Tuesday 10:00 PM on ABC (Returning September 20, 2016)

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S01E21: "Ragtag"


If "Ragtag" were anything but the penultimate episode of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s freshman season, I think it would have worked better than it ultimately did. Don't get me wrong, the episode was fun, it had its moments, and it nicely set us up for an action-packed season finale by leaving every single one of our heroes' lives in the balance, but after a string of exciting, adrenaline-pumping episodes like the ones we've had since "Turn, Turn, Turn," I can't help but feel a bit let down by "Ragtag." The discovery that Garrett was Patient 0 for the Deathlok program was a cool surprise because it connected two different storylines, and the flashbacks to various points throughout Ward's relationship with Garrett were necessary for us to understand Ward's current motivations, but the result of the flashbacks was a slowdown of the action in the present. They also didn't offer us any real insight; they just confirmed what we already suspected/knew. On a certain level it's forgivable to meter the show's momentum a bit—this is the calm before the storm—but holy sh*t, Ward's backstory was stupid, guys.

Ward has held the title of "S.H.I.E.L.D.'s most interesting character" for the last four episodes, and that's why the flashbacks were so frustrating to me. They didn't enhance this new side of the character, they simply masqueraded as an explanation for his loyalty to Garrett. Flashbacks are supposed to help us understand what's happening in the present, but I didn't see a single thing that I couldn't have figured out on my own, or that made me better comprehend his motivations. The way Ward was talking a few episodes ago, it sounded like there was a specific incident that made him feel indebted to Garrett—so much so that he'd become a ruthless killer. And there was an incident, but it didn't feel all that life-or-death, to be honest.


Fifteen years ago, Ward attempted to burn down his childhood home while his jerk of a brother was still inside it, and Garrett broke him out of juvie with the promise of a new life. And then Garrett pretended to bond with Ward before dropping him off in the middle of nowhere to fend for himself for six months. This was Garrett's misguided attempt to teach Ward survival skills, but at some point you have to look at the situation logically. If a relative stranger promised to show you the world and then abandoned you in the middle of nowhere and told you they'd be back in a few months to check on you, would you actually stay there? No, you would not. You would curse the heavens and hike back to civilization because you're a sane human being.

We're asked to suspend disbelief quite often on TV, but I draw the line at characters acting like idiots. It's true, plenty of people do stupid things in real life, but Ward has proven that he's not stupid. And he wasn't stupid when Garrett found him, either. His troubled and complicated upbringing didn't necessarily give him the luxury of viewing the world the same way many of us do, but knowing that he lived in the woods for six months because some random guy in a turtleneck told him to makes me want to slap him in the face. He was desperate for a father figure, but someone who abandons you, mocks you, and treats you like crap should not be that father figure, even if he seems better than your real father. Garrett is the reason Ward joined S.H.I.E.L.D., but by that point Garrett was already affiliated with Hydra. The only thing Garrett did for Ward was take a troubled kid and warp his mind into an even more jumbled mess. Ward doesn't understand what it's like to be a normal human being. His time in the woods taught him how to survive—he stole from nearby cabins and taught himself how to hunt and fish—but when Garrett returned after six months with the promise of tacos, Ward was like, "I am still mad at you, but I also love tacos." Guys, there were no tacos. Garrett lied about having brought tacos, and not only is lying about tacos punishable by death in at least 36 countries, it's basically a metaphor for their entire relationship. 


Garrett promised to make Ward's life better, but the last time I checked, being a murderer is a step down from being an almost murderer. He didn't care if Ward lived or died out there in those woods, and he didn't care if Ward died last week when he ordered Deathlok to stop Ward's heart to persuade Skye to decrypt the hard drive. Ward was pissed off about that this week, but he still rushed to Garrett's side to fix his mechanical bits—which were necessary because S.H.I.E.L.D. didn't rescue him a bunch of years ago after he was injured on a mission. Garrett basically joined Hydra because S.H.I.E.L.D. left him to die. I get that, but it also feels like a flimsy excuse. 

However, it does explain why Garrett doesn't really give a damn about Hydra or its mission. His priority has always been himself, and he'll lie and cheat and do whatever he has to do to get what he wants, and Ward can't seem to see that. Ward still thinks showing emotions and having friends is a sign of weakness, because it's what Garrett told him 15 years ago. He was hesitant when Garrett gave the order to kill Fitz and Simmons this week, and he admitted he cared for them, but he still dropped their airtight container into the ocean because he didn't want to appear weak. But the fact that he can't see having friends as a good thing—especially a friend like Fitz, who's so trusting and willing to believe Ward can be saved—means he is weak, just not for the reasons he thinks. He's got a weakness for Garrett and for Skye and I'd bet all the tacos in the world that both of those are going to come into play next week in the finale.

I should be concerned for Fitz and Simmson' safety—and I guess I am—but I'm also fairly certain Tripplet will use his grandfather's quarter walkie-talkie whatever to find them. It was flashed about in the scene when Fitz used the EMP that fried Garrett's mechanical bits, so you better believe it's coming back. Do we think either of them will actually die? Because my money is on no. (Am I in denial?) 

On that same note, I should be concerned about Coulson, May, Skye, and Tripplet facing off against some super soldiers, but I'm... not? I guess I'm not a fan of these types of cliffhangers because they don't really pack a punch. It's just a "sit on your hands a wait" kind of situation.


