Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Geekcap: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. "Paradise Lost"

In present day, Malick returns to the same mansion to be welcomed by his daughter Stephanie. She then informs him that the Hive had called the Inner Circle of Hydra to meet at their home to present his arrival. While his daughter sees this as an exciting prospect especially since the hive is a looker, Malick is nervous as the Hive says that he will reveal his true self.

In Coulson’s office, he ponders over the situation with Ward returning. May enters remarking how he didn’t kill Ward enough the last time. Coulson feels some guilt over how he felt when killing Ward, but May adds that at least this time around, she will have a chance to kill him again. In the lab, FitzSimmons, Mack, and Daisy examine the remains of a corpse eaten by the Hive. Both Fitz and Simmons note that whatever Ward is now is the creature from the other planet which possessed Ward’s body and created the corpses. Daisy wonders if it has Ward’s memories, why hasn’t it tried to attack them yet, but Simmons is more worried about the plans it has for their world as it destroyed Maveth. Mack casually asks Daisy about her last vision with Charles, but before she can answer, they are summoned to Coulson’s office.

Coulson gives them the rundown on their latest missions since Malick’s takeover of the Transia corporation. They note that Transia overlaps with a company known as GT Agrochemical, the only company they have that taps into agriculture. Coulson has noted that after Transia’s takeover, military vehicles began moving equipment out of GT Agrochemical. The team plans to take the Zephyr One to the facility while Lincoln and Daisy take the quinjet to South Dakota. Lincoln reveals that he knows an Inhuman from Afterlife who may know something about the creature from Maveth.

Malick then reveals to his daughter about the vision given to him from Charles. He witnessed his own death in being torn apart from the inside by the Hive. Meanwhile, in 1970, Malick and his brother visit an older Daniel Whitehall in jail who remarks on a possible realignment of Hydra. While the boys have come of age for the choosing ceremony, Whitehall offers them a position in his group where he has long since abandoned the worship of the creature or the sacrifice to the portal. Malick argues for the sake of his father’s traditions, but Whitehall places doubt in his head as to how his father survived years of the ceremony without being chosen. He asks the boys to take a look at their father’s copy of Paradise Lost.

Back in the present, Stephanie doubts that the Hive would kill her father considering he was responsible for bringing him back. Malick, however, believes that the Hive will sacrifice him to demonstrate its power to the Inner circle. Stephanie reinforces him, reminding him how he told her to “man up” after her mother’s death. He must remind the Hive how important he is.

While Daisy is still haunted by her glimpse into the future, Lincoln fills her in on the man they are visiting. Although he was at Afterlife, he never went through terrigenesis and was caught stealing from the archives after ranting about a second coming of an ancient Inhuman who could raise the dead. Lincoln believes he was mostly bitter about not getting powers but still warns that they need to be careful around him.

In the lab, FitzSimmons analyze the remains and inform Coulson on finding organisms that fed on human flesh. They believe that the creature controls these organisms and possibly uses them to reanimate its own dead flesh. Mack then informs them that they are near the site and that Giyera has been spotted.

At Malick’s home, the Hive examines the area. He tells Malick that he is impressed by his daughter’s beliefs and that she will be a key figure in his plan. Malick then takes the time to remind the Hive how he was the one who brought it back and also asks about its previous hosts. When pressed further, however, Malick backs off as the Hive explains everything will be clear soon.

The team prepares to face against Giyera with Fitz creating specified weapons that require fingerprint grip to shoot. While the Inhuman cannot control biological beings, he can use any item against them. Coulson reminds them that since Giyera spent years in special-ops, the Inhuman is dangerous without powers. May then spots a room on the site which doesn’t seem to have any systems.

Lincoln and Daisy meet up with James, the potential Inhuman, in his off-the-grid home. Right before they approach the site, however, Daisy steps on a landmine. Lincoln tries to reason with James, but the man just believes that he and Daisy were sent by Jiaying to take find him. Despite Lincoln’s earlier warning, Daisy uses her powers to pressure the land mine down while they escape the explosion. She then causes a mini-earthquake to weed out the other landmines while Lincoln blasts James against a wall.

In the past, Nathaniel confronts his brother after finding his father’s copy of Paradise Lost. Inside the book is a white stone with a notch. Their father would put the stone in the bag and feel for the notch, ensuring that he would never be chosen. Malick doesn’t believe their father would do that, but Nathaniel resigns himself to the fact that their father was a coward. Malick then vows that they will be better men than their father and tosses the stone into the pond, promising his brother that they will continue together until the end.

In the present, Malick begins a meeting with the Inner Circle about the Hive’s return. The Hive arrives to the surprise of the members who recognize him as Grant Ward. The Hive insists that Ward is merely a vessel for him to return thanks to Malick. To free any doubts, the Hive transforms into his true self as tentacles begin to emerge from his head. Back at GT Agrochemical, the team examine a destroyed lab section with fossilized insects.

