Thursday, November 19, 2015

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Recap: “Many Heads, One Tale” (3x08)

Things are heating up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and the latest episode is no exception. Without further ado, let's find out what our favorite agents are up to. Please take note that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. contains PG-13 level violence. Spoilers!

The episode begins with an octopus being served for dinner. Its recipients are none other than Grant Ward and Gideon Malick, who dialogue about how the octopus is the logo for Hydra. The similarities between octopi and Hydra include their intelligence, their adaptability, and their ability to be ruthless killers. Gideon says these traits apply to Ward as well (I guess Ward isn’t the new head of Hydra for nothing). Ward says the octopus is certainly a terrifying prospect, but it isn’t exactly his idea of dinner.

Ward: “Then again… I am adaptable.”

Ward hopes that Malick can be just as adaptable. Malick says this depends on Ward’s request. Ward says that Malick is one of the last heads of old Hydra, which Malick says is due in part to Ward himself. Ward says Malick should thank him for trimming the fat from his ranks. Malick says Ward wasn’t trimming the fat so much as he was digging—and Malick knows what Ward was hoping to find. Malick tells him that the Von Strucker vault does not exist. Ward says he would believe Malick if Malick hadn’t sacrificed the only heir to it. Ward surmises that Malick controls the vault now, which is said to contain Hydra’s greatest power. He suggests that he and Malick put said power to good use.

The door opens, and one of Malick’s men comes in and nods at him. Malick turns back to Ward and says he doesn’t have time to give Ward a Hydra history lesson. He does, however, have some longstanding plans that are coming to fruition… and Ward’s revenge vendetta for Coulson doesn’t fit in with Malick’s plans. Ward says he will find the Von Strucker vault. Malick says that Ward is a strong predator, but he’s not at the top of the food chain. He leaves the room. After Malick’s gone, he’s replaced by several of his men, who attack Ward in a well-choreographed fight scene that makes me actually kind of root for Ward (I know, I know, I’m surprised by this too).

Ward pins one of the men to the table with a dinner knife, which he plunges into the guy’s neck. He ties up the three remaining attackers and evilly monologues about how he knows where the vault is, he just doesn’t know how to get in. He says this is a prime opportunity to use the services of those who have accompanied Malick to the vault—also known as the three men against the wall. One of said men tells him that they won’t help him, so Ward holds up the dinner knife and asks who’s at the bottom of the food chain.

Cue opening credits.

Back at S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ, Coulson is handing over a knocked-out Garner to the ATCU. He asks Rosalind to reassure him that he’s doing the right thing. She does, saying putting Garner in stasis as a human will help prevent him from being lost to Lash forever. She says they’re throwing everything they can at the potential Inhuman cure. Coulson says that Garner was one of the good ones (Really? Because last I checked, he killed a bunch of people) and says Garner still is. Rosalind says she knows Garner is Coulson’s friend. She says Coulson is doing all he can, and they’ll keep him up to speed on everything they do. Coulson says maybe she could come to the base in the next few days to talk him through it. Mack nods at May and asks if anyone is going to talk to her. May watches, heartbroken, as the truck holding Garner pulls away. Coulson says May will talk when she’s ready.

In the lab, Jemma is looking at a photo of her and Will when she overhears Fitz shouting at one of his assistants. She comes to join him, and he mutters that all the assistants are idiots. She tells him to be nice. He corrects himself to say they are well-meaning idiots and apologizes, saying it’s been a rough day. He’s got a bunch of old manuscripts—every book on symbolic anthropology and iconography he could find. Fitz takes her tablet and sees the photo of Jemma and Will but flips past it to show her the symbol he found in both the castle and on Will’s space suit. It’s the “Ram’s Head” symbol, and he thinks the people Will was with hid it in their logo. Jemma says this would’ve been about 200 years after the logo was chiseled into the castle floor. Fitz is convinced it’s not a coincidence, and he says if they figure it out, this might provide insight on how to save Will. He gets distracted, though, by May’s arrival on the base. Jemma says she feels so bad for May, and she doesn’t know how you’d get over something like that.

May walks through the base, passing Daisy and Lincoln in the hall, who become the scene’s new focus. Lincoln says May has been giving him the hate stare and he had to sleep with one eye open last night. Daisy says at least he slept, to which Lincoln agrees; it was the first time in a long time that he has. He’s been running long enough that he knows how to appreciate a secret base that no one knows about…

Lincoln: “Even if you all live on top of each other like Keebler elves.”

