So here we are. At the end, or so it seems. It’s bittersweet, that’s for sure, and I feel like I’m left with an unfinished book or a half-done manuscript. One chapter has ended, but it doesn’t feel to me like Grant Ward’s story was finished. It felt like pages were ripped out of the book and lost, and we’ll never really know how the story was supposed to end. I guess that’s something I’ll just have to live with. All I can do now is look back.
Anyone that knows me knows that I basically love any Grant Ward scene, no matter what’s going on in it. Kicking someone’s ass? Here for it. Opening up to someone? Here for it. Being a snarky, sassy bastard? Here for it. I tried to choose scenes that hit all of those marks.
Ward is always prepared (Episode 2×18: The Frenemy of my Enemy)
The scene where Ward had to lay all his weapons out on the table had me in stitches. They just kept coming. Guns, knives, teeny tiny daggers, items I can’t even put a name to. There’s no such thing as “too many weapons” when you’ve lived the kind of life Ward has. Over-prepared? No. Smart. You never know what’s going to come at you next, and a gun, a knife or a dagger will be ideal for whatever fight you’ve found yourself in.
Yes, the scene speaks to how prepared Ward is for anything, not least if this chat with Coulson were to go awry and hit the fan, but it was done in such a sassy way. That is what I love so very much about it. We’ve seen evidence of the sass but this was full snark at it’s finest. The shrug, the smile, the swagger, the twinkle in Ward’s eye as he took out that final miniature dagger and placed it down. All of it. The sass bar was high in this scene and I loved every second of it.
You sank my Battleship (Episode 1×05: Girl in the Flower Dress)
Up until now, the Ward we saw was closed off. All emotions were hidden behind towering walls, and we’d only really met the tin man. Just like the team, we weren’t sure that Ward had a heart under that specialist exterior. If there was a heart in there at all it was buried deep beneath his training, the result of the isolated life of a Specialist. We weren’t really sure what he was feeling or what was going on inside of his head. We just knew he was the best since Romanoff and he was damn good at his job.
Just two episodes prior, we saw Ward allude to his terrible childhood during training, revealing why he was so stoic. It was the piece of the puzzle that told us why he decided to be a Specialist – a person who worked alone and without a team. We found out that Ward doesn’t let people in. And here we see Ward doing something so normal. So mundane. He’s just playing a board game with a fellow teammate. It showed the audience that he was human, just like them. He played boardgames and chatted and joked around. He wasn’t just this closed off specialist with walls and a bad past. Ward was someone who could kick back and play a board game with a friend if he wanted to.
This was the first time we really saw Ward joking around with someone, and the first time we saw him laugh. I absolutely loved that. This was the scene where we saw Ward beginning to let someone in and really get to know him. Skye teased Ward, joked around, and he laughed and played it off. Their dynamic was so great, and it only grew from there. Until it all fell apart.
I’m not a good man, Skye (Episode 1×19: The Only Light in the Darkness)
I would be lying if I said this scene didn’t destroy me in some way. It had everything I loved in one scene. Skye. Ward. Skye and Ward. A closed up, stoic character with walls higher than the CN tower finally opening up to someone. Another character believing the best in a person even when they don’t believe in themselves; especially when they don’t believe in themselves.
It’s no secret that I ship SkyeWard but this scene wasn’t just a really good scene for the ship, it was a great scene for Ward because he was finally letting all his walls come crumbling down. He was finally letting someone in. He spoke about his training, how as a specialist he had to keep his feelings in check to get the job done. How, as a specialist, he was supposed to be unfeeling. But Skye was different. He saw how hard she fought for her life. Everything about her was good. Everything about her screamed good.
He shuts people out because he thinks he doesn’t deserve good. He has to shut people out because he thinks once they get to know him and find out about his past, they’ll leave him. He thinks he’s unworthy of any kind of warmth, of any kind of love. He says it himself, “I’m not a good man, Skye.” He opened his up about his childhood completely, telling Skye of his abuse and what his older brother made him do to his little brother and even then, especially then, he doesn’t think he’s a good man. He doesn’t think he deserves anything good in his life at all because he’s done too much bad.
I mean, that kiss was pretty awesome for all us SkyeWard shippers but it was after the kiss that really made me feel all the feelings. It was the brief moment after the kiss when Ward was looking at Skye with no mask over his face, no carefully chosen look, where all of his emotions were written as clear as day on his face that really got me. You could see the last of his walls fall, the moment where he believed Skye when she told him that yes, he was a good man. It doesn’t matter that your past was dark, who doesn’t have skeletons in their closet? Maybe there was some hope for him after all.