Now that the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. know that Grant Ward is back, or at least something that looks like Grant Ward, they scramble to learn more about this new threat. But even as the good guys dig for answers, the creature called Hive is giving answers to the bad guys… and it scares even them… Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on “Paradise Lost.”
We begin in the past, 1970 to be exact, at the funeral of Gideon Malick’s father. There’s a power play afoot, but I was too distracted by where it was taking place – the same house that served as Wayne Manor in the 1966 “Batman” TV series. After I came out of my nerd coma, I realized that Daniel Whitehall, Kraken in the comics, wants to see the Malick boys – Gideon and Nathaniel – regarding Hydra.
Just as in the past it seemed like a re-organization of Hydra was in order, as we move to the present, and back to Wayne Manor, much the same is going on. Hive has already arrived at Malick’s home, charmed his daughter, and called a meeting of the ‘inner circle.’ He says its time he revealed himself. Oooh, this is not going to be pretty. One wonders what Malick saw when he glimpsed his future last episode, because he’s really scared now…
Plus and Minus
Meanwhile, our Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. don’t need a big reveal. While Coulson and May debate over who gets to kill Grant Ward next, Fitz is pretty sharp and was able to figure out what was going on fairly quickly. Just as astronaut Will Daniels’ corpse was possessed by the ancient Inhuman god back on Maveth, similarly Ward is also a vehicle for this creature.
Much like his comic book counterpart, FitzSimmons’ study of Hive’s victims indicate multiple parasites that make up his whole, devouring the live flesh to reanimate the dead flesh of his current host. The chilling part is not that the parasites are from Hive, but that they are Hive. Rather than immediately take action in that direction, the team sputters. But of course as with most things in this series, it’s always one step forward but two steps back. Having proven over the last few episodes that the team works better as a full force concentrated on one goal, they have to split up. Right there, less than ten minutes in, my faith in the episode drops substantially.
When the Malick boys meet Whitehall in prison, back in 1970, we get a bit of insight into the rift in Hydra. Some of them are science-based, while others treat it as a religion, sacrificing to the god on the other side of The Monolith. A stone ceremony, designed to choose the Traveler, or sacrifice, was apparently cheated by Malick’s father. He knew which rock to pull from the bag to be spared, a rock he kept hidden away in a copy of Paradise Lost. Learning this, the boys decide to go through it without cheating. Yeah, we can see it coming a mile away. Nathaniel is chosen and is somehow somewhere inside Hive.
While he cozies up to Malick’s daughter in the present day, even giving her a copy of Paradise Lost, Hive makes it all too clear that he knows about the cheat, and that Nathaniel is part of his hive consciousness. After revealing his hideous true form to the Hydra inner circle, Hive punishes Malick to make the slate clear of all old business – he devours Malick’s daughter. One has to wonder how many times Gideon Malick wets himself in this episode alone.
James and the Kree Peach
Daisy and Lincoln go seeking an outcast and powerless Inhuman named James to see what he can tell them about Hive. After a rough first meeting, a trade is made – an alien ball of Kree origin in exchange for a terrigen crystal. James is more than a font of information, he’s almost a living info dump. Lazy easy writing, but we’ll forgive it this time because his tale is so compelling.
James spins a tale of Alveus, one of the original Inhumans, the one designed by the Kree to lead the Inhuman army. Instead, he led the Inhumans to revolt against the Kree and chased them off-planet. Soon even the Inhumans began to fear Alveus, so they joined regular humans to banished him into outer space. Yeah, Alveus is Hive. Daisy and Lincoln, amidst a little soap and drama, eventually leave James, taking both ball and crystal. Now there’s a loose end that won’t go away easily… a mentally unstable survivalist with a vengeful streak who wants powers and knows where to get them…
Meanwhile the rest of the team is investigating a plant that Hydra acquired through Transia. They find an abandoned lab with dead death’s head moths everywhere. The first thing I think of is the Death’s Head Virus from the 1998 telemovie Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. This would be a cool homage to what I always thought was a very cool and highly underrated flick.
There at the lab they run afoul of Giyera, but they’re prepared. Locking him in an empty of objects for his telekinesis to latch onto, May gives him a run for his money. Man, it’s nice to see her kicking ass again, she was missed. The bad part is that once they have him secured on board the quinjet… our heroes have underestimated the extent of the Iron Chef’s powers. Giyera easily escapes and takes control of the ship telekinetically. A simple and hard downward thrust on the controls incapacitates the crew and our heroes…
With only Daisy and Lincoln left in the field, who can save them? Yeah, it’s time to assemble the Secret Warriors…
Next: The Team!