“A Fractured House” for Coulson and Ward On This Week’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Credit: ABC
Credit: ABC

Agents, I swear this season gets better with every episode. Last week we focused on Skye and her daddy issues and this week we get to shift to our favorite bearded traitor: Grant Ward. He’s as fascinating as he is evil and it’s his “Fractured House” we get to dive into.

Heeey brother: During an address to the UN, Talbot and everyone else in attendance is attacked by a HYDRA team disguised as SHIELD agents. Afterward, in a meeting with a senator, Talbot expresses his doubts that SHIELD is in fact a terrorist organization, saying it’s HYDRA they need to worry about. But this senator has a good reason to want SHIELD defeated and HYDRA off the nation’s radar: he’s Grant Ward’s brother. Senator Christian Ward goes on TV following the attack and declares SHIELD as a major threat and announces he will be proposing new legislation to have anyone associated with the group killed or captured. This obviously has Coulson and the team concerned, especially since they’ve barely been able to recruit anyone as it is.

Loose lips and sinking ships: May, Hunter, and Bobbi are sent out to gather intel on HYDRA’s latest Obelisk-powered weapons. There’s some lovely banter between the two exes. Sadly, Fitz and Simmons still haven’t recovered their back-and-forth. He’s frustrated and maybe a bit embarrassed when she tries to finish his sentences now and she’s clearly torn up by his damaged brain. Later he breaks down to her because she left him when he most needed her help. She tries to explain but is overwhelmed with emotion and runs off. Down in the basement, Skye visits Ward for intel on Christian but all he does is warn her away from his brother. Then he spins the conversation to her father instead. She lets slip that she found her dad and learned that he’s a crazy murderer before Coulson shuts the conversation down.

Splinter bombs: Still playing the role of a HYDRA operative, Bobbi snuggles up to weapons designer Toshiro who calls his newest creations (which were used at the UN), splinter bombs. They disintegrate their target on contact, like the Obelisk. He’s just mentioning The Diviner aka what Skye’s dad calls The Obelisk when a message comes to his phone labeling Bobbi as a HYDRA traitor. Thankfully, Hunter and May saw the message first and arrive in time to save her, not that she really needed their help anyway, she tells Hunter.

Fair trade: Coulson visits Senator Ward personally to tell him he’s got his brother “in his basement” and big brother tells a tale of young Ward as a psychotic liar. At the same time, Ward tells Skye his brother is even worse than him. To prove his loyalty, he explains her father killed all those people in the village back when she was a baby because those people were HYDRA agents hunting Skye and her family. Confirming this is all of the information he has on her father, she tells him he’s being transferred to his brother’s custody. Coulson’s made a deal: Ward in exchange for the Senator shutting down his anti-SHIELD protocol. Ward practically pleads with Coulson to change his mind. “I’m still part of your team,” he says. The Director barely holds his anger in check to spit out the list of people Ward killed or hurt. “You betrayed every one of us you deluded son of a bitch!”

Getting played and paying the price: During everything, Fitz has been rambling about some old files. Mack finally figures it out and they find a link between an old HYDRA bomb designer and a Belgian politician who has been helping SHIELD find safe haven. Coulson knows they’ve been played and his team in Belgium is in danger. He sends May, Hunter, and Bobbi but they’re too late. So instead Hunter swaggers in and stalls the HYDRA mercs long enough for Bobbi and May to get in position. The two women burst through the windows and another epic fight commences. May takes on the leader one on one and lays on a fantastic beat down, one that earns her a handshake from General Talbot later on. Bobbi and Hunter are in perfect sync as they take on the remaining agents and it’s pretty awesome. I’m loving these two together.

Keeping promises: Senator Ward shares the truth that his brother was a traitor. Simultaneously, Ward is paraded past his former team. He spots Skye and tries to speak with her but Simmons steps in front. She promises to kill him if she ever sees him again. Still, as Ward is loaded onto the armored truck, he calls back that he’ll keep his promise to Skye. Coulson warns the guards to not give Ward even an inch of wiggle room. Ward only needs enough space to dislocate his thumb though. He slips his cuffs and takes out the agents transporting him.

End credits: The final scene shows an unknown man walking into a tattoo parlor to finish a tattoo on his torso of the alien writing.

Field Notes

  • Bobbi in her Star Wars shirt is nerd perfection.
  • Skye on Ward’s brother: “Guess being a douche bag runs in the family.”
  • Favorite moment of the episode-
    Bobbi: “Ever been married?”
    May: [nods almost imperceptibly]
    Bobbi: “Still talk to him?”
    May: [looks at her stone-faced]
  • I enjoy the little details about Ward that make him creepy. Like how he wakes up at 5:30 on the dot everyday to work out in his cell despite having no clock or sunlight for him to tell the time by.
  • Once again, FitzSimmons breaks my heart. She knows she makes Fitz’ condition worse and that’s why she left. *SOB*
Stephanie Coats