Agents of SHIELD Season 3 will continue on March 8th, picking up the cliffhanger before the hiatus. The first half of Season 3 delivered thrills and twists galore, revealing Hydra's ancient origins and its secret mission to deliver the terrifying, legendary inhuman to Earth. This inhuman was finally revealed in the episode Maveth, as the characters travelled back to the mysterious planet on which Jemma was marooned at the beginning of the season.
And yet, for all the revelations we still didn't quite know who or what this inhuman was. It turned out to be a parasite of sorts, which has the ability to possess a host's body after death. After Grant Ward was killed (hooray!), the parasite soon took advantage of this new human puppet... and thus the first half of Season 3 ended.
In the gap between the episodes, fans have been scrambling to discover the true identity of this inhuman parasite. And we might finally have the answer to this mystery, thanks to actress Elizabeth Henstridge (who plays Jemma Simmons).
Would The Real Inhuman Please Stand Up
During a panel for the Wizard World convention last weekend, Henstridge divulged some details from Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3.
"Now Ward is Hive and takes on the memories of people he's killed, so that's going to have some interesting situations." - via CBR
So there you have it folks - the big bad inhuman is none other than Hive, a monster who has the ability to possess hosts and their knowledge.
Interestingly enough, Hive wasn't actually an inhuman in the comics, but an experiment created by Hydra to embody their ideals. This makes the Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. plot a clever reversal of this plotline: Hive still embodies the ideals of Hydra, but those ideals came about because of Hydra's origins as a cult which worshipped this inhuman version of Hive. Neat.
So what can we learn from Hive's Marvel Comics incarnation? Well, the original version of the character was made up from thousands of smaller, worm-like parasites. These parasites had the ability to merge into a terrifying, gigantic monster. The idea was for this creature to steal the memories and knowledge of dozens of operatives, making it the very embodiment of the "cut off one head, another will grow in its place" mantra.
And this has very interesting implications for Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D...
Are There More Parasites?
Obviously, the Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. creative team have already made some pretty huge changes to the original Hive story. However, the possibility remains that this parasite encountered on the mysterious planet is not the only one: there could be more corpse-possessing worms out there, just waiting to collect information and then merge into one terrifying being. That would definitely make for an interesting plot in Season 3, and an epic final battle with the creature.
So what of Ward himself?
Henstridge hinted that this version of Hive still has the ability to absorb memories. We've already seen Hive impersonate one character - Will, Jemma's marooned lover - and Hive definitely fooled the audience into thinking he was in fact Will. So will Hive adopt Ward's personality, affected by his memories? Only time will tell, but at least we don't have long until we find out!