Agents of SHIELD: Review: Season 3 Episode 16: Paradise Lost

BETHANY JOY LENZ, POWERS BOOTHEMalick’s past sins come back to haunt him in ways that even he couldn’t have foreseen. Most of the team set out to capture Giyera to see if they can find an inroad to Hive’s plans, and Daisy and Lincoln go to see a previous inhabitant of Afterlife to see if he can provide any help…

It’s ironic that as Malick frets about the glimpse of the future granted him by last week’s episode, in which he witnessed his apparent doom, we spend a large chunk of this episode watching flashbacks of his life. Specifically the episode concentrates on him and his brother as young men, just having lost their father and struggling to uphold the traditions taught them by him in the face of the scorn of Whitehall and their own doubts. This is some nice background for the character, and represents what the show tends to do best, putting a human face on even the most villainous characters.

Elsewhere, with Fitz Simmons having analysed the bodies of the last victims of Hive, the team decide to try and go direct to source for some answers, undertaking a mission to capture Giyera. How one does catch an inhuman who can use any inanimate object, including weapons, against one is a problem the show handles nicely, and the beatdown between Giyera and May is satisfying and well-executed.

Meanwhile, Lincoln and Daisy go to visit a previously undisclosed former inhabitant of Afterlife, one who isn’t too keen on socialising. Having been ejected from the colony for stealing information and artefacts before having the chance to be granted powers, this isn’t a man inclined to offer help. Lincoln takes a dangerous gamble which pays off, but in the course of this a painful secret from his past is revealed to Daisy – one that may well test the strength of their relationship.

As things head towards the episode climax, Malick learns the true meaning of sacrifice, and the tables are turned on the team, leaving Daisy and Lincoln with an abruptly cut-off distress call and no information to make their own choice. It’s time for the Secret Warriors Initiative to make its debut.

The final sting leaves us in no doubt as to how far Malick has fallen, and how deeply he is entangled in Hive’s plans. For good or ill, he’s stuck with it now.

Verdict: Back to firing on all cylinders, this episode has plenty of action, intrigue and character development, and more importantly, each in perfect balance with one another. 8/10

Greg D. Smith

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