The past Agents of SHIELD episode (Turn, Turn, Turn) had a lot of shocking moments in it but none probably more shocking than how it finished. With Ward (Guygent) “killing” Victoria Hand and showing his allegiance to Hydra. Though he did not verbally say, “Hail Hydra!”.
If you notice I said killing in quotation marks because some people are under the assumption that Victoria Hand is in fact not dead. One of those said people I’ve invited into this column to join me and give their (wrong) points on why she is still alive. I’m of the side saying she is dead, dead, dead.
So here to do battle with me to the death is Andrew McDonald. Please everyone lets not point, laugh and make fun of his argument until the very end because that’s just not nice. So without further ado here is the first battle of the Andrews.
Warning spoilers are bound to pop up. You’ve been warned!
Is Victoria Hand still alive?
Look I get this is a show based off a comic universe where people always seem to come back from the dead. It’s what comics have been doing for years. Fan favorite dies, publisher thinks of some overly crazy (sometimes simple) way to bring the character back. However this is not the comics, it is the Marvel cinematic universe and these rules should not apply as loosely as they do in the books.
Lets look at it this way if Victoria Hand is still alive then people will stop being shocked by any “death” in Marvel’s films and shows. They already killed Coulson and miraculously resurrected him, they gave Fury the appearance that he died (granted no one should have bought into that). Now we have Victoria Hand. By not keeping her death permanent they cheapen the shock value of the death and any “deaths” in the future.
What say you Mr. McDonald?
Victoria Hand is soooooo alive!
Look, I get this is TV, but this is TV based on comic books and bordering sci-fi. Worse, it’s a sci-fi, superhero, spy show!
Victoria Hand in the comics was a hard, cold woman. She worked for SHIELD and then for HAMMER under Norman Osborne. She was end justifies the means kinda woman. She eventually died at the hands of a mystical attack while working for the Avengers as a triple agent. She was working for Captain America, while pretending to be a Hydra spy, while actually working as an informant for Captain America. That means the good guys thought she was a bad guy, while she was pretending to be a good guy, and the bad guys thought she was a bad guy pretending to be a good guy.
Confusing right? Thats cause this woman was/is a serious spy. Spies that serious don’t die on plane defenseless. Hand isn’t dead. And more so, why did we see the other two shot then but she happened off-screen? Seems convenient.
Bitch Be Dead!
You sir clearly are mistaken. The first shot Ward takes at Hand we see it hit her in the gut. Then she dropped and he popped off 3 or 4 more rounds.
The past few episodes SHIELD has brought up the Night-Night pistol a lot. May saying she was trying to shoot Fitz with one and Coulson using it on May (when he said it was real bullets). They clearly went to make a point that Ward did not use this gun by showing Hand’s hand with a big glob of blood dripping down it.
So am I and the rest of the audience expected to believe Ward did not hit her with a kill shot on any of those shots? That he is that bad of an agent? Yeah not likely. Lets not forget they are on a plane commandeered by Hydra. Garrett is no fool, he’s not just going to leave her body there without checking a pulse. Granted she could have used the same exact thing Fury used in Captain America but the dude still needed medical attention which he was able to get because Maria Hill took him to one of his secret hideaways. This plane is most likely headed for a Hydra facility that Ward has probably never been to. So he’s going to carry Hand’s body around Weekend at Bernie’s style until he finds a medical center to patch her up? Again no.
Plus they made a huge point to focus in on Ward at the end of the episode to show that murder in his eyes. There was definitely some regret there too because he’s got to figure he’s all-in on Hydra now. But that look of murder, MURDER!
The ball is back in your court Sir McDonald.
No Way, No How
See, I never saw murder in Ward’s eyes at the end. I just saw steely determination. That scene starts with a closeup on Hand’s….hand and ends with a shot of Ward’s face. But the whole time Ward is looking down, presumably in my eyes at Agent Hand’s body for some sign.
This is SHIELD again. If Hand and Coulson are the highest agents in charge they are taking no chances, if anything now there are even more secrets to keep and this time between just the two of them and no one else. I’m not even certain the two men that were sent with them to deliver Garrett were real SHIELD agents and not LMDs. They definitely make a point to show Ward is a very good shot in being able to shoot two trained men point-blank in the head before either can raise a gun.
