|For alternate versions of Grant Ward, see Grant Ward's Character Hub|
- "I'm not looking for mercy or absolution. I just want you to know, I've been where you are right now. Filled with rage, wanting revenge... I chose HYDRA for petty, personal, selfish reasons... for a father figure, for vengeance... for closure. But what I saw today gave my life meaning. For the first time ever, I have a sense of satisfaction that I never experienced when I was seeking revenge."
- ― Grant Ward to Phil Coulson[src]
Grant Douglas Ward was one of the leaders of HYDRA and the most personal adversary of Phil Coulson. A former HYDRA infiltrator in S.H.I.E.L.D., disguised as a Level 7 operative, he was abused as a child by his family. As a teenager, he tried to burn down his family home. Ward was imprisoned until he was freed by John Garrett, who trained Ward to become a cold-blooded killer. Ward eventually became more loyal to him than to HYDRA. As a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Ward was recruited onto Coulson's Team, working with them on all their missions, pretending to be gruff and anti-social. However, in time, he became emotionally attached to the team.
During the HYDRA Uprising, he killed Victoria Hand but still maintained his cover as a loyal S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. He broke cover on John Garrett's orders and rejoined HYDRA. Despite harboring feelings for Skye, he followed all of Garrett's orders. When Garrett's HYDRA cell lost at the Battle at Cybertek, he was imprisoned by Coulson. Ward managed to escape many months later and rejoined HYDRA under Daniel Whitehall. However, he left the organization again after Whitehall's death along with Kara Palamas. They started a path in order to close their wounds and move forward that culminated in kidnapping Bobbi Morse, whom they considered responsible for Palamas' brainwashing.
Ward ended up accidentally killing Palamas, and he rejoined the remnants of HYDRA, deciding to rebuild the organization and become its new leader. His quest brought him in conflict with Gideon Malick, one of the last heads of HYDRA's old guard, but eventually, they made an alliance to destroy S.H.I.E.L.D. and fulfill HYDRA's oldest goal: the return of Hive to Earth. While on Maveth, he was finally killed by Phil Coulson, but his corpse was taken as a vessel by Hive and brought back to Earth.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Early Life
- 1.2 HYDRA Recruit
- 1.3 Coulson's Team
- 1.4 Skye's S.O.
- 1.4.1 Beginning Skye's Training
- 1.4.2 Kidnapping of Franklin Hall
- 1.4.3 Making their Plan
- 1.4.4 Skye's Mission Training
- 1.4.5 Rescue of Franklin Hall
- 1.4.6 Mission Aftermath
- 1.4.7 Searching for Akela Amador
- 1.4.8 Questioning Skye's Loyalty
- 1.4.9 Saving the Scientist
- 1.4.10 Operation: Overkill
- 1.4.11 Dark Past
- 1.5 Getting Intimate
- 1.6 HYDRA Uprising
- 1.7 S.H.I.E.L.D. Prisoner
- 1.8 Lone Wolf
- 1.9 Return to HYDRA
- 1.10 Closure of Kara Palamas
- 1.11 True Intentions
- 1.12 Rebuilding HYDRA
- 1.13 New Ally
- 1.14 Entering Maveth
- 1.15 Legacy
- 2 Personality
- 3 Powers and Abilities
- 4 Equipment
- 5 Facilities
- 6 Relationships
- 7 Appearances
- 8 Trivia
- 9 Behind the Scenes
- 10 References
- 11 External Links
Grant Douglas Ward grew up in Massachusetts and had a difficult childhood. He had an abusive older brother who would frequently force Ward to beat up his younger brother. His parents were even worse. Ward also had a sister with whom he no longer had contact with. These beatings could be for any reason, including when Ward had taken a slice of Christian's birthday cake, and was brutally beaten for it.
The Well Incident
An incident in particular that had a profound effect on Ward was when Christian Ward threw Thomas Ward into a well and would not allow Ward to rescue him. As Thomas desperately cried out for Ward to save him before he drowned, Christian warned him now to throw him the rope, or he would be thrown into the well with him. Ward eventually managed to pull Thomas up to safety without his brother knowing, however, this event had caused Ward to feel true hatred towards Christian, as well as his mother and father for the first time.
Attack on Christian Ward
- "A pissed off young cadet with off the charts hand-eye coordination who went AWOL, stole a car, drove over a thousand miles home only to try and burn the place down. I must say, I find a young man like that intriguing. I'm curious, did you know your brother was in the house when you set it on fire?"
"No, sir, I did not."
- ― John Garrett and Grant Ward[src]
In 1999, Ward went AWOL from the military academy to which he had been sent, stole a car, drove over a thousand miles home, and set fire to his parents' home in a furious rage. Unknown to Ward, his older brother Christian was inside and came close to burning to death in the fire. Christian survived but had Ward arrested by the police and pushed for the courts to try Grant as an adult to get the maximum punishment against him.
Freed by John Garrett
While being detained inside a Juvenile Detention Center in Plymouth, Ward was unexpectedly called for a visit, as he was surprised to be greeted by a man who introduced himself as John Garrett. Garrett explained that the quarter master at Ward's military school was an old friend of his, who had told him about Ward's skills in training before going on the run, stealing a car before attempting to burn his family home to the ground, with Garrett claiming that this history had intrigued him.
As they sat down together, Ward was asked by Garrett if he had known that Christian Ward was in the house when he set it on fire, which Ward denied. Garrett told Ward that he had also been a pyromaniac as a child, which he made into a career. Garrett then explained that he had come there to make Ward a one-time offer, explaining that his family's lawyer would be arriving in twenty minutes, as his family would be putting charges against him for arson and attempted murder, but Christian was also petitioning for him to be tried as an adult, to get the maximum sentence.
Garrett suggested that Ward could spend the next twenty years in prison, blaming his mother and father for his situation, or he could allow Garrett to set him free and teach him how to be a man. As Ward remained silent, Garrett explained that he worked for a secret organization that was looking to recruit men like him. Remaining unsure of Garrett's intentions, Ward had then questioned why he should trust Garrett, to which Garrett insisted that he should never trust anyone again, especially not him, much to Ward's surprise.
With Ward still unsure, Garrett explained that if he went with him, it would be the hardest thing he ever had to do, but he promised that if he did, then nobody would ever attempt to screw with him ever again. Garrett told Ward to say yes, once again promising that it would be hard, but fun, before giving Ward ten more seconds to make a decision before he walked away. Finally, Ward said yes to Garrett's offer, and he was immediately interrupted by armed guards bursting into the room and demanding that everybody get down, as the shocked Ward looked to Garrett, who commented that he promised it would be fun.
John Garrett's Test
Having been freed from the Juvenile Detention Center, Ward was then taken to Wyoming by John Garrett, as he joined him hunting ducks. As they walked back, Garrett also commented that he intended to retire there someday, noting that he had land which had already been paid for. However, Ward had remained silent, before questioning if the police found them, to which Garrett insisted that nobody was looking for him, noting that Ward's family would be happier to never see him again.
With Garrett noting that the police would prefer to stay out of the way of S.H.I.E.L.D., Ward questioned if the S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy was close by. However, Garrett had then noted that Ward's priority should be to figure out what he was going to eat that evening, to which Ward noted that he thought they would eat the ducks, only for Garrett to insist that only he would eat the ducks as he killed them, whereas Ward would go hungry. Garrett told Ward that if he wanted something from that point on, he would have to earn it himself, before then throwing Ward his bag.
As Garrett told Ward to build his shelter and find his own food, Ward was horrified, insisting that he did not have any equipment for this, noting that this was not fair on him, as he would have brought tools and food if he had known that he would have to live in the woods. However, Garrett then demanded to Ward stop whining about his problems, suggesting that if he wanted an easy life he could return to the Detention Centre, which would confirm that Ward was weak and worthless. Garrett had then explained that he would leave Ward and Buddy alone there for two months before he would return.
As he got into his truck, Garrett noting that believed that Ward would be able to get through this, before driving away. Upset and frustrated that he was being abandoned, Ward threw his bag onto the ground while Garrett drove away. Although Garrett had promised to return within a couple of months, but Ward and Buddy were instead left alone for six months. Although Ward suffered during those first few weeks due to the loneliness and the heavy rain, he had managed to raid nearby cabins, build his own camp and survive with ease.
Proving his Worth
- "First few weeks were rough, then I realized my thinking was limited. I started raiding cabins. Got some tools, tent, life got easier. Gonna build a cabin over there."
"See, I told you you could do it. Damn, son, you stepped up in a big way, I couldn't be prouder if you were my own."
- ― Grant Ward and John Garrett[src]
Having established his own camp, Ward continued to live out in the woods of Wyoming for six months, with only Buddy as his companion. One day, Ward caught sight of John Garrett arriving at the camp, as Ward snuck up on Garrett and aimed a shotgun at the back of his head. Ward questioned why he should not blow Garrett's head off, to which Garrett simply noted that he had brought tacos for them, while also noting that he had half expected Ward to have been long gone from these woods.
However, Ward furiously noted that he expected to never see Garrett again, noting that he had been gone four months longer than promised, to which Garrett explained that S.H.I.E.L.D. had sent him out of the country on assignment. As Garrett noted that Ward and Buddy had done okay, Ward explained how he had survived by raiding cabins for tools and a tent, making his life out in the woods easier for him and Buddy, noting how he intended to build a cabin. Garrett complimented Ward, noting that he had stepped up in a big way, insisting that he could not be prouder of Ward if he was his own son.
