Throughout the episode, we get flashbacks of Malick and his brother back when they were teenagers. There’s a ritual where everyone draws a stone to see who goes into the portal to find the Inhuman; something that’s been passed down in Malick’s family for generations, it seems. A visit to Daniel Whitehall (yay!) in prison reveals that it might not be a coincidence that their father never was selected to go into the portal. In fact, Malick’s father had a secret white stone he would switch out, hidden in a Paradise Lost book. (Hey, that’s the name of the episode!) The stone had a notch in it, so his dad would know never to select that one inside the bag of stones. Malick and his brother vow to be better dudes than their dad. Of course, Malick isn’t a good dude and only pretends to toss the notched stone into the pond. And, as a result, at the next choosing ceremony, his brother ends up going into the portal.
You said you killed him.”
“Well, you didn’t kill him hard enough.”
SHIELD and co. are pretty sure that “It” (aka Hive) has taken over Ward’s body rather than Ward somehow being alive again. Fitz and Simmons saw firsthand what the creature on the planet can do. “We know It destroyed an entire civilization over there. Who knows what it might have planned here.”
After some research as to why Malick was so interested in Transia, they discover that Transia has a subsidiary company that deals with pesticides, GMOs, etc. And just recently, a military force took control of that branch, so they’re gonna check it out.
Daisy and Lincoln are going to split off and head to the badlands to check out a potential Inhuman Lincoln knew in Afterlife that may have information about what Hive is. The dude’s name is James, and he’s a demolitions expert with landmines all over his land. Naturally, Daisy accidentally steps on one. She then uses her power to hold the landmine at bay, letting it go off when she and Lincoln were a safe distance away. She uses her power to ~quake~ through the land and blow them all up so they can safely approach James. Or knock him out, as Lincoln does with his electricity.
James apparently stole documents and other things about Hive from Jiaying that they need. They try to make a deal with him to give him some terrigen in exchange for the information. But they end up tricking him and stealing the stuff from him instead. I mean, that’s probably a better option since the dude was pretty crazy. Either way, he drops some vague truthbombs about Lincoln’s past about killing an ex-girlfriend that freaks Daisy out a bit.
When they get back to the Quinjet, Lincoln finally comes clean about all his dumb anger issues. So, not only is he boring as heck, he’s also an abusive alcoholic! Coooool! He was drunk driving and crashed into a telephone pole with his girlfriend there trying to stop him. Then, Gool Ol’ No Eyes showed up, saved his girlfriend and him, bringing him to Afterlife and away from everyone. “I want you to know I’d never hurt you,” he tells Daisy, which I feel like is the biggest lie in the universe soon to come undone in upcoming episodes. But we’ll see.
I got another glimpse into our future. And I don’t know when, but someone on our team is gonna die.”
Back at Malick’s mansion, he confides in his daughter Stephanie that he is all terrified that Hive is gonna kill him. Especially now that he’s gathered all the important HYDRA peeps to Malick’s house for a big important reveal. Hive does his grand introduction and shows his true gross face to everyone who might doubt that he’s just Grant Ward.
To show his appreciate for Stephanie’s hospitality, Hive has given her the book “Paradise Lost” and Malick realizes he knows the truth about what he did to his brother. He panics a bit and realizes his end is near. Stephanie is appalled and feels like her whole like is a lie now. “I still need a Malick by my side,” Hive says. So, we’re all thinking he’s gonna kill Malick in front of his daughter, but instead he kisses Stephanie and sucks the life out of her. Eeeek! (Also, aw man, no more Stephanie on the show.)
Now you understand sacrifice.”
At the Transia building, May, Mack, Coulson, and FitzSimmons find that everything has been taken or destroyed. They collect whatever’s left and try to find Giyera, Malick’s former head of security. They lure and trap Giyera in a room with May that contains no metal he can manipulate. They have a crazy fight and May does some sweet backward wall flip that Buffy Summers would be proud of. She gets him on the ropes after a nice kick to the nuts.
They take him back to Zephyr One and do some research on the leftover stuff from the building. Simmons discovers that Ward seems to be made of little parasites and that’s how he’s killing people and leaving nothing but bones behind. The research being done at that building also seemed to be developing something to combat against exactly that kind of parasite, so they reason that’s why he destroyed it. Hive might be afraid of something, at least.
Coulson is still all torn up from killing Ward and now feels even more responsible for unleashing this creature upon the world.
What was the alternative? Lettin’ him live? Lettin’ him win?”
“Don’t you see? When I killed him, he did. I knew it would come back to haunt me. I just didn’t think it would actually come back to haunt me.”
Giyera escapes his prison rather easily and manages to knock out pretty much EVERYONE on the SHIELD team before making it to the bridge. He controls the plane and pilots it to some facility. In a last ditch effort, May contacts Daisy and Lincoln in their Quinjet.
Everyone on our team is on that plane!”
“Not everyone. You put together the Secret Warriors initiative for a reason… You can’t be afraid of that vision! We both know we gotta do something.”
“Let’s call them in.”
Finally, a helpful suggestion from Lincoln.