Yes, HYDRA is the "evil Empire" to S.H.I.E.L.D's "rebel alliance," but the monolith arc?
Part of me was hoping this whole portal thing would introduce a new corner of the MCU. As it turns out, the entity "over there" is an Inhuman that HYDRA's known about for thousands of years. It's probably just me, but that's not as exciting as I imagined it would be. Where's our Guardians of the Galaxy or Thanos connection?
Was I expecting too much? Perhaps the HYDRA tie-in was pushing it?
Still, Fitz-Simmons had their big moment and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3 Episode 8 was entertaining overall. Operation Spotlight proved a success!
Boy, was that dinner conversation awkward or what? Brett Dalton's expression as Gideon spoke of the octopus as a symbol was priceless. The ex-member of the World Security Council's intentions toward Ward weren't clear. Now, we know he did intend to eliminate him.
I had no doubt Ward would do some ass kickin' and get the info he wanted out of Gideon's goons. That said, you've got to wonder if Gideon's offer at the end was genuine or improvised in an attempt to save his own skin. I still believe he'd turn on Ward in an instant.
As soon as it was mentioned the Von Strucker vault housed HYDRA's greatest power, I had a feeling it was probably extraterrestrial. Like Ward, I thought HYDRA was created by the Red Skull as we were led to believe in Captain America. Does the organization date back to before Nazi Germany in the comics? Sure, I get the explanation they evolved over the years, but it all felt too convenient. What do you think?
Many fans hate that Ward's still around, but I really enjoy Dalton's scenes. He's great!
Gideon: The Von Strucker family vault does not exist.
Ward: Truthfully I'd believe you, if you hadn't sacrificed the only heir to it. You control the vault now, right? The vault is said to have HYDRA's greatest power. Why don't you and I put it to good use?
Going into this installment, we had no idea whether or not to trust Rosalind. I mean, that little conversation with Gideon was quite questionable. However, she always seemed sincere and I'm glad she didn't turn out to be a villain. I think that would have been predictable and too easy. How about Mack laying into Coulson about sleeping with her? That guy has some serious cojones man. You've got to love how straightforward he is, even with Coulson.
Of course, it didn't take the Director long to prove those worries unfounded by introducing Operation Spotlight. Coulson was all business, and I loved the way he turned Andrew's situation into an advantage. It was a solid plan that came together nicely. Even the May/Lincoln pairing proved an interesting twist. Luke Mitchell wasn't given much to do here, but he played those awkward scenes with Ming-Na Wen beautifully.
It was important Fitz and Simmons sit out this mission. They needed some alone time.
Fitz: Do you love him?
Simmons: I don't know. I think... yes.
Fitz: Yeah, of course you do. He's strong and smart. And you gave each other hope on the edge of nowhere.
Simmons: Don't do this Fitz.
Fitz: You think I didn't look for dirt on him? I did, and there's nothing. I can't hate him, he's great. Why else would you fall for him? He did everything right.
Simmons: And you dove through a hole in the universe for me.
Yeah I say this every review, but Iain De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge have exceptional chemistry. You could easily understand Jemma's predicament, and Fitz's frustration over their "cursed" relationship. The scene was wonderfully written and the couple's acting top-notch. #FitzSimmons fans have been waiting for that kiss for three seasons, and I'm pretty sure it delivered.
When/if Will returns, will the love triangle annoy fans? You've got to create drama somehow, but I just can't imagine Jemma choosing Will over Fitz. Can you? Needless to say, this was my favorite scene of the entire episode. If anyone should get a spinoff, it's Fitz-Simmons.
Rosalind's underground base tour was interesting, she seemed terribly impressed but trying to play it cool. I loved hearing Coulson talk of how S.H.I.E.L.D. recruited him and his love of old tech. Their witty banter was fun, I hope she sticks around. In retrospect, though Coulson accused Rosalind of lying, it was the Director himself that was playing spy games. He played her real good, but ultimately saved her from herself.
Coulson's interrogation was pretty harsh, and I honestly felt bad for Roz.
Coulson: I got to admit, handing out the containment as a cure; that's especially sinister.
Rosalind: No, I get weekly reports from... Malick.
Coulson: Excuse me?
Rosalind: Gideon Malick.
Coulson: I know the name; industrialist. He served on the World Council.
Rosalind: He's a friend. I worked with him more than a decade. He advises the President's staff. Helped design the ATCU. Oversees the science division. He gave me the T.A.H.I.T.I. intel.
Operation Spotlight itself was a total blast. Wasn't Hunter brilliant as the hacker consultant to the FBI? Daisy spewing techno-babble in his ear was hilarious. It was terrific to see Bobbi in action again with upgraded batons. Adrianne Palicki has really grown into the role; I wasn't sold at first.
The fact the ATCU wasn't working on a cure, but giving out infected fish oil pills surprised me. Of course, once we realized Gideon was behind the entire program, it all made sense. Poor Roz, she was duped big time; a hard realization for any intelligence agent. Banks helping with the extraction was cool.
So, Ward made his way to Germany, sacrificing a plane full of people in the process. What a sadistic muthaf*cka! Do you think the aircraft managed to land? Anyway, Gideon was at the vault to greet him and provide a little HYDRA history lesson. You already know how I feel about the HYDRA/monolith reveal. While I understand their Inhuman leader is the planet's evil entity, what do they want with Dr. Garner? Ward may have forced him to transform, but Lash isn't going to work with them willingly.
There's still the question of whether or not Will is connected to the planet (and its entity). Was its goal to make Jemma fall for him and bring a team of people back? Things are certainly going to get interesting. I can't believe we'll have to wait until March 8 for the second half of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3.
Well, what did you guys think of "Many Heads, One Tale"? Did the big HYDRA reveal work for you? Are you glad Roz isn't evil? How about that Fitz-Simmons kiss? Your turn guys, feel free to sound off in the comments below. Look for our Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. round table later this week.
Don't forget, you can watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. online via TV Fanatic at any time.
NOTE: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3 Episode 10 is titled "Closure" and airs on Tuesday, December 1.