Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review: Unfortunate Truth

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Right or wrong? Good or evil?

The usually distinct categories have gotten blurred in the post-Captain America: The Winter Soldier world. S.H.I.E.L.D. agents were the heroes of the universe, but now they're all viewed as criminals regardless of whether or not they support Hydra. 

Coulson's as good as they get and even he's suspect. It's a crazy world. His friend, Maria Hill, brought Colonel Talbot to Providence to apprehend Coulson and his team in on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 Episode 20. Coulson couldn't allow that to happen with Skye out there.

Before the Hydra twist on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Season 1, I didn't connect with the characters, except for Skye and to a lesser extent Coulson. The other characters all felt superficial. Ward and May were rigid and emotionless, while Fitz and Simmons were science geeks and always happy. They went through the motions of the task at hand without exposing much about themselves.

When Hydra brought down S.H.I.E.L.D., it provided an enemy for them to fight against, but more importantly it allowed them to show their strength, character and emotions. Over the last few episodes, I've begun to become attached to them which has increased my enjoyment of the series.

Ward being a Hydra supporter was the best thing to happen to the show. His actions since he killed Victoria Hand have been captivating to watch. He was introduced as a fierce soldier that couldn't be broke, but in reality he is one messed up guy. He's not a Hydra loyalist, instead he feels an obligation towards Garrett. There's a huge difference between the two.

I feel bad for Ward. He's been played.

When Ward killed Hand I didn't expect there to be a path of redemption for him, unless it turned out he faked it. Now, even though he's clearly helping Garrett and Hydra, I believe there is a way for him to be redeemed. It won't be easy, but it's possible. 

Ward has been manipulated by Garrett into fulfilling his mission because of duty to the man who saved him. It's not clear what Garrett did, but whatever it was left Ward unconditionally devoted to his mentor. Ward's moral code has been twisted in such a manner that he believes he's doing the right thing.

When he denied being a Nazi and declared his feelings for Skye to be real, I believed him. He's crushed inside about what's happening, but he doesn't have the capability to see a way out. Not yet. Garrett ordered Deathlok to watch Ward because he's not convinced his hold over his disciple is impenetrable. 

"It wasn't personal." 

That sentence was said by two people during "Nothing Personal." Ward believed he was on a mission and that made it all okay. He couldn't understand how Skye couldn't accept his feelings were genuine and that his actions didn't take away from his loyalty to her. He wanted to protect her.

The second time it was said may have opened Ward's eyes to the truth about the situation he's currently in. Garrett ordered Deathlok to kill Ward in order to get Skye to help decrypt the drive. His mentor, who he believes he owes everything, was going to let him die! Ward has to see he's being used now, right? Right?!?

If Ward hasn't figured it out yet, perhaps his eyes will open when he receives Skye's "present" she left with the drive. Of course, it could have the opposite effect and cause him to turn against her. It all depends on what type of gift she left behind.

While Skye wasn't able to get Ward to see the truth, Coulson had better luck with Hill. When he revealed that Ward had turned and Garrett was still out there, she recognized the importance of Coulson's mission. There wasn't anyone else to stop Hydra. She risked her own position to get Coulson out of Providence.

It's too bad that Hill's not sticking around, but at least May returned. Coulson's team is back to full force with Triplett taking Ward's place (I hope he sticks around!). The battle between the remnants of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra is set to be an epic showdown. The most intriguing variable will be which team Ward ultimately supports. 

The finale sequence on S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn't always reveal much, but this week's was important. When May returned to the team, she brought with her evidence about TAHITI. Shocker! Coulson was the one in charge of the program and he wanted it discontinued due to the side effects. The only hope for success was if the recipients didn't know what happened to them.

Does that mean Coulson will suffer from mental disintegration? Is this a case where curiosity really could kill the cat? 

Coulson's reaction to the information was the best, "Huh."

How do you feel about Ward after "Nothing Personal"?


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (64 Votes)

Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


I love how intense and nerve racking this show can be one minute and laugh out loud hilarious the next. Skye and Ward's conversation in the booth was so heavy and dramatic, it had my stomach all knotted up, then I was busting my gut when Skye told Ward, "You always had that Hitler Youth look to you, you know, so it's really not that surprising." I hope Ward doesn't die sacrificing himself for the good guys as a way to be redeemed, because he's finally interesting and ,redeemable or not, his character has so much potential now.

