‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Recap: “Paradise Lost”

This week’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D focused somewhat on the past.  Malick had some flashbacks that not only gave us last season’s Hydra bad guy Daniel Whitehall but gave some history of Malick’s family history and their dedication (or lack of dedication) to Hive.  Lincoln was forced to focus on his less than chivalrous past.  Coulson also focused on his killing of Ward and the torment that he will now have to deal with related to it.  We also got yet another history lesson focusing on the ancient alien race, the Kree and their development of the Inhumans as it relates to Hive.

Most of the episode focused primarily on Gideon Malick through numerous flashbacks.  We are once again reminded that Hydra’s traditions go back many years, and is a part of Malick’s family tradition.  We also get to learn that there is a divide between members of Hydra as to whether or not Hive was real or just a legend.  Former Hydra leader Daniel Whitehall is seen through flashbacks ridiculing the legend of Hive and wanted Hydra to take a more scientific approach vs sending volunteers through the Monolith in search of Hive.  Whitehall reveals to a young Malick and his brother that their deceased father was “gaming the system” by ensuring that he was never able to be sent through the device to the plant where Hive was.  Once Malick finds out that it was true that his father did in fact cheat, he and his brother swore not to cheat and let fate decide if they would be chosen or not.  Unfortunately, Malick still cheated, and it ended up with his brother being sent to the planet to presumably die.  More on that later.

Malick was troubled by the vision he received last week after being touched by Inhuman Charles Hinton foretelling his death.  Being familiar with Hive’s power of sucking the life out of normal humans, was very fearful of Hive and was starting to not see him as the savior he’s been searching for but an adversary that would end up killing him.  To make matters worse, Hive was not making him feel comfortable and was as cryptic as ever.  Hive showed up at Malick’s mansion and summoned all the top Hydra leaders for his coronation.  Throughout the episode, Malick spoke in private with his daughter Stephanie expressing his fears of his impending death, which she assured him that he shouldn’t worry about anything.  Hive introduced himself to all the Hydra leadership and even showed his true form.  We only got to see the back of his head, but it was reminiscent of what he looked like in the comics.  When Hive finally confronted Malick, he also revealed that for every person Hydra sent through the portal he did, in fact, possess them, and when he does he retains their memories.  Since Malick’s brother was a volunteer through the portal, Hive had all his brother’s memories and revealed to Malick he knew of his betrayal and a penance needed to be met.  Instead of killing Malick, Hive killed his daughter Stephanie.  This was not only shocking because Hive killed Stephanie who could have replaced Malick, but it also means that Charles Hinton’s visions don’t necessarily come true.  This means that there may be some hope for Daisy who received the vision of a ship blowing up in outer space killing her or another S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.

Speaking of Hive, he’s turning into one of Marvel’s better villains, whether on film or television.  One of the main problems in the marvel Cinematic Universe is that they don’t spend a lot of time developing their bad guys.  However Ward has always been an effective villain, and now that he’s possessed by Inhuman Hive, actor Brett Dalton has a chance to really elevate himself on the show.

S.H.I.E.L.D. spent the episode on two separate missions.

One mission consisted of Daisy and Lincoln going to track down a reclusive Inhuman named James who might have some insight to Hive.  Lincoln knew him from when he stayed at the Inhuman compound Afterlife, and even though James never touched the Terrigenesis crystal he had valuable information.  James did not part of Lincoln and the other Inhumans on good terms, so Lincoln bribed him with a Terrigenesis crystal to get some information.  We got more backstory of the alien race the Kree and how Hive was one of the first Inhumans and was created to lead the Inhuman army.  James also had an artifact that he gave them.  Lincoln did not end up sharing the crystal with James which led to a brief confrontation where he and Daisy overpowered him.  However, James had the last laugh where he shared some of Lincoln’s angry alcoholic past that ended up with his girlfriend dead by his drunk driving, a secret he’d rather remain secret from Daisy but ultimately tells her.

The second mission had the rest of the S.H.I.E.L.D. gang investigating why Hydra wanted to purchase the company from the last episode.  During the trip Coulson continued to obsess of his killing of Ward, it being the first time he’s killed for his own reasons, and how he now feels he’s responsible for Hive getting Ward’s body and being an even bigger threat that he was before.  It seems that Hive is prepping for biological warfare.  S.H.I.E.L.D. confronted Hydra Inhuman Giyera (whose powers are eerily similar to Magneto’s powers), which resulted in he and May having a kickass fight scene.  The show has not only stepped up its budget but its stunt choreography.  Now it’s not as good as the fight scenes on Daredevil, but it was still very impressive for a network TV show.  Although Giyera was defeated by May and subdued and placed in a room negating his powers on S.H.I.E.L.D.’s plane, he quickly escaped, and that’s when mayhem ensured.  Giyera quickly overpowered everyone on the plane and through his magnetic powers took control of the plane.

Now what’s going to happen?  The only active S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are Daisy and Lincoln, and they need backup: time to call in the Secret Warriors!  This could be the show’s “Avengers moment” where all the super powered heroes get a chance to shine and save the day in next weeks’ episode.  We also need to find out what's inside that Kree orb.  We’ll see what happens next week...