Week of December 4, 2022:

Chaos Theory (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. s3 e7) released November 10, 2015 (where to watch)
Many Heads, One Tale (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. s3 e8) released November 17, 2015
Scott Hardie | December 18, 2022

Chaos Theory: Meh. I appreciate the show trying belatedly to add some depth and character development to the Lash story, but it's only half successful. The half with Garner and May's doomed relationship basically works, and I felt for May at the end. But the half that attempts to explain why Lash is so hell-bent on killing Inhumans doesn't, because there really is no justification for it. The show simply needs him to be a bad guy, and it clearly has no interest in considering what that really means, so his explanation for why he needs to kill people amounts to little more than "RAWR!" I didn't anticipate the twist coming in the final scene where Price's true loyalty is revealed, only because I didn't think the show would go back to that tired old well again, but so it did. Even though Fitz's deduction about the "NASA" mission logo was corny, I still kind of liked it. One of the best scenes of the episode was Morse talking Hunter into abandoning his revenge quest, partly out of a loving desire not to see him dead but mostly out of realizing that the moral high road is the best path to take; it's the kind of introspection that the show way too rarely does. Was I the only one expecting May to slip out of her handcuffs as soon as Garner was done talking? (4/10)

Many Heads, One Tale: This is pretty good! The key difference is the writing, which has wit and imagination in this episode. It's not in such a rush to move the plot along. Powers Boothe gets to savor his dialogue as he explains Hydra's hidden history, and Adrianne Palicki is clearly having fun with Morse's impatience. Even Ward's smugness while being cruel, which we've seen too much of, sounds fresh this time. I liked the reveal as the S.H.I.E.L.D. team put together the history of Hydra just as Malick was explaining it to Ward, which was a well-written scene and a welcome sign of a new direction for Hydra if the show insists on continuing to involve the evil organization. A few minor scenes were skippable, most of all FitzSimmons's tiresome romantic entanglement, but on the whole this is exactly what I hoped the show would mature into in its third year. (8/10)

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