‘Many Heads, One Tale’
This week’s episode begins with a discussion on the HYDRA octopus (which I never realised was an octopus) and ends in much the same way. While it doesn’t become apparent until near of the end of the episode, this is the story that ties together all the plot lines of the season into a cohesive whole.
After weeks of working with the ATCU, Coulson has decided he wants to see what they’re all about once and for all. Taking advantage of the fact that Dr Garner’s pod can hack into the ATCU’s systems, Bobbi and Hunter are sent into the base under the guise of being IT support. Hunter actually feels useful this week, even if he is essentially a puppet. While he distracts the ATCU agents, Bobbi is able to look around finding all the dirty little secrets of the agency. It turns out the ATCU have been giving their employees terrigen at first, creating their own Inhuman army.Meanwhile, Coulson gives Rosalind a tour of their base before pulling the rug out from under her. The confrontation between the two, as he calls her out on her lies while she accuses him of seducing her as a trick, is one of the strongest scenes of the episode. Clark Gregg and Constance Zimmer are both great actors and the interplay between the pair has been a highlight all season. ‘Many Heads’ smartly reminds us of their connection in the scenes building up to their argument. At the same time this confrontation has been building up all year, though the revelation that Rosalind is in the blind about the ATCU’s secrets is a good twist. It nicely sets up Powers Boothe’s Gideon Malick as the real threat of the season, being the true leader of the ATCU and HYDRA.
As the rest of the team work to discover the ATCU’s HYDRA connections, Fitz and Simmons find out that the program that sent Will to the alien planet is also a HYDRA front. There’s also a C-plot about Ward being creepy while trying to find a mysterious HYDRA vault, which seems to serve to remind us that he’s a creep and still around. The last five minutes of the episode essentially turn into an info dump detailing how everything is connected to HYDRA and revealing their true goals. I’m glad the disparate plots have all been tied together and am really curious to find out more about the ancient Inhuman on the alien planet (which really needs a name already).