Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D – Daisy Johnson and Grant Ward

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Daisy “Skye” Johnson is my favourite character on the show. She is what kept the team from splintering way back in season 1. She was the glue that kept the team together; she was also the heart of the team, the innocent. Everyone else, even Fitz and Simmons were Shield agents. Which is why she saw things differently from the way they did. We’ve seen her grow and mature into a very skilled agent herself and more recently a hero. What makes her a great character is that despite the setbacks she’s suffered, at her core she’s still the same person. She hasn’t become jaded and closed-off the way Coulson has. She’s suffered just as much as he has (if not more if you consider her childhood) but she’s still compassionate and willing to see the good in people. She also has a keen understanding of what makes people tick. We saw an example of this in season 1 and again in season 3 when she talks to Coulson about Ward. She understands Ward, even sympathizes with him. But that doesn’t however mean that she forgives him or can forgive him. But she would not have killed him. Sure, she shot him in season 2 but that was also a very trying time for her, she had been kidnapped by him, just met her father who may or may not have been insane and was threatened by a Hydra psychopath, so I can understand why shot him then. But season 3 Daisy, would not have made that decision. I also know that if she finds out what Coulson did, she would not be okay with it either.

Also, Daisy is also the first female superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (followed closely by Jessica Jones) The first two seasons of AoS were pretty much her origin story. My only gripe with the show is that so far we haven’t the full extent of her powers. Please let her put her powers to better use than opening doors.

Then there is Grant Ward, the character a lot of people love to hate. As far as villains go, Ward is about as good as they come. He’s had a very tough childhood, abused by his parents and his elder brother; he protects his younger brother until the day he’s forced to hurt him which finally makes him snap. We meet the brother in question in episode 10 and he says that Ward changed after that, started blaming other people for his own mistakes. But what if it isn’t that simple? Ward loved his brother, they were best friends and being the elder of the two, Ward felt responsible for his brother’s safety. To suddenly be forced to hurt that very brother must have hurt him deeply. He couldn’t face what he had done, so he looked elsewhere to assign the blame. He didn’t have anyone to protect him. When he meets Garrette, for the first time, someone treats him as a human being, recognizes that there are things he might be good at. He was looking for a father figure and he found it in Garrette. It is not surprising then that Ward betrayed his Shield team when he was asked to because despite what he felt for the team, he wouldn’t be where he is without Garrette. Think for a minute how different things might have been if Coulson had found him first and recruited him, much like he found Skye (this is confusing, do I just call her Daisy now and does it depend on the period of her life I’m talking about) She’s loyal to Coulson first, everything else comes after that. It was the same for Ward and Garrette.

The whole of last season, Ward was looking for his place in the world. I believe that he wanted the chance to come back to Shield or at least work with Daisy. But when he realised that those doors were permanently closed to him, he came up with his own team. I also don’t think he loved Kara, not the way he loves Skye. But he saw on Kara’s face the same awe and love that he had once seen on Skye’s. She saw the horrible things he did and chose to stay him anyway. She didn’t judge him. Again, it was Ward who killed her but he can’t deal with that guilt, so instead he focused his rage at May and Coulson.

Having said that, I’m not excusing what he did to Bobbi, that was messed on a number of levels or the fact that he threatened to kill Andrew (although in that particular instance, Hunter screwed up) or when he killed Rosalind while she was at home. She wasn’t coming after him, in fact of the entire team, she was the only person who hadn’t actually done anything to Ward. I see all of that but his character is so compelling that I want there to be more to him than just another run-of-the-mill villain.

Now, let’s talk about Skyeward, despite all that I have said before this, I still see him with Daisy. Not as he was but redeeming himself for her, becoming the man she thought he was. Will it happen? I don’t know… But their relationship was built so well and it took its own sweet time. You could see that Ward was torn, it was in the moments where he would just stand back and observe her interacting with the rest of the team or the way he got sometimes got flustered around her. In other words, she made him vulnerable. Garrette wasn’t wrong when he told Skye that she had changed him. He felt protective of her in a way he didn’t of others. The rest of them knew what they had signed up for, knew the dangers, she didn’t. She also wasn’t like the others. She genuinely cared about everyone on the Bus. She wasn’t thinking tactics and strategy, she just went by her gut and did what felt right to her, even if it placed her in great danger. He was different around her, not as guarded. He also knew that they had had similar childhoods and he saw in her a kindred spirit.

Even after she rejected him at the end of season 1, he still held out hope that she would see him as more than a monster. He escaped and kidnaped her in the misguided hope that if he reunited her with her biological father, that she would think better of him, instead he got shot. Even after that, when Coulson contacted him to rescue the Lincoln and Deathlok, he came along but when he realized that it was about Skye, he was suddenly more invested and followed Coulson in the hope that he might get to see her. Clearly he is still in love with her.

We haven’t had any Daisy and Ward interactions so far in the season and I am more than a little disappointed. I was looking forward to those. We did have Daisy speaking about him and for the first time, she didn’t sound angry, more sad and disappointed. I am hoping that it wasn’t the writers’ way of closing down that relationship for good. But now he’s Maveth-Ward and I wonder what that means. We know that he will retain all his memories and I am curious to see how that will play out in the rest of the season. I read somewhere that the writers claimed that Skyeward was endgame but I don’t know if I believe that, maybe they just said it to throw the audience off. I can’t wait to find out how the writers wrap up this season.

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