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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Ragtag – Season 1 Episode 21

Finally, we get to hear about Ward and Garrett’s past together. More importantly Coulson and his team are on the move. They’re now taking the fight directly to Ward and Garrett, or at least they will once they find them.

Recap

Back in the hotel the SHIELD team is trying to track HYDRA’s movements. Coulson and May presents the team with a convenient breakdown of their situation until now, including a nice little bubble map that shows how everything is related to a company called Cybertek. Coulson and the team are going to attack Garret and Cybertek by using Skye’s Trojan horse in the SHIELD data. The team mobilizes without backup to do the right thing…and get the plane back.

Using some old SHIELD tech, the team infiltrates Cybertek in order to find the connection to Garrett. When they get there, they’re surprised to find a room full of paper files instead of computers. They realize that Garrett has been working on the Deathlock program for decades and that he was the original patient zero for the team. They realize that his endgame has been helping his own body the whole time. The happy side effect is using that technology to build super soldiers.

Back on the plane we see a lot of Garret and Ward. During flashbacks from the episode we see that Garret took word out of jail when he was younger. Apparently Ward had attacked his own brother or at least attempted to set a house on fire with him in it. According to Garrett he was going to be brought up on charges and tried as an adult. Garrett offered him a way out and training for something much harder than anything he had done before. After dropping Ward off for weeks of survival training Garrett shows back up and trains him directly. Garrett reveals to Ward from the very beginning that he’s working for HYDRA and that he’s got a vendetta against SHIELD because of his injuries. Garrett’s been like a father figure to Ward, a father figure that’s brought him up to be an emotionless killer.

Currently, Garrett is working on expanding his reach by using Quinn and Ward. However, Raina is working on something else. It seems like Raina has been looking in to special individuals like Deathlock and Skye because she believes them to be similar to her for some reason. It turns out that she heard about the incident preceding Skye being found as a baby. It turns out that she believes Skye’s parents were actually the “monsters” that killed everyone.

The SHIELD team splits up and goes after Garrett’s team. Fitz-Simmons find the plane with everyone loading it to leave. Coulson and the rest of the group are back at the barber shop and looking to use the computers there to wake up the Trojan Horse. While they’re doing that, Fitz-Simmons are captured by Ward and taken on to the plane. When they’re on board, Fitz sets off the EMP and shorts out Garrett’s life supporting enhancements. This sends Garrett into arrest and he gets Raina to use the synthesized miracle drug to help him and orders Ward to kill Fitz-Simmons. Ward ejects Fitz-Simmons from the plane into the ocean, not killing them, but definitely not helping them. After the injection Garrett seems to be better than ever.

At the end of the episode, Coulson’s group is confronted by a Centipede soldier and left at a standoff. Fitz-Simmons are floating in the ocean somewhere. Quinn is selling the government on the super soldier technology. Things are looking pretty good for Garrett right now.

Favorite Moments

  1. Trip and Coulson fanboying over the ancient SHIELD tech.
    We know that Trip’s grandfather was a Howling Commando. The scene where Trip brings out his grandfather’s tech is actually really fun. Just seeing them both pretty much forget about the seriousness of their situation so they can play with their toys.
  2. May and Coulson impersonating Fitz-Simmons.
    How could you not love this. Everything from the nerdy get-ups to the rambling voice over was just really amusing.
  3. Hate-Fu.
    These little Skye-May one on one’s seem like they’re becoming more frequent. They’re usually a nice little aside to the episodes that don’t feel forced. I liked that May is being open with Skye and it seems like she could take over the mentor role that Ward vacated.
  4. The File Room.
    I don’t know exactly why this choice was made, but I lol’ed when I saw that Cybertek kept everything on hard copy. Especially when it came to May and Coulson’s “file transfer”
  5. Pablo Jimenez
    I guess Coulson has an alias for ordering pizza now. These kinds of little moments are what SHIELD and the Marvel Cinematic Universe do well. Apparently the alias even started trending on Twitter after the episode, so I guess he’ll need a new one now.

Commentary

I was really hoping that the story between Ward and Garrett would be something a little more interesting. In the end their story is really that Garrett got a hold of Ward when he was younger and has just raised him to be this way. Ward goes along with it because it really didn’t seem like he had any other appealing options. So it’s like Ward’s the kind-hearted son that’s part of an evil family. So he’s still evil, he just doesn’t always feel good about it.  It’s pretty clear that the show is leaving the door open for Ward to get some kind of redemption. When they showed him not killing the dog and not killing Fitz-Simmons it was really just an admission that they’re not done with Ward yet.

It was interesting that Garrett has pretty much not lied to Ward about anything. I was expecting to hear that he had been keeping secrets from him but, as near as I can tell, he’s been up front with him about everything. I was a little surprised by the revelation that Garrett was the patient zero for the Deathlock program. Again, his backstory wasn’t as original as I would’ve hoped. It’s the old story of a soldier feeling used or betrayed and turning on his old employers. It’s not terribly original, but I was surprised that they even went into it.

This episode also starts to tease Skye’s origin story again. I was wondering how that was going to come back around with all the change that’s been happening. Fortunately, Raina seems to be not only interested in Skye’s origin but, possibly, tied to it. I have no real idea what they’re going to make Skye out to be. If Raina’s right then that would suggest that Skye is either completely alien or that her parents were some kind of meta-human that people could mistake for a “monster”. I’m wondering what kind of alien she could be if her medical records haven’t raised any red flags up to this point. Based on Raina’s research it just looks like she has some DNA anomalies, which would suggest that her biology is human or something very similar.

My last thought about this is that I think I finally get what they’ve been doing with Fitz. Normally, in a situation like Ward’s the person who would be distraught and trying to win him back would be his romantic interest, Skye. Instead, Fitz is the one who just can’t process the idea that Ward would betray them. I’m wondering if he’ll still hold that belief after Ward ejected them from the plane (he probably will). Based on that, if Ward is to be saved, it will likely be because of Fitz. I think I just had a hard time realizing that because Fitz has had such a hard time dealing with everything and it just generally makes him seem like a bit of a pansy when it comes to dealing with anything he doesn’t like. Instead it turns out he may just be faithful. You know, like a puppy.

Overall, this wasn’t my favorite episode of the show. I kind of preferred the previous weeks in the secret base. Even so this episode was still fun and seems like a pretty good set-up for the season finale next week.

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