'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' S3E8: Many Heads, One Tale

★ ★ ★ ★ ½

For a series that’s so invested in its Inhumans, the ones introduced sure do tend to take back seat in every one of their scenes. The longer they stick around, the more you realize just how good (though not perfect) they are as a replacement for mutants in the MCU. While not yet as interesting as their 21st Century Fox rivals, the soonerAgents starts using Inhumans to their full effect, the better. They still have Daisy’s task force to form and an entire Hydra Inhuman army in the making, so why are Inhumans still on the bench?

Either way, it turns out that Hydra’s involvement in the MCU runs so much deeper than WWII. Now being retconned into Agents as a centuries-old organization that ritually sacrifices one of their own to the banished Inhuman on the other side of the monolith, Hydra is forcing Terrigenesis onto people by using a tainted supply of fish oil pills to create an army for ‘It’ to use. (Try explaining that to someone. Fish oil pills as the common source of Terrigen will never stop being funny though.)

While a bit of a stretch, it ties Hydra right back into the fray and gives Ward an even better excuse to hit heads with S.H.I.E.L.D. than just a revenge story. Ward has just gotten more and more interesting since the reveal that he was a Hydra agent. Now torturing and murdering his way to get what he wants, the scene of him flirting with the flight attendant before telling her he was going to jump out of the plane showcases just how excellent his character has become. After leaving a trail of bodies on his way to the vault, Malick finally aligned with Ward so that they could help each other figure out just how S.H.I.E.L.D. got Simmons to return from the alien planet.

SHIELD S3

Ever since Simmons was sucked into the monolith, she and Fitz have been given lots of well-done scenes to work with. The two of them are the couple on Agents, not Daisy and Lincoln, whose lack of a spark (sorry, not sorry) is so apparent. Fitz and Simmons finally reconciled their feelings for one another and gave this love triangle some terrific moments ("you dove through a hole in the universe for me").

Things were shaken up between Rosalind and Coulson after Coulson’s suspicions about her reached a tipping point with the reveal of of the "A.T.C.U."’s true motivesd. Constance Zimmer does such a good job of selling this character to audiences; she could still be deceiving Coulson, and could be making it look like the emotional trauma we saw all be part of the act.

While "Many Heads, One Tale" shows just how well Agents can handle their espionage storylines, it still can’t figure out what to do with the Inhumans. The episode rocketed all storylines forward by revealing that Gideon Malick was the man pulling all of the strings — and giving Hydra a whole new reason to be in the show.

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