TV REVIEW: Agents of SHIELD 3.8 – Many Heads, One Tale | FanboysInc

TV REVIEW: Agents of SHIELD 3.8 – Many Heads, One Tale

By Jeff Ayers

TV REVIEW: Agents of SHIELD 3.8 - Many Heads, One Tale

If you have been following Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. this season, you might have noticed the show has definitely upped its game in terms of production and writing quality. This is especially true considering its first two shaky seasons, and it is a treat to watch a show like this mature into something incredible.

TV REVIEW: Agents of SHIELD 3.8 - Many Heads, One Tale

So what exactly is this show getting so right? Well, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is finally crafting some engaging entertainment, and it all starts with the intense relationships they have built up within the core cast. This episode touted the troubled duo of Fitz and Simmons, and yes there was some moments of them hashing stuff out (finally), but there was so much more. The subtle way that Agent May (Ming Na Wen) plays out her emotions is really talented acting – both from the actress herself and the super-spy character that she is portraying. May had to allow S.H.E.I.L.D. to give her ex-husband Andrew, who now know is the Inhuman Lash, over to the ACTU for treatment. This is an incredibly tough situation for her, and she plays it beautifully on screen. The newly minted S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Lincoln and May go off on a mission together, and Lincoln is worried that May might beat him up or kill him for his own dealings with Lash. Yet she surprises him with a tender moment as she apologizes to him, and further strengthens her character on the show.

Another incredible relationship that is still being fleshed out is between Director Coulson and Rosalind, the head of the ACTU. He invites her to the secret S.H.I.E.L.D. base, which puts everyone on high alert, including Mack who doesn’t quite trust Coulson’s intentions. It seems that Coulson and Rosalind have become quite smitten with one another, yet Coulson shows his cold, weary spy side by still distrusting her to the fullest. He sends the aforementioned May and Lincoln to back up Mack, Daisy, Hunter and Bobbi as they try an infiltrate the ACTU while the head is away. Without spoiling too much, Coulson locks Rosalind in one of his interrogation rooms to try and break her resolve and get the answers he wants, as he is getting intel from Bobbi. The ACTU is not what it seems, and neither is Rosalind or Coulson.

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That is what makes a show like this so cool: they aren’t sticking to a “monster of the week” formula, and rather opting to do a smart spy drama set in the world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The relationship between Coulson and Rosalind seems paper thin on the basic level, yet with this episode we learn that not everything is what it seems, on either front. Those writing choices make for twists and turns within a formulaic television property that still can excite and surprise even the most jaded viewer. Also, I wonder if we still don’t have the full picture after the events revealed in this episode, as I am getting a strong “Contessa” vibe off of Rosalind. (Contessa was Nick Fury’s on again off again love interest in the comics, and she was often a double and triple agent).

TV REVIEW: Agents of SHIELD 3.8 - Many Heads, One Tale

The big reveal of the show was from Ward and and the new big bad, Malick. Ward is excellent as this rouge spy who wants to kickstart a new era of Hydra. Malick tries to put him in his place, but Ward succeeds in impressing him enough that the two will be working together now for a common goal. It is revealed that Hydra is much older than just the machinations of the Red Skull, who is beautifully named dropped a few times in this episode. Both Ward, and the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. find this information out in the same time frame on the screen, and it is shocking to say the least. Hydra is more connected to the Inhuman population than anyone might have imagined, and it is exciting to think about the way such revelations might affect the Marvel Cinematic Universe at large. Basically, Hydra was created to try and retrieve an ancient Inhuman that was banished to the same alien world that Simmons was stranded on. That Inhuman is considered the true head of Hydra, and it will be interesting to see that reveal when we get there.

Final thought – Now that we know that Hydra originated in ancient times, will the information that S.H.I.E.L.D. existed back then be revealed as well? They did a similar thing in the comics, and it would be very interesting to see that play out on screen.

FBI Score: 9 out of 10. If you haven’t watched any of this show this season, “Many Heads, One Tale” is a perfect example of how far the series has progressed. Thanks to great acting, and incredible plot devices, it has finally become the spy orientated thriller it always wanted to be.

Jeff Ayers

Both my parents instilled in me at an early age the awesome power and incredible wonder of the written word. My father sat with me when I was four years old and taught me to enjoy reading with classic comic strips like SPIDERMAN, PEANUTS, B.C. and, later, CALVIN AND HOBBES. My mother exposed me to such classics of literature as Poe, Tolkien, Stoker and Doyle, and I started my own comic collection with allowance money from mowing lawns. I liked Wolverine before it was cool, I watched as Superman died and returned, and huddled under the covers as I turned the pages of SANDMAN. Reading is like oxygen to me, and all genres and formats are welcome and devoured equally. I am the co-host of The DW and Incredible Jeff Show, CEO of Permian Productions, and a reviewer at Graphic Novel Reporter. I am 34 and live in scenic Saratoga Springs New York, where I haunt coffee shops and dive bars and the best comic shop anywhere, The Comic Depot.

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