@ SeriesJunkie

"SHIELD Manual Chapter 1 - Red Skull, creator of HYDRA, was a fanfreaking NAZI!" - Skye IMO, every SHIELD agent knew that. So, no matter how much Ward owed Garrett (even his life), that should have been a HUGE red flag that said "Bad Guy" when he was recruited into HYDRA. Bad Ward!


Loving where this show is headed. It started slowly has improved exponentially. That said, if Ward redeems himself in some way that doesn't involve him dying, I'm done with this show. Even better would to have him become a recurring villain. An arch-nemesis for Skye (who IMO was only the second worst character in the show until the recent turn of events. Now slowly beginning to like her)


Another great episode - these last three or four have all been great. My only quibble was with the flying car routine which seemed kind of cartoonish but I loved Skye's wind blown hair so it was worth it. The door is clearly wide open to have Ward turn back to the good side. Most likely the "present" that Skye left will lead him to turn on Garrett. Either that or, as others here have suggested, he will die and go through the TAHITI process with his memory wiped clean. Regardless, this show has totally blown up the mold of formulaic television. There have already been so many twists and turns...and the show is only in its first season! Looking forward to the last couple of episodes more so than any other show on TV.


Coulson should be clear of the side effects because his memory was wiped. It's taken him a long time to learn the truth about TAHITI and he's accepted it. Skye is an 0-8-4 and can probably handle the alien DNA. Ward's betrayal runs too deep, he can never be trusted again. No matter how much he REALLY loves Skye. The only possible way to redeem the character is to wipe his memories like they did with Coulson. Clean slate right? Why would Coulson do that though? I completely agree that this is the most interesting Ward has been, I dig evil-Ward!


I am sorry I just don't see why this show is so popular I could understand if it had the good agents from the movies but this just feel too much like 24

@ Michael

then why do you watch it or even see a review about it?


These last few episodes have been amazing. I was wondering how long it would take the others to find out about Ward and they did right away which I really liked. I thought that in the last episode Skye did something with the picture but wasn't sure what and was glad to see she warned them with it. The box needing to be decrypted not with longitude or latitude but in the air was a nice touch I didn't see that coming. I loved when Skye hit Ward he really deserved it. I thought that maybe Skye would get away by getting herself arrest and that was her plan but it didn't work. The ending was my favorite and I can't wait to find out what's going to happen with Coulson and what's going to happen in the next episode.


Was I the only one who didn't buy it when Simmons told Fitz she wasn't hydra? It brought me back to the scene where she said she was getting better at lying. That girl is seriously hiding something,

@ CJ

I've had my doubts about Simmons as well. Hope she's not HYDRA though, that would be devastating for Fitz.


Don't see Ward joining the team again, either. Who could ever truly trust him again? There would always be doubts and suspicions. There's no way the writers can integrate him in the team once more. But as a villain or some kind of neutral party he might stay in the series (which is actually something I'd like to see). Triplett, on the other hand, fits in the team quite nicely. Still like the FitzTripSimmons scenes. And I'm SO glad May is back. Now that she and Coulson know the truth about T.A.H.I.T.I. I'm curious how it will play out. Of course, Coulson's memories had been erased and he remembers only parts of it, so he should be safe. Skye should be safe because she's an O84, whatever that means in detail...

@ San

Oh, and I forgot to mention Coulson's always great oneliners when he's stressed out.

Kitanishi h mcdonald

I don't see Ward ever rejoining the team anymore. He either turns against Garret and kills him or follows through orders and gets mortally wounded, but then he somehow uses TAHITI drugs to survive. Cue next season him being a complete neutral-party psycho, allowing us to observe step by step on how it affects "normal people". - IT gives both Skye and Coulson and personal investment into it since both of them survived that drug for various reasons, so that continues their plotline.
- IT could make those two a targets for Ward if his self-preservation instinct is stronger than the supposed psychosis.
- IT gives a sufficient way for Ward to develop Taskmaster's abilities(just with a wee bit different downside).


I was so good to see Skye punch Ward.
He really deserved it.

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