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April 29 2014

Can S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Agent Ward be redeemed? looks at Ward's chances of redemption from a Buffyverse perspective. And there's a poll as well.

The Angel VS Ward redemption comparison is invalid IMO.

Angel and Angelus are not the same person. If you remove a key ingredient from a recipe, the result is not the same dish. Angel without a soul (conscience) is not Angel, that's Angelus. Angelus was always evil and never sought redemption.

Ward, as far as we know, is intact. He is one person. And unless we find out his conscience has been removed through MCU means, or there is someone controlling him directly or indirectly (I hope we DON'T), he is completely unredeemable.

[ edited by Penthos on 2014-04-29 15:45 ]
I realize Ward's 'badness' was revealed a few weeks ago, but this post title and description still seems pretty spoiler-y given that many Whedon fans probably haven't caught up on the show yet. Just a thought.
Anyone can be redeemed. That's my view, but more importantly, I think it's also the view of the purple one.

But I'm not sure the author of that article really got to grips with the arcs of either Angel or Spike. In the Whedonverse, redemption requires more than words, and more than one single act. That's the whole point of Angel - the character and the series. Redemption requires deep self-awareness, and ceaseless struggle to be better and do better.

And in the Whedonverse, characters who try to take the cheap path to redemption get no easy escape. Just look at Lindsey. Lots of people expect Ward to die saving Skye, but if Ward isn't prepared to put in the hard work then on past experience I expect him to be shot in cold blood by Fitz.
I'm on the fence about this one. On one side I want him to be redeemed because I like the actor and I am tired of shows killing/writing off my 'favourite' character but I just don't see how...

I am really happy I am not a writer :P Whatever they come up with I am sure I will be shocked and cursing the wait for a second season.
I much prefer the "Xena" model of redemption. Instead of portraying it as some sort of arithmetic problem ("I killed 1,000 people, so I have to save 1,001"), I go with the approach of "do good, and you are good." Worry less about your own personal redemption and more about doing as much good as you can in the time you have left. (This is also the "Scrooge" model.)

My guess is that Ward dies in the season finale because he can't bring himself to murder his former teammates (or Skye in particular). It may not be redemption, but it will be the best he can do.
Anyone can be redeemed, i agree, but its not always easy. It needs time, and effort. And of course, a psichology that makes it possible. Willingness. In the end we dont know yet Wards entire story, nor really his true posibilities. Hes donne terrible things, but more than just the horror of it, its the attitude that he has had while doing them. And yet there is still some ambiguity to him and room to play with it.

Last episode they were playing the paralels between the "I know i am a monster but you can save me" and the "Im a bad man, Skye" between Blackout and Ward, Audreys and Skyes horror included, without really asnwering how much of that parallel was actually true; we dont really know if there was any kind of honesty in that confession to Skye or if he was just playing her, nor do we know if in the end Ward, honest or not, is going to go the Blackout road of destruction. It was a fairly great structure taht played with the posibilities. It opens a door that may or may not be fake.

Personally, i hope this goes the Whedon-redemption route, and that includes the long, long and hard road towards it. Not just because i like the actor, and im not a shipper by the way, so i dont care for the "skyward" one way or the other, its not that, but because i think its the most compelling and interesting story they can go with, not that other stories arent interesting too if they decide they are the ones to go with. In the end, all i want is a great story, whatever it is.

While i do agree with you, Andrewcrosset, people who are trying to redeem themselves cant forget the numbers. Its not evena about the number itself, but about the wholeness of theyre action. People saw Angel as a good guy from epiosde one, but he couldnt. Not entirely. He is still redeeming himself even today. The screams of his sins were too high. Being just a good guy doesnt cut it for most of them. For the people around them, perhaps, but conscience is a very tricky master.

