Official synopsis for Paradise Lost:
“S.H.I.E.L.D. hunts for information on their dangerous new enemy, and a shameful secret from Malick’s past is exposed, threatening to destroy his Hydra legacy.”
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. set up a somewhat surprising turn of events the week, as the team set their sights on finding Gideon Malick (Powers Booth). During Paradise Lost we finally discovered more about Malick’s past, and his connection to Hydra. In a direct conclusion to last week’s conclusion, we find out what Malick was so afraid of in the vision he saw courtesy of Charles. After weeks of hints, Hive (Brett Dalton) is finally starting to take the reigns of Hydra away from Malick.
I’d been looking forward to learning more about Malick, his ties to Hydra and what role his daughter, Stephanie (Bethany Joy Lenz), had to play in all of this. The show upped the creepy factor by insinuating that she kind of had the hots for Hive, a risky choice since we know what Hive actually is. I am looking forward to seeing what Hive really looks like, as we only got a small glimpse when he revealed himself to the board of Hydra.
The Malick saga boils down to this: the Malick family has taken part in the sacrificial cult-like ceremony held by Hydra for generations. As a teenager, Gideon and his brother Nathaniel learned their father had found a way to cheat the system, ensuring that he would never be a blood sacrifice. A white stone hidden in the book, Paradise Lost, had a small dent on it, allowing Malick Senior to feel which stone not to pick. Whitehall (Reed Diamond) made a return appearance this week, telling the boys of their father’s treachery after his death. The final reveal was that Gideon tricked his brother to think he had thrown the rock away, actually keeping it and using it to send his brother to an untimely death. Malick then revealed to Stephanie that he’d had a vision that Hive would kill him. This pushed Malick to question Hive, asking if he retains memories from each host.
The flashbacks throughout Paradise Lost managed not to be distracting, and didn’t pull me away from what was going on with the team. Coulson (Clark Gregg) had tracked down Giyera (Mark Dacascos), thinking that he’d be able to use him to get to Hydra. Coulson clearly has ongoing issues of his own, one of which is dealing (or not) with killing Ward. The return of Ward’s body as a host hasn’t been easy on the Director. Could he have been regretting what he’d done? It seemed that way. In an unexpected move, Fitz (Iain de Caestecker) tells Coulson not to feel bad about what happened, but it’s nice to actually see some accountability on the show.
Coulson also sent Lincoln (Luke Mitchell) and Daisy (Chloe Bennet) to track down a lead, thinking they might shed some light on Hive. Lincoln’s character has been in serious need of a little something to flesh out his character, so the show sets him up to be an ex-alcoholic. It remains to be seen if they actually do justice to this story. This half of the Secret Warrior team manage to get their hands on an old cylinder relic, which could supposedly help the team figure out more about Hive. I wonder if this relic is a way to stop Hive, or perhaps imprison him. After all, Hive was just a small parasite before entering Grant Ward.
Gideon finally learns that the hard way that what comes around goes around, with the shocking twist of the episode coming when Hive killed Stephanie instead of Malick himself. I couldn’t bring myself to feel bad for the guy though, because he’s evil and borderline crazy. Given the premise of the last episode, that the future cannot be changed, you have to wonder what Malick actually saw to have him so convinced of his own death. And so another female character died, no doubt causing Malick considerable pain, even as Hive reveals him to be a cheat and liar.
The team does end up capturing Giyera, but it’s a sort lived triumph as he escapes and takes control of the SHIELD plane. It turns out though that Daisy and Lincoln have a plan: the Secret Warriors Initiative. Let’s see if the show can deliver on that set-up next week with the return of Joey and Yo-Yo.
My definite highlight from Paradise Lost was the Giyera and May (Ming-Na Wen) fight. The two went toe-to-toe in a great scene with awesome fight choreography, cashing in on what the show does best. What did you think of this weeks Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Twitter!