Daisy says it’s one roof but it’s big, lots of space.... not that Lincoln needs to keep his space. Lincoln says he’s sorry that he’s moved in and he hopes it’s not weird. Daisy questions why it would be weird. Lincoln mentions how they kissed that one time and asks if they need to talk about it. Daisy says they definitely do not need to and proposes that they just see what happens. Lincoln asks if a kiss will happen again, to which Daisy says that planning takes all the fun out of it.

She also says that this would make Lincoln’s decisions harder since he can’t just stay on base for the heck of it—Coulson only lets people stay on base if they’re a part of his game plan. (I want to stay on base!)

Speaking of Coulson, he walks to his office to find Mack waiting for him (And ironically, Mack is standing right next to the axe that he used to chop off Coulson’s arm). Coulson tells Mack he feels like he’s about to learn he didn’t make the Little League All Stars team. Mack says it’s Rosalind—he’s concerned that Coulson might be getting too close to her. When Coulson gives him permission to be blunt, Mack asks if the two of them are sleeping together. Coulson says that this isn’t any of Mack’s business. Mack apologizes for pushing but says he needs to know whether Coulson has feelings for Rosalind or whether he’s playing an angle. Coulson repeats that it’s none of Mack’s business, then asks if Mack really thinks Coulson is “that guy.” Mack says that if Coulson is that guy he needs to know because Coulson is bringing Rosalind into their hidden base. Coulson tells him to relax, then says he likes “Ros” but isn’t sure whether he can trust her yet. Mack asks how that’s not a deal breaker. Coulson says all the spies without trust issues are either young or dead. Coulson hopes he can trust Rosalind, which is why he’s bringing her to the base, so he can look her in the eye and know for certain (Mm, still seems risky, dude). Meanwhile, he says, the rest of his team will have to go behind her back. He leaves Mack to contemplate this, and the scene does too.

Coulson then goes down some stairs, where he finds his whole team assembled. He tells them that they’re launching Operation Spotlight—a way to shine a light on every dark corner in the ATCU. He says that while what happened with Garner was rough, this provides S.H.I.E.L.D. a unique opportunity to discover whether the ATCU is worth trusting. He directs Hunter and Bobbi to be a team and Daisy and Mack to be a team. May chooses to be teamed up with Lincoln, which comes as a shock to him. Coulson says he wants to know everything—what Inhumans the ATCU is hiding and why, how close they are to a cure, and what it is the ATCU actually wants with Inhumans. Daisy asks why now. Coulson says it’s because the head of the ATCU finally trusts him and he’d like to do the same. He dismisses the group and asks Mack if this resolves his concerns. Mack says this raises all new ones.

Elsewhere, Ward uses a tiny yet powerful blow torch to try to torture information on Von Strucker’s vault out of one of the men. Just before his blow torch makes contact with the guy’s face, another guy speaks up, saying that Malick uses different men when he travels to Zepkow and even they don’t know where the vault is buried. Ward says he lied—he knew about all of Von Strucker’s many vaults, but he didn’t know that Zepkow was the one he needed. He shoots the man who gave up the information, then commends the other guy he was torturing for not giving up information, saying he would have fit in well with Ward’s men.

Back at S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ, Rosalind has just arrived, and Coulson is beginning her tour. She’s impressed by the base and asks if he gave it a slick code name.

Coulson: “Classified, but to me, it’s home.”

Rosalind says that’s cute—almost as cute as flying her around for six hours. She doesn’t know whether she’s in Alberta or Albania. Coulson says she should be flattered, since they waved the usual blindfold protocol. She tells him he may be going soft but notes that they disabled her phone for the entire flight—she couldn’t even check her fantasy football scores. Coulson says he can reactivate her phone but not before they sweep it for “wireless sniffers” (Whatever those are). Rosalind offers it to him (“Go for it, cowboy.”). He gives it back, joking that she left her intelligence-gathering phone back at her apartment. She says she almost didn’t, but she thought it would be rude. Coulson says they expect nothing less.