I'm much more interested in the fact that Garrett now has the same miracle goo inside him that saved both Coulson and Skye. To be honest, I thought Raina was a sneaky liar and the serum was going to kill him—that woman is not trustworthy (and I love it)—but I suppose that would have been the wimpiest ending to a villain ever. "I was slowly dying but now I'm dying much faster." So it should be exciting to see what this will do to him and what kind of Garrett we will see in the finale. I'm also fond of the growing threat of super soldiers, though without the serum, I worry the writers are going to pull a "Skye's blood is the answer!" storyline—though I might just be watching too much of The Vampire Diaries

And speaking of Skye, what, if anything, will we'll learn about her monstrous parents next week? S.H.I.E.L.D. hasn't done much with the mystery of Skye's origins since she was shot, which was probably for the best, but the finale feels like the perfect time to bring that storyline back.

I know it might sound like I disliked "Ragtag," but I didn't. At least not as a whole. I actually enjoyed it quite a bit for what it was, which was a set-up episode for the season finale. I just feel like S.H.I.E.L.D. could have A) come up with a better backstory for Ward and his actions, or B) left it out all together. The penultimate episode feels like the perfect time to explain the villain's reasons for being bad, but only when they're, you know, interesting.



DECLASSIFIED CASE FILES


– Everything is connected to Cybertek and I understand the show had a reason for the mission that took up a bit of the episode, but it still felt a bit out of place for some reason. It's not because it wasn't fun—it totally was—but it just felt... disconnected? 

– Ward may or may not have killed a dog. I'm very concerned about this, because ANIMAL LOVER AND ALL, but during that entire scene, all I could think about was this week's Veep, where Dan told Selina he killed a dog. And now in my head Dan and Ward are the same person. Actually, Reid Scott would make a good brother for Brett Dalton. ABC casting, please send my check to kaitlindidyourjobforyou@brilliant.com.

– I kind of hope May kicks Ward in the balls in the finale. She's earned it, right? (That was a nice scene between May and Skye, too.)

–  I work for a secret organization inside a secret organization. By the way, have you heard of it? IT WOULDN'T BE A VERY GOOD SECRET ORGANIZATION IF HE HAD, GARRETT.

– "Looks like the joke's on you!" Good one, Fitz. 

– "I'm waiting for what's inside to be revealed." 

hekaitling:list:agents-of-shield-what-did-you-think-of-ragtag/

 

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 5/17/2016

Season 3 : Episode 22

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Now if Tripplet starts calling Coulson, "Cheese", it's gonna be perfect.
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so didn't anyone think wtf when they were looking at granddads howling commando stuff after Skye uses the EMP and immediately after Fitz uses the laser smokes? how the hell did he set the curtain on fire after the EMP??? They must've got the EMP from the pound shop lol
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I was under the impression that EMPs won't necessarily affect battery powered items when they are turned off as a battery that is not producing electricity is simply a battery acid storage unit. Also, it had a range of ten feet, so it probably wasn't all that powerful anyway.
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lol..not necessarily unless shielded an unpowered device could still be affected due to having circuitry.. makes sense that the laser must've been shielded!
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Nooo not Buddy!!!! It was nice to finally see some of Ward's backstory
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This made me laugh! Thanks, Kaitlin! :D &&& I work for a secret organization inside a secret organization. By the way, have you heard of it? IT WOULDN'T BE A VERY GOOD SECRET ORGANIZATION IF HE HAD, GARRETT.
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he still dropped their airtight container into the ocean because he didn't want to appear weak.

I actually assumed the other way around. If he keeps them around, then they will die cause Garret gets someone else to kill them. If he pushes them out, they have a chance.



Either way, another snoozefest.
Beyond the terrible technobabble this week, I totally agree that Ward's background was so stupid.

I do have to point out that Garret just told Ward his parents didn't want him. Are we supposed to actually buy that? Or are we assuming he flat out lied?

And what the bloody heck? He was a kid in prison, he may have gotten some survival skills in the woods (terrible way to learn them BTW) all by himself and maybe practiced some shots. That might be enough of a basis to put him in Shield but it's not enough to put him as a DOUBLE AGENT in Shield.

Taking a person out of civilization is the absolute worst thing you need to do for a double agent who has to learn above all human interaction.
It was beyond all measures of stupid.

And let me see if I got this straight, Garret was the first deathlock and didn't want to die so he jumped on the Hydra band? Why on earth not just ask Shield to fix him? This is so freaking stupid. He didn't have to steal info, he could just look into it already.

I'm not even asking to contact Tony Stark and tell him it's a secret Shield project (would he really double check him?)

As usual, nothing on this show makes sense.
At least only one more episode to go and we're done with it.

Yeah, it got renewed, but hopefully they'll fix their act by next season.
Though I highly doubt it.
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Eventhough Skye doesn't want to admit it, she maintained the illusion as if she had no feelings for Ward anymore & wished that she should have let Deathlok finished him when she had the chance, (to her fellow agents) but we know she definitely still have feelings for Ward as it was evident when she stared at Wards picture in her laptop when May came into the motel to have a heart-to-heart talk with her... (in which she quickly switched the laptop screen).

So excited for next week to see how this ends.. I'm guessing that Ward will try to redeem himself & in the process of doing so, he will somehow get shot, injured or whatever & die in Skye's arms with Skye weeping over him.
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I am hoping rather than believing that Ward didn't shoot the dog (and yes, I'm one of those who thinks shooting the dog would show worse character than shooting people on a 'mission') and that he was giving FitzSimmons the best chance of surviving (is there a beacon he could have activated on that cube?). I want him redeemed - hope they're not teasing redemption just to have him double down on evil again because that would make me switch off the show. Unfortunately I'm afriad they are going to redeem and then kill him - they are those sort of writers. I'm hoping that all the references to Romanov, who famously changed sides, means that Ward will be like her and change sides successfully as well.

If they do kill him then I hope Skye's powers have something to do with resurrection. Everyone keeps saying she must be a Kree - what powers do Kree's have???

I am more worried about the constant teases that there is someone else on the team who may be a traitor.

