Daisy and Lincoln learn about their Inhuman history, SHIELD sets a trap for Giyera, and Ward reveals his true self.
SHIELD has been working to discover what they can about this new Ward with whatever evidence was left at the Transia building. They’ve determined that Ward is in fact dead, and this new enemy has simply possessed Ward’s body to serve its purposes and operate on Earth via tiny parasites that have the ability to devour biological organisms in a short period of time, leaving only bones in their wake. In their investigation of Gideon and Ward’s takeover of Transia, they locate Ward’s next goal, an agricultural research center studying ways to defend against swarming species. Hydra agents have already stolen or destroyed most of the research when SHIELD arrives, and hastily set a trap for Ward’s right hand telekinetic Inhuman, Giyera. After an intense showdown with May, Giyera is captured and ready to begin interrogation to find out Ward and Malick’s plans.
Daisy and Lincoln split off from the team’s mission to discover more about this ancient Inhuman threat from a potential Inhuman that was banished by Jiaying. James, an eccentric recluse with an explosive personality, lives off the grid in the Badlands of North Dakota, and is less than thrilled to have Lincoln and Daisy knocking on his door. But with some forceful persuasion and bargaining with a terrigen crystal to finally give him powers, James tells them about Alveus, a powerful Inhuman who lead the rebellion against the Kree, but was then feared by humans and Inhumans alike, and was banished to Maveth. It’s from these Inhumans that the present day generation of Inhumans stem from. Along with this information, James held onto something he stole from Afterlife long ago; an ancient Kree orb sought after by Alveus before his exile.
As SHIELD works against Ward, Malick returns home, disturbed by the vision of his future death at the hands of his new master. With a surprise visit from Ward at his home, Malick reflects on his time in Hydra, and the division between the true believers and the scientists. The Malick’s have always followed the Hydra faith that one day their Inhuman God would return to them and lead them to a their just reward. As young men, Gideon and Nathanial Malick were no different, despite persuasions to toss aside their blood sacrificing beliefs to follow the more scientific path as Daniel Whitehall did. Even after the revelation of the cowardice and manipulations of their father within Hydra’s ranks, the brothers are determined to be better men, until the night that a new traveller, a sacrifice to Alveus, is chosen and Malick employs the same lies to save himself, causing his brother to be chosen as Alveus’ next host on Maveth. While Alveus inhabits the bodies of the dead, he also retains their memories, essentially bringing Nathanial back from the dead to haunt Malick, and show him the true meaning of sacrifice.
“Paradise Lost” continues to be a strong episode after “Spacetime,” revealing the history of SHIELD’s newest enemy, as well as the personal motivations its characters. Between Lincoln, Coulson, and Malick, their pasts come back to haunt them, pushing them forward in their own pursuits. Coulson begins to blame himself, not only for killing Ward out of revenge for Rosalind’s death, but for allowing Alveus a vessel to return to Earth. Lincoln’s past as an angry alcoholic are brought to light to Daisy, furthering their relationship and allowing them to reveal their secrets to each other. Malick, when confronted with the true cowardice that runs in his family meets his lost brother again and works to overcome his mistakes, even after Alveus Nate takes from him what matters most, leaving Malick with nothing to fear and nothing to lose.