Up in the air, Coulson’s covert team is flying to the ATCU. Mack notices there’s some data incoming from Rosalind’s phone, and Daisy says it’s time to hack into the ATCU IT ASAP. At ATCU’s headquarters, Garner is landing, and he’s awake (What?). Some of the ATCU’s guards get an incoming blip on their computers. Daisy hasn’t hacked into the ATCU, but Garner’s containment unit has sent out some pretty intense homing signals. If she can rig them, they could knock out the IT department “real good.”

Mack’s phone rings, and the way he answers it is beautiful.

“FBI Cyber Investigative Task Force, how may I help you, Mr., uh, Wilson?”

Pretending to be the FBI, Mack bluffs his way through explaining why the ATCU’s servers just went down.

On the ground, Bobbi and Hunter are undercover with perfect outfits. One of the ATCU agents says their help won’t be necessary since it appears to be a glitch, but Hunter says that’s what they want it to look like. Daisy feeds him information over a headset. Once Hunter’s done with his technical spiel, the ATCU agent notices his shirt that says “Damn the Yankees.” The ATCU agent asks if he is a Red Sox fan.

Hunter: “Red Coats, actually.”

The ATCU agent is skeptical that Hunter is actually FBI. Bobbi says he wasn’t, but after he hacked the Pentagon and several other notable sites, she recruited him. He’s the best consultant they have. Otherwise he would be in jail or she would have shot him by now (They are really committed to their personas, which makes it clear why they’re such a good team). She tells the ATCU agent to listen to Hunter, aka “Dane.” The ATCU agent says their system is airtight. Bobbi asks how their staff’s credentials leaked out then, showing him Rosalind’s information on her phone. They ask if there’s a possibility that someone snuck hardware into the facility. The ATCU agent is adamant that they haven’t brought anything. Except… Garner’s containment unit, of course. The ATCU agent runs off, needing to make a call.

Coulson is showing Rosalind the lab when the call does go through. Rosalind is notified of the S.H.I.E.L.D. containment module possibly interfering with their system. She turns to ask Coulson, aka “dearest,” if this is true. Coulson says that all their hardware is programmed to scan nearby networks, including the containment module. Rosalind says they’re going to have to shut it down, then tells the ATCU guy (Steve) to fix it.

Rosalind: “You’re lucky you’re cute.”
Coulson: “We really have to figure out other ways to flirt.”

Back at the lab, Jemma is organizing the books. Fitz says she’s procrastinating, then suggests she looks inside one of them. Jemma says she has been looking, but she doesn’t like what she’s seeing. She shows Fitz the page she’s looking at, saying that Will wasn’t part of a space program—he was sacrificed. The symbol on his space uniform is tied to a type of ritualistic blood sacrifice.

Jemma: “Between this and Andrew… I have that sinking feeling again, Fitz, that we never really know who’s next to us.”

On a plane, Ward flirts with a flight attendant. She invites him to Moscow with her, but Ward says he’s actually going to Zepkow. He then whispers something in her ear. He suits up with a parachute and a mask, then radios to the passengers with a menacing message before blowing a hole in the side of a plane and jumping out.

Back at the lab, Fitzsimmons have realized that these symbols date back thousands of years to groups obsessed with ritualistic killings, who also have ties to pagan devil myths. (That’s not creepy at all.) And suddenly this group secretly funded NASA missions, including Will’s, which involved using him as a blood offering. (Apparently. I’m confused.) Jemma says this won’t help them find a way to open the portal; all it does is show them how evil this group is. But Fitz is determined—if they can figure out this group’s goal, maybe they can find out how they tried to achieve it, which may pave the way to saving Will. Jemma asks Fitz to stop, saying he needs to stop trying to do all the right things, since it’s too much. She then walks away, leaving Fitz and me terribly confused.

Coulson and Rosalind are in Coulson’s office, discussing old S.H.I.E.L.D. gadgets. It’s revealed that S.H.I.E.L.D. recruited Coulson right out of college. He was studying history and got too close to figuring out how much of history S.H.I.E.L.D. had helped shape. So… they snapped him up, leading Coulson to a life spent working for S.H.I.E.L.D. Coulson changes the subject, saying he’s surprised that Rosalind has never met anyone in S.H.I.E.L.D. before. She says only in passing. Coulson tells her that she can tell him, since he’s the Director and she’s literally in their secret base. But Rosalind says up until recently she was involved in normal intelligence… not paranormal. Coulson is her first. Rosalind says she’s surprised that Coulson’s kept things so analog, and Coulson says there’s something about old-fashioned and tactile things that appeal to him. Rosalind’s eyes light up, and she says she loves the smell of books (Me too, girl). Coulson says it helps him think. He starts to say that the digital world can be quite vulnerable. That’s when he gets an alert on his phone, saying that the Blonde and Brit are approaching.

