Hypocrisy, Betrayal, Redemption
I love the character Grant Ward. BUT I do agree that he has done some horrible things. He has also done some good things. He is NOT a psycho nor a sociopath. He cares about people, if he did not the whole team would be dead. He can show remorse, he tried to commit suicide several times, that is not something a sociopath would do. He is a spy, one of the best, and very capable and very effective. So it is kind of crazy that those skills are held against him on a SPY show. He is very loyal and unfortunately he followed the wrong person, John Garrett, who if one is going to throw out the words sociopath or psycho, Garrett is definitely closer to the front of the line for those labels.
Ward did kidnap Skye a couple of times, and kill many people for SHIELD and for Hydra. Those are bad. He also saved the team many times and although he tells Raina that is was to maintain his cover, I really think he is saying that to cover up his “weakness” (you know the compassion Garrett kept harping on Ward about, calling it a weakness and using it to control him). No one would have been like “Ward, you let Jemma Simmons sacrifice herself. You could have jumped out of a plane and saved her. *gasp* because you didn’t you must be hiding something, you must me Hydra!!!" UMMMM, NO. He jumped out and saved her because he cared about her. He protected Fitz (and Fitz protected him back) on their mission together because he cared about him too. He did not shoot May when he was trying to get Skye and the hard drive even though he realized they would most likely meet again and she would know he betrayed them and she would try to kill him, but he cared about her too. He did not put a bullet in Fitz or Simmons heads, he could not hide them on a plane full of Hydra soldiers and murderous John, so he ejected them from the plane in a pod that was supposed to float. Yes, it was a horrible thing, but it was better than a bullet or waiting for John to finish the job.
Yes, the team has a right to be livid with him and yes they do not have to forgive him, but redemption is not contingent on the forgiveness of wronged parties. Yes, it is good to attempt to attain forgiveness from those one has wronged, but getting it or not does not negate the ability to seek and work towards redemption. Agent Hand and Eric cannot give forgiveness because they are dead, but Ward can still try to be a better person and stop killing people.
What gets me though is the hypocrisy of the team when it comes to Ward. Keeping a prisoner in inhumane conditions because you have a grudge is wrong. Coulson trying to sell Ward out to his abusive brother, not getting him help after his suicide attempts, and then threatening to brainwash him with the TAHAITI project is WRONG. Coulson lying to everyone, sacrificing people to get a Quinjet (Izzy and Idaho were unaware what they were signing on for, that is not right), putting his whole agency in danger because he will not take the time to get better intel are just a few examples of Coulson’s hypocrisy. The team hates Ward for blindly following Garret, yet May and Skye blindly follow Coulson. Skye says SHIELD is better than Hydra yet SHIELD winds up doing exactly what Skye accuses Hydra of (shooting Donnie Gill because he cannot be controlled). Jemma throws her lab partner under the bus while undercover and tries to help Hydra contain Donnie Gill. Yes, she is undercover, but still not great stuff. Sometimes spies and the covers they have require not great actions. Fitz is also not as morally superior as he was. He tortures a prisoner. Taking Ward’s oxygen was cruel, he did it out of anger and revenge. Yes he has a right to be livid with Ward, but taking his oxygen was wrong. Skye mocking Ward’s suicide attempts and shooting him 4 times was wrong. May fracturing his larynx was wrong. Simmons threatening to kill him was wrong. Coulson taking Kara hostage and threatening to brainwash Ward, something he was livid with Fury for doing to him, is wrong. Hunter, who barely knows Ward, yet calls him a psycho is funny because Hunter is a mercenary. What do mercenaries do? Take money for doing "dirty” job, usually for the highest bidder, not always (probably rarely) making sure the highest bidder is good or that the job is moral. Hunter also betrayed the team, of course not nearly on the same level as Ward, but hey, he ain’t perfect either. Look they all have a right to be angry with Ward, they do not have to forgive him, BUT they are not all morally superior. Many have been hypocrites. Many have lashed out in anger or vengeance at Ward.
I like Ward because I see someone who can be better, who can and will and even did protect those he cares about. He is a natural protector and is very loyal. If he can learn to be loyal to the right ideals, things, or people. He might not have been brainwashed (we really do not know for sure) but he was manipulated and possible conditioned by Garrett, even abused by Garrett. Garrett was like a father figure to him and he desperately NEEDED one. He was also abused by his brother, mother, and possibly other family members. Those are not excuses for actions, but they do shed light on the psyche of Grant Ward and I think if the team would take those circumstances into account they might be able to let go of some their anger and start healing. Understanding does not erase past wrongs but it helps them ease the hold they can take when one becomes consumed with anger from betrayal.
So I would just like everyone to stop being hypocrites. It is a SPY show. Everyone has a body count and all have done bad or morally gray things.