Agents of SHIELD, Episode 20 is extremely personal. Cold blooded Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) goes gooey for Skye (Chloe Bennet), but do his warm feelings for her mean there is still some good in him?
Ward rationalizes his betrayal is “nothing personal” and excused his atrocities by claiming that he was simply following orders, a popular World War II era defense made obvious through Skye’s indictment, “You’re a Nazi!” The argument ended abruptly when Deathlok (J. August Richards) initiated Plan B.
Turns out, John Garrett (Bill Paxton) knows Skye’s greatest weakness, her humanity. Deathlok, under Garrett’s orders, coerces Skye to decrypt an important file by electrocuting Ward, pushing Ward to the brink of death. Despite her rage and hurt, she can’t watch Ward die. Skye agrees to comply, so Ward can live. Did Skye do the right thing, or should she have let Ward die?
Chances are, if she let him die and continued not to cooperate, Garrett would find new and horrifying ways to bend her will. So was her decision one of humanity or self preservation? Her disenchantment and the “surprise” she left for Ward and Deathlok point to her humanity.
No one took Ward’s betrayal quite as hard as Fitz (Iain De Caestecker). He has a massive meltdown in the middle of the episode and still reels from disillusionment at the end. He pitifully questions Jemma (Elizabeth Henstridge) about her loyalty and she patiently reassures him she is not HYDRA. Fitz confesses he would be lost if she betrayed him- this is the pain Skye wrestles thanks to Ward’s treachery.
Jemma does her best to comfort Fitz and suggest Ward is evil, but Fitz refuses to believe it. He clings to hope that there is some good left in the man he once called a friend. Is he naive? There were glimpses of Ward’s struggling humanity. After all, Ward could not bring himself to hurt Skye and appeared genuinely upset when she accused him of participating in her near death experience.
In previews for next weeks’ episode, Ward once again endangers Fitz and the rest of Coulson’s team. Later Ward confronts Garrett, stating that he isn’t the scared boy Garrett once knew. This implies Garrett’s extensive reign of terror and suggests Fitz is correct- Grant is not evil.
Is there hope for Ward’s mercy and the resurgence of his humanity, or is Coulson’s team doomed by the ruthless spy? What are your predictions for next week’s
season finale episode? Feel free to share your ideas in the comment section.
Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD airs its Season 1
finale penultimate episode, “Ragtag,” Tuesday May 6th on ABC at 8|7c.