Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., S2 Ep07 – The Writing on the Wall

During the conclusion of the last episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. we were introduced to a mysterious character who had the same symbols Coulson has been drawing tattooed all over his body. This week’s episode entitled “The Writing on the Wall” sheds some light on this puzzling new character, but also gives an update on the whereabouts and actions of former S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Grant Ward.

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Ward is on the run

In the last episode, “A Fractured House”, Ward ended up escaping and is now on the run. A portion of “The Writing on the Wall” focuses on May, Hunter, Bobbi, and Trip attempting to bring Ward in so he may stand trial. This plot-line displays just how prepared Ward is for every move May’s team attempts to make on him. Whether he subtly flashes to Trip a bomb strapped to his stomach or easily figures out that Bobbi is working with S.H.I.E.L.D. based solely on a page of a book she was fake reading, Ward shows he is moves ahead of all of them. Catching Ward is going to be tough.

By the end of his story we are made to believe that Ward is attempting to rejoin HYDRA as he meets with known HYDRA affiliates at a bar. He ends up killing a few of them and leaves Daniel Whitehall’s right-hand man, Sunil Bakshi, alive as a gift for Coulson. It certainly seems like Ward is trying to get back in Coulson’s good graces, but his efforts are all for naught considering how much wrong he’s done in the past. I highly doubt the series will come to this, but it would be a shame if Ward were to actually be redeemed for his actions.

The main plot of “The Writing on the Wall” dealt with a villain referred to as Carver who has been murdering former S.H.I.E.L.D. agents by carving those mysterious symbols into their skin. It’s all part of his mission to figure out what the symbols actually mean. This character helped shed some light on the dilemma Coulson has been going through lately. At one point Coulson uses the machine Raina used on him in season one to retrieve memories of The Guest House. He discovers that Carver and several other former S.H.I.E.L.D. agents experienced strange side effects after being involved in the T.A.H.I.T.I. project. This leads Coulson to the home of Hank Thompson – a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who went through the same T.A.H.I.T.I. operation. Unfortunately, Carver was there waiting for Coulson, but fortunately their encounter finally led Coulson to uncover the truth behind the symbols they’ve been drawing.

Unlike Carver, Coulson, or even Garrett, Thompson ended up creating a 3-dimensional representation of the apparent alien symbols. This leads Coulson to believe the symbols are a blueprint for a city and not a map as Skye suggested episodes ago. Fan theories as to what the city actually is have already been circulating online. A popular answer is Attilan – the ancestral city of the Inhumans. Considering Marvel Studios has already announced an Inhumans film in the works, it wouldn’t be surprising for the company to start teasing the concept in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Creepy Carver

Creepy Carver

Whatever the blueprint is it’s good to see Coulson and his team finally have a major puzzle piece in their possession that gives them a one-up against HYDRA. Also, Coulson has now lost the compulsion to draw weird symbols all the time.

Overall, “The Writing on the Wall” was a good episode. While the episode seemed to focus more on Coulson’s plight and the discovery of a potential city, I found the story involving Ward much more interesting. Ever since Ward was revealed to be working for HYDRA his character has gotten much more compelling and this episode elevated that fact immensely. I’m looking forward to seeing how far Ward goes. The final scene implies he will be going after his senator brother next.

Also, while this episode was light on Fitz, we did get to see his friendship with Mac continue to develop and we were given a glimmer of hope that Fitz’s mental state will eventually improve. Lastly, I couldn’t help but notice Skye drop the name Micro within the first act of the episode. For those unaware, Micro (short for Microchip) is an associate of The Punisher. Its doubtful The Punisher will show up any time soon in any Marvel property, but I still appreciate the Easter Egg.

In next week’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. it seems Coulson and his team will attempt to retrieve the Obilesk from Daniel Whitehall. Check out the official promo for “The Things we Bury” below and feel free to let us know what you thought of “The Writing on the Wall” in the comments.