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Agents of SHIELD – S3E8 – Many Heads, One Tale

Previously on AoS, ‘Chaos Theory’

Starring: Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennett, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, Adrianne Palicki, Nick Blood, Henry Simmons, Blair Underwood, Luke Mitchell, Constance Zimmer | Directed By: Garry A. Brown


The alternate title for the episode should be “Everyone Has No Chill”, seriously. Coulson initiates Operation: Spotlight to infiltrate the ATCU. Ward is coming after Malick harder than Liam Neeson. Fitz finally admits his true feelings to Simmons and why Will ain’t shit. Bobbi and Lance take on a new Inhuman, while Lincoln and May emotionally hug it out inside of a Quinjet. Oh, and HYDRA is older than everyone suspects and is seeking to awaken an ancient evil.


This hasn’t been Ward’s month at all. Hunter nearly kills him, Kebo has been captured, Werner was taken out by Gideon Malick’s men (to conceal the location of the Von Strucker vault), plus his version of HYDRA appears to be going absolutely nowhere. Grant’s big picture is falling apart at the seams and he resorts to meeting with Malick (Powers Boothe) himself.

Images: ABC

Images: ABC

Feigning but the smallest hint of desperation, Ward seeks to form an alliance with Malick in order to put “HYDRA’s greatest power” to use. Gideon claims there’s no such thing, but he knows that Grant knows that he knows he’s lying. Because tradecraft. Anyway, Ward longs to go on the offensive and eliminate SHIELD if Gideon is willing to share his toys with his young, brash counterpart, which he isn’t. Without even finishing his decadent octopus dinner, Malick leaves Grant with the check and sends in four thugs to make sure he leaves a sizable tip… in blood.

Sorry. Had to ham it up.

For the entirety of the episode, Brett Dalton once again takes viewers on a wondrous journey of bloodthirsty villainy. Since founding his new faction of HYDRA, Ward’s confidence and determination in achieving his goals can solely be attributed to Dalton’s own fearlessness in unleashing Ward’s savagery. It was a bumpy road during the first two seasons as Dalton and the writers chipped away at Grant’s polished exterior, until they discovered a rather malicious and extremely damaged individual. Now that Ward is finally his own man he’s going full throttle and apparently no one can stop him. Despite Grant’s increasingly heinous acts in season three, it’s been a very entertaining ride so far.


SHIELD hands Dr. Garner over to the ATCU for storage, but it’s a ploy to mine any data they can about ATCU facilities, personnel and their Inhuman manifest. As usual Nick Blood brings the funny, this time portraying Hunter as an arrogant, irascible hacker while undercover inside the ATCU. As Lance spouts phrases like “polymorphic rootkit” and “stateless multifactor authentication code”, Bobbi uses the distraction to search for any data about Inhumans. Rather than finding research for a cure, Morse discovers more fish oil capsules and the remains of subjects that didn’t survive the transformation.


Lance and Bobbi barely make it out of the ATCU after coming toe-to-toe with Giyera (Mark Dacascos), an Inhuman with telekinetic powers and some fairly impressive martial art skills. Thanks to Agent Banks, the duo hightail it out of dodge before things get any worse.

At Malick’s hidden lair, Gideon strikes a rapport with Dr. Garner and gains his attention when he asks if Andrew even wants to be cured. The more Malick confides in the bad doctor, the more he has Andrew wrapped around his little finger. In little time they see eye to eye and Gideon requests Dr. Garner’s assistance in acquiring any information on SHIELD’s operations and research. If only Garner knew what terrible designs Malick has in mind for Lash…


Watching Phil open up and become lovey dovey with Rosalind (Constance Zimmer) the last few weeks has been deceptively charming and pleasant to watch. Pet names and nooners aside, Coulson never fully lowered his guard, using every chance he could to uncover the inner workings of the ATCU. The flourishing chemistry developed between Constance Zimmer and Clark Gregg throughout the season takes a steep nosedive that results in a rather scornful spat.