Of course everybody is different. For every Angel, there is a Spike. ;)

[ edited by Darkness on 2014-04-29 16:52 ]
Don't agree with either "theory", but I think Ward is redeemable. However does television really need another broody white guy redemption story? AoS is compared to Arrow enough as it is. Plus, killing Ward off will be a logical but bold move - just what I've come to expect from Whedonverse
The same question can be asked about "another bad guy diyn, semi-redeemed or not". Its donne to death too. Everything has been done to death, actually. There is nothing bold about killing him. Making him a bad guy was bold. At this moment, neither killing him, sacrificing him nor redeeming him is bold. Just options.
I agree with AndrewCrossett, I think Ward will be killed off in the season finale, doing something heroic, ala Doyle. (the presto-chango deathbed repentance) But the twist this time is that he won't be dead, he'll return in season 2 or 3 as Twilight.
I agree with AndrewCrossett, I think Ward will be killed off in the season finale, doing something heroic, ala Doyle. (the presto-chango deathbed repentance) But the twist this time is that he won't be dead, he'll return in season 2 or 3 as Twilight.

Will he have space-sex with Skye while wearing a luchador mask?

(Actually, that would be pretty cool...)
I think Ward is more comparable with Dollhouse than the Buffyverse. My initial thoughts was Alpha/DeWitt = bad, Boyd = good; however, end of season two that was not the case. In my opinion, I think it would be much more interesting if he stays evil and actively fights Shield in season 2.

He'll return in season 2 or 3 as Twilight.

LOL. At least he'll get cool powers like flight and being faster than a speeding bullet, but I think DC might have issues about that.
As to the whole forgetting the numbers thing, wasn't that the whole point behind Judgement(the AtS Season 2 premier) that Angel was focusing too much of the numbers and it was messing him up, with the episode ending with Angel throwing out the scorecard(and Faith!)?

Will he have space-sex with Skye while wearing a luchador mask?

(Actually, that would be pretty cool...)

So you're saying you want to see them go Skyward?

So you're saying you want to see them go Skyward?

You made me choke on my water, which gained the attention of everyone around me, but don't be sorry. That was just hilarious.
My bet, if Joss is involved he turns good just in time for Skye to kill him with her 0-8-4 powers to save the world.
Not into the SkyWard ship at all, so the Bad Man Redeemed By Love of a Good Woman trope isn't working for me. However, redemption themes are a pretty big part of the Whedonverse, so yes, of course, it's theoretically possible. Still, if he is to be redeemed, I'd expect the show to do it the hard way -- over multiple seasons (yay!) with backstory revealed and new developments along the way.

Or whatever makes for the most interesting story. It would be fun to see him become even more of a bad guy. We've only just got Bad!Ward, can't we enjoy that for a bit longer? I'm loving the heck out of Paxton's gleeful good ole boy villainy, so seeing Bad!Ward get in on that would be a joy.
I could also see the season ending with Ward trussed up in the interrogation room... Coulson comes in... Ward starts to say something, and Coulson just pulls out his gun and blows him away without a word.
I'll just quote Angel: "Atonement's a bitch."
Some of my favorite TV characters had meaningful redemption arcs, but I'm sort of getting sick of that. It's so common in TV now. I'd like Ward to just STAY bad, just to do something different from the trendy redemption stories that are all over TV now. Besides, no one is ever going to top Angel or Faith as far as redemption stories go in my completely biased opinion.
I was originally thinking that I didn't expect Ward to die at the end of this season, because first he would have to experience a measure of redemption so that he and Skye can begin to have a truly meaningful relationship. Then, just as their circumstance begin to allow them to enjoy this new chapter of their life, Ward would suddenly and unexpectedly die from a) A stray bullet through a window b) Some sort of alien gas cloud thingy c) Shrapnel. This way we could see Skye suffer through the absolute worst kind of human trauma. Because that is how Whedonesque television works!

But now I must admit I'm partial to Cap's suggestion above that Skye would have to, say, throw Ward into an ominous orb of gravitonium to save the world (because, I dunno, throwing a person in would stabilize its dangerously volatile McGuffinability or something). Bill Paxton mocks her from elsewhere in the room: "Now that's everything, huh? No gizmos... No SHIELD... No hope. Take all that away... and what's left?"

