Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Finally Sets Up That Secret Warriors Storyline

Wednesday, 13 April 2016 - 10:48AM
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
Wednesday, 13 April 2016 - 10:48AM
This week "Paradise Lost" moved along the Team S.H.I.E.L.D v Team Hive plot, ramping up the intensity and, most importantly, preparing us for our very first Secret Warriors centric episode next week. The episode itself was one of the strongest since the show returned from break, with new backstories, new characters, and dip into Hydra's past and their ancient ritual sacrifices to an equally ancient parasitic organism.
Right from the get go we get an answer to the big question raised from last week's episode that Malick's scary death vision from Hinton was of his own painful demise. Malick assumes that Hive is the one to kill him, which makes it all the more awkward when Malick's daughter continues to fawn over Hive in all his brooding, robed glory. Things are made even more awkward when we learn that Hive can channel the memories of Malick's long dead brother.... 

Yes, as we sift through Malick's dirty laundry, we discover that Malick's own brother was sacrificed to the monolith back when ritual cult sacrifices were all the rage in the Malick family. Once he made it through to Maveth, it would appear that Malick's sibling was absorbed by Hive, just like so many before him. Clearly the ancient parasite has developed something of a taste for Malicks, because after leading us to believe he was adopting her as a new ally, Hive absorbs Malick's daughter Stephanie right in front of him. Though the death didn't have much of an emotional impact (we only just met her), it was still deeply unsettling, and somewhat bewildering. It's seemed odd that Hive made this call, especially since it makes Malick more likely to betray the cause, and especially since he just proved he was willing to face his own death at the hands of Hive. Either Hive thinks that Malick is still primarily interested in power, or he's beginning to succumb to the fatal flaw of overconfidence. Or maybe (being the parasitic genetically engineered alien creation that he is) Hive simply fails to grasp the nuances of human emotion.
Hive is a decent villain, but it seems the closest he gets to character depth is challenging his dead hosts. However, what he lacks in emotional complexity he makes up for in sheer power and creepiness.  Besides, are parasitic beings inside reanimated corpses even capable of having emotions? It's not something we ever thought we would need to answer, so we have the wonderfully weird Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. writers to thank for that. Plus, look at his creepy tentacle head. Just look at it!
This lack of emotional depth is why it's probably a good idea to keep Malick on the show for a while longer, especially now that he got a bit of back-story thrown in this week. Let's not forget that this is a show about S.H.I.E.L.D. and, parasitic ancients or not, Hydra and the people associated with it will always be the core antagonists. 
Away from all the drama at the Malick mansion, S.H.I.E.L.D. is busy figuring out a way to beat Hive. After a quick trip to the Fitz and Simmons Science Corner, the team learns that Hive is a parasitic organism that feeds off living flesh, and has the ability to reanimate corpses. On a quest to find Hive's weaknesses, the team visit a secret facility where they run into Giyera, who has now been promoted to the rank of Hive's top henchman. This leads to a fantastic fight sequence between the Inhuman and Agent May, and despite the fact that I've been waiting to see the two pitted against each other for some time now, it did not disappoint. Staging the fight in a sealed room where Giyera was unable to play with any of his toys allowed for Ming Na-Wen and Mark Dacascos to really let their athleticism fly.

Meanwhile, the couple that nobody cares about, Daisy and Lincoln, went off on their own mission to find something that can help the team defeat Hive. The couple visit a potential Inhuman whose powers haven't been activated yet. The Aussie almost-Inhuman was banished from Afterlife some years ago, but not before he nicked a few valuable items on his way out. The best part of this entire side-trip was probably seeing Daisy use her powers to set off a field of landmines. That or the fact the beer-swigging Australian called Lincoln 'Haircut'.

Daisy and Lincoln succeed (a little to easily) in tricking him into giving up a mysterious ancient Kree artifact by pretending to offer him a terrigen crystal and the chance to activate his powers. At the last second they withdraw the offer of the terrigen, escaping with the Kree artefact and leaving James angry and empty-handed.
The visit dredges up the past for Lincoln, leading to a little more of the character development I was hoping to see for him this season. Lincoln tells Daisy that he got into a drunk driving accident while his girlfriend at the time was in the car with him. Lincoln's always seemed a little haunted by his dark past, and finally sharing this with Daisy was a good step forward for his character. In return, Daisy opens up and recounts her vision from Hinton. Forewarned isn't always forearmed, but I still feel that Daisy should have shared her vision with the team by now, especially since it suggests that the life of one of her team members hangs in the balance.
Their little heart-to-heart is interrupted when they learn that Giyera has escaped capture and essentially hi-jacked S.H.I.E.L.D.'s flying headquarters. With the rest of the team captured, Daisy and Lincoln are going to need some extra help. And who better to help than the SECRET WARRIORS that Daisy has stashed away around the globe. Yes, FINALLY, Daisy's Secret Warriors are coming together.  

But before we get all excited, the promo for next week's episode seems to suggest that one of our new Inhuman recruits may turn on the team. That would be a shame, especially seeing as there aren't that many Inhumans on the team in the first place. Still, we've been waiting all season long to see the Secret Warriors band together and save the day, so we're planning on sitting back and enjoying the ride..

Best Lines:
"You said you'd killed him." "I did." Well, you didn't kill him hard enough."
"Looks like you're the muscles and the brains, huh? He's just the haircut."
"Birds can be scary. Imagine a flock of a million coming to peck your eyes out with their tiny little beaks."
Science Fiction
Comic Book TV Shows
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

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