MAJOR SPOILERS for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4, episode 15 ‘Self Control’ ahead.
The first television offshoot from Marvel Studios’ massively successful Marvel Cinematic Universe is ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which launched on the network in 2013 and took some time to find its place among the bigger film properties. However, the show’s tie-in episode with Captain America: The Winter Soldier – which revealed S.H.I.E.L.D. had been infiltrated by Hydra and saw the organization dissolved by in-fighting – completely changed the trajectory of the series. The tie-in also revealed Agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) was an undercover Hydra operative who subsequently betrayed Phil Coulson’s (Clark Gregg) team.
In the wake of The Winter Soldier altering Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s course in season 1, the show has gone on to battle Hydra on more than one occasion – and, by proxy, Ward as well – but had seemingly defeated the rogue organization at the end of season 3. Additionally, Ward was killed by Coulson in the midseason 3 finale, then revived as the Inhuman Hive later on – only to be killed once again in the season 3 finale when Lincoln sacrificed himself to save his fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. Although it seemed that was the last fans would see of Dalton, tonight’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. revealed he’d be back once more.
In an interview with EW, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. showrunners Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon – the latter of which wrote and directed tonight’s episode, ‘Self Control’ – confirmed Dalton will indeed revive the role of Grant Ward. Tancharoen said simply, “Yes, he is!” Meanwhile, Whedon offered an explanation of why the character had been revived for this particular storyline:
“We figured when you get dropped into an alternate reality, what better way to show that it might not be everything you imagined than the return of one of our most loved and most hated characters. Also, we wanted to have Brett back. We missed him.”
Marvel additionally released the above video, further confirming Dalton’s return and and offering fans a fun teaser for what’s to come when Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns in April. Dalton’s expression in the video – though not necessarily offering any concrete details about Ward’s new arc in the series – certainly promises plenty more of the character fans love to both love and hate. As for how Daisy will react to learning she’s dating Ward within Dr. Holden Radcliffe’s (John Hannah) Framework, Whedon told EW:
We could look back at their history and see if [it seems like Daisy won’t be happy to see him] tracks with what’s happened in the past, but that sounds about right.
Even before Ward became tied up in the reason for Lincoln’s death, Daisy hated Ward for his betrayal of her and the rest of their S.H.I.E.L.D. team. Back in season 1, it seemed a romantic relationship could develop between the two, but his role as a Hydra operative seemed to sink that ship – though Ward held onto hope long after Daisy had given up on him. Given their track record, and Ward’s semi-involvement in Lincoln’s death, it’s likely he and Daisy will be at odds quite quickly once the show resumes this spring – providing more fun for fans of Dalton’s character.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4 continues in April on ABC.
Source: EW, Marvel