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Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (2013) season 3, episode 8
"Many Heads, One Tail"
WRITER: JED WHEDON and DJ DOYLE
DIRECTOR: GARRY A. BROWN
AIR DATE: November 17 2015
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. starts a new direction with "Many Heads, One Tail", an appropriate title since the subject of much of the intrigue this time out is the nefarious agency Hydra. Gideon Malick (Powers Boothe) represents part of that group, the establishment side of things, having had managed to evade the attention that’s brought down so many other people in high places after Hydra’s exposure in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (not to mention earlier in Season One of this series). The other side of things is represented by Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), who’s taken to the idea of rebuilding Hydra with himself firmly in control.
Ward has himself an agenda involving a Hydra vault. Malick would prefer to deny it to him. And yet as the episode plays out, the two characters end up in a very different place- instead of as adversaries, as equal players. There’s also a good deal of exposition going on, but needed, as the tale in question is one told by Malick, dating back long ago, involving an ancient Inhuman once sent forcefully through a portal to a distant world.
That distant world being one we’ve already seen. It’s the world where Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) was stranded at the end of season two and brought back from earlier this season. She and Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) have been busy trying to determine a way to bring Will Daniels back from that other world, and while the revelations play out elsewhere in the episode about the history of Hydra, the two scientists come to some discoveries of their own as to why Will was sent there.
The Hydra connection also plays out between the other characters. Price (Constance Zimmer) finds herself first a suspect by the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents because of discoveries they’ve made about the ATCU, but she comes to her own realizations- ones that expose Malick’s true loyalties to all. An episode that’s quite large on exposition nonetheless gets some action - Ward’s following the proverbial trail allows for that- and also feels like it moves things forward nicely. Just in time for things to get all the more troublesome.
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