The Blonde and Brit have made their way into the secret underbelly of the ATCU. Hunter details the process to Steve, using a lot of computer-tech jargon fed to him once again by Daisy. Steve says that Hunter can log onto the computer using a guest username, unwittingly giving S.H.I.E.L.D. access. Daisy walks Hunter through this process, who is slow at typing and may possibly not know what a “forward slash” is. He selects his guest username to be “God Save the Queen.” Why is he so adorable?

Hunter logs in, and now it’s May’s turn to fulfill her part of the mission, with Lincoln following reluctantly. Daisy finds some information on the database and relays a location to Bobbi, who fakes a call from the FBI and excuses herself. Bobbi’s instructions are to check this location to see how many Inhumans are there, as well as grab any samples of the potential cure.

Daisy: “Now all Hunter has to do is run his mouth and waste time.”
Bobbi: “Oh, he excels at that.”

May and Lincoln are in a quinjet. Lincoln sits down in the cockpit next to her, asking if she needs him to do anything. May gives him the silent treatment, which makes Lincoln wonder why she even brought him. Without a word, May detaches the quinjet from the main Bus and swoops away.

Jemma is back in the lab, and Fitz approaches, asking if she’s seriously mad at him. Jemma’s mad at herself for roping him into this and for him helping so willingly. Fitz asks what she’d rather have him do, and she says she wants him to get angry. She can’t fathom a way out of this without hurting someone she cares about (She sees the problem with this love triangle). Fitz says he is angry, but not at Jemma—he’s mad because they’re cursed.

“The bloody cosmos wants us to be apart.”

Yes. We know. It kind of sucks to watch.

Jemma doesn’t think the cosmos wants anything. Fitz says he begs to differ. They had years side-by-side, where their love never occurred to them. And then when it did, they didn’t have the courage to talk about it. Jemma says he only waited till they were at the bottom of the ocean to tell her, but Fitz says she waited till he was headed off to war… and then she got swept off to some far-flung planet with him… the top-marks astronaut hero man. Jemma says she would do anything—but she gets cut off by Fitz asking, “Do you love him?” Jemma answers that she does. Fitz says of course she does. He says he dug for dirt on Will, but he couldn’t find anything. Fitz can’t bring himself to hate Will—he’s great.

Fitz: “Why wouldn’t would you fall for him? He did everything right.”
Jemma: “And you dove through a hole in the universe for me!”
And then this happens:

Fitz kisses her passionately, knocking the files off the lab shelf. It’s in the lab, where Fitzsimmons began. And it’s beautiful. They break the kiss only to do it again, slower this time. It’s everything we’ve been waiting for (*cue fangirl screaming*).

Fitz walks a few feet away, saying only, “We’re cursed.” Jemma looks at one of the open books on the ground, noticing something, then asks Fitz if it’s what she thinks it is.

Did I just catch a glimpse of a Hydra octopus?!?

Back at the ATCU, Bobbi is continuing her mission. She finds a room labeled “Enhanced Specimen Containment,” and says, “Open, sesame.” Daisy unlocks it for her, and she walks in.

We are taken to yet another room lit by an unseen solitary light source, and in the center of it is the containment module. Inside of that is Andrew, who has somehow gotten a shirt since the events of last episode. He looks up at someone through the window, and a figure steps out of the shadows: Gideon Malick. Malick introduces himself as an adviser of the President. He apologizes for all of this, promising they’re working with S.H.I.E.L.D. to find a solution. Garner is skeptical about the cure, saying he knows how long pharmaceuticals take to be developed. Malick says it strikes him that no one has actually asked Garner if he wants treatment. Andrew says this is true—all they see is a killer. Malick says S.H.I.E.L.D. knew about the alien contagion but did nothing to stop it or protect anyone, including Garner. Garner says there’s more nuance to S.H.I.E.L.D. than that. Malick says S.H.I.E.L.D. has good intentions but questionable methods, which Garner agrees with. Malick offers to help him, but first, he’ll need to know what else S.H.I.E.L.D. has been hiding.

