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'Agents of SHIELD' Season 7: Nathaniel Malick is the new villain, but he's failed to inspire any terror so far

Nathaniel just doesn't measure up to the standards set by even his brother Gideon Malick or his father Wilfred Malick
Thomas E Sullivan (ABC)
Thomas E Sullivan (ABC)

Spoilers for 'Agents of SHIELD' Season 7 Episode 8 'After, Before'

'Agents of SHIELD' has had a lot of great villains. However, in its final season, it appears the show's quality of antagonists has somewhat dipped.

Right now, Nathaniel Malick (Thomas E. Sullivan) is basically the new season villain, partnering with the Chronicom Sybil (Tamara Taylor) to wreak havoc on the timeline. He's already proven himself to be a ruthless person just like the rest of his family and he's clearly got some issues he needs to deal with. But while that's all well and good, Nathaniel just doesn't measure up to the standards set by even his brother Gideon Malick (Powers Boothe) or his father Wilfred Malick (Neal Bledsoe). At the end of the day, he's basically just a chaotic individual who fails to inspire fear or guilty admiration from the audience and that's a shame.

On paper, Nathaniel ought to be amazing. He's stolen the powers of Daisy Johnson (Chloe Bennet), which basically makes him a potential world-ender and yet his plan, if he even has one, appears to be just messing with the natural state of the timeline. If Nathaniel had a mission statement it would be "Anarchy" and that appears to be the entirety of his plan. He's sowing chaos everywhere he turns and he doesn't appear to have any idea what his actions are actually doing to the world.

All of that would have still been forgivable if he was even physically intimidating. There's just nothing about this man that sends chills down your spine or even does anything besides make you wonder "who's this dude pretending to be Neo from 'The Matrix'?"

Even the fans have been less than favorable to him and after Episode 8 'After, Before', it looks like they actively hate him (and not the way villains are meant to be hated).

"Nathaniel is disgracing the name Nathaniel. He should have been called something lame, like Jeremy," a fan wrote on the episode's discussion page on Reddit.

"Please someone kill Nathaniel, preferably in an extremely painful way," another fan weighed in.

Ultimately, the team has faced so many impressive opponents that having someone like Nathaniel playing such an important role in the final season is just a big letdown. Hopefully, he improves as the season continues.

'Agents of SHIELD' Season 7 airs Wednesdays at 10 pm ET on ABC.