This week, I’m taking over for Matthew – who is actually taking over on this week’s review for Doug. You can check out Matthew’s review of this week’s backstory filled episode here, and you can check out my picks for the biggest moments from “Paradise Lost” below!
For me, a villain is only interesting and fully developed if you’re able to see the facade crack from time to time. You need to see some sort of weakness, a sort of humanity to them – they can’t just be crazy with power because that can only take you so far story-wise. Thankfully, the writers seem to have realized this with “Paradise Lost“. Although Powers Boothe has been a powerful force since his initial appearance as Gideon Malick on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., his villain was far from fully developed. We knew he was the bad guy. He showcased his power time and again. But it wasn’t until “Paradise Lost“, where we learned of his past and selfish desires that we truly saw just who Malick was and what led to him being the power crazed being he is today.
Of course, his past ends up biting him in the ass near the end of the episode. While there’s still plenty of mystery to Hive, there’s one thing we know for certain: the being retains the memories of the bodies he inhibits, meaning he still retains the memories of Malick’s brother and is out to even the score. However, instead of killing Malick like he fears, Hive goes after something that means much more to him – his daughter. It’s a move that adds a greater sense of humanity to Malick’s character, while also giving Brett Dalton‘s Hive a great showcase moment. (Dalton somehow manages to nail everything the writer’s toss at him, man. This is his character’s third incarnation in three seasons and he never misses a beat.)
Considering he’s been a series regular for some time now, it’s a bit surprising that we’re only beginning to get some backstory for Luke Mitchell‘s Lincoln, but when the writers do provide some hindsight into the character? They do a great job. In the small glimpses we’ve seen of his backstory, they’ve managed to add multiple layers to the character, allowing us to see why he’s still relatively unhinged and struggling to manage his powers under stress. The revelation of the accident, and how his past addiction ended up costing him someone he cared about take the character from merely two-dimensional to three-dimensional. I only hope that, going forward, the writers continue to flesh out this character further because they’ve done a fantastic job laying the foundation so far, and I’m excited to think of the possibilities for Lincoln going into season four. (After all, take a look at where Daisy started and where she’s at now.)
Oh, Whitehall, I’ve missed you. While I was hoping that he’d somehow still be alive, Whitehall’s reappearance was, unfortunately, due to a flashback scene – albeit an important one. However, while Whitehall’s appearance was meant to simply further develop Gideon Malick’s backstory, the few moments he’s on screen are some of the best moments of the episode. He’s a menacing force, one that enjoys wreaking havoc on people’s lives, and he does just that in the case of Gideon Malick and his brother. It’s his talk with the two siblings concerning their father’s secret, hidden away in a copy of Paradise Lost – hence the episode’s title – that leads to Gideon betraying and his brother, and later, Hive taking the life of his daughter in order to get even. It’s a nice tie into the past, and I’m hoping the writers will find more ways to bring Whitehall back again. (Honestly, Reed Diamond is so fantastic and it’s such a shame that Whitehall didn’t stick around longer, but if they can continue to bring him back via flashbacks, I’m more than okay with that.)
So, what did you think? Let us know in the comments what your favorite moments were and what you’re hoping to see next week. You can check out the promo for episode 17 titled “The Team” here and for all things Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., follow along here. For more MCU related news and features, make sure to follow us on Twitter.