Werner von Strucker is undergoing therapy over the trauma he’s been through with his father and Ward. He insists on going by the name Alex because he doesn’t want anything to do with his father. He outsmarts and attack his doctor in order to attempt an escape.

Werner wakes up in a sparse room and searches the empty hallways. Finding a cafeteria, he grabs some food and a knife. He’s surprised when Ruby walks in, wearing headphones and ignoring him. Werner finds her later working out. He asks if she still has a scar on her forehead from when she was a kid. He reveals they used to play together, and he knows her name. He was supposed to be watching her when she hit her head on the kitchen table. His father beat him in front of her and her mother. He grabs Ruby, placing the knife to her throat and demands to see her mom.

More Gravitonium Is Needed


Fitz tells the others the Gravitonium they have is not enough to keep the rift sealed. The last time they saw it was at Cybertek. All the scientists working there have seemingly died in the past two years. It turns out their death certificates have all been signed by the same man.

Coulson, Daisy, and Mack manage to track down the mysterious man. It turns out he knows Mack from their days at the SHIELD academy. Mack and Tony Caine were roommates, but Caine got kicked out for skipping classes and making fake IDs. The reason all the scientists have “died” is a secret project similar to when Nazi scientists were recruited after WWII to work for the U.S. Caine’s job was to create new IDs and lives while erasing their old ones.


Caine sets up a meeting with one of the scientists and Mack. He’s reluctant to talk and says he only worked for HYDRA because his family was threatened. He eventually reveals all the Gravitonium they had was being sent out to a Pacific facility aboard a ship called the Principia. It sank during a thunderstorm and was never recovered.

Deke Gets A Visit And Makes A Discovery

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Fitz and Deke come to a clash when Deke’s enthusiasm for things like the ocean gets on Fitz’s nerve. When alone in a storage room eating Twinkies discovered in a box, he’s visited by his mom. He grabs the box cutter, knowing she’s not real. She manages to talk him down and comments how nice it is he’s making friends and fitting in. She says to him, “The steps you take don’t need to be big, they just need to take you in the right direction.” Deke mentions how she used to always say that. His mom’s mom used to say that to her as well. Then she’s impaled by a Kree soldier, and Deke fights him off.

When Simmons comes in, he tells her how Fitz thinks he’s an idiot. While venting, he comes up with an idea as to why they can’t find the sunken ship with Gravitonium.

Later, Simmons is giving Yo-Yo a pep talk. She says the same line that Deke’s mom said to him, which he hears from the hallway. He also notices Simmons has a piece of the monolith she’s holding onto, “just in case.” Deke realizes Fitz and Simmons are his grandparents.

A Flying Ship And A Fight In The Sky

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It turned out the Principia is floating in the sky. It must have been struck by lightning, which charged the Gravitonium. Aboard the Zephyr-One, they manage to find it. Unfortunately, it seems all the Gravitonium is missing. Someone else was there and took it. As to how the ship is still floating, they find a softball-sized piece floating in a room. Deke tells them to box it up without touching it, and they’ll have 90 seconds to take it and get off the ship.

As soon as the Gravitonium is secured, some of General Hale’s robot soldiers attack. Mack tells Coulson and Daisy to get to the module and he’ll be there as soon as he can. The ship starts to fall, and all three safely escaped. Mack brought along one of the beaten robot soldiers so Yo-Yo could have some arms.

Werner Joins Hale’s Team

Werner made it clear to Hale he didn’t want anything to do with her. She had him transferred there when he was about to get chemically lobotomized. She makes it clear she was never involved with HYDRA. The reason she visited his father was because they had overlapping interests. Her goal is to make the world a better place–to make it better for him and Ruby. Because he was placed in the memory enhancer in SHIELD’s custody and getting zapped while in it, he likely recalls everything his father said and wrote down. If he doesn’t want to work with them, he’ll be allowed to leave.

Hale tells Ruby she needs to convince him to join by doing whatever she needs to in order to get inside his head. Ruby shows up in room when we wakes up from another nightmare. She puts on the charm and mentions how her mother is a tyrant. Ruby confesses she’s supposed to try to seduce him to help them. She suggests they put on the act of working for her mom but betray her at the last minute. It works because the next day, he agrees the future should be their’s.


This was definitely a more subdued episode. While not super-heavy on the edge-of-your-seat action, the story does continue to move forward. Yo-Yo is struggling with her injuries. The exchange between Coulson and Yo-Yo was great.

It was a surprise to see Deke figure out his connection to Fitz and Simmons so quickly. It’s just another example how the show doesn’t drag things out unnecessarily. As to when Fitz and Simmons will be let in on the secret, that’s another story.

It’s always a good thing to find out more about characters’ past. Seeing Mack’s photo from the academy was priceless. The same goes for his nickname of Mack Hammer due to being obsessed with MC Hammer.

Ruby continues to be a creepy villain. Werner’s mention of their childhood negates my theory that she’s a robot of some sort. There clearly is something off with her. It could be due to her upbringing with General Hale. Hopefully we’ll find out more about her in the weeks to come. We definitely need to find out why she’s obsessed with Quake and what she’ll do when she comes face to face with her.

We’re still waiting to hear if the show will be returning for a sixth season.

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