However, Garrett then turned around and aimed a revolver at Ward's chest, much to his shock, with Garrett noting that he had lied about the tacos, having kept the gun hidden inside of the back. As Ward questioned what the gun was for, Garrett noted that this was actually for his next lesson, before then turning around and shooting various items around Ward's camp with remarkable accuracy, to Ward's surprise. Garrett had then handed Ward the revolver, telling him to stick by his side, as he would train Ward to be able to shoot with even more skill than that.
Learning About HYDRA
For five years, John Garrett subjected Ward to a number of grueling survival tests in the Wyoming wilderness, eventually molding him into a cold, driven survivalist with the skills he needed. While eating in their campsite, Ward had given some food to Buddy, with Garrett questioning if Ward was aware that Buddy was still just a dog, to which Ward insisted that Buddy was better than any human, due to his smarts, loyalty and trustworthiness, only for Garrett to question where being loyal would lead.
Garrett noted that loyal dogs would be abandoned in the woods or dumped in a pound, noting that he had learnt that lesson the hard way, before knocking on his own cybernetic implants. Despite Ward not saying anything, Garrett noted that he must be curious about his implants, and explained that he had been struck by an IED while outside Sarajevo. Ward listened as Garrett explained that he had called for an evacuation, he was refused by S.H.I.E.L.D., explaining that he realised in that moment that he was more loyal to S.H.I.E.L.D. than they were to him.
Ward said nothing as Garrett explained that he barely survived the ordeal, and had sworn to himself that he would treat S.H.I.E.L.D. like they had treated him. Garrett then reminded Ward of their first meeting at the Juvenile Detention Center in Plymouth, where he told him that he worked for a secret organisation, as he explained that he actually worked for an organisation within that organisation, asking if Ward knew HYDRA, which he denied, as Garrett explained to Ward that HYDRA understood the importance of survival.
Ward's Final Test
Having been trained by him for so long, Ward followed John Garrett's orders without question or hesitation, so he agreed without question to join HYDRA and continue serving with from within S.H.I.E.L.D.. They continued Ward's weapons training as they went out to hunt deer at the incredible range, with Garrett explaining that he had some news, although Ward requested that he went until after he took the shot, as Ward fired and killed the deer, sending Buddy out to collect the corpse.
Once Buddy had gone to get the deer, Ward asked what Garrett had wanted to tell him, to which Garrett explained that Ward had been accepted by S.H.I.E.L.D.'s operations division, which he would be departing for immediately. As Ward excitedly attempted to thank Garrett for everything that he had done for him, Garrett insisted that he did not owe him anything, insisting that Ward had achieved this on his own. Garrett had then explained that working for HYDRA within S.H.I.E.L.D. would be tough for him, as he could not get attached to anyone or anything.
Garrett explained that Ward would have to fight that weakness within himself, which Ward agreed to without question. However, as Garrett walked away, he casually ordered Ward to kill Buddy before they departed, much to Ward's considerable shock. Garrett questioned if this was a weakness for Ward, which he denied, leaving Ward to kill he companion for six years. With Garrett gone, Ward aimed his revolver at Buddy, but could not bring himself to kill him, shooting in the sky instead. However, as Buddy ran into the woods, Ward took his sniper rifle and shot Buddy as he ran, giving Ward an emotional detachment.
Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
After proving his worth, Ward became a full-fledged agent, rising through the ranks under Garrett's tutelage and supervision. Deputy Director Maria Hill gave Ward top marks in combat and the highest espionage rating since Natasha Romanoff, giving him low marks only in his people skills. About five years outside the S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy, Ward was posed for sixteen months as a Russian attaché at the embassy in Warsaw, Poland. In 2008, Ward saw action in Georgia during a rebel uprising. He made several contacts along the South Ossetian border during this time, including Uri Dubrovsky.
Mission in Paris
Ward was assigned by S.H.I.E.L.D. to a mission in Paris, France, where he was ordered to break into a hidden vault belonging to the international criminal and black market dealer Vanchat and steal a Chitauri neural link which had somehow come into Vanchat's possession in the aftermath of the Battle of New York. Knowing that Vanchat intended to sell the neural link to an unknown buyer Ward was ordered to find and obtain the link as quickly and quietly as possible.
Finding the man who intended to buy the link, Ward disguised himself as a waiter and used an X-Ray Plate to copy the man's fingerprints off his wine glass before heading upstairs and using some stolen room keys to break into the man's apartment before using his fingerprints to activate a secret room hidden behind a false wall where he soon found the link. However, just as Ward took the link, he was discovered by the man's girlfriend who called security, who quickly arrived in the room and attacked Ward, forcing him to throw the X-Ray Plate at them before fighting his way through the men.
Using his top-level S.H.I.E.L.D. training, Ward was soon able to overpower and subdue all of Vanchat's bodyguards, using whatever items were nearby to his advantage, including hitting one man with a blender. With the Neural Link now in hand, Ward ran to the top of the building, where he was extracted by S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicopter, taking the rope they dropped down for him and flying across the rooftops out of France, completing with mission successfully before any of Vanchat's remaining men could find and stop him and retake the neural link.
Recruited by Maria Hill
Before the Battle of New York, Phil Coulson was killed at the hands of Loki and days later restored to life through unknown means. John Garrett, whose health was beginning to fail, tried to find out how Coulson was revived, hoping he could restore his own health. When Coulson assembled a new team of specialists, Ward was suggested to join, but in reality, Ward was Garrett's undercover asset to discover the truth about Coulson's resurrection.
Having returned from his successful mission, Maria Hill vetted Ward and prepped him to join Coulson's Team. First, she questioned Ward about what Vanchat had wanted with the Chitauri Neural Link before testing Ward's loyalty to S.H.I.E.L.D.. Eventually, Hill revealed to Ward that Coulson was alive and they discussed their first mission to locate and assist Mike Peterson, a known enhanced individual. However, Ward questioned if joining a team was the correct use of his talents as he claimed not to be a very good team player while Doctor J. Streiten confirmed that Ward was highly fit and mission ready.
Despite his objections, Ward was recruited onto the team regardless and ordered to pack his bags and regroup onboard the Bus, which would become his home for the coming months. Once onboard, Ward was introduced to Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons, the team's young scientists working on engineering and biochemistry who in turn enthusiastically greeted him before somewhat roughly taking his phone before smashing it and taking his DNA. As Simmons asked what his views were on joining the team and going on their mission, Ward sarcastically compared it to Christmas.
They were interrupted by the arrival of Phil Coulson who drove Lola onto the plane. As they explored the plane, Coulson revealed that the Bus used to be standard issue for new teams until the Helicarriers were created. Melinda May then appeared and explained that they had found the location of one of the Rising Tide's most prolific hackers, although Ward was more interested in the fact that May was part of the team, due to her legendary status as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. Coulson insisted that she was merely the pilot and was not there for combat missions.
During the new team's first mission together, they encountered the Rising Tide "hacktivist" known only as Skye, who was their only lead in the case of Michael Peterson. Having had some negative as well as violent encounters with Rising Tide after their release of classified data during ongoing operations, Ward took an instant dislike to Skye, whom they soon found recording a message in her van where she was arrested.
Both Ward and Phil Coulson took charge of Skye's interrogation, with Ward accusing her of being an Avengers fangirl while she accused them of covering up the Battle of Puente Antiguo until Skye revealed that she was aware of Peterson's connection to an organization known as the Centipede Project, which Ward claimed to not be aware of to hide his HYDRA connection. To gain Skye's trust and learn more about Centipede, Coulson and Ward came up with a plan to pretend to give Ward a truth serum and have him tell her some very low-level intel about S.H.I.E.L.D.'s activities, with Ward also claiming to be saddened by killing people due to his grandmother.
Using the information given to them by Skye, Leo Fitz was able to use the Echo Chamber to recreate the CCTV footage of the explosion within the lab and determine the cause. Ward looked on closely as Coulson confirmed that the explosion was clearly caused by a man who had overloaded on the Extremis that was in his body, spotting a Centipede Device that was locked onto his arm, which Jemma Simmons confirmed was highly similar to the Super Soldier Serum developed by Abraham Erskine during World War II. They then began working on their plan to subdue Peterson before he overloaded.
While Coulson's Team learned more about the situation, Michael Peterson kidnapped Skye and assaulted Melinda May. Before long, Skye managed to hack into the Bus' computers and informed them of her and Peterson's location, so Ward joined the rest of the team to stop him. As they located Skye's Van, Ward insisted that they move Peterson away from such a public location or simply kill him to protect others, claiming that Peterson was just a nobody who was now a major risk, although Phil Coulson insisted that they must try to save him.
With Peterson failing to comply with the orders given to him by the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents asking him to surrender peacefully, he instead went on the run into Union Station, Ward gave chase and tried to subdue Peterson with a tight chokehold, explaining to him that the Extremis in his body was unstable and could kill everybody nearby if he was to explode. Peterson, however, was too enraged to listen and instead used his enhanced strength to throw Ward hard on the ground and began desperately searching for his son Ace Peterson, who Coulson had given to the police for his own safety.
As the hunt for Peterson continued, Ward witnessed a member of the Centipede Project sent by Debbie shooting at Peterson while disguised as a police officer. Coulson welcomed back May while giving orders to Ward to take aim at Peterson, although he insisted that he only fire if he had to, which Ward reluctantly agreed to. He later took a higher position and aimed a sniper rifle at Peterson while Coulson tried to calm him down as Peterson furiously ranted about how S.H.I.E.L.D. dealt with people like him, insisting that he was a good person who could be a hero like the Avengers.