Worrying how this show is going to go is taking up a ridiculous amount of my time!
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Being left alone and unprepared in the wilderness for six months, and then forced to kill ones only companion, engenders loyalty? That is definately a novel approach.
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Not to mention teaches you enough about human behavior so you know how to be a DOUBLE agent perfectly. Seriously, he had no interactions with humans let alone having some basic acting skills - How on earth wasn't his cover blown in an organization whose sole purpose is dealing with spies?
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I finally watched the episode.

I was actually more upset about Ward shooing the dog than I was that he ejected FitzSimmons into the ocean. I watch of action shows when people die - but I just don't like seeing animals hurt even on TV.

Ward was already a psychological mess before Garrett me him. I really wish we gotten a bit more insight into how he got there.
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I was the same I was abit of a mess when garret told Ward to shot buddy but when he ejected fitzsimmons I was ok. I don't think Ward actually shot buddy when he fired the shot to scare him away I think it was garret who was hiding in the woods knowing Ward wouldn't do it.
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i 3rd this sentiment. I hope the dog wasn't killed. I have a feeling the finale will probably show him letting the dog go and that he ejected fitz and simmons so they can be retrieved than killed on board. It is still possible he is deep undercover or there's some hints of him turning away from the 'dark side'.
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I think his faith in garret is unraveling and he's realising that when the time comes he can't actually kill the team, he says he can but his emotions are stopping him which is why he dumped them in that completely airtight container probably knowing that those two would be without some sort of tracking devise on them.
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Or that he figured it was actually the best thing to do to protect sitzsimmons since if he lets them live, Garret will just order Mike to kill them.

It was literally their only chance to escape.
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If Fitz and Simmons make it to the next season, I'll send a formal request to JW asking for Fitzsimmons to be inmune to the writers's sickle. That or I'll wrap them up on bubble wrap (specially Fitz, double-layer for him, just in case). Anyone else is willing to sign it? xD
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I'm in.
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I know you are :)
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What the dog was to Ward, Ward is to Garrett. Someone he took care of and in return helped him to survive. But in the end really caring for the dog/Ward would be a "weakness", so after it/he (the dog/Ward) served its/his purpose, he can die. And neither the dog nor Ward can believe, that its/his master (Ward/Garrett) would be willing to kill it/him (dog/Ward).
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Agents of Shield finally got renewed.
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It was a fun episode I enjoyed the flash backs but as said it reinforced what I already thought about Ward and garret, what I really wanted to see is why Ward was so impressionable and damaged before garret hot to him, because Ward is broken and that doesn't come from just 6mounths on your own in the woods. I can't wait for next episode.
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you. did. not. throw fitz simmons in the ocean!!!
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Ward should have been nice enough to shoot a couple holes in the container.
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I cannot fathom why people don't realize it was the only way to save them.
What else did you expect him to do? Hide them on the plane? Take on the entire staff with the 3 of them? Deathlock will just be ordered to rip them apart.

This gives them a fighting chance.
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sure. I know they will be saved. but!
in. the. ocean.
dude! how is that saving them??
if it was over land, then ok, he was "saving them" because the container is tough and they'll survive. but the ocean?? that is a lot of pressure for a metal and glass container.. plus, the air is limited inside.
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I'll take oxygen deprivation over getting ripped apart by Deathlok any day of the week.
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there is that :)
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A solid episode. I'm keen to find out what Skye really is as well as Raina. I loved the moment how Coulson and Tripplet was fanboying over SHIELD tech - that was hilarious! And not to mention Coulson and May (omg...May's big smiles!). Looking forward to the finale!
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I was gushing all over May this episode: 1) Yay, she's back! 2) Her grim but bemused look after Fitz sets the curtain on fire. 3) Her heart-to-heart with Skye. 4) Her remark to Coulson about not burning up the curtain.
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May is awesome now! At first I didn't like her because of her coldness towards others. But now that she had spent some time with the others, I feel that she's becoming more...human(?) with emotions xD haha. I just couldn't stop laughing when she was SMILING like that...it actually scared me! xD
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I have to say, even with the uneventful flashbacks this episode packed a lot into 42 minutes! May and Coulson being fed lines from Fitzsimmons was hilarious, as was the file transfer. We also had a nice little chat between May and Skye, a lot of Fitz's headspace and heroic bits, Raina's machinations with the Skye DNA bit (oh, that girl IS planning something! Think she didn't have another vial? C'mon!) and the end bit with Ian Quinn, pretty packed full of jam if you ask me. Juicy finale set up jam...(and Garrett shot Buddy!)
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Not really sure why I'm still watching this..... curiosity maybe.

I'm purring Ward's character arc up for one of the worst in sci-fi / action TV history.

@Kaitlin, The flashback was all for a different reason I think. It seemed to be all about showing us that Ward was deep down a ('yawn') good guy.

The show made it too obvious Ward will redeem himself at some point, probably by giving his life (because that saves having to justify working with a murderer). This supports a theory of mine though, that this whole turn nonsense was just to replace Ward's character with another, while giving the actor an interesting send-off.

The trouble is, to really have pulled all this off, they needed to give it to an actor that could have played this duplicity really well (Tatiana Maslany type).
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As I agree with 99% of what you said, I'm going to guess that if you're like me, you only watch this crap because there isn't that much to watch on tv (especially on the superhero\sci fi stuff) and that it is just basically 45 minutes you can bear watching while possibly even doing something else...

Again that's me don't know about you.

But I agree. The flashback was the absolute worse. Like everything else, it made no gosh darn sense and yes he clearly is supposed to be a good guy all along.


