Television: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., "Ragtag"

Ah, God, a Ward episode. Sigh.

A chunk of this episode was taken up with the backstory of Ward and Garrett in an attempt to give us some kind of sympathy for Ward's situation and character. But honestly, I don't care. I've never really liked Ward, and the more they try and make me like him, the less I do. Maybe that says more about me than about the show, but there it is.

So the story goes that 15 years ago Ward was in prison, or some other similar detainment facility, when Garrett came along and offered him a way out. And when Ward agreed, Garrett's men stormed the facility and broke Ward out. I have a few basic problems with this, namely that Ward has not changed his name (that we know of, or did I miss something?) and so his record should be open to S.H.I.E.L.D. and all other law enforcement agencies. So . . . Why was he never re-arrested after being busted out? (Yes, yes, they lived out in the woods for a while, but a name is a name is a name.)

I'll admit, I could easily have missed something. The story was boring and trite so it didn't have my full attention.

Ward's crime: setting fire to the house. He insists he didn't know his brother was in there at the time. If I understand correctly, the brother survived, but still. Arson at the least. Potentially attempted murder at the worst.

Anyway, sum total of this backstory: Ward feels some kind of gratitude for Garrett "saving" him. Cliché moment that we could all see coming: When Garrett tells Ward to shoot the dog, Ward pulls a Huntsman and fires his gun into the air and sets the dog free. That's how we're supposed to know Ward's time with Garrett hasn't entirely hardened him. Whatever.

Meanwhile, Coulson and the team are focused on finding the bus and getting their revenge on Garrett and Hydra and all that. Research draws their focus to CyberTek, a company with ties to all the various elements of Hydra's interference; CyberTek has links to Quinn, to Centipede, etc. Again, not paying close attention here, but Coulson and May pretend to be S.H.I.E.L.D. scientists applying for work at CyberTek (shout out to Palo Alto) in order to get access to the building and the records they need. Triplett handily has his grandfather's (or great-grandfather's) old spy equipment. Lo-tech, but sometimes the old ways are still best, and these do the trick in getting Coulson and May out of CyberTek.

They track the bus to Havana. Fitz and Simmons go looking for the bus proper while the rest of the team goes in search of . . . other stuff . . . beneath a barber shop . . . Honestly, at this point I almost didn't care. Fitz and Simmons locate the bus but are found by Ward and Fitz's attempts to appeal to Ward's softer side go unheeded. Once the bus is up and flying, Fitz and Simmons are jettisoned inside a cargo container into the ocean.

The other story here is that Garrett is actually dying. All this need for Centipede and the magical chemical that saved Coulson and later Skye—that's been Garrett's goal all along. To save himself from death. Reina has synthesized a version of the chemical and she gives it to Garrett. His reaction is rather like what happens to the Extremis trial patients: hot, glowy skin.

Oh, and beneath the barber shop in Havana, Coulson and the team (minus Fitz and Simmons) do find what they're looking for . . . Along with an army of Centipede soldiers.

Next week is the season finale. I'm going to guess Fitz and Simmons will find a way out of the cargo container, and there's a pretty good chance Coulson and his crew will get away from the small army of cyber soldiers. Also, I'd put some money on there being a lot of fighting.


Roland D. Yeomans said...

You missed that Ward, after sending the dog racing, took the hunting rifle with scope and killed it without it looking up into his eyes. Ward did not come off looking admirable there at all.

Since I don't expect Hamlet in this show, I am usually entertained. I wish you were. I get more entertainment from THE BLACKLIST or PERSON OF INTEREST.

M said...

I heard the second gunshot but it wasn't clear to me the dog had been killed. Still, I guess that's why Ward is a sniper. He can only kill at a distance.

I don't expect Hamlet either, and if I weren't at least a little entertained I wouldn't be watching. But I do prefer the characters (and situations) not to be one-note and predictable.