A whole lot happened last night on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. There were some deep, anxious breaths for me after the opening scene when Rosalind was taken out by none other than Grant Ward. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has promised viewers game changing events in recent episodes and last night was crammed with them. Closure did manage to surprise a lot of viewers with Rosalind’s death, but the events following weren’t put together that well. We’ve been promised another universe-changing event for the winter finale next week. I hope that it’s actually something truly worthy of the hype.
The ‘formidable villain with a personal vendetta’ we’ve been promised all season finally took a much larger role as Grant Ward kicked ass last night. Ward made good on his stated hatred for Coulson by shooting Rosalind right in front of the Director. I’m not surprised that this caused Coulson to drop his usual ‘by the books’ behavior to finally focus on taking Ward out. With Bobbi and Hunter having been directly affected by Ward’s actions at the end of last season, Coulson didn’t need to look far for help in getting his revenge. After a brief confrontation, Hunter joins the insane and hypocritical crusade with Coulson and Bobbi.
As soon as Coulson returned to the S.H.I.E.L.D. base the only person thinking clearly in the team, Mack, tried to convince him to rethink his irrational behavior. Obviously the stakes are very personal when it comes to the original team and Grant Ward, and the show finally focused on that rich background. When Coulson interrogated each of the team to find a weakness in Ward they could exploit, we got a wonderful sequence of dialogues about Ward. One that stuck with me was when Daisy revealed she understood Ward due to a shared history, and that Ward’s problem isn’t that he doesn’t feel, it’s that he feels too much.
Let’s get something straight about Gideon Malick; he is a manipulator. It’s clearly a “bad guy” requirement nowadays, but how far does his manipulation go? Ward now seems to be wrapped around his little finger, which changes how I thought about Grant. For one, I thought he couldn’t any longer be manipulated that easily. This was especially jarring at the end of the episode when Ward didn’t fight Malick’s plan for him to lead the mission to the desolate planet to look for Hydras long lost secret weapon. In a rather predictable twist, it’s revealed that the only people who can help him get to this planet are, of course the only ones able to bring someone back – Fitz and Simmons.
Elsewhere Fitz and Simmons went with Banks (Ros’ right hand man) to the Distant Star Pathfinder project’s old location. Conveniently it turned out that Gideon Malick was funding the project for NASA. When they arrived, Gideon’s men were already there waiting, along with the creepy Inhuman that can move objects with his mind, Giyera. Banks was forced to shoot himself as FitzSimmons looked on in shock. After Giyera dispatches the protection detail himself he says, “Mr. Malick is waiting.” Very eerie.
I loved that they actually used Brett Dalton a lot more this episode, since it’s what Grant Ward knows about each of the team members personally that makes him a viable threat to them. This was brought home incredibly effectively during the scene where he informed Fitz that it wasn’t Ward that was going to get Simmons talking… it was Giyera. All my Harry Potter fans will know that when Hermione was being tortured by Bellatrix, Ron’s was deeply affected, and I couldn’t help compare to that similar situation.
Ward’s past has loomed large in the series, especially in season 1, and I’ve been waiting for the show to take his messed up childhood seriously. The traumatic event seen in the episode The Well, with younger brother Thomas in the water screaming for help, and older brother Christian threatening to throw Grant in after him appeared fairly clear. Instead the show seems to be casting doubt on the accuracy of that memory, seemingly almost trying to reverse what they’ve previously shown us regarding that day with the well. I wasn’t expecting the show to change up what we thought we already knew.
Thanks to Coulson’s discussion with Daisy, he works out the only way to get to Ward is to hit him through his weakness – a person he cares about. Somehow Coulson, Bobbi and Hunter are able to instantly locate Thomas Ward, who had interestingly managed to remain hidden from the formidable threat of his older brother for fifteen years. In a rather odd reveal, Thomas is also on the “Everybody Hates Ward” team and tells the SHIELD members that he and Grant were best friends, Grant his only protection against an abusive family, until the day Grant flipped and pushed him down the well. Thomas then spent the rest of his childhood apparently terrified of Grant. It was previously accepted canon that Ward pushed Thomas down the well at Christian’s urging. Why would the show change up a character’s backstory on us? No idea. It seems to be a desperate move to make Grant Ward into a stereotypical villain, with no hope of redemption.
To prevent Simmons having to go back to the alien planet, Fitz agrees to go there along with HYDRA in order to protect her. Why they think it’s a good idea to go to planet that literally leads to most people dying, I have no clue. Malick gives the speech of a master-manipulator, in a scene eerily reminiscent of Garret and Ward’s interactions, and convinces Ward to go in and lead the team. The irrational and irksome Director Coulson decides to jump off a plane and miraculously base jumps straight through the portal after Ward, right before HYDRA shuts it off. Can I blame Coulson for doing everything he can to get his revenge on Ward? No. But it seems hypocritical to blame Ward for doing the same thing after Kara’s death.
This show has a tendency creating episodes that feel rushed and all over the place, due to the sheer numbers of plot threads it’s trying to keep going. It just can’t seem to get the pacing right. In earlier seasons, the show was accused of being too slow and boring, but now each episode is almost too much. Can we just get an inbetween? Regardless, at least it’s still entertaining. Closure was action packed, and the star of the episode was none other than Grant Ward, shaping up to finally be a formidable villain. What’s the game changer in store for the winter finale next week? Any predictions what’s going to happen with Coulson vs. Ward?
Comment below or hit me up on Twitter @KeylaAlves_T with your thoughts and theories.
Share this Post