Bobbi has realized that Garner isn’t in the room they sent her to and asks if there’s been a mistake. There aren’t any Inhumans being held there, and they aren’t working on a cure—at least not in there. She does notice some fish oil pills, though, which she asks Daisy to investigate. Bobbi finds a door, which she opens, only to find a freezer with a bunch of black containers in it.

Hunter is still blabbering on, distracting Steve. Steve leaves to get some coffee (and a cup of tea, as requested by Hunter). Suddenly, Banks shows up, which his bad. Hunter says it’s time to pack up and get out.

Hunter: “Our friend Mr. Banks has just showed up, and I do not have a handkerchief to cover my face… and that would be weird, anyhow.”

Daisy has found information on the fish oil—they’re administering it to all of their employees to “prevent infection.” Daisy puts all the pieces together at the same time as Bobbi. The ATCU is spreading the Terrigen as far as they can via the fish oil supplements. They’re not trying to cure the Inhumans… they’re turning them. Bobbi opens one of the black containers to find pieces of a human who hardened up because the Terrigen didn’t turn them into an Inhuman.

Coulson leads Rosalind into one of their containment module-like rooms, the one we saw Joey in. He tells her she needs to convince him that she’s not Hydra. Otherwise, she’s never leaving this room again.

Rosalind: “Is this a joke?”
Coulson: “I’m not laughing.”

Upon learning that Coulson’s team is infiltrating her base, Rosalind says they won’t find anything that she wouldn’t happily tell them. Coulson tells her to stop lying. Rosalind says she thought there was something real between them, and she looks utterly betrayed.

Coulson: “You really think this emotional appeal is going to work right now?”
Rosalind: “No, because you have no emotions.”

She can’t believe that it was all a plan to sleep with her, gain her trust, and take advantage of the situation. Or worse, she suggests maybe he didn’t plan to sleep with her, so he stopped trusting her as soon as he did. Coulson says she lied to him and asks if Garner is really being kept at their ATCU facility. Rosalind says, “Of course not.”

On the quinjet, Lincoln asks if May is torturing him (Um, no, buddy, if Melinda May was torturing you, I think you’d know). He says he knows how dangerous she is (so maybe he isn’t clueless), but if she’s blaming him for bringing out the monster in Garner, he won’t apologize for it. May says she’s been trying to figure out what to say because she does want to apologize—to Lincoln. She apologizes for how Garner killed his friends in cold blood and tried to kill Lincoln. She says she should have known. He says he should be thanking her for being willing to put those bullets in him. Daisy radios, saying that Bobbi and Hunter need extraction sooner than they thought. May increases her speed, flying down to the surface. However, my feels are left happy by the sweetness of that scene.

Bobbi has been discovered by an ATCU soldier. She asks Hunter to bring her briefcase down to her. Hunter reveals himself as a secret agent to Steve and pushes past him, on a mission to get to Bobbi, of course. Banks pursues him, but Daisy manages to lock the door behind Hunter and change the keypad code.

However, Bobbi still has some soldiers to deal with. She starts fighting them off with her bare hands, but she says she really needs that briefcase. Hunter says, “Coming as fast as I can, love!” He’s trying his best to help his badass ex-wife, and everything about it is perfect.

Rosalind says they don’t keep Inhumans at that specific ATCU because they can’t risk a duplicitous nutcase coming along to sneak in (which is exactly what S.H.I.E.L.D. did, as Rosalind now knows). She says she feels like an idiot for believing Coulson was different, but Coulson tells her to stop with the mind games. He says it was a good plan to pretend to fall for him, and he almost went along for the ride… almost. In the back of his mind, he always had one finger on the eject button. Rosalind says this is because Coulson is incapable of anything else, but Coulson says it’s because Rosalind slipped up.

On the day she first met him, she tried to get under his skin by talking about TAHITI. He was hoping that she’d confirm getting the information from someone in S.H.I.E.L.D., but today she confirmed she knew no one in S.H.I.E.L.D. (Nice tactic, Coulson. I ship you two, but I knew you weren’t stupid enough to be completely reckless.) He tells her the only way she could know this information is through Hydra. He asks her to give up her source. She says she’s not sharing anything with him anymore, except for this: she did fall for him, but he’s impenetrable. He likes to joke about his robot hand and being human, but she thinks he’s not far off the mark. Coulson says this means a lot coming from her. She says he was stabbed in the heart, so he must take sadistic pleasure in doing the same to others. He says at least he didn’t use the story of his dead husband to sell the idea that the ATCU was working on a cure, which they both now know isn’t true. Rosalind gets upset that he mentioned her husband. Coulson tells her to cut the melodrama and tells her that his team found evidence of the ATCU creating Inhumans. She asks what he’s talking about, and her surprise seems genuine.

