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28 April 2014 @ 04:56 pm
Fannish post - Agents of Shield  
This is the show that disappointed me the most back at the beginning of the season. The one I had anticipated the most highly, and the one I ended up dropping after something like 6 or 7 episodes. But a friend of mine (kistha) kept watching, and eventually she told me it had picked up and gotten quite a bit better. So, over the past few days (and one very sleepless night) I have caught up.

And holy cow! It got a LOT better. I think my absolute love for Captain America: The Winter Soldier may have helped a bit, but I am totally obsessed! I love how they've tied in the series with what happened in the movie, and how we as viewers get a deeper look at...wait, should I be spoiler cutting now? Ok,
I LOVE how we get a deeper look at Hydra's infiltration of SHIELD. I love the awesome stars they've gotten to play key roles (Bill Paxton, Saffron Burrows). I love what they've done with Agent Ward, who honestly, I just couldn't care much about until recent episodes. Sure, he was a badass, but I never felt emotionally invested in his character until HE WAS REVEALED AS EVIL.

Does that say something about me? Probably. Anyway, I love what they've done with him. It makes him much more complicated and infinitely more interesting. And also more actually badass. Just saying.

Also, Skye: I had a hard time in the beginning really liking her character. Well, any of them (except Coulson). The show just didn't give us enough about any of them to invest in. I think I emotionally invested in her shortly before she was shot. And then when she was, I really felt her struggle to survive, and the emotional responses of the team (particularly Coulson) to almost losing her. After that, I started to care.

Then we have the Skye/Grant relationship. I didn't really care about that, either, until I started to care about Skye. And still the relationship, or hints at it, were boring to me until Grant TURNED EVIL. Now there are all of these interesting sharp edges and deep chasms. Does he actually have feelings for her? He seems rather like a sociopath, someone who doesn't care about anyone, or anything, and to whom killing is much easier than having a real conversation. He keeps referring to her as the unknown or unexpected factor that he never counted on, which means that somehow, yes, she did induce some kind of feeling in him. His intimacy with May was coldly calculated (how cool was that, when he coolly outlined how he gained the team's trust, starting with choosing to get intimate with May because she was clearly the biggest threat and that would give her a presumable emotional connection to him, and then continuing with him "sacrificing himself" to save the others cementing his place on the team. So. Awesome.) Anyway, he has acknowledged that he admires Coulson, and has feelings of some kind for Skye, but his loyalty to Garrett is absolute.

Why? Garrett clearly treats him differently from the other Hydra schmoes. I have a THEORY. I think Garrett is the older brother who terrorized Grant and forced him to be abusive to their younger brother. I think Garrett made Grant into the cold and calculating killer that he is, and established absolute dominance over him  when they were young, making Grant as an adult unquestioning in his loyalty.

Which begs the question, what would it take to break that hold? There were a lot of interesting parallels in that episode between the monster and the cellist, and Grant and Skye. The monster was obsessed with the cellist because he believed she was somehow the one who could "save him". Is it possible that Skye is the unforeseen factor that could turn Grant away from his loyalty to Garrett?

But that brings me back around to Skye. Poor Skye. Sure, she and Grant have flirted all season, in their way. But her feelings for him or about him still seem really unclear to me, maybe even more unclear than Grant's about her. However, I do think she admired him, and was attracted to him. She just didn't know him well enough to feel more. But how horrible would that be, you just had this really hot make out session with the guy you've been flirting with and maybe-thinking-about-more with, the guy who has just opened up to you in a way that makes you think wow, maybe there is something more here. And then you are faced with the stunning realization that he has just committed the cold blooded murder of someone else you were maybe a little fond of, stashed the body, and proceeded to make out with you will still covered in his victim's blood. Skye's reactions here were so good. Her puzzlement about the penny, her horror and shock when she found Agent Koenig's still cooling body and realized the blood on her fingers, blood that had transferred to them from Ward, was his. Her absolute falling apart for a few minutes while she knew Ward was coming to find her, and she was stuck alone in a secure facility with a man who could kill her with his pinky and probably not think twice about it...

I have to tell you, I was on the edge of my seat with this. When Ward opened up the door and the penny fell into his hand, I was so relieved I whispered "good girl" to myself like three times. And then Skye pulled it out and did the acting moment of her life. Ward's turn with the uber-lie detector earlier in the episode? Had nothing on Skye lying to his face and pretending nothing had changed in those moments. I think part of Skye was still hoping she was wrong, right up until she asked him directly if he'd seen Koenig, and Ward lied to her about having just spoken with him. I can just see her thinking and hoping there is some other explanation, and then having that thin hope dashed by his response. She really is talking to a highly trained killer, and her life depends utterly on her ability to lie to him.

So, the question is, what happens next? What do you think? Theories? Thoughts? Do you think Ward really has some kind of twisted love for Skye, or was his response to the lie detector merely a reference to her ability to crack the hard drive? Do you think Skye still feels any vestige of softer feelings for Ward, or is she just caught in a place of horror, terror, and a will to live through it? Will Ward survive the end of Season 1, or will they kill him off? Will he remain an uber-villain for next season, or will he turn from Hydra?

I hope they keep him. They've done a really interesting thing here with his character, and it would be a shame to waste it. IF they plan on turning him from Hydra, either this season or next, they have their work cut out for them. They've taken his character to some really dark places, and redeeming him from that will be no easy task. They'll have to really delve into his history, and how he got this way. Of course, this is not the first time Joss and co have gone down this road. Angel did some truly horrific, unforgivable things as Angelus (Jenny Calendar), yet he was ultimately redeemed. I think Ward's revelation as EVIL just made this show and his character about 1000 times more interesting. The journey from here could make or break the series.