Declassified: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – “A Fractured House”

This week’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. titled “A Fractured House” was just that! From the Ward family to Shields relationship with the public, everything in this episode was about how things once considered ‘home’ can fall apart. Though there’s a reason it’s called a ‘fractured’ hour and not a broken one. It’s not broken yet, so do our heroes have any chance of putting things back together? Let’s take a closer look to find out.

S.H.I.E.L.D. – From Targets To Victims:

After the Hydra outbreak earlier this year, Coulson has had a lot of obstacles to get past with rebuilding S.H.I.E.L.D. It finally started to seem like S.H.I.E.L.D. could get some work done with their loose arrangement with Talbot; but that is when Hydra decided to strike once again. Disguised as S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents – all it takes is apparently a patch on your shirt – a group of Hydra assassins attacked the U.N. causing a global outcry for revenge against S.H.I.E.L.D.

Talbot might have suspected S.H.I.E.L.D.’s innocence; but it was Senator Ward who was about to lead the push for a world wide witch hunt where anyone with ties to S.H.I.E.L.D. – no matter how loose – would be targeted. So when a foreign diplomat named Beckers seemingly stood with S.H.I.E.L.D. and offered his country as a place of sanctuary, Coulson had nothing else to do but start to think about the potential of relocating to find security for his people.

Talbot-addressing-the-UN-Agents-Of-SHIELD-S2Ep6-A-Fractured-House-ReviewThings deteriorated faster when word went out that Beckers might be targeted for assassination. While trying to rescue him and relocate him to a safe house, we learned – too late – that he was Hydra. It cost Coulson 6 of his already limited supply of Agents; but if anything good could come from this, it was to help S.H.I.E.L.D. get back in a favorable eye to the public.

After bargaining with Senator Ward, Coulson is able to let the truth be told for once. That Hydra and S.H.I.E.L.D. are not the same. S.H.I.E.L.D. has been victimized by Hydra and have taken more and more losses. They need the world to know that there are still those fighting for good, even if no one will fight for them. With the world ready to accept S.H.I.E.L.D. again, this could lead to more funds for Coulson and an actual chance to rebuild for the better. Though can Senator Ward truly be trusted?

The Brother of Lies – Ward Vs Ward:

Last Season we learned about Ward’s older brother, Christian – who did some not so Christian things. Considering he would force Ward to beat up their younger brother, its no wonder Ward was so broken when Garrett found him. This time around we finally met Ward’s brother first hand; and he just so happens to be the ‘Senator with deep pockets’ Talbot mentioned a few episodes ago who wanted S.H.I.E.L.D. to burn.

Ward is usually very unshaken; but when Skye brought him up to Ward, he freaked out. You could actually see the fear in Ward’s eyes as he wanted to stay far away from the monster that tormented his childhood. Though when Coulson spoke to Christian, we heard a different side of the story: that it was Ward who would abuse their little brother – or rather an unhinged darkness inside him he wasn’t completely aware of. So who do we believe?

Christian WardEven though Skye and Ward’s conversation takes place after Coulson and Christian Wards conversation, splicing these two scenes together created incredible tension. To see each ones words bounce off the other and immediately disprove what the other was saying was perfect. The juxtaposition of these two not only makes you wonder which is good and which is bad; but also how similar these two are. In the ends it’s not a question of good and evil; but rather who’s worse.

PERSONALLY, I think Ward’s telling the truth about his brother Christian. Ward makes an excellent villain and was a particular awful person at the end of last season between betraying his friends and then threatening to rape Skye to ‘awaken something dark insider her’. He’s the guy you want to hate; but this Season has shown us a different side of him. His time to himself has given him clarity and seems to have driven him nuts – even to the point of trying to kill himself. He seems remorseful, so I want to believe Ward is the better of the two.

Though with Ward’s escape, he is now an agent of Chaos. Coulson made it very clear he’s not welcome at S.H.I.E.L.D. – as did Jemma – and he doesn’t really have a place in Hydra without Garrett. Add in his brother Christian starting a manhunt for him and he’s got no place to go. Even so, he still is very well trained and seems to do it almost on instinct – or brainwashing. Ward will be up to things; but we just can’t be sure of what as of yet. It’ll all make sense in the end I suppose.