Rosalind says no one’s allowed on those floors due to possibility of being infected, to which Coulson says, “Intentionally infected.” Rosalind is confused, saying she gets regular reports from… Gideon Malick.

He oversees the science division, and it appears that Rosalind is learning that he’s evil at the same time as Coulson is. He’s also the one who gave her the TAHITI intel. Coulson looks concerned (for good reason).

On the plane, Daisy and Mack are realizing that the ATCU hasn’t put all of the Inhumans in stasis, looking at one file in particular.
Hunter finally arrives with Bobbi’s briefcase, but she’s already knocked out both of the soldiers and has dragged them into the freezer. She says it was “Too little, too late.”

Hunter: “I’ll remind you that we’re basically the same height, I just don’t wear bloody heels.”

They barely have time to compose themselves because more attackers come through the door—and they’re led by R. Giyera, the person that Mack and Daisy saw on screen. He’s also an Inhuman, a fact proven when he levitates two guns off of the ground… and fires them.

That was a well-timed commercial break.

When we return, Hunter and Bobbi somehow manage to duck and roll away.

Hunter: “I pine for the day where we didn’t have to fight bloody aliens. It’s just not a fair fight.”

Bobbi opens her briefcase and lets her batons lock onto her wrists, then throws them. They return back to her like boomerangs, using the same technology I imagine Steve Rogers uses on his shield. She knocks out the two soldiers with Giyera, but then he grabs some metal piping to use against her.

Rosalind asks Coulson to let her call her people. He refuses. She says his agents may be in serious danger due to Malick. She begs him to please believe that she doesn’t know what’s going on. If he doesn’t let her get on the phone, they lose everything.

Bobbi is still battling Giyera. She flings her batons at him, but he stops them in midair. Just before things get really messy, Hunter bangs Giyera over the head. The door opens, and Banks walks in. They prepare to fight him off, but Banks says to come with him and he’ll get them out of here.

Banks: “If you’re worried that you can’t trust me, worry on the move.”

Bobbi and Hunter go with him.

Back at base, Rosalind informs Coulson that he’ll lead them to the northwest parking lot, and May starts flying there. She hovers over the parking lot, saying she doesn’t see them, but the parking lot opens up to show another level underneath, which is where Banks, Hunter, and Bobbi are.

But now we return to Ward. He’s drilled into the Von Struckers’ vault, only to find Malick waiting for him. He’s impressed that Ward not only survived his men but also located the place and got there. Contrary to Ward’s belief that this was just a test, Malick wanted Ward dead. But now he seems to think Ward might just be Hydra’s second head that’s grown right next to his. Malick offers Ward a drink. Ward thinks he should kill Malick, but Malick says that Ward would miss that Hydra history lesson he mentioned. Malick says that Hydra’s origins go way beyond just the Red Skull. He pulls an ancient stone from a safe, saying it was cut from the monolith.

“…that possesses otherworldly properties. Literally. It’s a portal to another world.”

Rosalind has regrouped with the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, saying that she first met when Malick was consulting on a program at… well, NASA, as Jemma correctly interjects. She asks how they know. Fitz starts to lay out the photos of the Ram’s Head symbol.

Malick says that years ago, a powerful Inhuman was born, one so powerful that they were destined to rule the world. Others were consumed with dread, so they banished it from the earth, to a distant planet (THE BLUE PLANET, GUYS, THE BLUE PLANET!).

Inside its glass case, the stone liquefies, much like we’ve seen the monolith do. It returns to a solid state. Malick says that Hydra was built with the sole purpose of bringing the powerful, dangerous Inhuman back.

Jemma continues laying out a series of photos, each of the Ram’s Head symbol, gradually changing until it morphs into… the Hydra logo.

Malick’s monologue continues, saying that though Hydra has gone by different names throughout history, its purpose remained the same. Every iteration of the organization has tried to send men through the portal, hoping to send or at least serve the leader on the other side. Now, Malick is building an army for the powerful Inhuman to command when it returns, and Ward and Malick will rule beside it. Malick finishes his monologue, and Ward says what I’m thinking: “Okay… that’s, uh, a lot to take in.”