As for what will be done with him, I don't know if I count the death thing finally it's possible that:
1) He'll die
2) He'll help them and he'll be in prison only to have a super special mission next season that would require him so they'll pull him out and slowly put him back into the field (See: House, Warhouse 13 etc)
3) He'll *almost* die and in the last second we'll see that Skye (possibly with the rest of the team) let him go making everyone else think he died just so they can bring him back later.
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good gawd, did something change with the layout of this site? All discussion posts are in small font and is straining to read. The format is also screwed up in some parts.
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Yep, CSS broken for me, too. Doesn't matter what browser or PC I use.
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My worst fear became a reality, it ended being nothing but Garrett's delusion all along, totally disconnected from Hydra. Centipede is nothing but his search for a few years more, which is very disappointing, at least for me.
Equally disappointing was this flashback about Ward's past. I mean, judging by the last four episodes everyone with half a brain already knew Ward is a very, very troubled individual, they didn't need to spend a whole episode stating the obvious as they did. Even the way Garrett took advantage of Ward's troubled psyche to gain his trust (say what you will, the best way to gain someone's trust is to convince the person that he/she can't trust you) wasn't worthy of my time. Not everything about it was a complete waste of time tough, the way they explored the origins of Deathlok was kind of interesting, Garrett created the whole project to avoid dying.
Anyway, Fitz's effort to convince Ward that he's not as bad as he looks was so touching! I don't know if he really believes Ward is good or if it's his natural (as a nerd) lack of connections that makes him see goodness in Ward, but he was willing to convince all other members of the team that Ward deserves a second chance, despite of all the people he killed or what he helped Garrett to do.
Talking about Garrett I consider him one of the worst villains I've ever seen, he's one of the greatest weaknesses of this first season of Agents of SHIELD. I know that some of my previous comments might have given the impression that I hate him, but that's not it. I was just expecting more of a Marvel villain. Marvel still owes me (as a fan) a more interesting villain in this show, maybe in the next season if there will be one...
Dispite of my disliking him I have to admit that I'm waiting to see what that serum will do to Garrett. As much as I am exciting to see what will happen to Skye, Raina told Ward (I don't know, but I liked the way he got all interested in what she discovered about Skye. I think he does have feelings for her) Skye's parents were monsters. What kind of monsters? Aliens? Creatures from one of the nine realms? Products fo some freakish experiments? Maybe that blue alien Coulson found (I mean, stored) in T.A.H.I.T.I is Skye's mom or dad, who knows?
This season finale will be very promising, if they do it right. But I want to see the end of Garrett, that's for sure. This show will be dead with one more season with a villain like Garrett.
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I suspect that using the word "monster" is going to start becoming a commonplace way of incorporating mutants into the Marvel Cinematic Universe without using the word that is currently property of Fox.
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Well the thing with believe someone is good all goes out of the window when that person tries to kill/hurt you or the person you love. Ward did both he is going to burn!
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By letting them escape from the plane?
He didn't kill them he set them free, we the audience and Ward know they will be fine because the only other alternative was to not kill them thus forcing Garret to order someone else to kill them. And Mike wouldn't think twice...

And considering they had the EMP on them it's not that far fetched to think they have communication or GPS on them since this show is written by morons who think a super evil organization who clearly has problem violating human rights doesn't bother doing a body search on his prisoners.


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Poor Fitz I just want to give him a hug.
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Did they just compare Fitz with a dog ? I loved the first half. It was funny and I actually liked May in first time in 21 episodes. She acted human and I realized that the actress is a amazing at her job. I thought she was a lousy actress to play so stiff.

Do think they reveal Skye's parentage ?

My favorite moment was Coulson geeking out.

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Yes. Fitzsimmons were the people who Ward interacted with most. He saved Simmons and he spent time with Fitz in that no-extraction mission. They are closest thing he had to a friend. Just like that dog.

A weakness that while he could not get rid directly, he chose the roundabout way to do it.
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Young Ward scenes were boring and predictable , anyway with the big revelation that Garrett was patient zero and the original DeathLok , the issue I had was how didn't SHIELD know. Surely a big government agency they would have at least yearly physicals to make sure their agents were in good condition for field work.
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Considering we just saw an evil organization that violated almost every human right in existence didn't even bother to SEARCH ITS PRISONERS
then anything on this laughable show is plausible.

Forget the EMP, FitzSimmons could have recording devices, GPS tracking, explosives, poison gas, etc etc etc

In other words, this show really lacks any form of logic. I mean the whole evil ward thing is dumb as bricks.



But to answer your question, if I had to play devil's advocate on this silliness of a show, I would say that since Garret had multiple traitors in shield, he could have also brought in his own doctor.
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Considering SHIELD did not notice an entire secret organisation within their secret organisation, I am not surprised.
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The simplest answer is that Garret's physician was Hydra. Hydra had infiltrated every corner and crevice of SHIELD, it would've been simple enough to rig his yearly exams.
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Did Hydra also rig every metal detector at every Sheild facility / airport too!
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Why would you think SHIELD agents have to go through metal detectors at their facilities? The agents have specific levels of clearance that allow them to enter areas of the facilities. And since most of them are armed, metal detectors would be superfluous.

And as for airports, all Garret would have to do is show his badge to get around those metal detectors. State and federal officers do that all the time.
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I am having mixed feelings about everything and everyone. I love my Fitzy but I feel like he is being super naïve for no reason. He hurt Garret, which I was like get him. *go Fitz, 90's dance*

Why is Skye so gung hoe WARD is evil. *Girl two episodes ago I saw you with your tongue down his throat. Now I know she didn't know he was bad but *
I find it strange that she who is all bubbly and good is not trying to find some good in him. Her lust/love/friendship/SO went to hate really quickly, even though she did not let him be killed. WTH is Skye? Are her and Raina related. what if Raina is her mom.

