Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD Season 3, Episode 8 Recap – “Many Heads, One Tale”


This week’s Agents of SHIELD gives us way too much to digest. Here goes nothing trying to keep it all straight for you!

Not-So-Short Summary: Gideon Malick and Grant Ward are becoming the bestest buddies ever. It turns out Malick is sitting on the Von Strucker vault, which holds Hydra’s greatest power, whatever it may be.

Malick attempts to take Ward out with three Hydra goons, but instead, Ward gets the upper hand and tortures the answers out of them. Strucker had many vaults; he’s after one in particular.

After hijacking a plane, blowing out the door, escaping mid-flight, Ward finds the vault…to find Malick already there. Malick  gives the history of Hydra, which we find out is much older than the Red Skull. He pulls out a shard of the Monolith.

And this is the big reveal of the episode: “Death” on the other planet is a super powerful Inhuman that was born on Earth thousands of years ago and sent through the portal to banish him.

Hydra’s sole purpose is engineering his return. Every generation has sent men through the portal to serve him, and they’re almost to the next step of their plan. They’re building an army for “Death” to command when he returns–they’re sending the Inhumans to him.

And Malick wants SHIELD to help him bring Death back.

Back at SHIELD HQ, Operation Spotlight is put into place to peer into every shadowy corner the ATCU has. Coulson has Rosalind’s trust, as far as he knows, but he wants to know that he can trust her. Anyone who doesn’t have trust issues is either a young spy or dead, in Coulson’s words.

The homing beacon in Andrew’s cage wigs out the security system at ATCU, and Mack, posing as the FBI, sends in their best people to look into it, which turns out to be Bobbi and Hunter. I love Hunter’s “Damn the Yanks” shirt and hoodie combo. Once he gets SHIELD remote access,  Bobbi goes off to find the Inhuman detainment level.

What Bobbi finds is a stash of fish oils they’ve been giving to all employees and a freezer full of Inhuman parts. But no actual Inhumans. She gets cornered and her batons get turned into Batarangs when her and Hunter face off with an Inhuman who seems to have Magneto powers and holy crap, is her upgraded weapon pretty damn sweet. Banks helps them get to the landing pad so May and Lincoln can take them back to SHIELD HQ.

Meanwhile at SHIELD HQ, Coulson locks himself and Rosalind in a containment cell and tells her she needs to convince him that she’s not Hydra. She goes the emotional route, calls Coulson a robot. I was actually falling for her crap until Coulson brings up the fact that she knew about Project TAHITI.

Then they all realize that it’s Gideon Malick who is Hydra. He’s the one who gave Rosalind the TAHITI information, and he oversees the science division of the ATCU, which he also helped set up. He’s a busy man. And he has Andrew in his possession.

Post-Credits Stinger: Andrew is in his cage and wanting to know what the hell is going on with him. That’s when Ward shows up and pumps the chamber full of mustard gas.

Badass Moment of the Week: That opening scene with Ward against three Hydra goons. He’s got some impressive moves.

Best One-Liner: “Why don’t you go deface a Picasso?!” Fitz barks at a lab tech.

I didn’t cover FitzSimmons in this episode, and it was one of the more emotional parts, as it always seems to be in recent episodes. In all of the books Fitz brought in, all they can find relating to the symbol is blood sacrifices and ritualistic killings.

Simmons freaks out at Fitz for doing the right thing, and we get a grandiose, heartbreaking speech from Fitz about how sick and angry he feels and how their future together is cursed because she literally went to the other end of the cosmos. But she counters that he dug her out of a hole on the other side of the cosmos.

Then we get the FitzSimmons kiss we’ve all been dying for…before they break away and Fitz utters that they’re cursed. Then, of course, Simmons stumbles upon the Hydra connection and the whole mood is ruined.

Side-note on this whole episode: of course Coulson studied history in college.

Agents of SHIELD doesn’t return until December 1st, when it looks like we get a showdown of Grant Ward versus Phil Coulson. So we get an extra week to process all of this information…and also to eat a heck of a lot of turkey.

But most importantly, we got our first legitimate commercial for Agent Carter. Set your calendars, people: January 5th. And it’s a two-hour premiere! I might be dead by the end of it, what with two recaps in one night. But it’s worth it, because Peggy Carter is amazing.