Agents of SHIELD -Episode 21

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

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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.

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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)

Agents of SHIELD Episode 8

The post-Thor episode.

Asgardian stuff. Simmons is ducking her fam. She hasn’t talked to them since before she almost died (After coming into contact with the Chitauri helmet). Her parents will want answers, and being a member of a covert organization… she can’t give them.

Heavily accented 20 somethings cut down a Norway spruce and remove a metal staff with Norse carvings. The female touches it with her barehands and starts to scream as the symbols transfer onto her body. Then she lets go. Approached by park rangers, she pushes one and he goes flying.

Agents of SHIELD arrive. They investigate while the streets of Oslo erupt into violence. The streets burn with the words “We Are Gods” they are leaders of a Norse Panganist hate-group. Interesting. Especially as the image of Thor’s Hammer has been adopted as a symbol by neo-nazi groups for some time because  Hitler glorified the Aryan/Norse look. Which leads me to be suspicious of anyone decorated by that particular symbol. Do they just like viking metal? believer in the Old Traditions ignorant of the symbol’s incarnation as a racist amulet? Or Nazi fuckhead?

Coulson says that Thor has been “off the grid” again. No cell phone. Probably would be some epic roaming charges if he did.

-But have you seen textsfromsuperheros.com ??

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Anyway. Spectacular Spider-Man alum Peter Mac Nicol (who played Dr. Octopus in the totally unrelated Marvel TV world) guests as the Norse expert. He unveils that its part of the Berserker staff. Belonged to a Berserker Warrior. Uncontrollable rage, etc. A warrior brought it to Earth, but he fell in love. He didn’t go back to Asgard with his army, he broke the staff in three and hid the pieces.

So it’s a race to find the rest.

They search an abandoned church. Ward and Skye go in. Ward finds the professor has beaten them there and stolen the artifact. Ward grabs for it. Bare handed. But he drops. Skye rushes to find him. The professor runs for it but is stopped by the hate-group.

Coulson finds the professor but the staff is gone.

Ward is being examined by FitzSimmons while Skye looks on. Skye tries to get him to open up about what happened when he touched the staff (a memory of his brother is triggering a hyper adrenal response). But he becomes a super jerk instead. He insults Fitz, Simmons and Skye. The only person suited to deal with him is Agent May who dodges a punch as he tries to work it out.

Meanwhile, the Norse Paganist hate-group is making more super skinheads.

Ward confesses to Coulson that he’s compromised. He’s reliving the first moment that he felt hate. Coulson says that he’s admitting it means that he can be trusted. He sends Ward to get info from the professor. Ward tries to stab him, the Professor bends the knife in his hand. He’s Asgardian. Go figure. (So… how did some suped up street thugs get the drop on him?)

The Prof. is the Asgardian Warrior who stayed behind. He met a French girl in 1646 which is where he confessed and the myth began. He broke rocks in Asgard. When called to join the army, he was thrilled. But he didn’t get the thrill from the rage the way the others did.

The professor tells Ward that the effects will wear off in a couple decades. Greeeatt. 

The group is close behind as they reach the monastery for the third piece. Ward smacks down the whole room holding two pieces, his brother begging for his life in the back of his head. They’re all bloodied and not moving. Ward is beaten and collapses in the heap. As another enters, he goes to grab for the staff. But May gets there first. She says he needs to let her help. And she smacks down blondie with no issue, she reassembles that staff and sets it down.

Later, Ward asks May how she could stand it. But she “sees it every day.” Unlike Ward who locked his traumatic past away.

At the bar, Skye tries to tell Ward that she’s there for him, she knows he’s not one for talking… blah blah. But it’s not talking he wants. He retreats to his room, he sees May returning and she leaves her door open behind her. 

Great episode. It was just really great. Except we still have no inkling about May’s past after having yet another entry into Ward’s sad sad childhood. (and his brother was drowning in a well? who has a well? Did little Whedon just google “generic sad thing” or what?)

But it was interesting.

Peter MacNicol’s guest appearance and reveal as an Asgardian was rad. 

What will Ward and May’s hook up mean for team morale?