The ghost of you lingers, Grant Ward. After several weeks of being a bit sidelined, Ward takes centerstage in an episode that raises more questions than provides answers and has me questioning if we can really trust what the former SHIELD agent has been telling Skye, Coulson and the others since he promised to be truthful.
A Hydra attack masquerading as SHIELD’s coming out party serves as spark that General Talbot’s ‘deep-pocket’ senator needs to finally try and put the leash on Coulson and his team – the wrinkle being that this senator is actually Christian Ward – who’s certainly not keen to have a Hydra agent as his little brother. Backed into a corner, Coulson sends Hunter, Bobbi and May to track down the Hydra team, while he works Senator Ward, placing Grant right in the crosshairs.
Placing us in a situation equal to the rest of the SHIELD team, the writers haven’t given us much insight to where Ward’s head is at, which really pays dividends in an episode like “A Fractured House.” In a smartly cut sequence, we see Grant and Christian tell two very different sides of the same story – perhaps spies and politicians aren’t that different in terms of their lying skills. The Ward brothers are a necessary evil for Coulson and Grant’s usefulness official came to an end this week. I think we all expected Ward to not make it to his brother without interruption, but with his motivations up in the air, Grant seems to be more of wildcard now than he ever was.
The dueling Ward Bros. take up most of the show’s main plot, but May getting stuck as Bobbi and Hunter’s babysitter proves to be a great dynamic for the show as the two former lovers work out their past relationship traumas in the middle of a mission. I definitely got a bit of a Mr. & Ms. Smith vibe as Hunter and Bobbi argued, but Nick Blood and Adrianne Palicki have such natural chemistry together and that makes their storyline all the better.
Speaking of Palicki, Mockingbird has turned into the perfect superhero to introduce via Agents of SHIELD, mostly because it gives the show another badass female to work with and because this characterization of Bobbi is just too much fun.
The episode ends in a strong place with Ward officially on the run, his intentions unclear – and that certainly spells trouble for everyone.
– Strong work from FitzSimmons this week, especially Elizabeth Henstridge’s pointed threat to Ward at the end of the episode. While I don’t know if she’ll actually be the one to pull the trigger, her statement alone was enough to chill me.
– Hunter and Bobbi shooting the guy in the middle of their argument? Fantastic stuff.
– Speaking of Hunter, I love that he dips back into his merc background when it counts the most: “Whoa whoa whoa. Hail Hydra, guys. Hail Hydra.”
– That’s a pretty stellar mug, Coulson.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Sound off in our comments.