Am I the only one who loves RAINA. Is it her beautiful but creepy don't know if she wants to kill you, or screw eyes. She plays her part to perfection. The dress the distain, the persona is just phenomenal. Please keep Raina, I need more flowers in my life.

Ward you are all kind of screwed up babe. But is there room for redemption. Yes!!!!! We know that while he tries to pretend he a crunchy cookie, he is all gooey in the middle. awww..... (Why are people upset that he may or may not have shot the dog. He is redeemable after killing people but if he shot the dog all bets are off. That's just means something is wrong with society. In my the words of Baron's of KMM "PEOPLE ARE F****** UP")

Garret dying somebody called that either last week or the week before. I don't remember who but great prediction.

May and Skye have a mom/daughter/mentor moment. That was good but I would think it would be a little awkward discussing Ward considering May was cougar-ing him and Skye was what he wanted. Though I do wanna see Skye learn to fight.

Tripplet please die in the season finale. No offense to your granddad's cool stuff.

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Do you remember the ep where Skye's partner/boyfriend showed up and she learned that he sold someone out for money? She turned on him quickly too. Skye hates betrayal. Add to the fact that Ward is working for a group with ties to Nazis, and yeah, she totally hates him.
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Wow Kaitlin... you didn't hold back did ya? i personally thought 'Ragtag' was amazing. a great set-up for the finale. what did you want?? seriously? it was the penultimate episode of a show that has been on a roll with a lot of serialized story lines so I don't understand what you or any other negative review expected. did you just not understand any of Ward's back story? because to me it solidified who Ward is right now because he trusted this man, he became a man because of Garrett, Garrett was the only guy that took Ward seriously, and i highly doubt that a stranger would bail you out of Juvie just to dump you in the woods for no reasons.. he had a plan and that plan worked... because now Ward is 100% loyal to Garrett. and the present scenes where all a set-up for the epic finale...
I'd understand people being disgruntled with this episode if it was episode 19/20 because it would serve no purpose other than to show Ward's loyalty to Garrett but the placement of the episode mattered and it worked.

You obviously over-hyped the episode and where disappointed with what you got.
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Honestly, there is no way Ward can be redeemed in my eyes IF he killed either the dog or FitzSimmons. Even then, I have a hard time with it and, depending on how it's handled, would make viewing next season difficult.

Make him like Krycheck. We thought he was good. He wasn't. He may HELP sometimes, but he is out of the circle of trust forevermore.
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MARVEL-AOS-POSTER.jpg

Poster for next week! Article here.

FitzSimmons made the poster! #SaveFitzSimmmons
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I love how Ward is outlined by HYDRA-red highlighting him as traitor.
What I AM worried about is that Simmons mirrors Ward in the poster - maybe she is not HYDRA but some other organisation then?
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Nah. If you look where the logo is broken, ward is the only character whose head is in the hydra logo. All the others are firmly embedded in the shield beige.
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Possibly. Or of the remaining team members, shes just the least-devoted to the cause right now.
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If a guy busted me out of juvie with armed goons and then dumped me in the middle of nowhere, I'd assume he has a plan and doesn't just enjoy playing incredibly elaborate practical jokes on people he doesn't know.
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Or maybe he just died or something happened to him and he can't find you?
It would make more sense to leave him a message to find you and get the heck out of there.
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Garrett's clearly done his homework on how to train killers - leaving Ward in the woods and become attached to the dog, just to make him shoot it (an innocent) after this time. It's psychology 101, removing the moral barriers. I imagine after killing something you love, killing enemies or randoms isn't half as difficult.

There's clearly more to Ward's backstory though, like whatever the hell is up with his family. From The Well, he had two brothers, right, one younger and one older (the bully)? What happened to the younger one? He wasn't mentioned in this episode. I assume something big must have happened for Ward to drive that far and set his house on fire and I'm guessing they deliberately didn't tell us (yet).

Ward was definitely messed up before Garrett came, but he wasn't a cold blooded killer (the attack on his brother read as impulsive to me). He also seemed eager to belong somewhere and prove himself, so the perfect target for a recruiter like Garrett.
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Actually, they did mention both. He (accidentally?) killed his younger brother in the housefire, and then Garrett mentioned his older brother twice.
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No, whichever brother was in the house only almost died ("attempted murder") and I think it was definitely implied that it was the older one, the one who wanted him tried as an adult.
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It's also likely that Ward has really never spent time with people before, other than Garrett. His family is a big mess, then he went to juvie. After that, he hung out in the woods with a dog for six months. Finally he moves to SHIELD and is trained by Garrett as his SO, knowing any relationship he makes is false. After that, he followed orders as a specialist (read: alone) before ending up on Coulson's plane. It's kind of amazing he has any social skills at all.
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Which makes him fooling everyone and being such an amazing liar all that more absurd.
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And yes, there was no explanation for Ward's attachment to Garrett.
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Except for the fact that Garrett was the first person who showed INTEREST in who Ward was, shaped him into the person who he is and Ward feels indebted to Garrett for "making him into a man"?
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There's a difference between saying he's allied with him and worshiping the ground he stands on. Frankly as the flashbacks point out, Ward didn't even spend all that much time with Garret.

This was seriously sloppy writing.
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Well, to be more precise, there was no sufficient explanation why Ward switched off all of his moral compass for Garrett and why he is so attached to him as to do all he did even though by Garrett's own definition attachment is weakness (except when it's convenient for Garrett, I guess).
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The guy was ready to burn down his house to kill his older brother. I think its safe to say that his "moral compass" was already broken by the abuse by the time Garrett found him. And Garrett instead of fixing it like COulson would, broke it evne further.
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No mercy for dog killers! Kick him good, May.
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A few thoughts:
- Garrett must have been the one using the scope and I think he did kill Buddy. Garrett was the one who owned the rifle and we only ever see him give Ward the pistol. Ward wouldn't have had time to shoot the pistol, make Buddy run, and then run back to the vehicle to grab the rifle. Garrett was using the scope to watch Ward to see if he would obey. So I think when Ward told Garrett that he had finished the job with FitzSimmons, that Garrett is going to be instantly suspicious, putting another tear in their relationship.