Daisy and Lincoln interrogate James on the ancient Inhuman, but James imply ridicules Lincoln about how a guy like him could be deigned to receive powers. Daisy reveals to James that Jiaying and Afterlife are dead to soften him up while Lincoln finally offers him a terrigen crystal.

The team are then ambushed by Giyera, but Coulson quickly leads him to a vacant room with May, forcing the two to fight hand-to hand. The two are evenly matched until May knocks him unconscious. They then transport him back to the Zephyr One where they trap him in the pod so he is unable to use his powers. Fitz then tracks the vehicle’s movements to an oil rig on the Dutch-Germany border. The team heads there.

Coulson: “Hydra’s in the oil business now? They’re not even trying to avoid the bad guy clich├ęs.”

James reveals to Daisy and Lincoln a Kree device he stole from the archives. From what he gathers, it was a device stolen by the ancient Inhuman after the Kree were killed or driven out by the Inhuman revolt. The Inhuman was one of the first designs meant to command the other Inhumans, but, with the combined efforts of both human and Inhuman, he was eventually banished. The Afterlife Inhumans were said to be descendants from these very Inhumans, leading James to believe they want to bring the creature back. Daisy insists that they don’t, and James offers to trade the device for the crystal. At the last instance, Lincoln takes the device without giving James the crystal, believing that James does not deserve powers. James then badgers Lincoln by saying that with those electric powers he may actually end up killing someone. He then reveals to Daisy that Lincoln’s last relationship ended after she nearly died. The two then leave.

James: "Looks like you're the muscles and the brains, huh? He's just the haircut."

Malick then speaks with his daughter, thanking her for giving him his confidence. She then shows that the Hive gave her a gift for her loyalty: a copy of Paradise Lost. From that title, Malick then understands what the Hive wants from him.

On the Zephry One, Simmons finds that the lab was studying birds and insects and other invasive species. While he could have been burning evidence of the work, Simmons believes the creature could also fear them, a possible weakness. She then deduces that the creature does not simply control the organisms that fed on flesh but is in fact a parasite made up of the organism. Coulson, having killed Ward, feels responsible for this return and confides in Fitz that the murder was more of a payback rather than a necessity. Fitz insists that they had no alternative, but Coulson believes that this murder is coming back to haunt them. Meanwhile, Mack interrogates Giyera who simply spouts that they are working to a common goal for those worthy.

Malick examines his father’s old copy of Paradise Lost when he is confronted by the Hive and Stephanie. The Hive reveals that Malick kept his father’s old stone to use in the choosing ceremony to spare himself. That choice then left Nathaniel to be sacrificed, and the Hive now confronts this past as Malick’s brother. Malick tries to defend what happened, but the Hive insists that he was selfish like their father. Malick tries to appeal to his daughter, but she tells the Hive to do what he must. The Hive then kisses Stephanie before feeding on her as well, showing Malick true sacrifice.

Once Lincoln and Daisy return to their ship, Daisy demands that Lincoln tell her about what happened to his previous girlfriend. Lincoln reveals that every Inhuman feels a sense of emptiness. Daisy tried to fill it by searching for her parents, but Lincoln filled it with vodka and anger. His previous girlfriend had attempted to calm him down until one day when they had a fight. He was preparing to drive off when she came with him to talk him down. In the next instant, they ended up wrapped around a telephone pole. That night, they were visited by Gordon who revealed that they were watching him. He took the two to Afterlife where they saved the girl’s life and gave Lincoln a new purpose. Despite his issues, Lincoln vows that he would never hurt Daisy and also agrees that they can’t keep secrets from each other. With that promise, Daisy tells Lincoln about her vision of the ship, that someone on their team will die. 

On the ship, Giyera forces a ship seatbelt through the pod door allowing him to escape. He steals a gun from Fitz only to find that Fitz had removed the ammo. Unfortunately, he still manages to fight off Fitz and Mack before making his way to front of the jet. May prepares to fight him, but Giyera instead hijacks the planes controls, forcing the plan off course and knocking everyone aside and unconscious. He then forces the plan to land in a secret landing facility managed by Hydra. With Simmons unconscious, May manages to send an alert to Daisy and Lincoln before Giyera knocks her to the floor.

Daisy and Lincoln receive the warning with Daisy immediately worried that the entirety of their team has been taken captive. Lincoln then reminds her of the Secret Warriors initiative, and, despite her worry about the future, they could probably save the team. With no other choice, Daisy plans to unite the team.

Meanwhile, the Hive approaches Malick about the capture of the SHIELD team. Now that Malick has made his sacrifice, they can truly work together to the end. 

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