And then Skye says simply, "Me" and twist ending! throws herself in order to spare still-evil Ward! Ward in a rage kills Bill Paxton.

Ward then is an anti-Hydra rouge killer not in league with SHIELD for the next three seasons until he finally begins to seek redemption. And Skye comes back with super powers later because why not.
Whatever change of heart he may or may not have, they can't just let him back on the team. He's a murdery murderer who murdered people.

If they want him redeemed, I see three possibilities, all of which require Garrett dying or betraying him first. 1) To save the team or a teammate, he has to stick around enough to be captured. 2) To save the team or a teammate, he has to sacrifice himself. 3) He sees the error of his ways and strikes off on his own to go all vigilante on remaining HYDRA members.

I kind of like #3. It not only lets us watch a side arc of Ward being a bad ass, but we also get the team trying to track him down and bring him to justice. #1 also gives us the possibility that he'll occasionally be pulled out of the attic to consult on a case if he has particular knowledge of people or places involved.

Whatever happens, I can't wait to watch it.
Here's another theory: Ward will waver in his allegiance to Hyrda/Bill Paxton, turning against Paxton to save Skye. This will lead directly to Paxton's death (at the hands of Coulson's team), and Ward will blame himself for Paxton's death and recommit to his evil ways--thus breaking Skye's heart, since she thought he had really changed. He'll then stick around as a villain for at least part of next season, and Skye will have to fight him with her superpowers (which I expect will be revealed in the season 1 finale).

This is pure speculation based on nothing. But I like Evil!Ward, and would enjoy seeing more of him. I also think Coulson's team fighting a former teammate raises the stakes considerably. And the idea of Ward being redeemed ... well, I just don't buy it. He betrayed his teammates, he murdered multiple SHIELD agents in cold blood. And I just don't see Coulson being able to forgive that, ever. I don't think it's in his character. I don't think Simmons or Fitz could forgive it, either.
I want a full season of bad but increasingly conflicted Ward. It's very important to me that he meet the full force of the Cavalry's skillset in that timeframe.
^ That would be cool.
Yes. We're definitely owed an epic Ward vs May scene before the season is out.
The heck with Ward's redemption; I want Deathlok on Coulson's team (this is not a demand of any sort, just an expression of personal preference).
Or they can pull the "Deep cover quaruple agent" trick.
I think it comes down to what you believe in terms of mission/right/wrong/evil/good. For him to be emotionally disconnected would be a necessary quality for a spy. Was he just on the wrong side or a largely horrible human being? I think the show is trying to answer that, but you still have to consider those loyal to Hydra may not consider themselves bad people, may not know everything, or very well may be duped by the same compartmentalized system that keeps many Shield agents ignorant.

That's the thing about intelligence and counterintelligence. The fact that the cell you're infiltrating and may have to destroy may be full of good people you actually like never actually changes your job.

So redemption, if that's what the show went for, would have to show us the world of Shield through a Hydra operative's eyes long enough for us to have empathy. It can't just be Ward gets the sads 'cuz Daddy finds him expendable. You can prove Ward wrong and still have the story, but most people don't naturally empathize with that level of disassociation in people. There's a reason Snape needs a whole chapter explaining motivations and most "spy" movies cartoon up the adversary. Spy's aren't really as rootable when they're spending years imbedding themselves and duping good people to extract information about the enemy. They look rather like jerks when they exploit people like that.

[ edited by azzers on 2014-04-30 23:09 ]
I think Ward is going to get worse before he even makes the attempt to get better (if he gets better at all) because I think right now he's under a bit of a delusion about himself and Skye's reaction and lack of seeing things from his twisted POV might have put a tiny hole in his delusion and I think he's going to react badly when he fully accepts that he's the bad guy. He was always the bad guy. And he works for bad guys that are doing bad things and they are doing them with bad intent. He seems in denial about that. Like it's all just a game and he chose the red team instead of blue team.

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