- It is believable that the pod FitzSimmons were dropped from is waterproof. I think it was Ward's way of sitting on the fence - he doesn't directly kill them, but they have the potential to die still if they don't get rescued before they run out of air. (Ward pressed a few buttons before sending them off so I think he did something to lock the door from the outside too). If that's true, I can see them sharing a heartfelt kiss before passing out, only to be rescued and resuscitated just in time.

- It seems most are theorizing that Ward will either be killed, die trying to redeem himself, or end up back on the team. All of these options seem cliche to me. If there is a second season I can't really see the writers firing Brett Dalton yet (as he is a draw for female audiences). So what if Coulson's team ends up killing Garrett, and Ward is so upset that he takes over for Garrett and becomes a primary bad guy in season 2? It would be fascinating to see his character on the brink of redemption only to turn doubly evil. I'd tune in for that!

- Raina seems to have some genuine respect for Coulson. I'd like to see her turn on Hydra and help SHIELD out... maybe through a connection with Skye if they have similar origins?
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Definitely on board for that kiss. Or at least a mutual declaration of love.
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Ward pressed the lever only after FitzSimmons repeatedly refused to leave the room. Therefore, he considered the slow death of suffocating at the bottom of the ocean worse than a shot to the head.
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That would make no sense since the show clearly parallels Ward pulling the lever in present with the dog being shot.
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oh i think the backstory was necessary. it established Ward as the kind of person who stayed in the woods for months because a random guy told him and he wanted to prove he was worthy for what comes next! yep. clever he may be, intelligent he may be, efficient he may be, but but not all the lights r on upstairs. hydra does seem awefully fond of creepling their assets psychologically...
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Please, please, tell me buddy lived or I will spend the next season (if there is one) hating Ward for real.
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Since you didn't really see Ward with the gun, it's obviously NOT him shooting Buddy (if Buddy was even shot)

Heck, didn't last episode Ward said he did everything Garret asked and Garret said "not everything"?
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Ward killed the dog, but couldn't do it to his face. Ultimately why he was able to dispatch Fitz and Simmons with his back turned.
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he didn't kill the dog, and i think Fitz and Simmons will not die because something about that container will save them, it is a survival container....
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The show clearly parallels the lever being pulled with the trigger being pulled on the dog in crosshairs in the past.

THe parallel would not make sense if he did nt kill the dog.

The whole flashback was from wards point of view so it was clearly Ward behind the sights
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Yes it did because pulling the lever is what SAVES the two of them.
If he wanted to kill them, he would have shot them both or held his ground till they starved to death.

He did the only thing that can actually give them a chance to escape.

That was the point. 2 seconds earlier, we saw him shooting near the dog just to chase it away as a fake out. That was the parallel.

When you saw the rifle, you didn't see him holding it. He didn't even have rifle he had a pistol.

That was likely Garret shooting the dog.
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Funniest scene was Coulson geeking out about the tech Tripplet brought and then Fitz misusing it, DONT KILL OFF FITZ AND SIMMONS!!
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Great episode. have you people seen the preview? There was a short preview right after the credits. Anyway...


SPOILER ABOUT THE PREVIEW



In the preview they show Coulson, May, Skye and Trip, but not Fitz and Simmons. And then there's a still image of the "Agents of SHIELD and the dynamic duo is not there either. I thought it was a nice way not to spoil the cliffhanger and I admit it got me a little worried.
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" I work for a secret organization inside a secret organization. By the way, have you heard of it?" I love that. Paxton cracks me up. It's about time to run across Twister on TBS for the 46,000th time, I always stop to watch.
I also enjoyed the large file transfer. I really like how Cybertek helped out by putting their file storage in a room with big windows. Plus the scene reminded me of Oceans 11 which is always a plus.
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Bill Paxton was such an amazing addition to the cast. He's the funniest villain I've seen in a long time. Genuinely love all his one-liners.
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I like Ernesto. Solid dude.
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Whoa this review negative as heck.

This was one of my favourite episodes of SHIELD so far. The back story with Ward totally made me feel connected to his current motivations. Remember, Garret saved Ward from probably a lot of prison time (he was gonna be tried as an adult). Also, Garret broke him out of juvie using an entourage of agents who busted in with guns, which is totally bad ass and would impress the hell out of a teenage kid. And Garret promised him a meaningful life working for that agency. I would have stayed in the woods too. lol so not a stupid back story imo.

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I never liked the Ward character, cardboard good guy or cardboard bad guy...I find it sad that people think he's MORE interesting since he's been shown as a cold blooded killer...what does THAT say about the viewing public? lol...other than that, it's not a bad show...I'll watch season 2 should it happen.
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Yes, he is a terrible actor who got even worse writers which is why he is such a cliche cardboard.


People are happier because they think it's a slight refreshing pace from his usual schtick. Truth is, quite likely, if he would start bad and turn good they would be equally pleased.

They are not cheering for the bad guy, they are cheering for the 2nd guy.
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I think it says the viewing public like to watch cold blooded killers on their action/drama TV shows for entertainment.
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A secret organisation within a secret organisation that doesn't respect loyalty? How the hell does that work? How could you trust anyone to not stab you in the back?

