Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 1.21: "Ragtag"

“I am not that scared kid anymore.”
“Then stop acting like it!”
- Ward and Garrett

Welcome to the penultimate episode of season 1. We dive right in to Ward’s past. We find him fifteen years earlier in juvenile detention. Garrett comes to him and offers him a chance to join his super-secret organization to keep him off death row for maybe almost killing his older brother on purpose. Ward seems interested and they bust him out with a tactical team. It seems pretty obvious why Ward would join up with Hydra. He is not a nice guy. Then again neither is Garrett. Garrett takes Ward out to the middle of nowhere and tells him to survive on his own in the wilderness for a few months and then he’ll maybe take the kid to SHIELD. I’m not sure what this supposed to teach Ward, other than to be completely self-reliant.

The team is still chilling in the hotel when they see a news feed of a drug lord being killed by a monster. It’s really Deathlok and the team knows it. Before FitzSimmons can question too much why Hydra is taking out drug lords, Coulson calls a team pow wow and they come up with the plan to get into Cybertech so that Skye can plug in a flash drive and gain access to the Trojan she planted on the drive. She didn’t have time to build in a way for her to hack from anywhere so they need to be on the system. So Coulson gets them an appointment with R&D. Fitz is still worried that Ward may be somewhat innocent in all this. Yeah, buddy I doubt it.

While Coulson and Triplett are geeking out over some of Triplett’s grandfather’s whacky old spy stuff, Ward is moping about Garrett ordering Mike to almost kill him. But Garrett’s mood doesn’t seem to dampen. He gets the good news that the serum is almost ready and that they should have initial result soon to see if the version of the drug that saved Skye and Coulson works. They of course make the mistake of uploading it to their system (so Skye can get at it). Mike is still annoyed that Hydra is keeping his son in a cage but Raina seems more interested in Skye’s DNA. She makes a comment about her and Skye being similar. Which makes me wonder if she is an 0-8-4 as well. I highly doubt we are going to find out what Skye’s deal is before the season ends next week though.

Coulson and May go in to the R&D meeting and FitzSimmons hilariously try to feed them lines that sound all science-y but they just come off kind of rambly and awkward. Which was totally adorable. Skye does her hacking thing and finds that there’s some reinforced walls on the fourth floor so Coulson and May use some hand-to-hand to get past some people and into what they think is the server room. It’s actually just a giant file room. They are looking through the files just to see and find one on Deathlok going back to the 1990s. It turns out that Garrett was the first Deathlok. Since the information is only stored on paper, they toss the entire filing cabinet out a window and then zip line out of the building using their belts. Gotta say it felt very A-Team and I liked it.

We briefly see Ward huddled in the rain as a kid before it cuts to him continuing to bitch at Garrett for thinking he (Ward) is weak. Then of Garrett has a bit of a malfunction. The SHIELD team figures out that Garrett made himself part mechanical and it seems he wants to super serum to solve his own health issues and if he creates some super soldiers for Hydra on the way, they yippee for him. But the team also catches a break when they find several Cybertech shipments all landing in Cuba. How our team is going to get there, I’m not quite sure. We also get a nice scene with May and Skye where May basically says she’s furious with Ward but she’s bottling it up until they meet again and then she’s going to unleash it on him. Good on her.

Down in Cuba, Raina tells Ward that she doesn’t think Garrett is going to be interested in her findings about Skye. In addition to medical records and her DNA, Raina thinks that Skye is a baby from a province in China where everyone but said baby died and supposedly the baby’s parents were the “monsters” that killed everyone. Well that’s more than we knew about her history before so maybe I was wrong and we will get answers. It kind of falls in line with a few theories I’d read about her. Garrett and his crew are packing up the lab and Ward lies to Garrett about what Raina told him. Interesting. Our heroes are at least in Cuba and they’ve figured out that Garrett was using the barber shop as cover. FitzSimmons finds the plane and unfortunate Ward finds them. But thanks to some quick thinking by Fitz, he at least kills all the electronics on the plane with an EMP buzzer.

Back in the day, Garrett shows up after six months to find Ward self-sufficient. Their next lessons is shooting. We jump forward in time a bit where Ward is at least played by the actor who normally portrays him and they’re having a conversation about what happened to Garrett (that led to the whole mechanical implants thing). He says he got nailed by an IED and SHIELD basically said screw it. So he ended up joining up with Hydra. I’m guessing that’s how he got Ward involved as well. The next assignment is infiltrating SHIELD…and shooting his dog. He sends the dog off running and then shoots him at long range. Bastard.

While Coulson, Skye, May and Triplett try to find the system to upload the rest of the Trojan, Ward is given orders to shoot FitzSimmons. Raina is infusing Garrett with the super soldier serum that Raina created. And Ward shows his true colors by sending FitzSimmons out an airlock into the ocean. I really hope they survive. The serum seems to work though he goes all crazy. Back at the barber shop, Triplett uses one of his grandfather’s gizmos to find a hidden door. Just as they are about to bust in, a centipede soldier shows up with what looks like the Berserker staff. Quinn goes to DC to sell the super soldier program. I’m guessing that won’t end well for anyone!

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