Lincoln goes on his first SHIELD mission, Ward learns Hydra’s history, and Fittz-Simmons is cursed.
The agents of SHIELD have noticed an increasing familiarity between Coulson and Rosalind and are becoming concerned. Mack, always the having doubts, approaches Coulson with his concerns. However, his concern are replaced with new ones after a briefing with the Hunter, Bobbi, May, Lincoln, and the rest of SHIELD on a mission infiltrating the ACTU HQ to uncover the truth about their intentions with Inhumans once and for all. Part of this plan is to bring Rosalind into the SHIELD base and keep her distracted. Yet as Coulson’s questioning raises tempers between them, they realize the liar in their midst is the mysterious Gideon Malick.
Malick, billionaire philanthropist, adviser to the President, and one of the few remaining leaders of Hydra’s old guard, has his own agenda and is using the ACTU to carry it out. After a bit of intimidation tactics and a race to Von Strucker’s secret vault, Malick and Ward discuss the ancient history behind Hydra, starting with the fact that it wasn’t always Hydra. Hydra as has been introduced in the MCU was created by the Red Skull on the idea that the greatest power lies in the stars, but this idea has been passed down through a secret order using the “ram’s head” as their sigil for thousands of years. While Red Skull’s “greater power” was more or less a metaphor of using ancient relics from beyond the stars to power his war machine, this ancient order looks to a more specific greater power in the form of their ancient leader, an Inhuman so powerful that he was banished to another world. Now, Malick and Ward intend to bring him back.
While Ward is educated on this history, Fittz-Simmons works in the lab trying to find a way to open the portal and rescue Will. They are sidetracked as Simmons’ stress over her feelings for both Fittz and Will boils over and they finally express to each other how they feel. Though, as a book is knocked over from their “expressing,” Simmons discovers Hydra’s connection to the ancient organization as tracks the evolution of the Ram’s Head into the symbol of Hydra.
“Many Heads, One Tale” brings many secrets to life, while dusting off some old ones. Hydra has been a presence since the end of season one, and since has remained a recurring theme. This theme was almost overused as the viewer became suspicious of Rosalind and her connection with Malick, but this new twist of Hydra’s history brings new life to the idea of their being many heads. There really are so many levels and identities of Hydra.
While this new information fleshes out even more the shadowy organization within the MCU, a few other connections arose from this episode as well. Bobbi has a set of new batons that respond similarly to Captain America’s shield, activating a magnet the recalls the weapon. Also, the story of Hydra’s exiled leader sounds very familiar to the story arc of Planet Hulk. Just to speculate a bit, it was revealed that the Hulk will be in the next Guardians of the Galaxy film. Could this powerful being be connected in someway to the next galactic adventure?