Wow, so that turned out to be quite a little bit of misdirection on this week’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. didn’t it? While everything played out as if Gideon Malick was going to meet his final fate, a sudden and shocking twist ended that notion in a hurry.
This week was essentially a Malick origin episode. We seem him as a young man in his teenage years, just after the death of his father. He and his brother Nathaniel are already indoctrinated into the inner circle of Hydra. They discover that their father used a trick to avoid becoming a sacrifice to the Hydra God and abandoned on the alien planet. At the expense of his own brother, Gideon employs the same underhanded tactic to keep himself safe. In present day, Malick returns home after the events last week to find that Hive/Ward is already waiting for him and cozying up to his daughter.
Malick reveals his fatal vision to his daughter and resigns himself to dying at the hands of Hive when a meeting of the Inner Circle is called for later that evening. At the meeting, Hive exposes his true form to the gathered members. This is accomplished with a shot which circles around the back of Ward so that we never actually see his face but from the back we do see several tentacles sprouting from his head so it looks like he will have a very similar appearance to the comic book version which you can see below.
Also this week we have Daisy and Lincoln tracking down an Inhuman who has yet to transition and knows more about Hive than anyone. Lincoln barters with him to give up a Kree device in exchange for a terrigen crystal. This round device, although of a different design, looks a lot like the one that Star Lord was after in Guardians of the Galaxy which housed one of the Infinity Gems. Meanwhile Coulson and the rest of the team track down and capture Giyera which features a highlight real battle between the Inhuman and May.
You almost felt sorry for Malick this week…almost. Of course there is that shocking swerve I mentioned above but even more disillusioning for him is that fact that the goal he had sought for most of his life is completely blowing up in his face. No doubt he thought he would be able to manipulate Hive the way he had Hydra for so many years. Speaking of Hive, Brett Dalton is simply crushing it as the cold, cruel, and thoroughly evil alien parasite. Dalton’s typical emotionless delivery is perfectly suited for the alien.
We’ve seen bits and pieces before but this week we saw the extent of Giyera’s power. Even after being captured he has little trouble in escaping and taking out Mack, May, and Coulson with relative ease. This leads to Lincoln telling Daisy that it is time to assemble the Secret Warriors. Now even though these are relatively minor characters it is still an exciting moment since it’s the first official super team to be utilized in Marvel’s TV universe.
Finally, we have the Kree device that Lincoln and Daisy recovered. While it certainly won’t contain an Infinity Gem, we can only speculate at its capabilities.
I loved the background on Malick. Too often villains can be one-dimensional so it was interesting to see what makes Malick tick as well as his emotional side. Another strong episode.