Fearing that Peterson would explode regardless, Ward prepared to fire; however, Leo Fitz arrived and gave him a Night-Night Gun and Ward shot Peterson with it, knocking him out cold and cooling down his Extremis in his body, saving him. After the mission, Phil Coulson took Ace back to his family while Peterson recovered in a S.H.I.E.L.D. facility. Later, Coulson recruited Skye into his team as a consultant, over Ward's objections. While Coulson met with Skye, Ward called him and informed him that an 0-8-4 had been discovered and they had been tasked to go to Peru and investigate it.
Finding an 0-8-4
When Ward was informed by Phil Coulson that Skye would now be brought onto their team, he questioned the decision, claiming that Skye did not have what it takes to be a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, although Coulson noted she was a consultant, explaining that many people, even Tony Stark, had been a consultant. While Ward argued that Skye's history with the Rising Tide made her a risk, Coulson insisted that her skills would prove valuable as she did not think like a traditional agent.
The team's second mission took them to Peru to investigate an 0-8-4, as they prepared to take off, Ward gave Skye the handbook for the Bus and ordered her to read it cover to cover. While Ward assisted the situation and ensured that they were all alone by searching for vehicle tracks, Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons investigated the item itself, which turned out to be the Peruvian 0-8-4, a weapon seemingly powered by Tesseract technology and had become lodged within an ancient temple which had caused an archaeologist to panic and to contact S.H.I.E.L.D. to investigate it further.
Ward and Melinda May discussed her nicked name of the Cavalry and how she gained it during a mission in Bahrain until they were attacked by the Policia Militar del Perú, as Ward and May used their S.H.I.E.L.D. training to overpower and disarm their attackers before they found themselves being overpowered by reinforcements. They defended themselves until Ward contacted Coulson who appeared and revealed he knew their leader, Camilla Reyes. Once the standoff was finished peacefully, Coulson ordered Ward to let the rest of their team know that everything was now okay again.
Ward informed Fitz, Simmons and Skye of the near attack against them and engaged in a brief debate with Skye about the rebels of Peru rising up against their government, with Ward noting that such violence should not be celebrated, accusing the Rising Tide's own methods of being dangerous. The encounter remained pleasant until the team was attacked again, this time by local rebels. Ward used a Thunderstick to knock out many of the attackers but the team was forced to retreat. Ward pulled the 0-8-4 out of the wall and they escaped to the Bus with Reyes' soldiers.
Once they escaped, the team began to catch their breath while Skye joked about missing her own van. Ward then questioned Coulson's decision to bring the Policia Militar del Perú onto the Bus before he asked Fitz what the issues were with him stealing the 0-8-4 from the wall. Fitz then explained that the 0-8-4 was not only fueled by the Tesseract technology created by HYDRA during World War II, but it was also filled with Gamma Radiation which made it much worse than nuclear. With this information in mind, Ward, Coulson, Fitz, Simmons and Skye all backed away from the 0-8-4 together.
As tensions continued to rise due to the presence of the Peruvian 0-8-4, Ward argued with Leo Fitz about their actions during the mission and who was to blame for bringing the 0-8-4 onto the plane. Before long, the argument was stopped by Phil Coulson was claimed that the mission was a success as nobody on their team was killed and they had saved Camilla Reyes' men as well. Skye questioned the team's dynamic while Ward insisted that if he was working alone he could have gotten the mission completed, but Coulson ordered them to work it out.
Taking some time to himself, Ward read the Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War which had been recommended by John Garrett until he was visited by Skye. They began discussing the ideals of the Rising Tide before they discussed the experience of being inside a war zone as Skye asked Ward about his own experiences of being in combat until Skye noticed that Ward had been shot during the firefight, although he insisted it was nothing to worry about. Ward explained that as a specialist he felt he had been trained to be the whole solution and put himself on the line to protect his team by any means.
Glancing at the Policia Militar del Perú soldiers, Ward noticed that none of them had touched their drinks and were sending messages to one another. Sensing an attack was about to happen, Ward asked Skye for the bottle she had brought over and warned her to be ready for a fight. Ward engaged in a brawl with Nahui and the other soldiers, knowing they would be targeting Melinda May and although he tried his best to protect the team, he soon discovered that Cusi had taken Fitz and Jemma Simmons hostage, threatening to cut Fitz's throat and forcing Ward and Coulson to surrender.
Tied up together, Ward and the rest of Coulson's Team discussed who was to blame for the situation, until Ward distracted them by telling them all about Melinda May secretly being the legendary Cavalry, much to the considerable amazement of Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons, only for May to awake and remind him not to call her that. They discussed their plan, with Ward quoting Skye's earlier advice to him, before May broke free by dislocating her own wrist before defeating Vilca and freeing Ward and the rest.
As a team, they then decided to use the 0-8-4's power to ambush and defeat the Peruvian military, before rescuing Phil Coulson from Camilla Reyes during the chaos. Ward ensured the team was ready before they went to work, telling them not to turn back or freeze up, as this would risk them all dying. As Ward briefed the team, May interrupted by revving the engine of one of their S.H.I.E.L.D. SUVs, noting that they all talked a lot. Ward then pulled their team out of the way, as May had then driven the SUV straight through the wall, and into the laboratory.
The team were able to retake the Bus by using the D.W.A.R.F.s to activate the 0-8-4 and blow a hole in the side of the Bus, killing many of the soldiers as they were sucked out. During the chaos, Ward ordered the team to collect the 0-8-4 while he dealt with the soldiers, reassuring them that Coulson could handle himself. While May retook the cockpit and flew the plane to a safe altitude and Coulson captured Camilla Reyes, Ward, using his own S.H.I.E.L.D. training, easily overpowered and subdued the soldiers before trying and failing to save Nahui from being sucked out of the plane, inadvertently killing him during the fight.
Ward, however, suddenly found himself in danger of being sucked out of the plane as he lost his grip and fell towards the hole in the side of the Bus. However, Skye's quick thinking also helped to save Ward's life when she activated a lifeboat which blocked the hole and saved Ward. With the plane reaching a safe altitude, Ward collapsed with exhaustion and adrenaline and his looked at how close he had come to a fatal fall from the plane while Coulson helped take out the final soldiers by knocking out Lopez while May flew them back towards the safety of a S.H.I.E.L.D. base where they could relax.
The team then flew to the Slingshot to deal with the 0-8-4, as soon as possible while also arresting Camilla Reyes and all the surviving members of her team and holding her in a detention facility. While they loaded up all their equipment together, Ward had spoken with Melinda May about Skye, noting that he believed that she could become more than a consultant down the line. As Ward noted that Skye could even about a real asset to Coulson's Team, once she got some more serious training behind her.
Under May's recommendation, Ward had agreed to become Skye's Supervising Officer and oversee the next stages of her training and education to become a true S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. Taking time to relax, the team sat down and drank as they waited for Slingshot to begin, with Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons excitedly explaining the process behind Slingshot. While Coulson questioned who shot the hole in the Bus, Ward insisted it was a team decision, as Coulson complimented their work in saving them. Ward and the others then watched on as the Peruvian 0-8-4 was shot into the Sun to be destroyed.
Beginning Skye's Training
Taking on his role as Skye's Supervising Officer, Ward began her training in combat and weapon training, specifically how to disarm an opponent. However, Skye would turn up late to their next training session, as Ward began using the punching bag while he waited for her, with Skye complaining that she was still tired from their morning work out. Ward explained that this was all required, and warned that next time she would be given fifteen pushups for every minute that she was late.
While Skye noted that pushups were better than pull-ups, Ward insisted that pull-ups could be necessary if Skye ever found herself hanging off a tall building. Ward then demonstrated the correct way for Skye to throw a punch against the punching bag, ordering her to do it for ten minutes. As Skye began to punch, Ward asked what the hardest part of boxing was, to which Skye jokingly asked if it was being punched in the face, as Ward explained that it was actually keeping your hands up. However, Skye questioned if Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons' supervising officers made them undergo such physical training.
Ward noted that Skye wanted to be a field agent like Phil Coulson, before deciding to demonstrate what Fitz and Simmons had to go through during their training, as Simmons explained that their drills included naming every mechanical, chemical and thermal and electrical properties of materials. With Skye accepting his point, Ward noted that there would come a time when Skye would accept her role as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, or leave, insisting that every agent had a defining moment, including Coulson, noting that his job as her supervising officer was to make sure that she did not die before this moment came.
As Ward reminded Skye to keep her hands up, she questioned what Ward's defining moment was, although Ward did not respond and simply reminded Skye to keep her arms raised while using the punching bag. With Skye continuing to question what Ward's defining moment was, she suggested that she could get more Truth Serum to use on Ward once again. However, Ward noted that he had overshared some level one intel to her which got her to cooperate, before explaining that S.H.I.E.L.D. did not actually have their own Truth Serum, and this had all been a plow to get her on side, much to Skye's considerable shock.
Ward would join the rest of Coulson's Team in the main room of the Bus, as he was brief about an attack on a S.H.I.E.L.D. transport, resulting in the kidnapping of Doctor Franklin Hall. However, Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons had both expressed their shock about this news, as Hall had been one of their professors at the S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy. Ward asked who attacked the truck, to which Phil Coulson explained that the attackers had seemingly been invisible, which Skye found exciting, while Ward gave her a stern look.
