We’re treated to a flash back 15 years in the past of when Ward met Garret. Ward was in juvie after busting out of military school to burn down his father’s house. They’re playing up this traumatic childhood angle. They kind of already jumped the shark with that with Skye’s background.
The remaining Agents of SHIELD… well, Agents of Nothing, are regrouping. Skye reveals that she implanted tracking software into the hard drive that Ward took from her (which also has the info on the alien DNA that Garrett desperately wants). But there’s another step. A flash drive to activate it needs to be inserted into one of their computers.
Coulson shows how it’s all connected
Triplett shows up with some antique gadgets. Spy gear borrowed from his Grandpa. The rest geek out, Fitz lights the drapes on fire and May worries about their capability to function as a team. Fitz is wondering what drove Ward to betray them, he hypothesizes that Ward has a killswitch in his eye, or something. Skye says that “he’s evil” that’s it. Which seems odd. She began as a double agent after all, she knows life is more complicated. People have all sorts of reasons. Even if they aren’t good ones.
15 years ago: “Speak up son, I’m not a mind reader” Garrett left Ward in the woods to forage for himself. So this is going to be a “he taught me how to be a man” story.
Coulson and May working together undercover is awesome. They get in to Cybertech and they find that Garrett was the first Deathlok. They throw the whole filing cabinet out a window and they escape. And then have pizza.
Garrett collapses. His organs are failing around the biomechanics.
Coulson tells Skye that she did the right thing not letting Deathlok kill Ward. Skye still thinks that May has “no feelings” but she opens up that she’s furious, she’s just saving it to take Ward down.
But Fitz still thinks Ward is the victim, and is looking for a reason why. It makes sense for his character. Young, naive, few close friends, good natured: he doesn’t understand why ANYONE would choose to be dishonest when they have a great job and great friends. But seriously… Ward was such an asshole to him. You all hate Ward now, but I’ve hated Ward since he threw Fitz’s sandwich. Since he rubbed it in Fitz’s face that he saved Gemma when Fitz couldn’t. Showoff. Weak and self aggrandizing.
15 years ago: Garrett goes back to the mountains 6 months later with tacos and finds a more capable Ward. Then he shoots all Ward’s stuff. Dude’s a dick.
Gemma and Fitz find Garrett and Ward, Coulson tells them DNE. Gemma wants to throw down. Ward finds them.
10 Years Ago: Garrett and Ward are still in the damn woods. Garrett tells Ward about how SHIELD wasn’t loyal to him when he was blown up by an IED in Sarajevo. How Garrett became HYDRA.
On the plane Fitz pulls out the “buzzer” and electrifies the plane. Garrett collapses. “Ward. Let him die.” Dying Garrett orders Ward to kill Fitz and Gemma, and then we flash to the “final test” of younger Ward in the woods being told to shoot Buddy, the dog who has lived with him in the woods for 5 years. Garrett leads him to believe that compassion is a weakness (the opposite of what Coulson related to Skye earlier “Compassion is harder”). It shows Fitz and Gemma in between Ward not being able to shoot the dog. He shoots into the air and the dog takes off. But then we see the dog through a scope and it’s implied that Garrett shot Buddy anyway.
“It’s not a weakness, is it.”
Gemma and Fitz are thrown into the ocean. Coulson, May, Trip and Skye are surrounded by centipede supersoldiers and Ian Quinn pedals his tech to the US gov. Garrett gets juiced up by Flowers and he’ll live to see the finale (Samuel L Jackson will be there)
Somewhere in there Deathlok reminded us that he’s still good dad Mike Peterson under the shiny weaponry, Raina (Flowers) reveals she’s involved out of curiosity. That she can’t resist “special people” (can’t say mutants) and that she feels connected to Skye. She also found out that Skye’s parents were “Monsters” (can’t say mutants)