He had Hand dead to rights, there is no reason to shoot her multiple times in the body, on an aircraft that’s currently flying, to make sure she is dead one bullet to the head will more than do the job. Ward’s too good a shot. He shot Hand exactly where he knew he’d have to shoot her to convince Garrett she was dead. The only thing in Ward’s eyes is betrayal and a burning desire for revenge against a man he once trusted.
Grant Ward, Welcome to Hydra?
There it is! I was waiting for the LMD defense and you did not disappoint Mr. McDonald. If they end up saying Victoria Hand was actually an LMD then we can chalk that up as a cheap ass ploy. Don’t really like the whole idea behind LMDs, it’s the get out of jail free card. Oh we killed someone and people don’t like it, well um LMD. Let’s not forget LMDs have only been mentioned once and as a punch line to when Tony Stark answered his phone in Avengers. The viewing public who don’t read comics will roll their eyes at that. It takes away all doubt of any future deaths.
But let’s get away from the LMDs and talk about Ward for a minute. You said there was no reason for him to put so many bullets into Hand but I disagree. It was his way to show commitment to Garrett and by extension Hydra (or quite possibly just a commitment to Skye, more on this in a minute). Also you are correct Ward was staring down at Hand before the episode closed. Where I think you are wrong in this however is Ward did in fact turn to the dark side. Garrett is talking to him during this scene but we can’t tell what he is saying, his voice is becoming more and more muffled as he talks. Ward is in a world of his own, becoming numb to the idea he is a cold-blooded killer (4 people in less than 24hrs) and before the episode ends he looks up directly at the audience with a pure look of evil.
As I’ve said many times since this show started, I don’t like Agent Ward. He’s boring, a generic cardboard cut agent. Hence why I always call him Guygent. He even said to Skye before he took on 7 armed men he wants to prove to her he’s not boring. To me that was for the audience, because I know I’m not the only one to think he is a boring character. They wanted to foreshadow his character change and by making him a turncoat makes him actually interesting now. That there might be more to the man, that Agent Ward is actually not generic but has layers.
Before I close I wanted to bring up this one interesting thing. In Wards conversation with Skye he tells her he killed that innocent man to protect her. Now with that in mind who else has always been opposed of the idea of Skye? Victoria Hand. So Ward kills her, again all in the name of protecting Skye. Now here’s where it might go even further. Maybe, just maybe he is not joining Hydra but now on his own mission to try to take down an organization that might be a threat to the woman he clearly loves. But either way him joining Hydra or being on a murderous rampage for love one thing remains clear, Victoria Hand is dead.
The Rules Of Comics and Action Films
Now you have me wrong on the LMD defense. I don’t think for a second Hand was an LMD, just the two other guards. The fact is SHIELD has been completely and utterly compromised, so even with the capture of Garrett, they are still at a disadvantage. The only way to strike back is to infiltrate Hydra and break it down from the inside.
Ward is trained to handle tough situations and think on his toes. He’s not afraid to make the hard decisions and he’s someone Garrett would believe he understands from personally training him. Ward is the best person to “turn” traitor because he’s the company man no one would expect to really be breaking all the rules and going against his former coworkers and superiors.
But to the rules of comics and action films that I mentioned earlier. No body, no death. It’s the basic rule, a character can react to a death or a character can seemingly perish but if the viewer doesn’t hear or see irrevocable proof one has to assume the character can make a return. The close-up on Hand’s hand only shows she was bleeding and presumed dead. As Fury proved in Captain America 2, seeing may be believing but you can’t always believe what you’re seeing. And again, I think the agents were LMD’s for Ward to shoot to show his ruthlessness. Ward was no closer to Hand then he was to the two agents, but their deaths are still so much more sudden and violent then the shooting of Hand, again, presumably in the torso several times.
In the end, when Ward and Hand are leaving with Garrett, he and Coulson share a look and a nod. It could be nothing, but with everything involved, the fact that Hand herself is smart and was willing to murder Garrett in cold blood on the plane, a move that would gain them nothing leads me to believe, this is a counter scheme to fool Garrett and infiltrate Hydra.
Well at this current juncture we can’t say which of us is right but we at least know eventually one of us will be proven wrong. So what say you Review Zoo readers, do you side with the opinion Hand is alive or the side in which she is dead? Sound off in the comment section below.