'Agents of SHIELD': SPOILER Returns to Join the New Supervillain Team

The ranks of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first full-on supervillain team just added another member in tonight’s episode of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD.

SPOILERS for Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, “Principia”, follow.

Tonight’s episode brings back a villain that ties the entirety of Agents of SHIELD’s five seasons together. That character is Alex Braun, perhaps better known as Werner von Strucker, the son of Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, the former head of Hydra.

Wolfgang von Strucker died during the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Hydra fell into disarray as various factions within the organization vied for power. Grant Ward sought to rebuild Hydra from the ground up, but he needed someone to legitimize his claim. He sought out Werner von Strucker to do just that.

Von Strucker was persuaded, brutally, to work with Ward but failed in his first mission, an attempt to kill Andrew Garner. Werner sought out his father’s associate, Gideon Malick, for advice and shelter, but Malick betrayed Werner to Ward, leading to more torture.

Werner was eventually found and taken in by SHIELD. SHIELD used extreme measures to get information from Werner, even using Lincoln Campbell’s Inhuman abilities to electrify Werner’s brain and stimulate certain memories.

Werner’s fate after that was unclear. “Principia” reveals that he has been in therapy for some time and is once again going by the name Alex Braun. Alex relives every moment of pain from the torture Ward inflicted on him. He begs for death, but General Hale of Blue Raven took him in instead.

Alex initially wants nothing to do with whatever Hale is planning, so Hale sets her daughter, Ruby, about the task of convincing him to stay. Werner’s memories of his father may hold valuable information, and she does not want to let that information go.

Ruby succeeds in her mission by telling Alex the truth about what is going on, saying that she’s forming this team for herself and not for her mother and that she has other plans. Hale seems unaware, but Alex does remain at Blue Raven along with Ruby and Crusher Creeler, the Absorbing Man, as the three current members of this villainous team.

Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

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