Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Just Killed Off One Of The Original Team

Well, we sort of saw that one coming, didn’t we? On tonight’s mid-season finale “Maveth,” the villainous Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) found himself face-to-face on an alien planet with Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), after the latter tracked Ward down for killing his new girlfriend. And so, for that act, as well as two-and-a-half seasons of treachery, torture, and an arc that saw Ward lose any chance at redemption… Coulson killed him.

Like, killed him, dead.

More specifically, after a knock down, drag out fight, Ward found himself gasping for breath, lying on the ground. Coulson, using his robot hand (long story) slowly pushed down on Ward’s chest, crushing his ribcage until the HYDRA agent stopped moving. Then Coulson dropped the murder weapon next to Ward, and headed through a portal back to Earth.

Oh, and then an evil entity that lives on the planet took over Ward’s body and headed back to Earth, hooking up with Gideon Malick (Powers Boothe), the head of HYDRA. Bum ba BUM.

It’s been a weird, strange journey for both Dalton and the character of Grant Ward; and a curious, kind of sad end to his arc. Clearly we’re not done with Dalton — the Angelus-esque twist will certainly let the actor continue to wreak havoc on S.H.I.E.L.D., and Coulson’s guilt over killing Ward won’t clear out any time soon.

But the bigger question is, other than as a foil to the team, what was the point of Ward? Did he leave a lasting impact as a character? And not to get too preachy, but what was the lesson we needed to learn from him?

The problem with Ward, in my humble opinion, was that he was a twist always in search of a storyline. As the boy scout super-agent first introduced in the pilot, the writers were always imbuing him with a secondary agenda, making him as bland and earnest as possible so his eventual reveal as a HYDRA agent and betrayal of the team would hit that much harder.

 

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