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"?