Having travelled to Sterling, Colorado, Ward listened to Coulson explaining Hall's relationship to S.H.I.E.L.D., before they noticed that several of the S.H.I.E.L.D. SUVs that had been protecting Hall, had ended up stuck in trees. Ward then looked through the scene for clues about what could have caused this attack, before Simmons had used the Full-Spectrum Goggles to uncover that the Electro-Static Field Scanner had activated a gravity surge in the area, causing the dirt around them to fly through the air, shooting stones towards them, before finding a small device on the ground.
While the team had taken the device back to the Bus to be examined by Fitz and Simmons, Ward searched for their records to match tractor tracks found on the scene, which were seemingly used to take Hall out of the S.H.I.E.L.D. truck. As he returned, Skye was offering to do the same thing, as Ward explained that the tractor had been identified as a 2010 model, linked to a purchases made by three men with priors or financial concerns, who were suspected of selling the equipment to the kidnappers. Coulson then ordered Ward to join him in questioning these men and attempting to find a link to locating Hall.
Ward had then joined Coulson in travelling to Barnroof Point, Colorado, to speak to Todd Chesterfield, one of these suspects who had seemingly sold their tractors to the kidnappers of Hall. Ward kept himself hidden, while Coulson spoke to Chesterfield and asked who he had sold the tractor to and why, although Chesterfield instead responded by drawing his shotgun and refusing to answer any questions. Ward was then able to ambush Chesterfield, swiftly disarming him and throwing him off his horse, as Ward took the shotgun and commented to Coulson that this entire situation reminded him of the Wild West.
With Ward aiming the shotgun at him, Chesterfield finally admitted that he was paid to sell the equipment and that was all he knew, insisting that he never saw a face and never heard the name of who he was doing business with. As Coulson questioned how Chesterfield was paid, he pointed to his saddle bag, as Ward examined it and found bars of gold inside, with Ward insisting that with a cowboy being paid in bars of gold, the situation really did feel like the West Wild. Ward and Coulson then took possession of the gold and brought it to the Bus, hoping to be able to trace it back to the original supplier.
Making their Plan
Having scanned the gold that Todd Chesterfield had been paid with, Coulson's Team were able to determine that Ian Quinn had been behind Franklin Hall's kidnapping. However, despite their desire to rescue Hall, Ward had argued with Phil Coulson that there was no way for them to get inside Quinn's Mansion without either a large task force or a man on the inside to shut down Quinn's security systems, with Coulson noting that they would risk global outrage by sending in a task force.
However, as Coulson noted that Quinn was hosting a shareholder's party, he noted that if they went on the mission alone they could give S.H.I.E.L.D. deniability, only for Melinda May to insist that it was impossible to do without a man on the inside. Although Skye told the team that she could go in, Ward ignored this and claimed that he could be dropped off outside of Valletta, where he could spend weeks establishing a cover to get inside. Despite Ward attempting to dismiss her by pitching his own plans, Skye simply explained that, as she was not an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. she could go in legally.
Frustrated by her claims, Ward noted that this was not a situation that the Rising Tide could simply hack into, while Leo Fitz reminded her that Quinn's mansion had Neodymium Laser Fencing to prevent anybody from breaking inside. Ward then listened as Skye noted that clearly Hall needed their help, as he was at risk of being tortured, jokingly claiming that he could be getting put through strength training. As Ward noted that Skye did not have the training, clearance or experience to handle this mission, Skye explained that she had already hacked Quinn Worldwide and gotten an invite to his party.
Concerned about the risks involved with sending Skye on this mission alone, Ward went to speak to Coulson in his office, although Coulson noted that they did not have many other options. Ward had acknowledged that he was impressed by Skye being able to get the invitation to Quinn's party, but insisted that sending her in without any training was a risk. Ward then noted that Nick Fury might have felt he owed Coulson after he sacrificed himself to Loki, with Coulson noting that he also sacrificed his card collection, but Ward still insisted that Coulson was taking too many risks with this plan.
Coulson questioned if Ward was concerned over Skye's safety or loyalty, to which Ward insisted that it was both, noting that the Rising Tide was the reason that Skye got the invitation, suggesting that Skye had violated several protocols. However, Coulson insisted that Skye's job was to ignore these protocols to find the connections and backdoors that S.H.I.E.L.D. agents may have missed. Coulson then noted that something else was clearly bothering Ward, to which Ward explained that Skye was holding back, claiming to want to be a field agent, but not committing herself, as he noted that she made jokes and did not listen.
As Coulson questioned if Ward was hard on her during her training, Ward explained that he had attempted to be hard on her, and had attempted to play nice with her, but was still struggling to get Skye to commit to the training involved with becoming an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., as he suggested that he needed a new strategy to get through to Skye, or he was concerned that she would never become an agent. In response, Coulson had then suggested that Ward could potentially try no strategy, and attempt to work less like an agent and more like a person, as Skye might let that person help her think like an agent.
Skye's Mission Training
Ward had then continued to train Skye, as he began to show her how to disarm an enemy with a firearm, although Skye continued to joke, as Ward got her in a headlock and she suggested that he was flirting with her, although Ward remained focused on showing her how to take the gun away. Ward told Skye that if she did not focus, she would die on the mission and leave their team vulnerable, insisting that she needed to learn the fundamentals of self defence, while Skye continued to joke.
Ward had then questioned how Skye had learnt her computer skills without committing herself to it, to which Skye insisted that it simply came naturally to her, apologising that she did not naturally have Ward's skills with combat. However, Ward then told Skye that his skills did not come naturally, telling her about how Christian Ward used to beat him and Thomas Ward when they were children, and therefore he had to learn how to defend himself and his brother, and now he was protecting Skye and the rest of Coulson's Team, telling Skye that this had been his own defining moment as an agent.
Skye then apologised to Ward for pushing him on the subject, before revealing to him that she had managed to take away his gun while he had been distracted by telling the story. Ward then took the gun back, before telling Skye that taking the gun away from her enemy was one thing, but insisted that pulling the trigger was something else. Ward and Skye then continued their training, with Ward telling her to go through the steps slowly, focusing on the first thing to do. Once their training was complete, Ward and Skye rejoined Phil Coulson to go through the plan to infiltrate inside Ian Quinn's Mansion.
Ward listened as Coulson explained that, while Skye would arrive at the party, a two person extraction team could arrive via the beach, while Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons discussed how the beach was surrounded by the Neodymium Laser Fencing, as they gave Skye a device that could disable the system. With Fitz and Simmons insisting that this would be easy, Ward noted that it would be, if Skye would be able to fully stick to the plan. Ward was selected for the extraction team, although Melinda May was ordered to stay on the Bus, while Coulson would be going in with Ward to rescue Hall.
Ward and Phil Coulson used a boat to sneak onto the beach just outside of Ian Quinn's Mansion, as Coulson warned that Franklin Hall could be traumatised from his experiences, as he advised that he be the one to speak to him, as Ward's personality could put him on edge. While Ward had commented on Coulson's attempt at humor, he noted that his personality could be the least of their concerns if Skye failed her mission to get them inside the mansion.
Ward and Coulson soon arrived at the Neodymium Laser Fencing, which they discovered was still active, with Ward noting that the next patrol of guards would be coming by soon. Melinda May had then informed them that Skye had gone offline, with Ward noting that aborting the mission was not an option, and they still had to get to Hall, before the guard patrol returned, forcing Ward and Coulson to hide. Ward and Coulson then ambushed, and swiftly subdued the guards, as Ward took one of their guns and threw it into the fence, instantly destroying it, while Coulson had questioned where Skye had gone to.
They soon came under fire from even more guards arriving, as Coulson ordered Leo Fitz to reset the systems to shut down the fencing, with Jemma Simmons asking them not to rush Fitz, as it would not help him to hack into Quinn's systems any faster. Eventually, Fitz told them that the system had successfully rebooted, as Ward and Coulson had managed to get to the other side of the fencing before he reset, separating them from all of the guards, who had continued shooting at them. As they infiltrated the mansion, Coulson noted that he would go to the laboratory to rescue Hall, while Ward to go after Skye.
As Ward made his way through the mansion, he commented on the size of the place and asked for help from Coulson's Team with finding Skye, while May questioned if he had the situation covered, as Ward insisted that he was working on it, while he felt the entire base shaking from the unstable Gravitonium. Eventually, Ward found Skye being surrounded by three of Quinn's guards, as he rushed in and managed to take them off guard. Using his element of surprise to his advantage, Ward was able to fight all three and swiftly subdued them, knocking one down into the pool, before questioning if Skye had been hurt.
As Skye rushed over to his side, Ward had then told Skye to follow his orders, as he led her towards safety, first intending to rescue Coulson and Hall. Ward and Skye had then made their way to the laboratory to assist Coulson, just as the gravity across the mansion went back to normal. As they looked at the machinery that had been containing the Gravitonium, they realized that Coulson had been forced to throw Hall inside it, killing him, since Hall had been the one behind the entire situation and had been attempted to destroy the entire mansion, and kill everybody inside with the unstable Gravitonium.
Having retuned to the Bus, Ward found Skye training with the punching bag, as he went to join her. Skye then questioned where Ward and his brothers had grown up, to which he answered Massachusetts, as she asked if he had grown up in a house, which he confirmed. Ward then listened as Skye explained that when she was nine years old, she had been sent to live with the Brody's, who sent her back to Saint Agnes Orphanage after a month, claiming she was not a good fit.
