Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S1 Ep21 – Ragtag

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S1 Ep21 - Ragtag

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has reached it’s penultimate episode of the season and there’s still so much to be done. “Ragtag” follows Coulson and his team as they continue their mission to take down Garrett and get their plane back. Additionally, we are given a glimpse into Ward’s origins as we get to see how the relationship between him and Garrett all began.

The flashback scenes concerning how Ward first met Garrett are both compelling and necessary to help illustrate Ward’s justification for working with Garrett. Although, I felt there should’ve been more to his story considering Ward eventually turns evil and kills S.H.I.E.L.D. members in the name of Hydra. Not much is told that can justify how evil he has become. What basically occurs in the flashback scenes is young Ward, facing attempted murder and arson charges, is broken out of prison thanks to Garrett. Garrett then takes him under his wing and as a first test leaves Ward in the woods to fend for himself for several weeks. When Garrett returns he is greeted by a meaner and tougher Grant Ward. By the end, Garrett teaches that becoming close with people can be a weakness and orders Ward to shoot his dog whom Ward has since grown attached to. Ward doesn’t shoot the dog. The scene is used as a contrast between the current Ward and the younger Ward as we see he now kills without mercy, but still leaves us wondering when did Ward actually turn evil.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S1 Ep21 - Ragtag

Coulson and May undercover at Cybertek

The main plot thread of “Ragtag” consists of Coulson and his team, now on their own, trying to take down Garrett and Ward. They find out Garrett and Hydra have ties to a company names Cybertek and decide to go snooping around undercover. This lead to some humorous moments including Coulson geeking out over Tripp’s grandfather’s old Howling Commandos equipment, Fitz nearly burning their hotel room down with a cigarette laser, Coulson and May going undercover as geeky scientists with Fitz and Simmons telling them what to say, and Coulson telling the rest of the group to be prepared for a large file transfer (they throw a file cabinet out of a Cybertek window). In addition, they learn of Garrett’s Cybernetic implants and is that he was actually the first Deathlok.

Meanwhile, back on the bus, Garrett is having issues with his cybernetic implants and Ward, as predicted, is having trouble dealing with the idea that Garrett nearly sacrificed Ward’s life as seen in “Nothing Personal”. His anger towards Garrett is pretty much glossed over as Garrett’s medical condition becomes more apparent and severe. I enjoyed the dynamic between Ward and Garrett and appreciate that Ward is starting to question his leadership, but I wouldn’t want to see Ward try and redeem himself in any way. I feel he’s gone way too far, murdering S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and working for the group that nearly killed Skye, that he can never be forgiven by his former teammates. That being said, the idea that Ward may be redeemed is later shot down as he crosses paths with Fitz and Simmons.

Out of everyone on the team, Fitz has displayed the most shock that Ward is working with Hydra. He even tries to place the idea in everyone’s head that maybe Ward has been brainwashed. Later, when Fitz and Simmons are captured by Garrett and Ward, any hope that Fitz had for Ward disappears. Fitz and Simmons attempt to escape the clutches of Garrett and his henchmen and end up locking themselves in a sealed room on the bus. Ward finds them after being directed by Garrett to kill them. Despite pleas from Fitz and Simmons, Ward presses a few buttons on a nearby control pad that drops the sealed room Fitz and Simmons are in into the ocean. This scene is inter-cut with the scene involving the dog from the past. We see that in his past Ward struggled with killing a dog, but now he has no problem killing his former teammates. With one episode left we can only hope that Fitz and Simmons are rescued from their sinking box before it either fills up with water or they run out of oxygen. I highly doubt we’ll be seeing the last of them considering how sudden their plunge into the ocean was. I think if they were to be killed off they would die in a way where we weren’t left questioning whether they died or not. On the other hand, this is a Joss Whedon show and he has had no issues in the past killing off his characters without warning.

The conclusion of “Ragtag” saw Garrett use GH-325 on his cybernetic implant. It revives him past his prime. Additionally, without knowing of Fitz and Simmons’s current location, Coulson and the team find Garrett’s hideout in Havana, Cuba. The episodes ends with Coulson, May, Skye, and Tripp in the dark surrounded by Garrett’s super soldiers. This was definitely a gripping way of ending the episode and now I can’t wait to see how they get out of that situation. My theory is they will get out just fine and probably within the opening scene of the season finale.

Overall, this penultimate episode was very satisfying, but there’s still so much the show needs to cover before the end. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has not been picked up for a second season yet so there is a possibility that the next episode will be it’s last. The episode added more questions to the ever-expanding list of questions that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has had us asking. In “Ragtag” we learn, according to Raina, that Skye’s parent were “monsters” who destroyed Skye’s village to try and capture her. What does she mean by “monsters”? Will Fitz and Simmons survive their plunge into the ocean? Will Ward and Garrett get their comeuppance? Will Coulson finally learn the truth about T.A.H.I.T.I.? There’s so much. I hope the show gets picked up for a second season, because I will be very disappointed if these threads are left untied.

In the next episode I’m sure Coulson will indeed get some answer he deserves as Samuel L. Jackson guest stars as Nick Fury. Check out the promo for next week’s episode “The End of the Beginning” below and let us know what you thought about “Ragtag” in the comments.