Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2: Can Ward Be Redeemed?

Agent Grant Ward was once Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s least interesting character. With his chiseled jaw and nonsense demeanor, Ward was kind of a killjoy, the stereotypical good guy– slap a pair of glasses on his face and he could have been Clark Kent. Then season one entered its second act and Ward was revealed to be a dog-killing, Fitz damaging Hydra agent in what remains the series’ best twist to date. This season, Ward has been hanging out in the basement occasionally attempting suicide, working out and trying to woo Skye over to his side by promising to never lie to her again, a promise it is worth noting he has kept so far.

In the most recent episode, Coulson turned Ward over to his senator brother, a man who Ward claims made him torture their younger brother. The senator has a different story, of course. According to him, Ward was always a budding psychopath. Maybe it is because Ward was a member of the core team or maybe it was just the look of terror in his eyes when Skye told him they had struck a deal with his brother, but Ward’s assertions that his problems started with his big bro rang true. Since he was last seen handily taking out the guards who had him en route to his brother, it is safe to assume Ward is probably a free agent now.

Where he goes from here could be the determining factor in whether or not Ward can be redeemed. The man is a murderer, he dropped Simmons and Fitz into the ocean and he remained loyal to Garrett to the very end. That is a long list of transgressions and honestly, outside of his blind devotion to Skye, Ward is just…well, the guy is nuts. Actually, even his devotion to Skye is unsettling. Ward has been conditioned to be incapable of functioning without having someone to follow. If his issues began with his brother does that make him anymore sympathetic? It would still mean he would eventually hitch his demented wagon to another unstable megalomaniac if his loyalty to Skye ever dissipates.

There is no question of whether or not Ward is an interesting character. He is absolutely fascinating. My question is, can the show ever bring him to a point where he can find some level of redemption? Is he truly a broken man or just a superb liar? In order for Ward to even begin to redeem himself, he would have to make a grand gesture, or perhaps a sacrifice, and it would have to be for someone other than Skye to actually carry any weight. The damage he has done to Coulson and his crew is irreparable. Fitz, who believed in Ward with so much ferocity, will never be the same because of Ward’s actions. Furthermore, Simmons and Skye have gotten harder and darker because of his betrayal. Ward would have to do something epically selfless in order to prove he is not a monster.

As a fan of the series, I still want Ward to have a second chance. We saw his memories at the well, and yes, memories can be fallible, but I am not ready to write Ward off yet. He will never be a good guy, but maybe he does not have to be a lost cause either. There are many agents with dark pasts– just look at Natasha (Black Widow). If she can work on wiping the red out of her ledger, can’t Ward do the same?

What do you think? Can Ward be redeemed? Do you want him to be redeemed? Sound off below.

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