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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review: Who's the Monster?

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Do you have any sympathy for Ward now that his connection to Garrett has been revealed?

I have mixed feelings about this. I desperately want Ward to be redeemable, at the same time, I'm not sure that he can be. Garrett saved an impressionable young man, dumped him in the woods, and left him to survive or perish. When Garrett returned, he was all the kid had and indoctrinated him.

Garrett's life was saved through determination and HYDRA, while Ward's was saved by Garrett. That type of connection is difficult to overcome, especially since it was ingrained from a young age and in difficult conditions.

My problem with finding even the tiniest justification for his actions is that Ward spent 10 years as a SHIELD agent.

Unless new information comes out, that should have been plenty of time for him to break free of Garrett enough to recognize that SHIELD was a noble organization and HYDRA was not. He had the free will to let Buddy the Dog live, so he wasn't brainwashed to the point of losing his decision-making abilities.

I felt for Fitz throughout Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 Episode 21. He desperately held out hope that the Ward he knew and cared for was still there. He was wrong. Or was he? Before Ward released the container holding Fitz and Simmons into the water, he said he did and it was his weakness.

At first, I thought he was acting in contrast to his weakness to prove himself to Garrett. My view changed when I saw the container fall into the water. The plane was flying low to avoid detection, so Ward could have released them from the plane in order to save their lives. On the plane, they would have remained in danger, while in the water they at least had a chance to survive. Plus, it's a container from the Bus, so it could have special characteristics which would help Fitz and Simmons survive.

Garrett's actions should help Ward realize that his mentor is not a good guy. Raina mentioned that Garrett was only concerned with prolonging his own life. The GH-325 was necessary to overcome his demise, but it had a greater effect on him. Garrett had the Centipede tech in him, but he never gained powers like Mike because of his weakened physical condition. 

With the GH-325, his body went through a metamorphosis which appeared to heal his body and activate those Centipede powers. An empowered Garrett will be a very dangerous weapon. Ward understands Garrett, which makes him the best person to take his mentor down and prevent him from harming others. That could be his path to redemption. 

Ward's future is far from pre-determined.

In addition to Ward's history, Raina provided insight into how Skye came to be in SHIELD's care as an infant. Her parents were "monsters" who destroyed a city trying to find her. I guess that makes her a "monster" too. If her parents could destroy a city, she probably has innate powers as well. With the super soldiers ready to attack her, Coulson and May, it's the perfect time for her strengths to emerge!

They have to succeed and get that jump drive into HYDRA's computers. It's the break they need in order to clear SHIELD and set up the rebuilding of the organization for next season. It would also help stop Quinn's sale of the super soldiers to the Department of Defense. There is hope.

Overall, "Ragtag" was an tense episode but there were a few lighter moments that helped break the dark tone which was nice. I loved everything that had to do with the old-school gear that Triplett's father had. Fitz got the best play out of them when he lighted the curtains on fire and then used the EMP to shock Garrett.

Which lighter or funny moment was your favorite?

 

Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (56 Votes)

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

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I think Ward will end up redeeming himself and in a big way - probably in the finale. I love how this show has allowed a major character to go from good guy to evil guy and possibly back to good guy and all in the first season. And what exactly are the monsters? If Skye is an 084 and these monsters are her parents then what does that make her? Earlier speculation that she would turn out to be Asgardian would seem to be out of the question now. Cool stuff - can't wait for the finale and next season!

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@ mcgreggl

I read somewhere that the show cannot use the term "mutants" in relation to Skye's possible origins, as the comics might. So, instead they could be using the term "monsters."

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I am going for a partial redemption of Ward - he will help save the day, but not be able to return to Shield - he will instead be found in the Wyoming Wilderness next season with a brown labrador :) Wouldnt bet against Maria Hill appearing more often next season, as HIMYM has now finished.

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@ Chris

I like the way you think!

Braafhond

Ward going downhill after meeting Garrett ? Nope, unless you really believe he could not have suspected anyone was in the family home when he decided to burn it down ... He jettisoned Fitz-Simmons because he could not kill them and see their faces at the same time: that is his weakness (Koenig was killed from behind ...). On a happier note: Coulson went completely "fanboy" over the memorabilia from the good old captain America era ... 😜

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Just an observation...am I the only who thinks that if Ward had killed the dog, many viewers would consider him absolutely evil? It's strange how killing a pet is unforgivable to many people while killing X number of SHIELD agents is forgivable as long as Ward makes googly eyes at Skye.

