The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season one penultimate episode was a mix of “hate-fu” and monsters and that was just from Skye. This show offered viewers backstory on Grant Ward, more information on just what Agent Garrett really is and there is a tie-in to the first Captain America film when Triplett brings in his grandfather’s Howling Commandos spy gear.
The episode opens with a young Grant Ward who has been placed in Juvenile Hall, aka prison, after burning his parent’s house down. Unfortunately Ward’s brother was in the burning building. It is in this environment that John Garrett approaches the young criminal. Making him an offer that’s hard to refuse, the HYDRA agent breaks Ward out of jail.
In present day, circumstances with the remnants of S.H.I.E.L.D. are still crucial and Deathlok assassinates a drug lord who had connections with HYDRA. While Coulson and his team wonder what the meaning is behind the death of the villain, they decide Garrett wants the GH-325 to augment the Centipede virus. The agents take on Cybertek to break into their computer system.
To help them out Triplett brings in those WWII spy gadgets to help the team infiltrate Cybertek. Garrett is dying in Cuba and as the HYDRA group prepare to leave their barbershop lair, Raina tells Ward that she’s found information that says Skye’s parents were monsters, the kind that destroyed an entire Chinese village looking for her. Meanwhile, Melinda May tells Skye that she’s focussed all her rage against Grant. Skye says that she’d like to have “hate fu” like that. This penultimate episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. reveals a much about Ward, Garrett, Skye and Fitz.
Coulson and May disguise themselves as Fitz and Simmons to infiltrate Cybertek. After discovering that the files in the company are not in a computer, the two throw a filing cabinet out of the window once they find that it contains information that shows Garrett was the first Deathlok creation back in 1990. The agents have worked out that the “biotek” HYDRA spy wants the GH-325 for himself.
The team head down to Cuba to get Garrett, Ward and their bus back. Splitting up, Simmons and Fitz head to the bus and Coulson, May, Skye and Triplett enter the barbershop lair. In between these current day events Ward’s backstory continues in flashbacks. After being rescued by Garrett, the agent then leaves the young Grant out in the middle of woods with a dog.
Telling the young man what he’ll be back in two months, he returns after six. Ward has survived and actually thrived in Garrett’s absence and the next thing on the agenda is teaching Grant combat skills. Later, when Ward is accepted into S.H.I.E.L.D. training, Garrett demands that the younger man kill the dog. When he hesitates, the HYDRA agent asks if this will be a problem and indicates that it is Ward’s weakness.
At the show’s end, Garrett tells Ward to kill Simmons and Fitz, after the latter mortally wounded him by hitting an EPM gadget and short circuiting his bioware. The same weakness still applies to Ward when he ejects the two in a pod from the bus in the middle of the ocean instead of killing them outright. Meanwhile, back at the barbershop Coulson and his crew wind up surrounded by super soldiers while Ian Quinn offers to sell two military leaders a thousand of the super troops.
This week’s episode went a long way toward explaining what went into the creation of Grant Ward, why John Garrett defected to HYDRA and what the GH-325 was really needed for. Viewers also learn a bit more about Skye and her backstory. Despite the fraught pacing of the show, combined with the nostalgic look at Ward and Garrett’s backstory, there were still some splendid comical moments.
Fitz setting the curtains on fire with a cigarette “laser,” the discovery of the EPM and Coulson and May’s undercover performance as the two scientists on the team were some of the comic highlights on the show. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in their penultimate episode before the season one finale consisted of monsters, in Skye’s past, and DNA? It also showed how at least one member of the team, Melinda May was going to use her “hate-fu” to take Ward down. The season finale will air next Tuesday, May 13 on ABC.
By Michael Smith