Ok, that was creepy.
From the ending of last weeks episode, my primary question was, “What was Malick afraid of?” Thankfully, we got that answer straight up with the reveal that he saw his own death via the Inhuman we met last week. And “Paradise Lost” seemed to indicate that Gideon would be getting killed in this episode. What was intriguing though was the build up to the death, and the swerve at the end.
It was good seeing the flashbacks to Gideon’s youth, as it helped lend to not only his present mentality, but also the deep roots that Hydra had in not only his life, but his family. Hearing about the ceremony for “The Traveler”, and even getting a visit from Whitehall again was very cool. As this proved once again the “two heads” mentality of the group.
For a while now, you’ve gotten the feeling that Ward/Hive hasn’t been too happy with Malick, and now we got the answer why, though he did believe in the Hydra god (who we got to see…in part), he wasn’t fully willing to sacrifice to bring it back. In the way of giving his own life if necessary. You would think that this would be enough for Hive to kill him…but instead he kills his daughter!!!
“Now you know what sacrifice is.”
Wow, that was good. Especially with the hints that some kind of “union” would happen between Hive and Stephanie…nope! Now, the vision is still in play, and Malick will likely die. But as we saw last week, not everything is as it appears with the visions. So maybe he doesn’t die. OR, maybe he doesn’t die via Hive like he thought. We’ll find out.
Coulson had a nice mini-arc as he tried to wrap his head around how Ward/Hive was alive because of him. Seeing him struggle with his decision to kill Ward in cold blood was compelling, as was May and Fitz offering different views to what happened and why it was justified.
What didn’t work though was the Daisy/Lincoln confession. Though meeting one of Afterlife’s former occupants was cool (as was the landmine scene) and getting the Kree orb (see; Guardians of the Galaxy) was intriguing, the “reveal” of Lincoln being a bad drunk and nearly killing his girlfriend was kind of flat. Especially since I have no investment in the two of them together in a relationship. I just don’t.
Thankfully, the action of this episode was top notch, including a dream match between Guyira and May (who have played Kung Lao in Mortal Kombat and Chun-Li in Street Fighter respectively). This fight was full on Matrix style, and it was oh so cool. As was the trap that was sprung at the end that put the whole team in danger, and the signal to be sent out to the Secret Warriors!!!
“Paradise Lost” took interesting steps towards the end of the season, with surprising twists and deaths that prove that no one is safe. Bring on the Secret Warriors!