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@ KansasGuest

It's funny you say that because if he had killed the dog....I would have shouted for his head! I don't think he should be forgiven for killing SHIELD agents though. I think he's done. He needs to be in jail for a very long time. Not just forgiven and let back on the team if he turns on HYDRA in the end.

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@ R

I've revised my earlier opinion & think Ward did kill the dog...but not to prove to Garrett that he was strong. The entire deer hunting scene was foreshadowing what Ward was going to do. He killed the dog from a distance because he knew Garrett would refuse to bring it back & was probably going to leave it to starve in the wilderness. The dog depended on Ward for its survival. So, either he give it a merciful death running free, as the dog enjoyed, or do an up close betrayal. Garrett forced Ward to chose which way the dog would die. So, he chose the most humane one he could given the circumstances.

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FANTASTIC episode! I loved how they were basically going low-tech this episode, with whiteboards, black markers, & Howling Commando tech. Maybe it's just me. But, I followed the whiteboard explanation much better than I have any of the explanatory dialogue & fancy transparent computer diagrams in the past few episodes. One look at that thing with all its arrows, & yep, I understood. Thank you for showing that Mike Peterson still has some humanity left. He hasn't been given a choice. But, I think he's biding his time & will chose to strike back when he can do the most damage to HYDRA. He looks just miserable being their puppet. As for FitzSimmons, Fitz still had the quarter. So, Coulson could still locate them. I don't know how they'd have any time to pick them up though. Ward can only be redeemed IMO if he comes to realize that it's his attachment to *Garrett* that is his weakness. He survived in that wilderness by his wits & his affection for another living creature. That dog gave him strength; not Garrett. Hopefully his affection for his former SHIELD team will make him see the light, too.

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What happened to Fitzsimmons???
They weren't even mentioned finale's promo!!
I hope they're OK..

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@ samantha

Of course they aren't mentioned! If they were mentioned, you'd know. It's pretty straightforward, actually. Fitz carried two gadgets: the EMP buzzer and the coin with homing beacon. Guess how will the gang locate them ;) It's not past Whedon & Tancharoen to kill a main cast character, but I sincerely think that killing two would be a little extreme.

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@ jasev

And even if they were to kill of two main characters, making it Fitzsimmons would be a disastrous decision.

Marissa

Great episode. Ward does care about all of them but tjay doesn't matter because he's loyal to Garrett because he feels be owes him but Garrett told him he doesn't owe anyone anything. There were some funny parts my favorite were May and Coulson pretending to be Fitz and Simmons, them throwing the files out the window, and Skye using the EMP in the motel room and then Fitz using the lazer and catching the curtains on fire. Ward released the box Fitz and Simmons were in over the ocean and even though it will sink they do have a chance at surviving. I got very intrigued when Raina said she thought she and Skye might have something in common inside. Raina told Ward what she found out about Skye and he hasn't told Garrett so that makes me think he's still trying to protect her. This episode showed me more about Ward and made me think he might be able to be redeemed it's just that he's so loyal to Garrett that's what's standing in the way. Can't wait to see what happens in finale.

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But didn't ward shoot the dog with the sniper rifle after he looked like he was letting him go? To me he cant be redeemed. And the box fitzsimmons are in, isnt it sinking to the bottom of the ocean? He is just evil.

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@ sally

Sally, I thought it was Garret with the sniper gun. I guess they did leave that open to speculation.

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But didnt ward shoit the dog with the sniper rifle after he lioked like he was letting him go? To me he cant be redeemed. And tge box fitzsimmons are in, isnt it sinking to the bottom of tge ocean? He is just evil.

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Oh my God! Best episode so far! I couldn't keep track of all the awesome lines. Starting with Coulson's "Maybe I should draw another one" when he and May showed their mind map to the team. Again Coulson, this time with Tripp, going full nerd because of the SHIELD antiques. May's sarcastic "Watch out, Hydra, here we come..." after Fitz set the curtains on fire - and her reference to this later ("Try not to set the drapes on fire"). But I guess the best one was Coulson's large file transfer. I'm still on team Ward can't be redeemed though. Like Garrett himself said this episode - Ward should stop acting like a victim. He worked ten years for SHIELD, he's still capable of making his own decisions and surely he and Garrett didn't meet once a week to have some tea and refresh the brainwash-status. Raina became quite interesting with her line about Skye, stating she thinks they have something in common inside.

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