Next week we will see the last episode of season 1 of Agents of SHIELD. Many fans, me included, are crossing their fingers and hoping the show will not be cancelled. I am hopeful, the ratings have stabilized and have even seen a slight rise since the start of the Hydra Uprising storyline. The show seems to have found solid footing with its characters as well, something that was lacking during the first ten episodes. With all the buzz surrounding Captain America 2 and the upcoming Avengers 2: Age of Ultron movie it seems unlikely that Joss Whedon will allow this to end after just one season.
This weeks episode of Agents of SHIELD is entitled Ragtag, after this there is only one more episode left.
In a series of flashbacks, a teenage Ward is seen meeting Garrett at a juvenile detention facility, where he is being held after trying to burn down his family’s home. After agreeing to join the secret organization Garrett says he works for, Ward is left in the wilderness alone, forced to survive for months until Garrett returns. Garrett eventually tells him about Hydra’s presence within S.H.I.E.L.D., and Ward agrees to join. In the present, the team connect Project Centipede, Garrett, and others to a common source: Cybertek. Coulson and May infiltrate Cybertek to activate Skye’s trojan she left on the hard drive, only to find file cabinets instead of mainframes. However, they learn that Garrett was the first subject for “Project Deathlok”, which began in 1990. As such, Garrett’s implants are failing, with a few months to live, desperate to complete the Project Centipede serum to save himself.
Coulson’s team finds the Hydra base in Cuba, but Garrett’s men have already left, except for several Centipede soldiers. Ward captures Fitz and Simmons, who split from the others to find the Bus, but Fitz is able to use an EMP device to short out Garrett’s body. The dying Garrett orders Ward to kill Fitz and Simmons, who have hide from him in a locked room. Ward struggles with following through on the orders, deciding to eject the room into the ocean. Raina injects Garrett with the synthesized Guest House drug to work with his Project Centipede serum. Initially, the drug seems to cause an Extremis reaction, before Garrett stabilizes and claims to “feel the universe”. In Washington, D.C., Ian Quinn proposes the sale of Deathlok soldiers to the US government, using Mike Peterson’s assassination of a Colombian drug lord as evidence of the program’s success.
Ragtag is a good episode, but not a great one. I understand what the producers were trying to accomplish, give Ward a past and explain how things have to be as they are. Sadly it doesn’t really work, Ward’s past and Fitz’s concern with his possible innocents could have been dealt with over a series of episodes. Instead we are forced into watching what seems to have been a late addition to the season 1 storyline. The first half of the episode is a bit of a drag, seeing May and Coulson break into Cybertek doesn’t quite have the oomph as I would have wanted.
Instead the person to shine in the episode is Bill Paxton, we are slowly getting to grips with why Garrett has sided with Hydra. Besides Garrett I also like the cold depiction of Ward, but not his flashbacks which feel forced. My only gripe with ward is that the shows writers keep on trying to show that he is not beyond redemption. It is extremely irritating as it just doesn’t work, Ward can never be part of SHIELD again no matter what. To try to accomplish would be a cheat in my opinion. The most we can hope for is for him to die as a truly tragic figure. Well. that was the Agents of SHIELD S1Ep21 Ragtag Review
Score; 8.1 / 10.