After a somewhat rocky season, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD ended on a high note last night with an action-packed and very enjoyable finale. There were so many great moments, including some of that perfectly dry Joss Whedon humor that was missing for some of the season. Note to writers: more of that next season, please! I thought the season finale tied things up nicely, yet left plenty open to explore in season two. One of my favorite bits, though, is how they handled the Agent Ward story line. Here is the obvious spoiler warning for anyone who hasn’t seen the episode yet.
Despite his affiliation with HYDRA and his loyalties to John Garrett, it seems pretty clear to me that Grant Ward has something good inside of him, deep down. He doesn’t want to, but he cares. He cares for his old team and he loves Skye, in his own messed up way. There were times last night, and in the few episodes before, where I thought the writers would give us the great Grant Ward Redemption Story. He sees the error of his ways and helps his team in the end, turning on Garrett and HYDRA. And while, narratively speaking, it wouldn’t have been out of the question, I didn’t want it to happen. I don’t want a Ward redemption story. At least not yet.
For the majority of the season, Agent Ward was kind of boring. There was nothing particularly wrong with him, or with how Brett Dalton played him, but there wasn’t much to latch onto, either. He was just there. He was a good agent. He was strong. He was nice to look at. Okay, sure. But was he interesting? No, not really. It was only after he turned out to be evil that I really got into his character. He had passions! He was driven! And, let’s be honest, he got sexier. It was also, incidentally, the first time I saw any real chemistry between Ward and Skye – maybe it took awakening his dark side to awaken everything else? Ahem. My point is, Evil Ward is an entertaining guy. I don’t want him to go away.
Even more than that – I don’t want to forget the terrible things he’s done. He killed Victoria Hand, not to mention countless other SHIELD agents. He dumped Fitz and Simmons in the middle of the ocean and left them to die. He came at Agent May with a buzz saw, for God’s sake! Ward is not a nice person. Whether he has a tender heart (as Garrett mockingly stated) or not, he’s a total villain, through and through. It’s going to take a lot of time and a whole lot of atoning for these sins to go away.
Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. For those who are familiar with Joss Whedon, you know that the line between good guy and bad guy is often quite thin. Just look at a few favorites from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer universe and you’ll see what I mean. There’s Angel, who spent literally hundreds of years making up for the actions of his darker side, Angelus. There’s Faith, the slayer who (unlike Buffy) let her killer instinct have its way more often than she should’ve (and worked alongside a couple of very bad guys along the way). And of course, there’s Spike, who started out as one of the biggest bads of the show and ended up being (spoiler alert) Buffy’s soulmate and, uh, the guy who saved the world. So can Ward be redeemed? Probably. But I’m glad they didn’t do it yet. I want him to work for it.
Questions left unanswered for season two:
Will Fitz be okay?
There’s a lot of terrible things that could potentially happen to him, because hypoxemia is no joke. A lack of oxygen to the brain can cause anything from brief memory loss to complete brain death. However, I am keeping my fingers crossed for a quick recovery – not just because I love the dork, but because the alternative has the potential to be really, really depressing.
What are we to make of Skye’s monster parents?
We got a glimpse of her father (I think?) in the final minutes of the episode, and he was literally dripping with blood and goo. He seems like a real charmer.
How is Raina connected to Skye’s family – and how is she connected to the great evolution that she and Garrett kept rambling about?
After using the serum, Garrett saw the hidden truths of the universe, or so he said. But how does Raina know anything about that, if she’s never used the serum herself? Maybe she is related to Skye, or to Skye’s family somehow. Maybe they’re part of the same alien race – the same alien race that SHIELD used to create GH325.
What will Quinn do now that he has the Gravitonium – and what will happen when he discovers that Dr. Hall is still inside?
In the comics, Dr. Hall becomes the villain Graviton, so my guess is we haven’t seen the last of this plot…
What will happen to Agent Ward – and will we see him again?
Probably in some capacity, though I have no idea how they’d work him in as a series regular, at least at first. Though I would like to see Brett Dalton again. He was fun once he turned evil.
Coulson is the new director of SHIELD!!!
Okay, that wasn’t a question, but I just wanted to say it. DIRECTOR COULSON, GUYS. PHEELS.
And speaking of Coulson: what’s up with THIS?!