Agents of SHIELD – S1E18 – Providence – Recap

paolo rivera agents of shield provedence

It was interesting watching this episode to see how much posturing SHIELD agent turned traitor Grant Ward was doing. Was this just overacting on Brett Dalton’s part? Is Ward really as callous as he was acting here? Or is Ward overdoing it in front of Hydra on purpose, in order to sell his betrayal of SHIELD to them when he’s actually playing Hydra?

Part of me wants Ward’s betrayal to be a long con to infiltrate Centipede and Hydra set up by Coulson and Victoria Hand that would make Danny Ocean proud. But I just can’t figure out a way that makes logical sense for that to be the case.

Here’s why I think Ward might still be on the side of the angels. Rewatching last week’s episode, Turn, Turn, Turn, I noticed that Ward shoots Hand in the gut on his first shot. His second and third shots into her are while she’s on the ground off-camera. Could these have been non-fatal shots too? That, combined with how over the top he was trying to prove himself as not a nice guy this week, made me think that maybe he’s still SHIELD.

My Ward still being a good guy theory is completely blown apart by a few things. One, I’m pretty sure that before he shoots Victoria Hand, he shoots the two other agents of SHIELD on the plane in the face. And once inside the Fridge, Ward goes out of his way to unearth the hidden gravitonium, which even Garrett didn’t know was there.

It was interesting listening to Ward explain how deliberately he conned everyone. Pretty much everything he did this season he claims was to further infiltrate SHIELD and keep suspicion off himself, going back to his recruitment by Coulson. Even his sexual relationship with May was a way to keep May, who his considered the most dangerous member of the team (with good reason), from suspicious of him. Ward told people what they wanted to hear from him, whether they realized that’s what they wanted to hear or not. Clearly, thinking of Ward as just the guns and muscle of Coulson’s crew has been a mistake. He’s a serpent. And to drive it home, he even carries a new expression on his face now that he’s a villain.


Evil Ward, complete with bad  guy scar.

The other most interesting part of this week’s episode for me was seeing Raina’s reaction to meeting The Clairvoyant and finding out that he wasn’t the mystic she thought he was. Garrett seemed to revel in having tricked her. Ward too. There was just something so classic movie villain about the way Garrett and Ward acted this episode that it slightly irked me. I half expected them to say “Mwa-ha-ha” after each of their lines.

agents of shield all the bad guys providence

Garrett gets the whole gang back together. This is the SHIELD equivalent of the Iron Sheikh, Nicholai Volkoff and Ted Dibiase teaming up.

I really liked seeing Patton Oswalt as Agent Eric Koenig, the head of Fury’s secret base, in this episode. As he was giving the tour of his very isolated base, I couldn’t help but think that he was the Desmond of Agents of SHIELD. I kind of wish his first scene showed him working out to the sweet sounds of Mama Cass’s “Make Your Kind of Music.”


“Lanyards for everyone!”

The past few episodes of Agents of SHIELD have been great. I’m really enjoying this series, and really like how the creators of the show intertwined it with the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I can’t wait to see how this season turns out, especially now that Ward is reunited with Coulson’s team, and they have no idea who they’re dealing with.