We learn more about Malick and as SHIELD goes digging for information on what Ward has become, and Hive’s true self is revealed (but not to us).
Spoilers for “Paradise Lost”
Flashing back to 1970 we meet teenage Gideon Malick and his brother Nathaniel as they learn some hard truths about their father (who just recently passed away) from Daniel Whitehall. Malick senior rigged the lottery of who goes to Maveth as a sacrifice. He made sure the white rock of death had a little notch he would feel for and know not to take. Disgusted with their father’s cowardice, Gideon and Nathaniel vowed they would do things right from now on and Gideon threw the tainted white rock in the pond on their estate. But Gideon was not going to risk dying for his faith and actually pocketed the rock and threw a different one in the pond to fool his brother. At the ceremony later that evening, it all came down to Gideon and Nathaniel to draw and Gideon felt the white rock and chose to sacrifice his brother and not himself. Nathaniel is shocked to know his brother was capable of the same cowardly spirt as their father, but chose to meet his fate than out his brother.
Flashing to the present and we see Malick start to fear his lack of control in the situation. Hive has come to his home unannounced and called the entire inner circle to reveal his true self to them. In the vision he had (courtesy of Charlie), Malick saw Hive killing him by burning him up from the inside. He confesses this to his daughter, Stephanie, and that he thinks it will happen that night during the meeting. Stephanie tells Malick to remind Hive he would still be on Maveth if it weren’t for Malick and that he is still of use.
Malick attempts to talk to Hive (who is at the same pond Malick pretended to throw the white rock into) and tries to feel out if Hive has retained the memories of everyone he has consumed. Eventually all of Malick’s fears are confirmed as Hive confronts Malick (with Stephanie present) with the memories of Nathaniel and Malick’s unwillingness to sacrifice himself for the cause and sending his own brother to his demise. Malick resigns himself to death at the hands of Hive and just when we think we are going to see the last of Powers Booth, Hive gives Stephanie the kiss of death. “You have nothing else to fear. Together to the end” Hive assures Malick.
Fitz and Jemma try to work out how everyone at the tech company Malick bought was killed and why Hive wanted to acquire the company in the first place. They corner Giyera at one of the company’s chemical plants and trap him in an empty room with May. The two of them engage in a beautifully brutal fight, but May gets the upper hand and knocks Giyera out. While transporting him to the containment unit, Giyera briefly wakes up and sneakily smuggles in the metal piece of a seatbelt before they can seal him inside.
Eventually our two favorite scientists’ hypothesis the spores they found on the bones of the victims are pieces of whatever took over Wards body and are controlled by him. “He’s a parasite. A parasite that retains the memories of the body he takes over,” Coulson sums up. The tech company was studying various invasive species and were developing plants that could withstand them. Hive had all of the research burned and Jemma thinks it is because whatever they developed could be used to destroy him.
After fully regaining consciousness, Giyera uses the seatbelt to force his way out of the containment unit and without so much as breaking a sweat he is able to knock down anyone in his path and take control of the plane to bring it to a Hydra facility.
Lincoln and Daisy have their own little field trip to the Badlands to meet with a fellow Inhuman. While at Afterlife, he broke into Jaiying’s office, stole a Kree artifact, and read all about the Inhuman history Jaiying kept from everyone else. He relayed a story he read about an Inhuman that was one of the first to be engineered by the Kree to fight. Instead he led the Inhuman revolt against the Kree and drove them off Earth. After a time, the regular Inhumans feared him and worked with humans to banish him to Maveth.
Questions, Thoughts, and Theories:
So happy to see Reed Diamond back on the show, even for just a few moments. Also welcome back Mack.
So Hive’s real name is Alveus which is Latin for the channel of a river, a deep vessel, or a cavity. Alveus is also the thin layer of medullary nerve fibers on the ventricular surface of the hippocampus. The hippocampus plays a large part in the brains ability to retain memories. (And I thought I did my research when finding meaningful names for my characters.)
Malick’s father hides the white rock of death in a copy of John Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost and Hive gifts a copy of the same book to Stephanie. I think Hive is following the same journey as Satan from the poem. Hive led the revolt against his creators and banished them from Earth, but he was then banished to his own personal hell in Maveth. Now back on Earth, he intends to take back paradise as Satan tried to do from Adam and Eve when he persuaded them to eat the apple. Satan may have caused Adam and Eve’s banishment from paradise, but the poem implies he failed in the end because humanity still chose to obey the word of God despite having free will and is able to earn a path to salvation.
Brett Dalton is getting really good at the creepy thing. My skin crawls every time he is on screen.
My best guess for the circular Kree artifact is it’s a beacon that will call the Kree back to destroy Hive/Alveus or banish him back to Maveth. I still think the big finale will feature a Lash vs. Hive battle to the death and the artifact will factor in somehow.
Lincoln, in a drunken rage, nearly got his last girlfriend killed in a drunk driving accident and he kept it from Daisy because of reasons. I kinda don’t care because I just don’t find the Lincoln/Daisy romance interesting. Is it bad that I kinda hope he is the one to die in the vision?
Best line of the night: “Lincoln, you S.O.B. Take your little boy band, hipster scruff and piss off.”
Clark Gregg and Iain De Caestecker really shined tonight when talking about Coulson taking Ward’s life and the guilt that eats him up about it. Killing Ward meant Ward won because Coulson stooped to his level. “I knew it would come back to haunt me, I just didn’t think it would actually come back to haunt me.”
I’m pretty damn happy the writers found an organic reason to call up the Secret Warriors and make them the focus of next week episode. The voice over teases that one of them “is not what they seem” and I am willing to guess that someone becomes infected by Hive during the rescue mission.
What did you think of last night’s episode of Agents of SHIELD? Did you think this was the end of Gideon Malick? What do you think the Kree artifact does? How excited are you for next week’s Secret Warriors team up? Let me know what you think in the comments section below. I will be a day late in next week’s recap because I will be at Coachella this weekend and will need a couple of recovery days afterward.