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April 20 2017

(SPOILER) Agents of SHIELD 4x19 "All the Madame's Men" Sneak Peek #1. Interesting backstory revelations.

Some thought went into this and I appreciate that. It's nice that they covered the point where Phil's Framework life deviated from his main MCU life. It works perfectly.

Now with we know for a fact that it was entirely Garrett's doing, Ward's recruitment to SHIELD ? Or did Victoria Hand recruit him in the non-Framework world and Garrett took advantage and molded him after ? I'd have to see Season 1 again to see what was said in the present day and in those young-Ward flashbacks.

If Hand wasn't originally involved in Ward's recruitment straight out of prison...then why has Aida altered Ward's backstory ? May rescuing Katja and the tragedies that followed take place after all the young-Ward stuff, I think. Unless I have the timeline wrong. So this all has to be due to Daisy's regret (assuming her big regret, or at least the one that Aida guessed about, was the failure to have anything real with Ward, or her disappointment over his betrayal/his not being the man she hoped he was), except that Daisy was never plugged in to the Framework.

Was this a contingency plan put in place by Aida because she knew Daisy and/or Jemma might hack in ? Aida might know that Ward would be the ultimate contingency plan...that his mental issues (regardless of whether Garrett had any involvement during his formative years or not -- he still had family issues and was an arsonist/juvenile delinquant in The Framework as well) would make it likely that he'd betray the group yet again to save his own ass and/or further whatever agenda he might soon have.

This arc is a giant love letter to Seasons 1 and 2, in a lot of ways. I expect that Season 3 will get some love as well, if Aida/Madame Hydra resurrects Framework-Lincoln to mess with Daisy.

[ edited by Kris on 2017-04-21 22:58 ]
@zKris: I'm pretty sure that what the show is saying here is that it was Garrett's toxic influence on Ward's life that was the main factor in how he would turn out (not that this any new revelation). On the flip side of that, they are showing the main factor for Framework Fitz is the influence of his father in this reality - another abusive father figure teaching toxic masculinity ideals (emotional attachments are a weakness you need to fight; sympathy is a luxury, you have to disregard it to be a great man, man of action).

Garrett found Ward in a juvie while he was still looking at the prospect of being tried as an adult and going to prison, telling him that the alternative is learning to be badass and working for a cool spy organization, SHIELD. Then he left him in a wilderness with just a dog for companion, fox 6 months, as a way to build character. The flashbacks Garrett grooming Ward and molding him into his absolutely loyal personal attack dog. After 5 years, when Ward was accepted in SHIELD, Garrett told him he was going to be actually working as a double agent in SHIELD for another organization called Hydra, and that he should never allow himself the weakness of emotional attachments, and ordered him to shoot his dog to prove he can fight that "weakness". It seems that, for 15 years, since he was about 16, his only significant personal relationship was with Garrett.

The only reason I can see why Garrett did not recruit him in this reality is that there was some change in Garrett's life. And the simplest explanation is that it is a ripple effect of Coulson's fixed regret. Coulson was never a SHIELD agent in this reality. In the real world, he and Garrett were colleagues and friends for years, and Coulson's career must have affected many things. Maybe this change somehow resulted in Garrett dying years earlier. It's pretty easy to imagine such a chain of events. Maybe he never survived the time when he was left for dead in Sarajevo. Maybe there was some occasion in real life when Coulson's actions saved Garrett's life directly or indirectly, and he wasn't there for that to happen in the Framework. I don't think we need an explanation for every single thing.

Ward's life in the Framework is a result of changed circumstances, not someone specifically wishing for it to be different. Daisy did not get any regrets fixed, because she hacked in. And I don't know what makes you think that Aida takes some special interest in Ward, or makes changes just because she feels like it, or runs complicated Batman Gambit schemes trying to force certain outcomes while predicting human behavior, or anything like that. She is an android. She can barely understand human behavior, evem for people she has actually met. Her programming is to fix one regret for each person she plugs in, and protect the Framework. That's it. That's all she's done, as far as we know. Yes, she has created a human avatar of herself in order to feel emotions (I guess she can justify that as a part of "protect the Framework" directive), but Madame Hydra merely manipulates things from the inside in more down-to-earth ways.

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