As Skye noted that this was not an unfamiliar situation, she claimed that with the Brody's it was different, with Ward noting that she wanted them to like her, which Skye agreed with, admitting that she once tried to call Mrs. Brody mom. As Skye returned to the punching bag, she told Ward that hoping for something and losing it hurt more than never hoping for anything. Ward then held the bag in place, promising that S.H.I.E.L.D. would not turn their back on her, although Skye claimed that it did not matter, claiming that she made her choice, and she wanted badly to become a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.
Searching for Akela Amador
Phil Coulson requested that his team investigate the case of Akela Amador who was believed to have been killed but had turned up doing dangerous and seemingly impossible missions with her eyes closed. Coulson and Ward retraced her steps and tried to locate her, arriving in Zloda, Belarus. They spoke to an Innkeeper, who claimed that Amador had correctly sensed the woman had a tumor, making Amador's abilities more of a mystery. While they were continuing their investigation, Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons traced a video signal that seemed to be Amador's point of view; they quickly realized that Amador was looking at them. Fitz, Simmons, and Skye were in a van that was attacked by Amador, who drove into its side, knocking it over.
After Melinda May and Coulson captured Amador, Fitz used the signal from the video technology in her eye to building Backscatter Glasses to impersonate her. Ward wore these glasses and went on Amador's next mission. He used the key card Amador bought with the diamonds she stole to enter the Todorov Building in Minsk. There, he was given the awkward mission to seduce the guard. When this failed, he knocked out the guard and entered a room with a series of strange symbols on the wall. After seeing the symbols, the Englishman informed him the mission was complete. As Ward left the building an alarm was triggered, and he fought his way out of the building. Along the way, he accidentally looked in a mirror, alerting the Englishman of the deception, luckily Fitz and Simmons were able to remove Amador's false eye before it exploded.
After the mission, Ward played cards with Fitz, who seemed strangely confident about his chances of beating Ward. Fitz claimed Ward had a tell which would reveal to Fitz if he was lying. However, all of a sudden, Fitz folded and left the table, leaving Ward confused. What Ward did not know was that Skye was behind him using the Backscatter Glasses to spy on Ward's cards, and when she told Fitz she would be able to see him naked, he panicked and left the game, although Skye did still use the glasses to see Ward naked.
Questioning Skye's Loyalty
A few days later, the team was seemingly betrayed by Skye, who alerted Miles Lydon that S.H.I.E.L.D. was closing in on him while tracking down a leak that endangered Chan Ho Yin's life. Ward cuffed Skye and took her and Lydon into custody aboard the Bus. When Ward produced evidence that Lydon had accepted payment of one million dollars for the information that endangered Chan's life, Skye was infuriated and felt betrayed by Lydon.
Later, when the operation to extract Chan from captivity by the Centipede Project went sour, Ward released Skye from custody and accepted her help in rescuing Coulson and Melinda May. Skye very quickly managed to hack Centipede's mainframe and release the locked doors, allowing Coulson and May to escape. Coulson later agreed to let Skye remain on the team as long as she came completely clean with the team and agreed to wear a Tracking Bracelet at all times.
Saving the Scientist
Fitz continued to modify the new Night-Night Guns for Ward to inspect, he was however unsatisfied with the weight, and when he left he heard the team mocking him with funny voices. When strange deaths started occurring where the victims' bodies were found floating with a hole in the forehead, Coulson's team was sent to investigate. Ward found Skye following him and getting a little too close for comfort, although she insisted she was simply observing her S.O. The team eventually found a connection between the victims and were able to find another man just a few minutes before he died. This man revealed that he was friends with the other victims and they had taken a Chitauri helmet during the Battle of New York, which had given them all an alien virus. The man later died and Simmons checked the team for the virus.
When the team regrouped on the Bus, it was discovered that Jemma Simmons had been infected by the virus. Trapped on the Bus, they knew that when the virus killed her, it would cause an EMP which would crash the plane. Fitz helped her in an attempt to find a cure, and in a last ditch effort they used samples to the Chitauri helmet to produce one; however, it appeared to be fruitless. Simmons knocked out Fitz and jumped out of the plane to save the others, but the cure did in fact work and Ward jumped out of the Bus to rescue her. Ward administered the cure to Simmons during free-fall and used a parachute to save both their lives. This action earned him unquestionable trust with the group.
When the team had a stopover at the installation known as The Hub, Victoria Hand explained that enemy forces had obtained a weapon called the Overkill Device in Georgia, which had the power to wipe out their own missile systems and render S.H.I.E.L.D. defenseless. Ward volunteered for the mission, as did Melinda May; however, Hand said they needed someone who could disarm the weapon so she assigned Ward and Leo Fitz to the mission.
Ward entered the assignment watching the back of the inexperienced Leo Fitz. He went in search of his previous contact Uri Dubrovsky, only to learn that Dubrovsky had been killed and another group of mobsters had taken over. They were taken hostage by Marta. Ward suggested various ways they could escape, none of which Fitz liked as they involved cutting off body parts or risking their lives. However, Fitz' technical knowledge came in helpful as he was able to repair the mob's television after a black-out, which earned them a safe trip to where they needed to go.
The next morning, the pair used a camouflage blanket to hitch a ride on the underbelly of a truck which brought them to the compound. Ward took out the guards and they discovered the Overkill Device. While Fitz disarmed it, Ward learned that Hand had not sent in a rescue team. He tried to convince Fitz to leave before the alarm was sounded but Fitz refused, proudly stating that he was a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent just like Ward and just as brave as him. Fitz surprised Ward with his quick thinking, adaptability, and courage during the assignment, they managed to escape when Phil Coulson and Melinda May sent the Bus to rescue them.
After Thor saved the Earth from the wrath of Malekith and the Dark Elves, Ward, along with the rest of the team and S.H.I.E.L.D., proceeded to clean up the mess the battle had left in Greenwich. Any piece of alien technology was taken and stored away with S.H.I.E.L.D.; Ward discovered a piece of Malekith's ship and took it away for storage. Later, they were called to investigate the mystical weapon known as the Berserker Staff, which had been discovered by Norse Paganists leaders Jakob Nystrom and Petra Larsen.
While searching for the second piece of the Staff, Ward came across the piece and Elliot Randolph, who the team had earlier consulted about the staff. Ward stopped Randolph from stealing the staff piece but as he attempted to take it from Randolph, the Staff infected Ward with its mystical strength but also brought back a dark memory he had long hidden. As the effects of the Staff continued to affect Ward, his anger rose, causing him to lash out at the other team members. Randolph was locked away on the Bus and questioned, and Coulson developed a theory that Randolph may, in fact, be an Asgardian. He had Ward test the theory by trying to stab Randolph in the neck, and Randolph bent the blade. He revealed he was an ancient warrior who had destroyed the Staff and hidden the pieces across the world.
The team finally located the final piece of the Staff thanks to Randolph. When Ward and the team arrived, they were confronted by Nystrom, who had beat them to the location. He stabbed Randolph in the heart with a piece of the staff, nearly killing him. Seeing no other choice, Ward grabbed a piece of the Staff and attacked Nystrom. After a difficult battle, Ward defeated Nystrom and the remaining Paganists, while also fighting through his own dark memory, which caused him to collapse at the end of the battle. When Larsen and another Paganist arrived, Ward was exhausted and could barely stand, so Melinda May took the staff herself and defeated the Paganists.
Manipulating Melinda May
Later at a bar, Ward apologized to Skye who let him know if he ever needed to talk she was there. As he went to his room, he saw Melinda May with a bottle; after a brief moment of eye contact, she entered her room, leaving the door open, and Ward soon followed. Seeing May as the biggest threat to his mission, he allowed things to get intimate.
Ward defended his team again when they were charged with investigating and protecting a woman called Hannah Hutchins from mysterious destructive events happening around her. The team learned the attacks were being done by Hutchins' old friend Tobias Ford, who had become trapped between dimensions. Ward tried to fight off the attacker and could not. In the end, May was able to convince the man to leave Hutchins alone, and Hutchins allowed him to die.
Ward and May continued their relationship, often training together when they weren't going to bed together to release stress. They soon learned that a criminal called Edison Po had been broken out of prison with the help of Centipede Soldiers. Seeing the difficulty of their upcoming missions, Coulson recruited the help of Michael Peterson, who had been training by S.H.I.E.L.D. Ward protested but Coulson was sure Peterson would be an asset to the team.
Coulson and Ward went on a mission to investigate one of the Centipede Soldiers who was identified in the CCTV, Brian Hayward. As they drove to the location of Hayward's sister, Ward managed to get Coulson to open up about his previous relationship, which included dinners at the Richmond. When they met the sister of Hayward, Ward approached her telling her Heyward had won the lottery and needed to contact them. They traced her call when she called her brother to tell him what had happened, giving them the current location of Centipede.
The team attacked the location of Centipede and engaged in a battle with the Centipede Soldiers. During the fight, Ward threw himself in the path of a punch intended for May, much to her annoyance. In the aftermath of the battle Peterson was wounded and Brian Hayward was executed by Centipede. Back on the Bus Peterson received a call from Raina that his son Ace had been kidnapped by Centipede. The team met with Raina and Ward took a position with his sniper rifle; however, the position of the meeting did not allow Ward to see their conversation. When they came back into view, Coulson was being taken by Centipede. Before he could react, a massive explosion seemingly killed Mike Peterson, and Ward was shot in the shoulder while Coulson was taken away in a helicopter.