I do love that most comments here have been along the lines of "Kill a hundred people and whatever, but kill a loyal defenseless dog and you are the worse scum in the world! May you die a horrible horrible death"
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HYDRA's loyalty lies to overall mission, not to the people involved. That's why HYDRA survives all the time. HYDRA agents have no qualms helping to hunt down their fellow comrades as long as that means their cover stays intact.
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AND FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING THAT IS HOLY - DON'T KILL WARD.
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Filler ...

ps. I still hate May and I want her gone. No Skyeward interaction = me sad. More of Fitz/Simmons please! Stop shoving them aside! Agent I don't care about and refuse to learn his name. Can he go now please?
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FitzSimmons are hands down the best part of the show. (For me at least.)
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Topher was the best character on Dollhouse. Whedon loves his geeks.
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Okay some thoughts (some of these are based on the promo at the end of the episode so spoliers alert if you didn't see/wouldn't watch it)



Ward didn't shoot the dog. That was Garrett watching on the scope just to see if he did it, and therefore Garrett doesn't trust that he is over that "weakness". Let's face it, Ward wouldn't (or didn't appear to) want to kill or hurt Skye, and was concerned at the part-revelation about her past. He's sent FitzSimmons out of the plane because he figures they have a chance of survival that way, i.e. when Coulson realises they're missing he'll move heaven and earth to find them plus we know, and it's certainly possible Ward knew, Fitz has that walkie-talkie thingimabob on him.

Though re above it is possible Ward did have a change of heart about the dog and abc didn't want to show him actually shooting him so just cut away before the shot was taken.

Where the hell was Deathlok on the plane? Surely having him around when guarding FitzSimmons would have at least been prudent. I'm figuring he's still in Cuba and is one of the ones under the barbour shop and he'll rush to save the day (somehow) and get the gang out of harm's way. Can't really see any other way they will unless Triplett has something else magic tucked away in that backpack.

FitzSimmons were "oddly" missing from the promo, which means abc wants us to think they won't be in it as they're dead. Come on, that's lame. Of course they are. Even if they are going to die, and I doubt it, they wouldn't just die off camera. I see an extreme heart to heart between Fitz and Simmons while in the container in the ocean. Fitz will finally confess his true feelings for Simmons and offer her the remaining oxygen so she can survive long enough for the team to find her. Simmons will make her own revelation of some kind (doubt it's Hydra related at this point. She's not THAT good a liar anymore). But they'll both offer to let the other live and will disagree. But that heart to heart that I see in my mind will be the most interesting part of next week's episode.

Oh and Coulson and May acting like Fitz and Simmons at Cybertek was classic!
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Loved when Coulson accidentally rolled his R like Fitz by accident.
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Totally agreed - that heart to heart is going to be the episode highlight for me.
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Yeah that being Garret does not hold water:
  • The show would SHOW who it was.
  • The show would not draw parallels with the current events the way it does(Ward pulling the level coinciding with the persona t crosshairs shooting the dog).
  • Garrett would never allow Ward to go onto infiltration mission after failing attachment test, let alone work for him.
  • The whole flashback was framed in the narrative as Ward reminiscing of those events, from WARD’s POINT OF VIEW. Not even single scene took the Pov of someone else. So it would not make sense to suddenly shift the point of view to someone whom Ward has no way of seeing what they did.
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1) Yes they would and if solely to do a fake out next episode. Remember Joss Whedon has done this before in other shows as well including by actually cheating and re-editing flashbacks.
It was stupid then and it's stupid now.

2) Yes they would. He thought he saved the dog by shooting near it hoping it would run away and Ward would think it's dead. He let Fitzsimmons go by letting Ward think they are dead too.

Why? Because if he tell Garret I can't kill the dog or Fitzsimmons then he would finish the job for him. This was the only way to at least give them a chance to go. The story remains the same either way.

3) No, Garret is a moron. He didn't even search his super secret agent prisoners. I think it's safe to say anything to do with a rational protocol is dumb at this point.

Keep in mind that Ward said he would do everything that Garret told him and Garret said "Not everything". Shooting the dog sounds like it fits the bill.

4) Nope, that's you're guessing and by next episode I'm guessing that you'll find out you were wrong. First, NONE of the scenes were from Ward's POV. He wasn't telling it as a story and it surely wasn't from his eyes (otherwise you wouldn't see him in the frame)

Second, remember Ward was holding a pistol and the thing shooting the dog was a sniper rifle. That was clearly someone else.

Are we 100% sure it was Garret? No. For all we know, they can make up that it was actually Fury shooting the dog cause he knew all along that Ward will be a good guy in the end and he'll have someone inside Garret's operations.

That's the dumbest thing I can think of and it's still more logically than any of the other dumb stuff this show put on.

