It’s always going to be tough to follow up an hour as epic as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D’s 100th episode, so this week’s installment was bound to suffer by comparison. Still, “Principia” felt like the first true filler episode of the season. I’ve got to say, I’m pretty bored of General Hale and her machinations at this point. At least we now know she’s not Hydra, but does anyone even care? I just hope Ruby’s betrayal is genuine. The Crusher Creel teases are cool, but let the guy do something… aside from flexing. His powers are some of the most visually impressive of the entire series. I get it “space” took up the majority of the budget, but Hale’s little team is taking way too long to come together. The bit with the gravitonium was alright, but the real standout moment is listed below. This hour was mostly all about Deke’s familial connection to Fitz-Simmons for me. It’s the stuff that kept the episode from putting me to sleep. Do you think he’ll sit his grandparents down and discuss it? Anyway, let’s jump right in and go over my Top 5 moments.
1. Fitz and Deke Bond
Fitz and his grandson haven’t exactly hit it off, which makes the relationship even more amusing. The Scrappy-Doo comparison was right on the money. Deke is just so darn excited by his surroundings. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to experience all the things we take for granted for the first time, as an adult. Did you see the pleasure on his face when he tasted that Twinkie? I don’t think I’ve had one of those since they stopped making them in 2012. Are they back in production? Anyway, Fitz’s exasperation with Deke was a blast to watch. Especially at the end, when Fitz teases him about messin’ around or getting to work. Deke replied, “After you, grandpa.” The new sweater comment was hilarious too. I loved the fact it was Deke who figured out the Principia was in the air thanks to the supercharged gravitonium. If just a small portion was left behind, does that mean Hale has the gravitonium with Franklin Hall living inside? Will we finallysee Graviton this season? Is the supervillain responsible for the Earth’s destruction?
2. Deke Knows the Truth
I found it a little convenient that only Deke had a “fear dimension” vision. That said, it turned out to be a nice way of connecting his mother with grandma Simmons. “The steps you take don’t have to be big; they just have to take you in the right direction” Jemma advised Yo-Yo later in the episode. Yup, Deke had heard that simple phrase of his mother’s many times before. Is it possible that’s all it took for our newest addition to the team to connect the dots? Has he somehow known it all along? Perhaps hearing the phrase and reflecting on the ring he picked for Jemma brought everything full circle for Deke? Clearly calling Fitz “grandpa” there at the end means he knows. Things are about to get a whole lot more awkward.
3. The Principia is Airborne
Anyone else get the feeling the production is seriously minding its budget this second half of the season? I mean, it’s much easier to have a floating CGI ship than to take the entire team underwater. The gravitonium-of-it-all made sense, but the sequence just left me feeling a bit cheated. Of course, the writers did give us the best moment of the episode aboard the Principia as well (see below). I can’t complain too much I guess. The team’s got the goods and we can get on with the story next episode. Hale’s androids waking up gave us the hour’s big fight sequence. Do you think they will use those robot arms on Yo-Yo?
4. Mackhammer… Can’t Touch This
I wasn’t quite understanding all the MC Hammer love this episode, aside from the fact Mackhammer was a ridiculous nickname. Jake Busey’s cameo was a little odd overall, if you ask me. Maybe he was the only guest star they could afford at this point in the production. Regardless, Coulson wasn’t the only one waiting to drop that “Can’t touch this” line. The writers had been setting up the moment all episode, and the joke landed perfectly. Clark Gregg’s delivery and Henry Simmons’ reaction were both absolutely priceless. Come to think of it… this probably should have been my #1 of this Top 5. I went back and watched it four or five times.
5. Alex and Ruby Go Way Back
Anyone else think Werner von Strucker died a few seasons back? Guess not. Now we know that General Hale is definitely not Hydra, but she did share overlapping interests with the elder Von Strucker. So, this new baddie “team” is something completely new. As I mentioned before, I’ve grown tired of this particular arc, but perhaps Ruby and Alex’s new arrangement will surprise me. Dove Cameron is doing a great job as Ruby, but although she’s 22 in real life she looks like a tween. Her scenes with Spencer Clark’s Alexander Braun/Werner Von Strucker were creepy highlights. What kind of a mother demands her daughter seduce an unstable character like Strucker? Yeah, General Hale’s got to go. I’m hoping it’s Ruby that finishes her off.
What did you think of “Principia”? Do you agree that this episode was… meh? Were you surprised to see Von Strucker again? Are you enjoying the Fitz-Simmons and Deke twist? Will Yo-Yo get robot arms? Let’s discuss this latest, mostly uneventful, episode in the comments below.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC and CTV.
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