So much confusion on the nail under Ward’s thumb
Polygraphs rely on a baseline of ‘true’ and gauge your reactions relative to that baseline. If your biometrics are flat when you’re honest, and your response includes a spike, they know you lied. (Obviously it’s more complicated than that, but for right now, that’s just how we’ll describe this.)
A common way of fooling polygraphs is to wreck the baseline. Extreme pain can do that.
Ward stuck a nail or spike or needle under his thumbnail. Anyone who’s ever gotten a splinter there knows it is excruciating.
Jemma ‘missed’ it because Ward probably only did it when they were in the polygraph room.
By answering ‘truth’ while he was in pain, his biometrics recorded that heightened emotion as ‘truth,’ and so his lies did not deviate from the baseline enough for Koenig to get a definitive ‘lie.’
Neal Caffrey used the same trick in White Collar.
Ward used a combination of biometric interference and clever truths to fool the polygraph
Ten bucks says Nat did it needlefree and with a smile
I knew I’d seen that “trick” before. Thanks for reminding me it was in White Collar.
…and it’s somehow the best and worst thing to ever happen to you at the same time.
I am not a good man, Skye.
What I want… is to stay here with y o u and imagine the world outside doesn’t exist.
nice characters are good and important and strong
nice characters are not in any way inherently less interesting or complex or cool or badass than asshole characters
nice characters who go through hell and still remain good and kind and compassionate are so so strong
nice characters are not weak or boring or less badass, nice characters are awesome.
Okay, I ended up not being able to sleep so I’m writing this now. I’ve been writing in-depth metas for the past few episodes, and some people requested I write one for this too, so here goes.
First, names are important. The first 16 episodes, we see an Agent Grant Ward, who seems to care about doing things alone, lives for his job as a specialist, has some anger issues and is gruff and do-it-alone but actually cares when it comes down to it. Grant Ward literal meaning= Great Protector. That’s the Ward we thought we knew. This Ward, Grant Douglas Ward? Well, Douglas literally means “out of the dark water” or just “dark.”
Do you remember “The Well?” Dark water? How about “out of the shadows and into the light.” So we have “Great Dark Protector,” and I think that this is really significant. Marvel, you fuckers.
Anyway, moving on. We learn more about Ward’s past here, and you guys, I’ve said it before, but this is so, so important. Grant Ward is not just an abuse victim, he was a victim forced to abuse others. This is exactly what Garrett is asking of him. When Ward joined SHIELD, he traded in one abusive big brother for another, except that Garrett’s came with the promise of purpose and the kind of strength that was supposed to prevent Grant Ward from ever feeling anything again.
“You can’t choose to feel.”
“Usually I can.”
Skye is the game-changer, as she always is. She is literally the only person in his life who has told him, “You don’t have to be" the person he was; the person that other people had created.
I’ll admit, this episode was hard for me because we see Ward’s brutality (in murdering Koenig and then kissing Skye like nothing important had happened). but it was also really important to me because we see that these two personalities he’s been keeping up for so long are starting to slide together. That moment when he roughly grabs Skye’s hand and tells her they need to go? That’s not the Grant Ward she’s supposed to know, but Ward is too lost (and smitten) to realize that Skye’s reaction is not the Skye he knows.
Also, I really appreciated that we see the parallel of Ward’s cold brutality (Koenig’s murder), and then immediately after we see him confessing the brutality of his childhood to Skye. What Ward has done is inexcusable, but it is understandable. And that’s really important to me.
Interestingly enough, there was a major shift in the Skye/Ward relationship, and it proved what a few of us have been saying all along: Skye is not a weak, precious baby who needs to be protected. Skye has her skeletons, her lonely childhood, a past rougher than I think we really know yet. And Skye is strong. Damn, is Skye strong. And quick and smart, and yes, her heart is breaking, but Skye recovers so quickly, and that just makes me admire her more. If she’s that strong, she must have been through hell, but despite all that, she still chooses to be a person with compassion and hope (something Coulson mentioned about her “just when I thought I’d be destroying her faith in humanity she restored a little piece of mine” or something along those lines).
And I think this is why Ward falls in love with her: she’s had this shitty past, but she’s strong enough to transcend it, and that’s not something he’s ever been able to do. And yea, maybe his childhood was ten times worse than hers, but I think Ward loves that this girl can reach past tough exteriors and still see hope. Has anyone else noticed that everytime Ward is honest with Skye, he reveals this incredible weight of guilt he carries? (“Whatever punishment… I deserve it.” “And if I do die, I deserve it.” “You think I don’t have skeletons?" "It’s different… you’re good… I am not a good man, Skye."). So I think Ward is seeing the way Skye has effectively redeemed her past, and craves that more than he knows.