And no, I don't really think that. Most likely it was Garret shooting the dog or a third person. It was NOT Ward.
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Sorry, it won't happen again.
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The flashbacks show that Garrett was an abusive father figure to Ward, using the bad side of tough love on him; and all that mantra on showing "weakness" as a means of control. Unlike others I guess, I do like the flashbacks and see the point of them in showing that at the end of the day, Ward is a non-personality, a pale mirror to Garrett. The final focus point of the latter's total depravity is that when shot with that phial's content, he felt the universe and what should have been an ultimate spiritual experience to anyone else, was one of frightening greed for power.
Strangely enough, I kinda like Raina. She is extremely smart and she is more opportunistic than evil, which makes her all the more dangerous to anyone involved with her. What I really, really don't want is that she ends up being Skye's sister, which is what has been nudged at several times whenever she shows up.
My personal favorite moment was :"be ready for a large data transfer" and the giant file cabinet comes out the window. I usually smile at these antics, but this time I really LMAO. One of those silly stuff that are just hilarious in the moment.
Fritz has a home beacon which Tripplet gave him among the other gizmos, so they are safe for the finale. The sad aspect of that moment in the episode is to poor Fritz's finally understanding that Wrd is beyond saving.
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A bad person can kill all the people they want and may be redeemable but the second they kill a dog....they have crossed into unforgivable. I know Ward let the dog go and I'm sure Garrett was the sniper rifle either way I'm glad they didn't show if it did eventual happen.
Go Fitz for using your little EMP! It was very "Angel" of them to be dumped into the ocean. They'll be fine. Loved May and Coulson in Cybertek. The "file transfer" was hilarious! I'm super excited for the finale but nervous because we don't know if we are getting a Season 2.
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I can't believe you didn't say anything about when Garrett sat in the barber chair and said "Let's show him what Handsome really looks like." All I could think of was your old nickname for Ward :D
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I just thought the same thing. And that maybe some of the writers have read Kaitlin's reviews and it was a message to her :P
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I would like to think that some writers out there actually make an effort to check out what the audience is saying so who knows :)
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Umm... That nicknamed was actually taken from the show... That's how Skye first called Ward.
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I made the same connection between 'Veep' and 'Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.' after seeing both episodes this week. I hate the idea of anything bad happening to dogs. Even just hearing it described upsets me and takes me out of a show. Especially since, in both situations, there was absolutely no reason to hurt the dogs whatsoever. They were just used as examples of a fucked up situation. Which isn't cool.
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Sorry but that shot with the Centipede guys in the darkness trapping Coulson, May, Skye and Tripplet gave me so much Ultron's vibes... they seemed robots rather than Centipede's men. They even had some red light on their heads, Centipede's men don't have any of those, do they? Ugh, maybe it's just my mind craving for A2:AoU...
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I felt that it was alot like the Borg from Star Trek.
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I thought Borg. "Must be assimilated."
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Are you people blind or something? Ward didn't shoot the dog, he just shot in the air, they even show the dog running away, then presumably, Garrett shot the dog with a sniper rifle (that c*nt).
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Except narrative-wise that makes no sense:
  1. The show intentionally parallels Ward saying he cares with Ward "letting dog go" the first time, and then the show parallels Ward pulling the lever in present to doom Fitzsimmons with the person with sniper riffle shooting the dog, showcasing how Ward circumvents his "weakness".
  2. They never show Garret shooting the dog.
  3. Ward not killing the dog would make no sense as Garret would not allow him to work for him, let alone infiltrate SHIELD if he failed attachment test. Let alone he would not believe Ward killed Fitzsimmons.
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Actually, after rewatching the episode, I believe he let the dog go. During the fight between Ward and Garrett, Ward stated that he had done everything Garrett asked of him. Garrett responded, "Well, I wouldn't say everything." So obviously, there was something that Garrett overlooked in order to have Ward on his team. Then, in the flashback, he shoots into the air to make the dog run, and we then immediately see a rifle scope trained on the dog as he runs. I'm betting that was Garrett checking to see if Ward "took care" of Buddy. And yes, the flashback paralleled his situation with FitzSimmons, which I take to mean that he let them go as well.
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@davidholt10 Thanks for speaking up to this person. I am actually beginning to question their mental status. They insist on shooting down every comment that is in disagreement with theirs, even the one's that aren't addressed to them. Who does that? I wondered if I was the only becoming annoyed by it. The show is fiction. Sure it's a joy to discuss it and geek out over it, but one must maintain a balance and not take it so seriously. And it's not necessary that we all agree on every detail. We'll know the truth about what happened with the dog and FitzSimmons in 5 days.
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Garrett would view not being able to take out the dog directly and having to do it at a distance as a weakness.
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There's nothing ambiguous about that scene. Only Ward apologists want to make it ambiguous.

Unless Ward-point-of-view flashback suddenly changed points of view for no reason at all and bunch of plotholes were introduced(like why would Garrett recruit ward if he failed or why would Ward pulling the lever be paralleled to the dog being shot), occam's razor dictates that Ward shot the damn dog.

This reminds me of people refusing to believe he killed Hand because they did not show the bullets enter her body.
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Give it a rest maybe? The scene was ambiguous at best - you don't need to reiterate your opinion of what happened any time anybody says they don't think it was Ward. I couldn't make up my mind what happened after a few watches. Ward shooting up into the air and looking pained was a pretty definite suggestion that he was incapable of doing it (back then at least).

I'm a little bit annoyed that the show went there - killing a dog to prove you've become irredeemably evil is a bit of a cliche. I'm even more annoyed that so many people fall for the emotional manipulation. We've watched Ward kill human beings. Whether or not he shot an animal we've seen him do FAR worse, unambiguously, in the last few episodes.
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Either I'm in a really good mood, or this episode was way funnier than usual. I cracked up pretty hard a couple of times, especially when they 'uploaded' those files by throwing them from the building. And I loved Coulson and Tripplet geeking out over those gadgets. And Coulson's 'Scottish' pronunciation of 'break'.

FitzSimmons will live, right? Right?

Also, if Ward actually shot the dog, he is in no way redeemable in my book. DO NOT HARM DOGS WITH SAD PUPPY EYES. EVER.
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Exactly. Kill 50 guys and I can forgive him. But one dog (or house and sometimes a rabbit) and it's NOPE GTFO!
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FitzSimmons better! That file line was THE BEST.
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Ward's story was definitely a shame. After young Ward befriended the dog it was immediately obvious that he would inevitably have to kill it...and honestly it was only emotional because it was a dog. It didn't really connect well when it was juxtaposed with Ward ejecting Fitz and Simmons, because we know they're going to survive. I loved everything else about the episode, but Ward's story could have been a lot better. Perhaps there's more to his story that will make him make more sense.
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We knew he would be having to kill him to prove his evilness and some of us hoped he would fake it, saving the dog.
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