Gr ant Ward

From bor­ing to mind- blow­ing – and Agents Of SHIELD view­ers never saw it com­ing

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Viewscreen -

Did you just spit out your coffee when you saw the sub­ject of this month’s col­umn? Did you snort: “Are they kid­ding? Him?” If so, chances are you’re one of the many peo­ple who gave up on Marvel’s Agents Of SHIELD in its first year, most prob­a­bly be­fore the show dropped its spec­tac­u­lar, end- of- sea­son bomb­shell that its most dull char­ac­ter – hand­some, generic good- guy Agent Grant Ward – was ac­tu­ally a dou­ble- agent who’d been work­ing for Hydra all along. So that means you’ve missed all the fun and games since... And boy, have there been some fun and games.

Right from the off, Ward seemed to serve two func­tions: to pro­vide some kind of pos­si­ble ro­man­tic foil for new SHIELD re­cruit Skye, and to kick ass. Sure, he’d crack a quip or two, and seemed like a nice guy, but it is a truth uni­ver­sally ac­knowl­edged that “nice” doesn’t al­ways make for good

drama – there’s a rea­son most bad guys in pop­u­lar cul­ture have more fans than the he­roes. And so Ward’s shock­ing trans­for­ma­tion was ac­tu­ally one of this se­ries’ defin­ing mo­ments: when Agents Of SHIELD showed us what it could re­ally do.

As an ice- cold killer, Evil Ward is per­fect. Ku­dos to Brett Dal­ton, who sub­tly changed the way he stood, the way he moved his head and the way he spoke from “Amer­i­can jock” to “snake­like psy­cho”. Sure, Evil Ward has a ro­mance in sea­son two which doesn’t quite con­vince – and the old “you killed the woman I love, there­fore I will kill you” trope ain’t ex­actly fresh – but he still oozes magnetic men­ace. Oh, and the twist mid­way through sea­son three prom­ises to make him even more in­trigu­ing...

Agent Ward is now one of the best things in Agents Of SHIELD; some­times, bad­der is bet­ter. Jayne Nelson

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