Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review: Secrets and Traitors

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What happens when S.H.I.E.L.D ceases to exist? Chaos.

Even though Coulson and his team secured the Hub, they weren't safe there. Colonel Glenn Talbot was on his way and ready to interfere with their freedom and search for Hydra on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 Episode 18.

Unclear on who to trust, the team got on the bus and went rogue.

Coulson and his team haven't been working together for very long, but they all trust each other with the exception of the two long time friends. The divide between Coulson and May continued. With Director Fury dead, she worried that Hydra implanted ideas and thoughts into Coulson's head during TAHITI.

While her concern wasn't entirely unfounded, Coulson hadn't done anything but support S.H.I.E.L.D. and the team since the beginning and hasn't done anything suspicious since Hydra was revealed. She should have had a little more faith in him. In the end, she supported his decision to with the rest of the team to go to the coordinates that appeared on his badge.

Coulson is a good guy and a great leader. He inspires rather than threatens. His team may have had doubts about the path they were on, but they stood by him. Yes, they grumbled on the long, snowy walk, but seriously who wouldn't? Only Coulson. There have been traitors in their midst, but Coulson isn't one of them.

Now that they are at Providence, they will have access to the information they need in order to help defeat Hydra. May will be furious when she finds out Coulson kept Fury's status secret. She should understand, if she doesn't, he just needs to remind her of who was full of distrust first. 

The biggest threat to them now is Ward! He really is a traitor and supporter of Hydra. When he explained all the steps he took to gain the trust of Coulson's team, I cringed. He really had them fooled. He played them from the start and was extremely effective at it.

One theory after Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 Episode 17 was that Ward was really a double agent. While that remains a possibility, I don't buy it. He's indebted to Garrett for saving him as a teen and that allegiance is stronger than any other he has. At the same time, it was encouraging to see him display some affection for Skye and the rest of the team.

Ward can still be redeemed. I have to believe that. He may not be, but that sliver of hope that he will see the light makes it much more intriguing. Love can overcome a lot. When he was reunited with Skye, he was ready to use her to break the lock on the drive. Due to his directive, I expect it will get worse before it gets better though.

Once someone starts to suspect that something's up with him, perhaps he can take that opportunity to turn away from Hydra. If he knows they care about him, it might be enough to break the bond he has with Garrett. 

Garrett's gathering a team of his own, including Raina and Quinn. It's quite scary to think of all the devices and artifacts from the Fridge that are in Hydra's control now. Those were contained for a reason. Wouldn't it be funny if Garrett and Hydra were taken out by their own greed. Many of those items could easily destroy their facility and the occupants too.

Raina's experiments in search of the compound that saved Coulson is dangerous. She has no idea what she's messing with. And, Quinn with Gravitonium? That's a disaster waiting to happen.

Garrett's going to have to do much more to gain their complete loyalty. Neither of them were thrilled to find out they fell for the farce that was the Clairvoyant. Unlike Coulson's team, Garrett's group is newly formed and much more likely to act out against one another. A Hydra in the open could easily begin to self-destruct.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. held up its intensity this week. It's going to be a difficult level to maintain, but now that the team as a real nemesis to pursue it helps. I'd love to see this story come to some sort of conclusion by the end of the season, but also carry over aspects into season 2.

Who will begin to question Ward's loyalty first?


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (53 Votes)

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

Chris albanese

Something tells me Ward has been a triple agent from the start. It seems too neat that he happened to be "saved" by Garrett, given a gun by Agent Hand to execute a prisoner-which goes against everything S.H.I.E.L.D. stands for (I think is what Coulson said when given the same opportunity) that he then turns on her and three agents. Did we see a body? It's not like deaths cannot be staged. Also, Ward has shown you that he can go deep under cover, with Agent May especially-OW!! So it would come as no surprise to me if he were infiltrating Hydra. As Garrett says about his complete infiltration of Coulson's team-I thought only Romanov could pull that off.
PS-I know Joss is extremely loyal to his actors so please, please, PLEASE bring Charisma Carpenter in as Viper or maybe even Agent Brand of S.W.O.R.D. if Skye does indeed become Ms. Marvel.


Great episode! I think Ward will turn out to be a double agent or he will be turned because of his relationship(s) with the Team (not necessarily just Skye). Coulson, Ward and Skye are the most compelling characters in the show and I look forward to what happens to them next.


Sometimes this reviewer seems more intent on writing a recap than her opinions on the actual episode. Why no mention about the performances? Clark Gregg is doing fantastic work & had two key scenes that show why he is one of the few that Nick Fury trusts now that Hydra is out in the open. Bill Paxton is so great to watch - good or bad - that I hope he climbs the ranks of Hydra & isn't killed off too early. And, Brett Dalton is showing some real signs of life now that Agent Ward is given the chance to show some depth. There's even a twinkle in his eye...which makes him more threatening. I really liked how Garrett & Raina openly addressed how Ward became attached to everyone at SHIELD and on the bus, and his possible conflict of interest. No, he hasn't been brainwashed, a la the Winter Soldier. There are no chemicals in his system, like the Centipede soldiers. Although, Garrett seems to be sporting more metal parts than previously revealed...what's up with that? With his & Coulson's history, that's not necessarily a surprise to SHIELD. But, what did that hint mean for more knowledgeable Marvel comic fans?


I don't think Skye will question Ward's loyalty, but I think she'll be the first to find out. in the 1x19 promo, Ward tells her "You're good" (as in "a good person"), to which she responds adamantly "So are you!", which Ward responds to with "I'm not a good man, Skye." From how they said it is sounds like Skye already knows in this scene and is appealing to Ward's good side. Either way, it looks like she'l find out.


In my opinion there's NO WAY Ward can be redeemed. Just remember how bad Coulson took - and still takes - May's betrayal, and she was acting on Fury's direct orders!
And I absolutely hope they won't make his story into a 'bad guy turns good because of girl' cliche, especially because I never shared most people's enthusiasm when it comes to this couple. Just don't see any chemistry there. But how right was Fury when he gave orders to only share his survival with a selected few :) Brilliant episode.

@ San

Ooops - forgot to write that I agreed w/your point about Fury's paranoid tactics being proved right in this episode. Spot on! It's really hard to stay under the radar the more people know you're alive. Again, need to know basis. Coulson better forgive May soon since now the shoe is on the other foot.

@ San

What's interesting is that in WINTER SOLDIER, Fury's policy of "compartmentilization" (is that a word?) is called into question. But, how is that different from putting SHIELD agents at different clearance levels, with each level being on a "need to know" basis? It's the same thing IMO! The entire organization was run that way! So, Coulson needs to put his big boy panties on and stop pouting about being out of the loop. I love Coulson. But, puh-leeeeze....his pride is getting in the way on this issue.

@ KansasGuest

I think that the situation with Coulson and TAHITI is a bit different, since that particular secret affected Coulson in the most personal manner imaginable. That was his life and his death and his own boss and friend messing with his mind. Fury's survival - well, this is operational security. Coulson shouldn't have any problems keeping *that* secret, for the reasons you've spelled out.


Ward would make for an interesting final Big Bad of the season, hopefully even lasting longer. They need a long-term rival on the show.


I sorta hope Ward remains bad, unlike the cliche where the undercover bad guy becomes good after the time he spent with the good guys.

@ Tom

Everything is a cliche these days.

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