Ward was involved in the mission to rescue Phil Coulson, this first involved the capture of Vanchat, a criminal who had connections to Raina. After threatening to throw him out of the Bus, Vanchat revealed vital information about Raina. Victoria Hand took a personal interest in the mission; however, she had a strong distrust of Skye. When Skye tried to hack into S.H.I.E.L.D. Hand ordered her off the plane, she first asked Ward and Melinda May's opinion, although Ward defended her May said she was not of enough use. When Skye was leaving the plane Ward, Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons provided her with an untraceable phone to call them, trusting her to do her own investigation.
This plan was successful and Skye was able to give them Coulson's correct location; however, Hand believed he was in a different location due to her own intel so did not provide back-up. The team arrived at the area together, with some new gadgets provided by Fitz to take out the Centipede Soldiers. Ward engaged with one of these soldiers, and after a long and intense fight, used a Night-Night Bracelet to knock him out. Coulson was rescued by Skye and Raina was captured. Ward and the rest of the team gladly welcomed Coulson back onto the Bus and watched as Raina was taken away to prison by S.H.I.E.L.D.
The team's next mission took them to the S.H.I.E.L.D. academy where Anne Weaver informed them that someone was attacking the students with freezing weapons. Ward was tasked with interviewing the students involved, including Seth Dormer and Callie Hannigan, to learn the truth about the attacks.
Through his investigations the team was able to learn that the attacks were being done by Seth Dormer and Donnie Gill, the two students who had been injured in the attacks, as they had attacked each other to ensure they were not the suspects. The pair were being funded by Ian Quinn, and they launched their weather machine which caused a super storm; Ward became trapped with the other students in the middle of the storm. The machine was destroyed in the storm and Dormer was killed by a lightning strike and Gill was arrested.
Ward had then assisted his team on other missions with his skills as an undercover specialist. He and Melinda May were teamed up on a mission to infiltrate a train where they had learned an item Ian Quinn had purchased was being moved. Ward was tasked with appearing as a train conductor while the team searched for Quinn's purchase. While he was speaking to May while changing into his train conductor clothes, May revealed that she had told Phil Coulson about their relationship, much to Ward's horror. Ward continued the mission but was attacked by one of Quinn's assassins. He then alerted Coulson and the pair jumped from the train to safety. One of Quinn's guards threw a Dendrotoxin Grenade which knocked them out; when they awoke they believed no time had passed and that the train had simply vanished.
Ward and Coulson made their way back to the Bus to try to figure out what had happened. They both, however, had a great deal of trouble operating the Holotable while they tried to research the grenade that was thrown at them. Ward took the opportunity to speak to Coulson about his relationship with May; Coulson warned him that if it ever endangered the team, Ward would be punished by being forced to guard Emil Blonsky's cryo-cell, located at a facility in Barrow, Alaska. They were interrupted by the arrival of their seeming ally Luca Russo who was promptly murdered by Melinda May, who had been tortured by the traitorous Russo.
The team were able to locate Simmons back on the train and learned that Fitz and Skye had moved to Ian Quinn's Villa, alone. The team attacked the villa to rescue them. Ward arrived and shot Quinn's guards with the Night-Night Guns. Ian Quinn was quickly arrested but was found with blood on his hands. telling Coulson it was dangerous to make Skye go in alone. Skye was later found with two bullet wounds to the stomach after she had been shot by Quinn. Simmons was able to save her life by putting her in a Hyperbaric Chamber.
Back on the Bus, the team began thinking about finding some kind of medication for Skye to save her life. Melinda May tried to comfort him and told him not to blame himself, but he responded by saying he was not blaming himself. May thought he was speaking about blaming Fitz and Coulson, but in reality, he was blaming John Garrett, whom he knew had given the order for Skye to get shot. At the thought of losing Skye, Ward's feelings for her grew as his relationship with Melinda May waned.
The next day, John Garrett arrived on the Bus asking to take Ian Quinn into custody, Phil Coulson ordered Ward not to allow Quinn off the Bus, this led to a fist fight between Ward and Antoine Triplett, Garrett's new subordinate. However, Coulson and Garrett were able to come to an understanding where Quinn would stay on the Bus until Skye's life had been saved.
The team traveled to the Guest House where Coulson had been treated for his own injuries, once they arrived they were unable to get through the doors as they did not have the correct passcode. So the team broke in and engaged in a fierce firefight with the guards. Garrett and Ward were able to kill both the guards but soon learned that the base had been set to self-destruct. Coulson and Fitz searched the base to find the GH.325 which had saved Coulson's life, while Ward and Garrett tried to turn off the self-destruct.
Coulson and Fitz were able to find the GH.325 and the team made their escape, Ward took Fitz back to the Bus to give the GH.325 to Simmons. Garrett and Coulson soon arrived just as the base exploded, when Coulson arrived he ordered Simmons not to give Skye the serum but she already had. Skye began to spasm but soon her heartbeat became more regular and she began to recover. As Skye recovered, Ward admitted to her that he blamed himself for her injury, but Skye reassured him by promising him that she would train harder after her recovery.
Encounter with Asgardians
The team found a signal in the desert which Coulson recognized as the arrival of an Asgardian. The team drove to the location of the signal and witnessed the arrival of Lady Sif, whom Coulson had briefly met in New Mexico. Lady Sif explained that a powerful sorceress named Lorelei had escaped the Asgardian dungeons during the war with Malekith and the Dark Elves. She had the power to control the will of men with her voice and touch, and this power had previously allowed her to almost take control of Asgard.
The team tracked her down where she had already amounted a small army of local police and a biker gang, who were all blindly loyal to her. Ward fought many of the bikers, and his fighting skills greatly impressed Lorelei, who was able to use her touch to put Ward under her power, after failing to control him with her voice, which indicates a stronger will than usual. He drove her away to safety and willingly gave her information about the team. After spending the night together in Las Vegas, Ward was candid with Lorelei about his feelings toward Skye and May and told her that Coulson's Team stood between her and world domination.
Together, they hijacked the Bus and took control of Leo Fitz. When Coulson arrived back on the Bus with Sif, Fitz told her he had repaired the Asgardian Collar needed to stop Lorelei, but in reality, Ward locked her in the room and ejected her from the plane. Ward appeared with Lorelei and she kissed Ward in front of May to mock her, Ward had a lengthy fight with May. After Sif managed to place the collar on Lorelei, ending her control on Ward, Ward pulled out a gun and attempted to kill May. Upon failing to kill her, he pretended that he had done so under mind control, and was punched by May, effectively ending their relationship.
Hunting the Clairvoyant
When Deathlok attacked John Garrett and Antoine Triplett, Coulson arranged a meeting with some of the heads of S.H.I.E.L.D. including Victoria Hand, Jasper Sitwell and Felix Blake. They discussed a plan to find and stop the Clairvoyant. Grant Ward witnessed Skye becoming an official S.H.I.E.L.D. agent so she could access the Index allowing S.H.I.E.L.D. to investigate the Clairvoyant. Ward was teamed with Triplett to investigate Elijah Fordham, they discussed what they would do when they found the Clairvoyant, Triplett discussing how he had lost his partner in an attack by the Clairvoyant, and asked Ward what he would do if Skye had died. Before they could find Fordham, they were called to help Felix Blake against Deathlok.
Deathlok was found in Pensacola, Florida, and Coulson and Garrett led a raiding party, including Ward, to Thomas Nash's location. After a few short battles with Deathlok, Nash was located, who was paralyzed and could only speak through a computer. Phil Coulson swore to lock him away, Nash none-the-less continued to mock Coulson but when Nash threatened Skye's life, Ward fired a single shot into Nash's heart and killed him.
With Nash dead, Ward was arrested and locked in the Cage. After a while, Coulson had learned that the true Clairvoyant was, in fact, a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. Coulson came into the Cage and confronted Ward, asking if he had been ordered to kill Nash to protect the real Clairvoyant, although Coulson was correct, Ward continued to lie and deny any knowledge about the Clairvoyant. However, Skye informed Coulson that they had a serious problem, Coulson came back a few minutes later with Melinda May unconscious, now believing she was connected to the Clairvoyant. The Bus was then taken over by S.H.I.E.L.D. and rerouted to the Hub.
During the HYDRA Uprising, Ward explained to Phil Coulson that Victoria Hand, who was believed to be the Clairvoyant, could not get the research and items stored on the Bus, so Coulson had Skye download all of the data onto an encrypted hard drive. They were later joined by John Garrett who had also been attacked by S.H.I.E.L.D., while they were on the Bus they received an encrypted message that revealed HYDRA was coming out of the shadows.
S.H.I.E.L.D. fired upon the Bus and the team escaped with the help of Leo Fitz's Mouse Hole. Ward and Skye worked together to battle through the Hub. As they hide in a storage room to prepare for the battle, Ward volunteered to go out alone to fight the guards so she could complete her mission regardless. Ward and Skye expressed their feelings for one another and shared their first kiss. With the kiss giving him new energy and determination, Ward ran out of their hiding place and fought off a dozen of the guards before re-teaming with Skye to cut the power across the Hub.
When Coulson, Leo Fitz, and Melinda May were surrounded by HYDRA agents and John Garrett, who revealed himself as both the Clairvoyant and a HYDRA operative, Ward and Skye were able to switch off the power in the facility which gave Coulson the opportunity to fight Garrett, they were able to overpower the HYDRA agents and Victoria Hand arrived to arrest the Garrett and the other HYDRA agents. Ward witnessed Garrett being taken away by S.H.I.E.L.D., Coulson tried to comfort him and explain that his mentor was HYDRA. Ward, however, was already working out a plan to free Garrett.
