Thomas Nash was a Canadian bond trader who was listed on S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Index due to his ability to occasionally predict people's behavior. After being caught in a car crash that left him in a catatonic state, Nash was used by HYDRA to pose as the Clairvoyant, a high-ranking member of the organisation named John Garrett. When S.H.I.E.L.D. located Nash in their hunt for the Clairvoyant, Grant Ward, a HYDRA mole inside S.H.I.E.L.D., killed Nash, hoping it would throw the organisation off of Garrett's scent.
- "According to Index archives, Nash has been on S.H.I.E.L.D.'s radar for about six years. Originally a bond trader in Canada doing very well for himself. Then the Canadian government recruited him to a secret Department H-type program."
"They were looking for people with psychic abilities."
"Specifically people who could control human behavior."
- ―Skye and Melinda May[src]
Thomas Nash, a successful bond trader in Canada, caught the attention of S.H.I.E.L.D. around 2008 due to his ability to, on occasion, predict people's behaviour or actions. Nash was later approached by the Canadian government, who recruited him to a confidential programme that was searching for people who could control or manipulate human behaviour. Nash was unable to affect anyone's behaviour, but he was able to use his gift to predict it, which eventually earned him a place on S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Index individuals and objects with abilities or powers. In 2010, Nash suffered a head-on collision which, while he survived, rendered him catatonic, unable to even speak. Due to his catatonic state, Nash was removed from S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Index, as he no longer posed a threat, nor was he able to use his gift.
Eventually, Nash was approached by members of HYDRA, who used the catatonic man as a decoy of the Clairvoyant: a HYDRA agent named John Garrett. While chasing leads on the identity of the Clairvoyant, agents Melinda May and Felix Blake were sent to Tranquility Bridge assisted living home in Macon, Georgia, where Nash was believed to be located, to determine if he was the Clairvoyant. While there, Blake was critically injured by Deathlok, prompting S.H.I.E.L.D. to make Nash their prime suspect.
When fighting Deathlok, agent Blake implanted a tag round on him, allowing S.H.I.E.L.D. to track him back to Nash's location, an abandoned race track in Pensacola, Florida. Agent Phil Coulson led a raiding team consisting, in part, of agents Grant Ward and John Garrett, both of them HYDRA spies within S.H.I.E.L.D. Coulson's team went into the building where, with the help of the Golden Retrievers, they located Nash, sitting unmoving in his chair surrounded by screens.
A speech synthesizer, controlled by HYDRA, talked to the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, who believed that Nash was the one sending the synthesized messages. Through the messages, HYDRA surrendered to S.H.I.E.L.D. and claimed Nash was the Clairvoyant. Nash "told" Agent Coulson that he let them track Deathlok to him so that he could see him with his own eyes, instead of viewing them through Deathlok's eye implant. HYDRA continued to taunt Coulson through Nash, however they would be cut short as Agent Ward would shoot the fake Clairvoyant, killing him, much to the surprise of everyone in the room.
Grant Ward would claim that he shot Nash because he let his emotions get the best of him, saying that the Clairvoyant wasn't going to stop and that he wouldn't let that happen; in actuality, Ward shot Nash in an attempt to preserve the identity of the true Clairvoyant, John Garrett, who Ward was loyal to. Phil Coulson and Skye would notice how the circumstances surrounding Nash's reveal as the Clairvoyant and death seemed to play out a little too perfectly. Using information gathered from their pursuit of the Clairvoyant, they would realise that the true Clairvoyant was a high-level S.H.I.E.L.D. agent whose clairvoyant powers came from having access to classified S.H.I.E.L.D. documents. Initially believing the Clairvoyant to be Victoria Hand, it would be discovered that Garrett was the true Clairvoyant during the Battle at the Hub.
- End of the Beginning writer Paul Zbyszewski chose the name of Thomas Nash as a reference to Elizabethan playwright Thomas Nashe, since the character of Nash was intended as a plot red herring, and the term "red herring" can be traced back in part to Nashe's 1567 story Praise of the Red Herring.
Behind the Scenes
- The quote "A bit dramatic for my taste." used by Thomas Nash is an almost direct repeat of Victoria Hand's quote, "A little dramatic for my taste.", in the episode The Hub. The writers used this quote to make the audience believe Hand was the Clairvoyant.
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.16: End of the Beginning
- In End of the Beginning, it is stated that Thomas Nash was on S.H.I.E.L.D.'s radar for six years. End of the Beginning is set in 2014, making six years prior 2008. The same logic applies to Melinda May stating Nash had been catatonic for "four years" as of 2014.
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.17: Turn, Turn, Turn
- ep116 Live with Lil! AGENTS OF SHIELD