Every story needs a good villain and it looks like Agents of SHIELD may have finally found one with the emergence of Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) as the new leader of Hydra. After spending most of Season 2 following after Skye (Chloe Bennet) like a lovesick puppy, it looks like Ward has embraced his evil destiny and we couldn’t be happier about it.
Sure, the first few episodes of Season 3 have been all about the Inhumans and how awesome Constance Zimmer is, but Ward’s supervillain arc has the potential to become one of Agents of SHIELD‘s strongest story lines to date. In fact, it may just be one of the best decisions the show writers have made. Don’t believe us? Here’s a few reasons why we think Ward becoming the big bad is a good thing.
Ward doesn’t deserve a redemption story
Back in Agents of SHIELD Season 1, when it was first revealed that Ward was a Hydra agent, we secretly hoped that he’d find a way to come back from it and rejoin the good guys. That hope diminished the moment he sent Fitz and Simmons plummeting into the ocean, and was officially non-existent around the time he flat out murdered his family.
The same goes for his relationship with Skye–whoops, I mean Daisy. Their sweet flirtations quickly turned creepy after Ward became singularly obsessed with her, even after she sold him out and rejected him. Thankfully he seemed the get the hint and move on after she, y’know, shot him. The point being, the team will never be what it was, and it’s about damn time that Ward move on from trying to recapture the guy he pretended to be and evolve into the leader he has the potential to become.
He’s the right guy for the job
Ward may have started out as the steadfast soldier, but the first two seasons proved that Ward has the intelligence and the capability to take up the role of Hydra head. Aside from his physical strength and fighting skills, he’s a master manipulator. He literally tricked an entire organization of spies to trust him enough to rise within the ranks and even fooled Agent Koenig’s lie detector test. Where Whitehall needed a brainwashing trick, all Ward needs is a quick wit and his sharp tongue. Plus, with his handsome face, the guy just screams cult leader, doesn’t he?
Hydra needs bite
Let’s be honest, since the days of Garrett and Whitehall, Hydra has become far less menacing and more of a general annoyance. With a new rival government agency and a big, scary alien killing everybody, Hydra has become a fading memory. Thankfully, Ward has taken it upon himself to rebuild Hydra from the ground up, turning it into his own image of grand villainy.
Hunter (Nick Blood) and May (Ming-Na Wen) have proven that his recruitment tactics are extreme, to say the least, hinting that the new Hydra will be little bit more sinister than a bunch of red coats following the orders of a mad German scientist. Not to mention we can’t help but be curious about what new recruit Werner von Strucker (Spencer Clark) is up to in Andrew Garner’s (Blair Underwood) psych class.
It means Brett Dalton gets more screen time
Okay, yeah, the guy is super handsome, but that’s not what we’re talking about here (mostly). Dalton does a great job with both sides of Ward’s personality; in spite of Ward being a rather two-dimensional character in the beginning, we couldn’t help but like the guy, but once his Hydra roots were unearthed, he could turn his performance from sweet to creepy at the drop of a hat.
Throughout Season 2 it felt like the writers had little idea of what to do with Ward, literally exiling him for the majority of the first-half, Bertha style. Is he a good guy, or a bad guy? For awhile it seemed like no one knew, not even Ward himself, so he stayed on the sidelines. Now that he’s embraced his bad self, Dalton is bound to get the screen time he so deserves.
SHIELD needs a good nemesis
Agents of SHIELD has had a long line of great villains, but none of whom have lasted more than a season–except for poor Raina (RIP). With Ward at the helm of Hydra, the show finally has a consistent and menacing nemesis to revisit, much like Loki in the Thor films. There’s a built-in history there, so much tension that you could barely hack it through with a machete and Ward’s previous actions have proven that he’s a genuine threat. Anyone who has the capability of taking Mockingbird (Adrianne Palicki) out of commission is not someone to be taken lightly.
Are you enjoying Ward’s tenure as the new head of Hydra or still holding out hope that he’ll rejoin SHIELD? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on CTV and ABC.
Associate Editor Kelly Townsend always had strong opinions on TV growing up, so it was only natural to evolve from couch musings to online journalism. She can't ever choose a favorite series, so please don't ask. Her writing has also appeared on IndieWire and Tribute.ca. You can find her on Twitter at @kellybtownsend.