Ward requested to join Hand in transporting Garrett to the Fridge, claiming that Garrett was his S.O. and he'd like to be the one to lock the key to his cell. Once airborne, Victoria Hand mocked Garrett and asked Ward if he'd like to kill the true Clairvoyant. Ward silently stood up and loaded his gun, Hand smiled awaiting Garrett's death, much to her surprise; however, Ward immediately shot and killed agents Chaimson and Jacobson, before turning the gun on Hand and shooting her three times, killing her. He then freed Garrett and they escaped. As Garrett piloted the plane he retold Ward one of his many war stories while Ward contemplated his next move.
Ward traveled to Raina's prison, fought and killed the guards and unlocked her cell door. Having only known Ward as an enemy up to this point, Raina was immediately suspicious of his presence. To gain Raina's trust, Ward presented her with a gift from the Clairvoyant - a new flowered dress. Ward took her to Havana, Cuba to introduce her to their mutual benefactor. At the Barbershop Headquarters, John Garrett introduced himself and explained he was not the Clairvoyant as she expected, but a S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent with a high security clearance, Ward smiled at her confusion and disappointment. Garrett welcomed her to HYDRA. Ward and Garrett presented Raina with the drugs from the Guest House and the encrypted hard drive which Skye had created so she could perfect Project Deathlok.
Afterwards, they went off with Agent Kaminsky to raid the Fridge, Ward arrived pretending to be delivering John Garrett to his cell. However, the guards refused to let them inside without Victoria Hand present, Ward claimed Hand was going to meetings to finish the HYDRA invasion. Realizing they would not be able to convince the guards to let them in, Ward had Kaminsky fire at them from a helicopter until the guards let them in.
Once inside, Ward shot both guards and Garrett released a gas which killed all the remaining guards. Once inside, Garrett revealed to Ward that the Slingshot Program was a fake and Nick Fury had kept all the alien weapons he had found. While Garrett began releasing its prisoners, including Blackout, Ward took a team of agents and obtained the Fridge's confiscated weapons, including the Berserker Staff, the Peruvian 0-8-4. Ward made a bet with Garrett that there was something hidden under the floor and revealed the Gravitonium, winning him a steak dinner.
Raina spoke to Ward about how difficult it must be for him to have betrayed Coulson, Ward explained that although he owed Coulson something, he owed Garrett everything. Later, however, Raina reported that only Skye could decrypt the hard drive, Ward was ordered to return to Coulson's Team to get the pass codes from her. Knowing that Coulson would have learned that the Fridge had been raided, it was decided that Ward should look like his been in a fight. Before he went to Providence, Ward had Garrett hit him several times, damaging his face and cracking his ribs, as he punched him, Garrett made Ward recite that he was an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D..
"Ward is HYDRA"
When Ward arrived at Providence, he was greeted by Skye and taken to Jemma Simmons to look at his injuries. While Simmons watched up his many cuts and injuries, Ward lied to Coulson's Team about the Raid of the Fridge, telling them that when they arrived HYDRA had already taken over and he killed John Garrett as Garrett was freeing the prisoners. Coulson decided to take half the team to Portland, Oregon to pursue one of the escaped inmates named Blackout, but Agent Eric Koenig insisted that they all pass the Lie Detector first.
Ward barely passed his test. He did this by using a thin piece of metal stabbed into his finger; when he told the truth he stabbed himself to give the machine the impression that his reaction to telling the truth and lying were the same. During the test, it appeared that this technique was not working as Eric Koenig became suspicious of his answers and drew a gun. Ward worked out clever answers to questions like "Are you HYDRA?" and when Ward was asked why he was there, he chose not to lie and simply answer he was there for Skye, which was true. Agent Koenig accepted these answers and welcomed Ward onto the base.
Skye and Ward sat together and discussed recent events, with Ward telling Skye that he was not a good man, which she strongly denied and told him that he was before the pair shared a romantic kiss. Later, when Skye and Koenig discussed using NSA satellites to watch the prison break, Ward knew it would expose his part in the scheme; therefore, he pretended that he agreed with the plan to ensure Skye remained unsuspicious before he murdered Koenig, strangling him and hiding his body in a closet.
When Ward struggled to find Skye in the Providence base, he went to the closet to check she had not discovered Koenig's body. He soon found and convinced Skye to leave with him on the Bus, telling her that Coulson had sent them orders for her to unlock the hard-drive, holding hands with her as they left. Unknown to Ward, Skye had already found Koenig's body and realized that he was a member of HYDRA. She had left the message "Ward is HYDRA" for her teammates to find and went with him.
Ward flew the Bus to Ruthie's Skillet in Los Angeles since Skye had informed him that the encryption for the Coulson's Team Hard Drive was location-based. He began to get nervous the longer Skye took to unlock the drive, but she insisted that it was more complicated than he understood. Ward noticed that more and more police officers were arriving inside the cafe and quietly asking members of the public to leave.
Knowing he was about to be arrested, Ward tried to get Skye to leave with him, but Skye revealed she knew his true affiliation to HYDRA and had called the police. The officers attempted to arrest Ward, but he easily fought them off while Skye attempted to escape by getting herself arrested. However, before Skye could be put in the police car, Ward shot the two officers and tried to order her to stop running. Skye got in the car but as she tried to escape, Deathlok, Ward's back-up, apprehended her, using his Cybertek Prosthetic Leg to leap onto the front of the car and violently rip her out of her seat.
Ward and Deathlok took the now captured Skye back onto the Bus, where Ward handcuffed her and tried to explain that his feelings for her were real, but Skye was too upset to listen, telling him that he made her sick. Still furious at Ward's betrayal, Skye called him a murderer and a Nazi due to HYDRA's history with Red Skull back in World War II, much to Ward's anger. Skye refused to listen to what he had to say and told him she would not unlock the hard drive for him, explaining that he was right that she would not like the real him as he had assured her she would not. Ward, however, remained calm and told her that one day she would understand his actions.
Seeing that Skye would not answer to Ward, John Garrett ordered Deathlok to take over the interrogation, promising more violent methods. However, as per Garrett's orders, Deathlok shot Ward with a Heart Stopper to induce a heart attack. As Ward lay on the ground struggling for breath and slowly dying, Deathlok told Skye that he would only save him if Skye unlocked the drive. Although Skye hated Ward, she could not bear to watch him die so she agreed to unlock the drive. Deathlok brought Ward back to life by restarting his heart beat, but Ward remained bitter about the incident.
As Ward prepared to fly the plane away to safety, he was stopped when Maria Hill arrived on another jet with Antoine Triplett. The two traded insults, with Ward explaining that he had hoped Hill had been killed during the Battle at the Triskelion while Hill called him a lowlife for his betrayal. Eventually, Hill threatened to shoot Ward out of the sky if he attempted to escape, but Ward confidently said that not only did she no longer have the authority any more now S.H.I.E.L.D. was gone, but Phil Coulson would have never allowed her to put the lives of Skye and Mike Peterson in jeopardy and took off.
Having escaped from Hill, Ward took the Bus to a high altitude which unlocked the Coulson's Team Hard Drive as Skye had promised to them. However, what Ward did not know was Hill had simply been distracting Ward long enough for Phil Coulson to board the plane and rescue Skye. Ward realized the deception too late and Coulson managed to get himself and Skye aboard Lola and drove out of the plane where they managed to fly safely back down to the group despite Ward firing at them and Deathlok using his Forearm Rocket Launcher to try and shoot them out of the sky.
Not willing to lose his hostage, Ward tried to turn the plane around and go after them, but John Garrett instead ordered them to continue with their main mission and regroup with him back at the Barbershop Headquarters in Cuba as they had gotten the information they needed from Skye by unlocking the Hard Drive. Furious at this humiliating failure, Ward took a moment to threaten to kill Deathlok if he ever did anything like stopping his heart again. However Deathlok remained completely calm and merely informed Ward that he had only been following Garrett's direct orders like he did.
A Terrible Choice
With the codes, Grant Ward returned to Cuba, and Raina was able to finish recreating GH.325. Garrett ordered the abandonment of the Barbershop Headquarters for the new Cybertek Manufacturing Facility, and Raina told Ward about rumors she had heard about Skye's parents. Before the members of the Centipede Project could leave, Ward found Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons spying on them. After Ward captured the two and brought them onto the Bus for questioning, Fitz activated the EMP Joy Buzzer that further damaged Garrett's cybernetic parts, nearly killing him as he was already suffering from organ failure.
Garrett ordered Ward to kill Fitz and Simmons. Fitz and Simmons were able to escape their guards, resulting in Ward chasing them until they locked themselves in a Medical Pod. Ward demanded that the two unlock the door, but Fitz tried to remind Ward of their friendship and stated that he knew Ward cared about them. Ward finally admitted that he still cared about his former friends, but he called it "a weakness" and then ejected the pod with Fitz and Simmons in it from the Bus into Atlantic Ocean. When he returned to Garrett, Ward lied to him and claimed to have definitively killed Fitz and Simmons. At the same time, Ward learned that he had had Raina inject him with the GH.325. He witnessed Garrett's body beginning to spasm and glow; when he stopped, Ward asked him how he was feeling, Garrett simply answered, the universe.
