Marvel’s Agents of Shield Season 1 Review “Ragtag”

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Episode 21 Ragtag (7)

Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD returned tonight with the penultimate episode of their first season, “Ragtag”. There was some great stuff tonight, and some shocking (possible?) deaths, and next week’s season finale was set up perfectly!

The episode started out with a quick flashback to fifteen years ago as we see Garrett (and a full head of hair!) recruiting a young Grant Ward. We kept checking back in on these two over the course of the episode, as Garrett looks to turn Ward into the hardened SHIELD/Hydra agent that we know and love. At first I wasn’t very excited about these flashback scenes, since I didn’t really think I cared about how Ward was recruited. We already knew that Garrett recruited him, and we know they’ve had a very long relationship, so I wasn’t sure they could show me anything that I actually cared about. What we did get was actually really cool, and it really helped flesh out the relationship between these two, and explained why Ward has such an undying loyalty to Garrett. I was interested if Garrett was already an agent of Hydra when he recruited Ward, and was glad to see that was indeed the case. I was a bit disappointed that they cut away before Garrett actually explained to Ward what Hydra actually was. I get that Ward is very loyal to Garrett and everything, but you’d think that when it’s explained to him that Hydra is an organization that spawned from Nazi Germany and fought against Captain America, that this would have given Ward some pause. Did Garrett maybe sugarcoat what exactly Hydra is? Or did Ward hear the full truth of the organization and actually decide that he wants to join them? What would Garrett have done if Ward actually said “Wait a minute, I’d be cool with being an agent of SHIELD, but I’m not sure about these Hydra people.” We know Ward has a conscience, so I would have loved to see this conversation take place.

While I did think that Ward had a conscience, he sure seemed to do something pretty terrible tonight, by jettisoning Fitz and Simmons from The Bus into the ocean! This was a seriously intense and moving scene, but I have a feeling that Fitz and Simmons will pull through. We don’t know exactly what Ward punched into that wall unit, so it’s possible he put some kind of tracking beacon on that box so Coulson could find them. You’d figure that Fitz and Simmons have some oxygen left in that box, and they didn’t fall that far before hitting the water, and lastly I just couldn’t imagine them killing off two characters like that. I wouldn’t be shocked if they decided to kill Fitz or Simmons, but two at once seems like too many to be true. We didn’t see them in the scenes for next week, but I’m sure that’s because they didn’t want to ruin the revelation that they’re OK. I’m sure Ward just wanted to get them off The Bus and away from Garrett.

There was a couple really cool references to the comics tonight, with the first being the great Howling Commando gear that Trip brought in. I like that they aren’t even bothering to explain who or what the Howling Commandos are, instead just figuring that all of their viewers will either know who they are already or just look it up for themselves. I love that they’re giving their viewers enough credit to know what they’re talking about.

Another big nod to comic book readers was the reveal that Garrett was actually the original incarnation of Deathlok! Of course this wasn’t the case in the comics, but comic book fans knew that the character of Deathlok has been a revolving door of multiple people playing the character. It was interesting to hear that Garrett only had a few months left, but now he has some “Jesus Juice” in him, so we’ll see what that means for him next week.

We got a little more info on Skye tonight, but only that her parents were monsters that burned a village down in order to find her as a baby. I’m not sure if the word “monsters” was meant to be literal or figurative, or why her parents had to search for her as a baby in the first place, but I kind of wish they would just drop this story line for a little while. I don’t really care about Skye, and there’s much bigger fish to fry on this show, so I think they can leave that for next season. In the meantime, do we have any theories as to who her parents might be? Are they characters we’ve already met or know from the Marvel Universe? Or will they be totally different characters? I guess we’ll see soon!

What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments section below!

Random Thoughts:

– I liked hearing that Ward was in jail for burning down his house with his brother still in it. Hearing about the violent relationship between him and his brother in an earlier episode really helped set that up nicely. That is unless he was lying to Skye in order to get her to feel closer to him! Now I’m questioning everything!

– Ming-Na Wen in nerdy glasses was really working for me!

– I loved hearing Clark Gregg and Ming-Na accidentally slide into those accents. They could definitely use some work!