Ward asks why he should believe Malick, and Malick says because they’re closer than ever to the final chapter; in fact, they’re going to write it themselves. Malick promises to help Ward with his revenge mission of cutting off the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. In return, he wants Ward’s help in figuring out how S.H.I.E.L.D. has done something Hydra has never been able to do: bringing someone back from the planet.

Earlier, during Malick’s monologue, we saw that the containment module Garner is in had the Ram’s Head NASA logo on the side. In the final scene, we see Garner banging on the wall, yelling for someone to fill him in. A random guy walks up and attaches a hose to the side of the module. Garner says he doesn’t need to be sedated; he just needs someone to talk to him about what’s going on. Ward says, “All right, let’s talk,” and steps out of the shadows. They have a tense conversation, and Garner says that even though he’s behind glass, he can still make Ward die with a hole in his chest, even if they try to sedate him. Ward says they’re not sedating him—they’re filling the module with mustard gas. Since S.H.I.E.L.D. figured out how to turn the monster off, Hydra wants to figure out how to turn him back on. Ward thanks Garner for bringing him closure and giving him a way to bring May more pain. He turns on the mustard gas and waits as it fills the module, leaving Garner to suffer. It’s not okay.

Thanks for understanding me, Miley.

Final Thoughts

Wow. So much in this episode. The origin of Hydra, Fitzsimmons kiss, stuff going on with Rosalind… so, so much. First off, I like the angle they took with Rosalind being just as shocked by Malick’s evilness. Rosalind is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters on the show, which I never thought I’d say. In addition, I can’t believe how quickly Garner went from being “safe” to being clearly in peril. Two episodes, Garner was the “big bad.” Now, he’s suffering at the hands of an even worse foe.

Speaking of, bringing in Malick to be the villain was such a big, bold, wise choice. He’s a familiar face from the MCU, since he was on the World Security Council, and he’s also very well-written and acted. It’s been a while since Hydra made me scared… I’m definitely worried right about now.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. also made a bold move by changing the origins of Hydra completely. I have to admit, I was completely shocked, but I love this new direction. I thought Will was just a random side plot to provide us even more Fitzsimmons angst, but he has become such a bigger piece of the plot than I ever dreamed. Will, the monolith, and the blue planet aren’t just a side plot anymore—they are now the plot.

Okay, speaking of Fitzsimmons, that kiss… wow. I’m kind of undecided whether I ship Fitzsimmons as friends or romantically, but that kiss was more than I ever dreamed. Everything was so well-written and so well-acted. I can’t even.

One last thing: this episode majorly changes some things about Hydra, which I could very well see spilling over into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is a gutsy move. Normally the MCU impacts what happens on AOS (like Captain America: The Winter Soldier and its effects on the show). But now, it could be AOS impacts what happens in the MCU. It’s brave and gutsy, and I commend it. I just hope that it doesn’t end up backfiring on Marvel when casual Marvel movie fans are confused because they haven’t watched AOS.

As for what’s coming up, I imagine that things will heat up even more as we approach the winter finale. (They’ll have to do something major to top last season’s midseason finale. What a doozy.) It’s possible we could see Jemma in peril, since she’s the one they brought back and Hydra apparently knows about it. (BUT DO NOT CAUSE FITZSIMMONS PAIN NOW THAT THEY’VE HAD THEIR MOMENT. PLEASE. YOU LET THEM BE, YOU STUPID COSMOS.) What I would love to see is Rosalind working together with AOS. I won’t deny it, I just love her. Her acting and chemistry with Coulson is perfect to watch, and I really hope she takes a turn for the good. Other than that, I’m not sure—but I know Malick is not good news. I’m also 100% sure the stakes will get even higher for our heroes. I’m just hoping no one dies. Regardless, I’m pretty sure pain is in store, and I’m in no way ready for it.

All in all, this was my favorite episode of season three thus far. It was majorly stunning—every moment was packed with intrigue and plot twists. There was never a dull moment, and that’s the way I like it.

What did you think of “Many Heads, One Tale”?

1 comment:

  1. Your thoughts basically align with mine on this one. So much good stuff!

    Also, thank you for writing this because we missed that last scene due to bad signal on our TV.