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Warning: Spoilers for last night’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode are ahead!
Ever since he was outed as a HYDRA agent in the latter half of Season 1, Ward has been a recurring villain on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Whether he is operating solo or working with others, he’s continued to antagonize the S.H.I.E.L.D. team and make their lives miserable. Well, after years of causing pain, last night’s midseason finale “Maveth” finally saw Ward get what was coming to him after three seasons. He met his end while on the alien planet… well, almost. Here’s the kicker: even though he’s technically dead, Ward is still going to be a dangerous force during the latter half of the season.
When we last left Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Grant Ward had taken Fitz and a squad of HYDRA goons through the monolith portal to the alien planet so they could retrieve the dangerous Inhuman stranded there and bring “It” (as we’ll be calling the Inhuman) back to Earth. After covering some ground, Fitz was able to locate an injured Will Daniels, the astronaut who Simmons was stranded on the planet with. Fitz’s reasoning to Ward was that Will could lead them to this Inhuman, while in private, Fitz and Will could escape the planet together.
At first, things were going smoothly. Fitz and Will were able to take out some of Ward’s men under the cover of a sandstorm and flee, and before Ward could give chase, he was apprehended by Phil Coulson, who had jumped into the portal at the last minute in the previous episode. However, when Will brought Fitz to the ruins of an ancient city and starts spouting off about its history, that’s when things went south fast. As it turns out, the real Will died in “4,722 Hours” after protecting Simmons from It while she was escaping, and It was able to inhabit his body. Fitz tries to neutralize It, but his efforts aren’t deterring it from going back to the portal. Left with no other choice, Fitz shot “Will” with a flare gun to incinerate the body, which no doubt was also cathartic.
While this was happening, Coulson had been trying to reach the same extraction point with Ward as his prisoner in tow. When they came across Fitz and Ward’s fight, Coulson tried to help, but Ward sued the distraction to get the jump on his captor, and the two proceed to fight on their own. Eventually Coulson got the upper hand, and had this been in Season 1 or 2, he might have led Ward live. However, Coulson still had revenge on the mind and instead decided to crush Ward’s chest with his robotic hand to avenge his brief lover Rosalind Price.
So thats it, right? Ward is dead, and Coulson and the gang will never have to deal with him again. Wrong. In the “after-credits” scene, while fleeing from the HYDRA castle after the S.H.I.E.L.D. team infiltrated it, Ward’s partner Gideon Malick came across Ward…well, his animate body anyway. Just like what happened with Will, Ward’s body is now inhabited by It (which is apparently some kind of slug creature in its true form), and HYDRA’s mission to bring the Inhuman back to Earth was a success, much to Malick’s satisfaction.
The Ward we knew and hated is gone, but actor Brett Dalton is remaining on the show, and he’ll now be causing trouble as It in human form. Ever since we caught glimpses of It earlier in the season, it was clear that this Inhuman is one of the most dangerous beings the MCU has ever seen, and now that it’s on Earth, it’s going to lead HYDRA on their mission to finally conquer the world. It’s also worth noting that the Inhuman absorbed Will’s memories after killing, which means it now knows everything Ward did as well in addition to the other special abilities it still possesses. It will be a couple months until we see what plans It will be hatching with HYDRA during the latter half of Season 3, but it’s only adding insult to injury that the Inhuman is going to be wearing Ward’s face while causing chaos.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is taking a hiatus to make way for Agent Carter Season 2, but it will return with new episodes on Tuesday, March 8 at 9 p.m. EST on ABC.