I’m sorry, did anyone thing I would stop talking about the current Whedon TV project just because it’s between seasons? Before season 2 hits (which will have Lucy Lawless–-it’s like my childhood dream come true), I do want to spend a post talking about some of the things in the first season that are changed by the knowledge of what has actually been going on the whole time.
So now that the late-in-the-season reveals on the show have put a new spin on most of the entire first season, what kind of things do I see in a different light?
1. Ward’s anti-interrogating skills: The first episode, when Skye is brought in for questioning. Coulson and Ward handle the interrogation. Coulson takes Ward aside at one point, and asks him if Skye’s getting to him or if he’s so unhappy at being assigned to a team that he’s deliberately trying to blow the interrogation. He is deliberately trying to blow the interrogation, because Skye is revealing information about Centipede that SHIELD doesn’t know, essentially putting SHIELD on Garrett’s trail.
2. Spies need to be convinced to join the team: When Ward explains to Raina how he gained Team Coulson’s trust, he tells her that he acted like he didn’t want to be part of the team: “You’d be surprised how often you’re invited to the party when you don’t want to go,” he said.
It was a nice touch that May ended up on the team exactly the same way. Coulson not only had to convince her to join the team, but to participate in the field work, and he spent several episodes putting his new team in danger to do it. And of course, May was the one who put the team together in the first place, and had every intention of being on it. Having both of the trained spies on the team use the same tactic to secure their position makes both May’s and Ward’s plans seem stronger in-story, and it makes them look pre-arranged.
(Oddly, even Skye the untrained snoop used this method to get on the team–Coulson may want to reconsider his recruitment strategy.)
3. Ward lies remorselessly: Watching that early first season scene where Skye decides to take her training with Ward seriously.
Skye: Hoping for something and losing it is worse than not having it at all.
Ward: We won’t turn our backs.
Skye: It doesn’t matter. I want this. Bad.
In retrospect, that’s just painful.
4. Ward’s stoic faces: Specifically designed to inscrutable. Gah! It’s so frustrating, when I want to see a reaction from him, but he’s just so well trained he refuses to oblige. Even in the diner in “Nothing Personal”, where Skye’s not-subtly calling him out–even when she outright states that she sent the cops after him because she knows he’s HYDRA–he gives away very little with his facial expressions.He does react, but subtly. It’s still near-impossible to get a sense of what he’s really thinking. Only when Skye’s going for the getaway car does his professional exterior falter.
Of course, we get plenty more reaction from the “real” Ward when he’s out of the field and on that plane with Mike and Skye. Now, there he let himself go. Much more satisfying. Still, I want to see more of Brett Dalton’s acting as “bad Ward”, not just “stoic covering-everything-up Ward.” There’s a distinct different personality there, and it’s hard to pin it down when he shows it so rarely. But of course, it does make sense that he defaults to being unreadable while on assignment, especially when taken by surprise.
5. Ward keeps trying to kill May: When I first saw “Yes Men” (an uncommonly bad episode for that stage of the series), I remember something odd about the May/Ward fight scene with respect to the Lorelei scenes–if we were getting the events in the right order, Lorelei’s powers should have been nullified by the time Ward had the gun at May’s head. It was shot in a way that made it look like Ward had come to his senses while aiming the gun at May, and I was expecting them to use this to say ‘whew, that was close, he almost shot her’.
And then he pulls the trigger, and I was like–wait, what? He’s still under Lorelei’s control?! I chalked it up to a weird editing decision at the time, but it wasn’t, was it? Ward did come back to himself holding a gun at May’s head, and he decided to use the opportunity. Then when it didn’t work, he conveniently was himself again, just as May went in for the attack.
6. Self-deprecating Ward: Ward and Skye’s first “romantic” interaction, just before we the audience found out the truth in “Turn, Turn, Turn.” When Ward tells Skye how he feels, he says “I know I’m boring”–and I thought it was odd, since most people don’t think of themselves as their negative traits. Or they wouldn’t be that way to start with. But of course, the real Ward thought that his cover personality was boring because that’s how he was playing fake Ward. As someone he himself would consider boring and predictable.
Anyone caught anything else?