Agents of SHIELD postmortem: Is Ward past redemption?
Warning: This story contains major spoilers from the season finale of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Read at your own risk.
During Tuesday’s season finale of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Ward (Brett Dalton) and Kara (Maya Stojan) set out to get “closure” from Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki), who had revealed the location of Agent 33’s safe house during her tenure undercover with Hydra. Therefore, Kara blames Bobbi for everything that’s gone wrong in her life and demands an apology. But even under torture, Bobbi refuses to budge, so the psychotic dynamic duo lure Hunter (Nick Blood) to their lair in order to kill someone Bobbi loves in front of her.
Because Melinda May (Ming-na Wen) tagged along for the rescue mission, Kara uses her mask to take on the Cavalry’s features—though neglects to fill Ward in on the plan. Ward shoots her multiple times, believing he’s finally killed May, and realizing too late that he just offed the only person who has ever truly cared about him. Wanting vengeance on S.H.I.E.L.D., whom he blames for Kara’s death, Ward takes up the mantle of leading what’s left of Hydra. Has Ward’s hope for redemption officially been quashed? EW caught up with Dalton to find out:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How do you think accidentally killing Agent 33 will affect Ward?
BRETT DALTON: This affects him in a way that is deep and lasting. There was a shred of humanity in there, and always the possibility and the thought that he could be redeemed. Garrett said his weakness has been his sympathy and his heart. This is not a business where that gets you anything. After Kara’s death—that is actually at my hands—after all the time and effort and energy that’s been invested in this relationship, it turns him. You see it in his eyes.
What is Ward feeling in that final scene of the finale?
I had a talk with the makeup guy. I wanted to make it look like I’ve been crying for a month and uncontrollable. What you see in the very end is somebody who now has a permanent chip on his shoulder and is angry at the world. This whole thing of closure keeps coming up over and over again. There is so much closure out there in the world that needs to be achieved. There’s a lot of unfairness that he wants to fix, so we see somebody who is determined, who knows who he is, and is like, “Fine, if you want to call me the bad guy, I’m the bad guy.” I don’t think there’s any question at the end of that of who he is and what he wants to do.
Ward really intended to kill May in that moment. Does that mean he has no mercy for anyone now?
The thing with May was she was the greatest risk and he has the skills to take her out, and it’s probably a little bit of a payback for the season 1 finale where she nailed my foot to the floor. She’s still the greatest risk, she’s out there, and she could upset this whole plan I had for Kara’s closure, so I take her out, that’s the easiest way.
What’s his main goal now that he’s taken over Hydra? Is it to kill Coulson & Co. and get revenge?
Yeah, it’s weird. Revenge, but revenge for what? It’s something that he did. It’s his own mistake. It goes straight to anger. There’s that warm extra little thing that was giving him hope still, the little candle of hope that maybe he is a good guy, but when this happens with Kara, that flame is out. He’s just snapped, in a way, and wants to have revenge on the world.
But it’s his own fault!
There’s a lot of talk about him blaming other people—blaming his brother, blaming his childhood. I guess that blame could just be displaced to the rest of the world and it’s everybody’s fault. It’s S.H.I.E.L.D., it’s all of the conflicts within S.H.I.E.L.D. It’s them keeping secrets from each other. All of these injustices and all of these wrongs that have led to this predicament and circumstances, so he just wants to take revenge and make things right. The only way he knows how is through violence and cracking a lot of eggs to make an omelet.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will return to ABC this fall. In the meantime, read our finale post-game with executive producer Jeffrey Bell here. Elizabeth Henstridge also weighs in on the mystery of Simmons’ disappearance here. And we take you behind the scenes of how they chopped off Coulson’s arm here.)