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