I have to say, I love that Skye discovered him before anyone else. Before Skye is suspicious, she’s in Koenig’s office looking for him, and Ward appears behind her, startling her, because he’s still one step ahead of her. After Skye discovers Koenig’s body and Ward comes looking for her, Ward is checking the closet door, and Skye appears behind him, startling him, because now she’s ten steps ahead of him and he has no idea. Sorry, random detail-oriented-me ranting.
Interestingly enough, that ultimatum Garrett gave him didn’t become a necessity (“cross off the team and bring the girl to me”), because Fitzsimmons, Trip, and Coulson went off in search of the cellist and blackout, and May left on her own. That means I am still convinced Ward actually cares for his team (not just Skye), and that choice will come in the finale, probably.
Which brings me to another moment that I thought was important: when Simmons cleans him up and Fitz is being adorable and getting in the way. When Simmons tells him to rest, it’s not as a doctor or agent, obviously, it’s because she considers Ward a friend. It may seem obvious, but Ward nods curtly and says “Understood” like it’s an order, because all Grant Ward understands is orders.
Hit your younger brother.
Shoot Agent Hand.
"When you get orders, you don’t question them. No matter the price.”
Second thought: Ward always thinks in terms of weapon. The difference between an egg and a rock? The rock is a weapon. What’s in the box? A pistol, another weapon.
Grant Ward thinks in terms of orders and weapons, because he has never known anything else. Because he has been used as a weapon for so long he forgets that he ever had the potential to be something else. And Garrett has fully capitalized on that.
Finally, I want to say that yes, Ward has done some truly terrible things, and I know the fandom is losing faith in him, but I have never been more convinced that there is hope for Grant Ward- and for skyeward, when it comes to that. Skye is the one who brings him out of the darkness (“out of the shadows and into the light” can be completely turned on its head to mean a redemption arc). She’s the one who will bring Grant Douglas Ward “out of the dark water,” out of “the well” that he’s been trapped in his whole life. She has been his lifeline before, but more than that, this whole team has been his lifeline. Ward is the child who never healed, and Skye is the one who understands.
Ultimately, this show was never about superheroes, about gods and monsters. It’s about how ordinary people like Skye with extraordinary compassion and courage change us.
And I believe it has already changed Grant Ward.
No matter what Ward does in the next episodes, no matter what he’s done in the past, this show has been about hope from the start, so don’t tell me there’s no hope for Ward. Don’t tell me that when it comes time for Ward to choose his loyalties, he’ll find out that he has the courage to throw the rope to the little brother at the bottom of the well, after all. Don’t tell me that Ward will give up the only family he has. Don’t tell me that redemption isn’t possible for this character.
There is hope for Grant Ward.
And that, I believe, is the greatest light in the darkness.
Tagging people I follow who post skyeward stuff. Sorry if this is getting annoying, but if I tagged you it’s because a lot of people asked me to write a meta and you all changed your urls after this ep and I have no idea who is who anymore, or it’s because I LOVE what you post and would value your thoughts on this. ohifonlysomeonelovedyoux33 thisisagentskye jennieconvertible marysuepoots skyewward skyewardling skyewardsstan skyewardmaniacshipper skyeward-fitzsimmons-lover agentskyewardlove agentsofshield084 agentsoffitzsimmons agentskyward agentsoffandoms the-freckled-runner fuckyeahcharacterdevelopment ldjkitten74 drfitzy willyoukeepmypromise youcancallmeobsessed skyeward-youhave-ruined-me chloebennet4 jemmawatson
If I missed any of you lovelies, I apologize. Like I said, everyone changed urls and didn’t mean to leave anyone out. If I follow you but you don’t follow me and have no idea who I am, I apologize. I’ve probably reblogged a shit-ton of your skyeward or AoS stuff and just wanted your thoughts. Okay, I’m done. Seriously. Why do I write these ridiculously long metas?
Great meta! Well said, truly.
"Ragtag" - In the last episode before the epic season finale, Ward ‘s Betrayal and HYDRA’s shocking secrets are revealed as Coulson’s team goes undercover on a mission that leaves no one unscathed, on "Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," TUESDAY, MAY 6 (8:00-9:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
"Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." stars Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson, Ming-Na Wen as Agent Melinda May, Brett Dalton as Agent Grant Ward, Chloe Bennet as Skye, Iain De Caestecker as Agent Leo Fitz and Elizabeth Henstridge as Agent Jemma Simmons.
Guest starring are Bill Paxton as Agent Garrett, B.J. Britt as Agent Antoine Triplett; Ruth Negga as Raina; David Conrad as Ian Quinn; J. August Richards as Mike.
Speculation for 1x21, requested by gabby899.
I love your speculations! Especially loved the end of this one :) I need this to happen!