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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: A Fractured House

I have two words for you, Marvel. "Spin" and "off".
"Whoa whoa whoa. Hail HYDRA, guys, hail HYDRA."

Who is the real Grant Ward?

If his big brother, Christian, is to be believed, Grant Ward is a disturbed young man who abused his little brother and blamed it on Christian. But according to Grant, Christian is the abuser and master manipulator who enjoys watching others suffer. Who are we to believe? Grant is a HYDRA agent who has betrayed and murdered everyone who trusted him. Christian is a United States Senator, which automatically makes him dodgy. The thing is, the Grant Ward that Christian describes, the homicidal psycho, is exactly the type of person I can see being recruited by HYDRA.

I've suspected for a while now that the stories Ward told Skye about his past, specifically the abuse he suffered at the hands of his older brother, weren't entirely true. At first I thought the older brother he always mentioned was merely a figment of his disturbed imagination, a way of absolving himself of blame for abuse he inflicted on his little brother. Well, it looks like I was wrong about big brother not being real, but not about who the real abuser was. That's assuming Christian was telling the truth. He is a politician, after all. They're not known for their honesty.

Going into this season, the question on a lot of people's lips was whether or not Ward could be redeemed? A better question is, should Ward be redeemed? To which my answer is "No frakking way", but that's just me. I like Ward evil and hope they make him the Angelus of the series. Now that he's free, where will he go? What will he do? Frankly my dear... I can't wait to find out. It will be interesting to see what Ward's next move will be. He's burned all his bridges with S.H.I.E.L.D. and he has no true loyalty to HYDRA now that Garrett is dead. Will he go after Skye's father to fulfill his stalkerish obsession with her?

For a minute there I was worried that Skye was falling for Ward's blatant manipulation. I was almost screaming at the screen, shouting at her not to buy what he was selling. Oh me of little faith. I should've known better. May has really trained her well. She let him exploit her weakness so she could find out everything he knew about her father before they got rid of him. Although, it is obvious that he still managed to get under her skin. Ward is aiming for sincerity in his conversations with Skye, but he just comes off as a creepy, stalker ex-boyfriend.

The unwritten laws of television storytelling teach us that if two characters have an antagonistic relationship then there will inevitably be an episode where those characters are forced into a situation where they must work together and overcome their differences. That is pretty much what happened to Bobbi and Hunter this week. Coulson sent them on a mission with May and as expected they bickered, and fought and kicked ass in perfect symmetry (seriously, these two have amazing coordination). And, as expected, they ultimately came to a rather predictable understanding with each other in the end. This wasn't the most interesting of side plots, but it did deliver when it came to action (see below).

Intel and Assets

--Did Ward genuinely think he was still part of Coulson's team? If so, he is more delusional than I thought.

--Bobbi in a Star Wars t-shirt. Need I say more.

--Coulson and the grumpy cat mug. Again, do I need to say more?

--Does anyone else think Mack was a little too hard on Simmons?

--Sorry, May, but Bobbi wins this week's ultimate badass award for this moment alone:

--Elizabeth Henstridge sounded like she had a cold.

--Hey, Bobby Cobb, I think you've had one glass of wine too many judging by all those tattoos.

Jemma: "If I ever see you again, I'll kill you."

Coulson: "You are not, nor will you ever be, on my team. You dropped FitzSimmons out of a plane. You murdered Victoria Hand and Eric Koenig. You betrayed every one of us, you deluded son of a bitch."

May: "You know I don't like you, right?"

Coulson: "These are for your speech. I made a few changes. It's funnier now."

Four out of four Star Wars t-shirts.
Mark Greig has been writing for Doux Reviews since 2011. More Mark Greig.


  1. Did Coulson new — or even suspected — that Ward would set himself free? Maybe he planted a bug on Ward somehow? Or am I too PoI-infected?

    And I disagree, May was still more awesome. May is an unstoppable force and should be worshipped. Not that she'll care.

  2. Based on the flashbacks from "Well" it's been established that Christian was the primary abuser, and he made Ward do bad things to his younger brother, forever screwing him up in the head. (Unless Joss Whedon changed his mind and is doing a rewrite, which I can't completely rule out.) I like to think that Coulson knew or at least suspected that Christian was lying to him but didn't really care what happened to Ward so he was willing to give him away to provide some safety for his agents. I was afraid they were moving toward making Ward part of the team again so I was really happy when Coulson said the quote that you listed about Ward never being part of the team.

    I agree that Mack was too hard on Simmons, but at the same time I appreciate his loyalty to Fitz. I think Simmons was right that Fitz needed some time away from her to realize he can function without her. It's kind of sad that he was just starting to get used to not relying on hallucination Simmons when she came back and tested what he's made of. So interesting that hallucination Simmons always knew what Fitz was trying to say and real Simmons couldn't figure it out. I think Fitz may be realizing that Simmons isn't everything he idealized her to be, which is generally the first step in getting over someone.

  3. I, too, wondered if Grant escaping was something Coulson anticipated. Either way, I'm actually looking forward to seeing it play out, which surprises me. For a long time, I was dreading Ward getting out of that cage, because I'm on the "no frakking way" team when it comes to potential redemption for that guy. But now that they've completely muddied the waters regarding exactly how pyscho he is --- I don't think the well flashbacks we saw were necessarily the objective truth, they may just be what Ward has convinced himself is the truth, as Mark notes --- I'm sort of excited to have this wildcard out and actively in the mix.

    Bobby Cobb's time running drugs across the El Paso-Juarez border seems to have messed him up worse than I thought. At least he got out alive. Of course, tattoos didn't work out so well for him on Sons of Anarchy ... Yikes!


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