The Malick Family Is Growing On 'S.H.I.E.L.D.'

Gideon Malick might be fearing for his life, but that doesn't necessarily make me sympathize with the guy. Still, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is delving into the Hydra boss' history and that includes some intriguing new characters. Who is Nathaniel Malick on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ? We recently met Gideon's daughter Stephanie Malick, so who is this?

Since Gideon isn't a character from Marvel comics, and neither is anyone named Nathaniel, we have to start from the drawing board. In Tuesday's episode, Nathaniel will be played by Joel Dabney Courtney, who doesn't have any credits on IMDb besides this role. (However, there is another actor named simply Joel Courtney who started in Super 8 and The Messengers.) Is it possible that he's a child? He could be Stephanie's son, and therefore Gideon's grandson. There is something unsettling about viewing villains who deal with ancient alien artifacts and Inhuman sacrifices as kindly old grandfathers, isn't there? Still, I definitely like the fact that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is giving us an inside look into the family lives of characters on both ends of this battle.

That said, the official ABC press release for the episode, titled "Paradise Lost" also reveals that we're going to meet a young Gideon Malick in the episode. Perhaps Nathaniel is his brother, or some other relation? My theory is that we'll meet Nathaniel in this flashback and he, like the brothers Ward before him, will provide some insight into what makes Gideon tick.

The press release also states that "a shameful secret from Malick’s past is exposed, threatening to destroy his Hydra legacy" — maybe Nathaniel is that secret. What would destroy a Hydra legacy, not killing a puppy? Liking chocolate? Becoming an Eagle Scout? Who knows. Whatever this deep, light secret is, I think it's safe to say that Nathaniel Malick plays a part in it. Maybe by the time Hive makes his move and assumes his true form, we'll be on Gideon's side!

Image: Justin Lubin/ABC; Giphy