Their tone stays at a simmer yet their clash is as pernicious as they come. Coulson and Price were digging deep for insults, like they were expecting the day to arrive when they couldn’t stand one another anymore. Bombs were dropped left and right, from Rosalind being accused as a manipulator and traitor to Coulson being a heartless wretch. So much for the lovebirds.

It’s difficult to believe it was entirely an act on Phil’s part. No man is an island and deny it though he might, the Director was intrigued to find a woman that’s basically his equal in skill and tenacity. Coming at Price hard and accusing her to be a HYDRA goon is one thing, but to pour salt on the open wound that is her dead husband? That’s cold blooded. Their potential relationship would be considered irrevocably ruined – thanks to Phil’s callousness – if both didn’t immediately revert to their professional selves after learning Rosalind was duped by Malick all along.


*sigh* These two. Fitz obviously loves Simmons so much he’s willing to forsake his happiness for hers. It’s come to the point that he’s rummaging through dusty old books to find any clues about her 197-night stand and the people who sent him to Planet X. Jemma literally gets mad at Leo for being too nice (been there) and it culminates in one awkward looking kiss. Ever seen PDA so stiff and graceless you had to avert your eyes out of embarrassment for the couple? That, but in HD.


Fitz comes to his senses and realizes no matter how much they try to make it work, it simply won’t. uh, what? FitzSimmons quickly recover from their violent snogging after viewing manuscripts that were strewn across the lab floor, on account of their aforementioned failure of a face-smashing. The two piece symbols together and it does not bode well for the entire planet.


After the dust settles and all the assets have returned to base, FitzSimmons reveal to Coulson, Price and the others that there’s far more to the mystery group they’ve been investigating. The pair disclose to their fellow agents that HYDRA and the Wolf, the Ram and Hart are one and the same. Concurrently, Malick unveils to Ward the item stored at the vault: a portion of the Monolith, carved long ago from the original.

AoS s3e8 malick

This is an absolute game changer, my friends. As Malick hinted earlier in “Many Heads” his plans are finally coming to fruition and nearly everyone, from the White House to the ATCU and SHIELD, is powerless in deterring his sinister, far-reaching agenda. If Ward is able to accomplish his task, Malick’s mini-monolith could soon be activated. Once his master returns to Earth – with an army of Inhumans at his command – it’s game over for everyone.


Fitz: OK, just go before you drop another priceless manuscript. Why don’t you go deface a Picasso or something? [he sounds hangry to me, i think he needs a Snickers.]

Lance, to Bobbi: I remind you that we’re basically the same height. I just don’t wear bloody heels.

Ward, to Dr. Garner: May thinks I’m a monster, but you actually become one. Guess we know her type. [that was cold, bruh.]


So much happened in “Many Heads”, this list has to be composed in bullet form. Which is appropriate because so many shots were fired this week.

  • Grant casually caving in skulls with pool balls and cues. Not to mention compromising the safety of hundreds in an airplane to take the expressway to the Von Strucker vault. Lastly that entrance… did he use a cutting tool to get into the vault or was it 100% his sway?
  • Coulson putting Mack in his place after he showed his ass in his office. So what if he “went to Tahiti” with the Director of the ATCU?! The man isn’t all robot!
  • Giyeri channeling his inner Magneto while scraping with Morse. Perhaps he can control other objects but everything he did throw around was metallic. Innnteresting.
  • Bobbi giving her new batons (with matching magnetic bracelets) a whirl. Très chic, trop stylé! ooh la la.
  • EVERYTHING ABOUT THE REVELATION. I mean, DAMN. Good luck making it to season four in one piece, SHIELD.
AoS S3E8
  • 10/10
    Plot - 10/10
  • 10/10
    Dialogue - 10/10
  • 10/10
    Action - 10/10
  • 10/10
    Performances - 10/10


Dear cast and crew (especially the writers), you all deserve a raise.

I know this is meant to be a summary of what I believe worked and what faltered but really now… how can I critique perfection?

Keep up the damn good work!

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About Rexlor Graymond (493 Articles)
Rex Graymond is 24.6kg tripolymer composite, 11.8kg beryllium-nickel-titanium alloy. Constructed in Northern California. Loves comics and films almost as much as pancakes. ALMOST.
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