The Truth? About Skye’s Father:

Since we’re still not sure if Grant Ward’s telling the truth – or has an angle – we can’t confirm if this is true yet or not; but this episode we might have gotten some insights into Skye’s “Fractured House”. According to Ward, Skye’s father might be a killer; but he wasn’t always a monster. The massacre that left Skye as an orphan – as Ward tells it – was in retribution. The Agents that day were apparently Hydra and killed Skye’s mom. In a fit of rage, her father killed all those agents only to find his daughter already gone. That day he lost his whole family and it made him snap completely into who he is now.

Grant Ward Fractured HouseOn one hand, this doesn’t explain why he would go to Hydra with the ‘Diviner’ and think about working with them. Though on the other hand, it explains a lot of other things. For starters, this would explain why he was fully aware of Hydra and their aspiration. Additionally, this could mean that Skye’s Father means to eventually betray/massacre Hydra from the inside out. It would also explain why he was so quick to snap at Coulson – seeing him as the new thing that is keeping him from his daughter.

Though more than all this, if Ward’s story is true, this would paint Skye’s father as an incredibly complex and tragic character. Making her father a straight up psycho killer is a little easy and expected; but adding this other layer is very powerful and actually has me even more invested in which way things will play out.

Catching Up With The Exes:

Learning that the awesome Bobbie Morse was Hunter’s infamous ex-wife was a great reveal; but it wasn’t until this episode that all that set up seemed worth it. When Bobbi and Hunter got to go on a mission together with May, we not only see what each brings to the table; but just how hilarious their quarreling can be.

Bobbi talents are endless as we can see her not only disarming people with her charm, but also learning quickly and then kicking butt when things get rough. Hunter is the other side of this coin. Whereas he’s not as intelligent of clever, he’s the perfect distraction as he is able to disarm people with his ‘everyday guy’ approach. In addition to this, he is also an incredibly good fighter/shot and we see him get to use that three times to save Bobbi.

Bobbi Morse in her new Mockingbird uniform

Bobbi Morse in her new Mockingbird uniform

In the end Bobbi finally admits that he was saving her and not getting in the way of her kills. Though the highlight of these two had to be when Bobbi tried to go undercover as Hydra again and her cover got blown. When these two are arguing over who saved who, one of the gunmen gets back up but is then immediately put back down by perfectly synchronized bullets from Bobbi and Hunter who are still arguing. Can I just say, I love these two!

FitzSimmons Reunited & Awkward:

Though while Bobbi and Hunter had their issues and made up in the end, the same cant really be said for FitzSimmons. There was a very emotional exchange between the two when we learned that Simmons just up and left Fitz by saying she was going to spend a few days with her parents and then just never came back. Though in later conversation we heard Jemma reveal that she left because her presence actually seems to make Fitz’s condition worse.

It natural to want to take sides in situations such as these; but there is sufficient reasoning on both. Remember that Fitz had seemed to finally be getting better and moving on, but now with Simmons back he’s stuttering and cant find the words anymore. Then again, we also have to see the person Jemma is becoming. The usual, wouldn’t-hurt-a-fly Jemma just threatened to kill Ward the next time she sees him. Both have changed a lot since last season – and with good reason. Wherever this two end up, they will always have our hearts.

Easter Eggs:

Bobbi Morse Star Wars tshirt

  • So we learned that May has been married; but we still don’t know who to. Bobbie’s remark of ‘oh yah’, makes us think it has a bad ending or was Coulson. Guess we’ll find out
  • Bobbi Morse was wearing a Star Wars tshirt at the start of the episode. Seriously, how much more awesome can she get? ❤
  • Bobbi also briefly mentioned Clint Barton (Hawkeye) when talking about the assassin Hydra used to take down S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • Is the man at the end with the Diviner Tattoos the same one who carved the glyphs into the back of that painting? Does the words ‘finish it’ mean he knows the entire map? Seems like we’ll learn these answers next week.

It’s strange. There might not have been a huge watershed moment like Captain America: The Winter Soldier caused last season; but through exciting drama and character depth, “A Fractured House” has resparked the fire and drive of this series. The plots are deepening, the stakes are escalating, and I can’t wait to see what next week’s episode brings. Add in the Special Phase 3 Event and more Age of Ultron footage, and Marvel Studios has ABSOLUTELY won the week!

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