"Paradise Lost" is the sixteenth episode of the third season of ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the sixtieth episode of the series overall. It aired on April 12, 2016. It was written by George Kitson & Sharla Oliver and directed by Wendey Stanzler.
In 1970, a teenage Malick and his younger brother Nathaniel inherit their father's estate following his death, and become the leaders of the religious branch of Hydra, who periodically select one of their number to be sent to Maveth through the Monolith, as a sacrifice to the ancient Inhuman. The brothers reluctantly visit an imprisoned Whitehall, who is dismissive of their belief in the Inhuman, believing it to be mythical. He reveals that Malick's father used sleight of hand to ensure he would never be chosen as a sacrifice, leaving both brothers upset at both his deception and cowardice. They're disappointed to discover that he was not the man they thought he was and vow to each other to become better men than he was. Malick, however, later uses the same trick to avoid being sent to Maveth, ensuring Nathaniel is sent instead, who's horrified at his brother's betrayal.
In the present, realising that the Inhuman from Maveth is possessing Ward's body, Fitz and Simmons determine that the Transia board members were eaten alive by a microscopic insectoid swarm, deducing that the Inhuman is made up of an amalgam of these alien organisms. Coulson is left disillusioned that he may have unleashed a far worse threat by killing Ward. Hydra seize control of an agricultural company related to Transia, who are studying means of inoculating animals and plants against invasive organisms, leading Simmons to theorise that their studies could be used against the Inhuman. While the rest of the team go there to investigate, Lincoln takes Daisy to South Dakota in search of James, an Australian mercenary and inactive Inhuman who was banished from Afterlife for stealing a Kree artifact and information about the ancient Inhuman from their archives. In exchange for a Terrigen crystal, James reveals that the creature, 'Alveus' (Latin for 'Hive'), was one of the first Inhumans, who led his kin in a revolution against the Kree, driving them from Earth. Some of the other Inhumans became fearful of Hive, and united with humankind against him, ultimately banishing him to Maveth. Lincoln grabs the spherical artifact but double-crosses James, refusing to relinquish the promised crystal, believing he does not deserve Terrigenesis. James is outraged and warns Daisy that Lincoln is not to be trusted. Due to what James let slip, Lincoln is forced to confess to Daisy that he once drunkenly caused a car crash that nearly killed his previous girlfriend, prior to coming to Afterlife. In return, Daisy tells Lincoln about her vision of a SHIELD agent's death in space, possibly her own or someone on the team.
A terrified Malick confides in a disbelieving Stephanie that he will soon be killed by Hive, according to the vision Hinton showed him. Hive visits the Malicks' home to arrange a meeting of Hydra's inner circle, revealing himself to them as proof he is indeed the one he professes to be, he morphs into his true tentacled form, leaving them all agape. He also tells Stephanie of her father's betrayal of Nathaniel, whose memories and persona he still retains. A distraught Stephanie, disappointed she's been lied to all these years, tells Hive to punish Malick however he sees fit, and as Malick watches, Hive kisses Stephanie, unleashing his parasites into her body and killing her from the inside. "Now you understand sacrifice", Hive tells a shock-stricken Malick. Meanwhile, Giyera is captured at the agricultural company, after May defeats him in a fight. However he later breaks free of containment and telekinetically flies the plane to Malick's headquarters in the Netherlands, with Coulson, May, Fitz, Simmons and Mack trapped on board. In response, Daisy and Lincoln decide to bring in Joey and Elena for a rescue mission.
In an end tag, Hive informs a grief-stricken and mutinous Malick of the SHIELD team's capture, and assures him that he has nothing further to fear, as Nathaniel has been avenged to Hive's satisfaction. He places a hand on Malick's shoulder, and in Nathaniel's voice utters, "Together, till the end."
- This episode scored 3.01 million viewers upon its initial airing.