Worrying about John Garrett
- "Our alliance with HYDRA was always a means to that end, right?"
"And here we are. It's not like we're true believers, right? Don't get me wrong, I'll go where you go. Having our soldiers in key positions is great but, then what? Are we really planning a coup?"
- ― Grant Ward and John Garrett[src]
Ward witnessed John Garrett showing off his new strength as he ripped a door off it's hinges and began carving strange symbols on it, claiming that he was writing down the ideas that were now in his head. Ward tried to talk some sense into Garrett, telling him that he was a little freaked out and questioning their loyalty to HYDRA, but he had little success as Garrett continued to rant and promised that now it was time for Ward to take whatever he wanted.
Ward traveled with John Garrett to the new Cybertek Manufacturing Facility. On the flight there, he became worried about the state of Garrett's mind. He confided his worries with Raina, who agreed to talk to Garrett. Despite his concerns, he stayed with Garrett. When they arrived at the Facility Garrett began to mock General Jacobs, who was being given a tour by Ian Quinn. When Jacobs demanded to know why he could hear gunfire, Garrett brutally murdered the General without warning by ripping out his rib and stabbing him in the neck with it, as Ward could only look on in horror. When he asked Garrett what this was the beginning of, Garrett told Ward it was the beginning of the end.
Ward was forced to lock up Jacobs' entourage. After he had done that, he caught Raina and Ian Quinn attempting to flee with the Gravitonium. He accused Raina of putting thoughts in Garrett's mind but she then changed the subject, claiming that Skye is the key to the evolutionary change and when comes to pass, she and Ward could be together. Although Ward knew Skye perceived him as a monster, Raina cast doubt on that and asked if he was truly was a monster or was what Garrett made him. She then claimed when Skye's hidden darkness comes to light, they could be monsters together.
When Coulson's Team broke into the Cybertek Manufacturing Facility, Ward demanded John Garrett give him some new orders as to how to deal with this situation, only for his mentor to respond with confusing words about independence. He then received a call from Skye, who boasted that she had taken control of the Centipede Soldiers control center. After taunting Skye about Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons' supposed deaths at Ward's hand, Garrett tasked Ward with apprehending Skye.
He found Skye who had taken Kyle Zeller hostage with a bomb strapped around his chest. He called her bluff, reminding her that she could have let him die the last time, but she did not. Skye expressed pity for him for betraying their team, declaring Fitz a hero for wanting to believe there was good in Ward. As she stated that some people are just born evil, Ward concurred, admitting she that woken up a weakness inside him. He aimed his gun at her head and threatened to take what he wanted from her whether she wanted it or not.
Skye, however, remained strangely confident and told him she had a weapon more powerful than a bomb which would destroy him; when he asked why that was, she explained because he slept with her, and she was immensely furious. Ward was then attacked by Melinda May, with whom he engaged in a long battle through the facility while Skye used Zeller to free Ace Peterson and communicate with Deathlok. During the fight, Ward and May tried to desperately kill each other with buzzsaws and various other weapons they could find as they charged through a building site in the facility, with them both proving to be equally matched fighters.
Ward managed to pin May down on a work bench and attempted to slice off her arm with a buzzsaw, mocking reminding her of their sexual history as he sat on top of her; however, May managed to break free and began hitting Ward through various walls head first. The fight ended when May managed to get her hands on a nearby nail gun and started bolting Ward's foot to the floor. Despite pleas from Ward who was now defenseless, May punched him in the jaw and fractured his larynx rendering him unable to speak, before telling him that she was done listening to him as she knocked him unconscious with a final hard kick to the skull.
Captured by S.H.I.E.L.D.
Ward was brought before Phil Coulson, angry that Ward had lied to them from day one. Coulson asked Melinda May if she got all her anger out, she said she had not as Ward was still alive, she also told him that Ward was unable to speak due to his fractured larynx. Coulson told him that Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons had survived his assassination attempt, although Fitz may never be the same again. Coulson left him a question: Who are you without John Garrett? He was then taken into custody by U.S. Marines.
Prisoner within the Playground
Ward became a prisoner inside the Playground's vaults, where he attempted suicide by running at the walls and cutting his wrists with a folded piece of paper. Once he recovered, he refused to speak to anyone except Skye. For three-and-a-half weeks, Phil Coulson sat outside Ward's cell, but Ward refused to speak. Eventually, Ward received a visit from Skye, claiming that she was a sight for sore eyes. Ward insisted that he had told Coulson weeks earlier that he would be willing to speak to Skye to give her intelligence, as he had questioned why she had come to speak with him now.
Ward questioned if something bad had happened, to which Skye simply asked him about Carl Creel, noting that John Garrett had reported Creel to be dead, but it had turned out that he was still alive, questioning if Ward had any information about that. Instead of answering, Ward asked how Skye had been, to which Skye got up and went to walk away, causing Ward to admit that Creel's name was familiar, as he asked for a picture. As Skye showed him Creel's picture, Ward leaned closer to the Inertial Confinement Laser Barrier to see, allowing Skye to notice the scars on Ward's wrists.
Seeing Skye's reaction, Ward deduced that Coulson had not told her about this, as he confessed to going through a rough patch, which involved him using buttons and paper to cut at himself, as well as running at the walls, with Skye simply suggesting that he should have run faster. Ward then told Skye that he had gotten through that stage and was now clear headed and had accepted his fate, based on who he was and what he had done. Ward then looked at Skye's arms, observing that Melinda May had clearly been training Skye, pointing out that Skye was being trained more on her left side.
Interrupting him, Skye told Ward that she would not believe a word that came out of his mouth, but also noted that if he talked about anything other than what she was asking him about, then she would walk away. Accepting this, Ward told Skye that Creel was a boxer, known as the Crusher, who Garrett had considered to be an asset, due to his power to turn his fists into steel. Ward went on to explain that Creel had the power to absorb any substance and transform his body into that substance. As Ward noted that Creel enjoyed this feeling, and killing, Skye noted that they must have gotten along.
Skye dismissed Ward's comments as pointless, noting that they had already knew this, suggesting that unless Ward knew where they could find Creel she would walk. Ward had then asked Skye to wait, as he confessed that while HYDRA was communicating from within S.H.I.E.L.D. they would use the white noise in the gaps between their communication channels, suggesting that HYDRA would still be using those frequencies. Ward promised that this and everything else he would say to Skye was true, claiming to only want to help her. As Ward tried to tell her more about her father, Skye shut the laser.
Discussing HYDRA's Methods
- "HYDRA's protocol on the gifteds is pretty straight forward, an acquisition team is sent out to convince or captured the gifted. If those two options aren't possible, them they'll take them out."
"Even if the gifted doesn't pose a threat."
"A gifted that refuses HYDRA is a threat."
- ― Grant Ward to Skye[src]
Eventually, Ward received another visit from Skye, who had asked about how HYDRA recruited it's members, with Ward explaining that HYDRA was not welcoming and did not offer any choice but to join them. As Skye questioned if he was offered money, or threatened with torture, Ward simply claimed that they were good at convincing people, as Skye acknowledged that they suckered Ward in, to which he insisted that he had only ever been loyal to John Garrett, not HYDRA.
However, Ward insisted that he did not blame Garrett for the choices that he had made, to which Skye suggested that Ward would instead blame his older brother, as well as his mother and father for his situation, mocking him for this. Ward insisted that his family had torn him down, before Garrett built him back up, and turned him into a soldier for HYDRA. However, Skye noted that they were aware of who Ward's family were, noting that they were respected and loved, to which Ward noted that every family had their secrets, commenting that Skye's family also had their own secrets.
Before Ward could discuss Skye's family's secrets, and disclose any further information about her father, he was interrupted by Skye acknowledging that she had made an error by allowing Ward to talk for too long, as she suggested that they instead focus on their task at hand, and no longer allow Ward to talk to her like a regular person. Ward then explained that HYDRA's rules on dealing with powered individuals was straight forward, as they would send out their own acquisition team to convince or capture the powered individual, and would execute them if neither of these options was not possible.
As Skye questioned if this would even be if the individual was not a threat, to which Ward suggested that simply defying HYDRA's rules made the individual into a threat, and threats would be taken care of quickly by HYDRA. Upon hearing this, Skye insisted that this was the difference between S.H.I.E.L.D. and HYDRA, to which Ward insisted that this was why HYDRA would always win, claiming that while a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent was considering what was right and wrong, the HYDRA agent would have already taken the shot, leaving Skye to consider what that meant for their ongoing conflict.
Leo Fitz's Revenge
- "Garrett ordered me to kill you and Simmons, he expected me to put a bullet in your head, but I couldn't. I gave you a fighting chance to find a way out, like you always do, like you did."
"Save me? Do you... Do you... Do you know what the... What your... No... I have trouble with words."
- ― Grant Ward and Leo Fitz[src]
While inside his cell, Ward heard somebody coming downstairs, as he prepared to greet them, only to be greeted by Leo Fitz, who had felt that the others were keeping secrets from him and so had discovered Ward in his cell. Seeing that Fitz was frozen in shock and horror upon seeing him, Ward acknowledged that he would have a lot to say to him, as he watched Fitz struggling to breath due to the shock. In attempt to comfort him, Ward then claimed that, despite everything, he was glad to see Fitz.
However, Fitz demanded that Ward stop talking, as he attempted to control his breathing and understand what was happening. As Fitz began to calm down, Ward took a seat and insisted that he had never wanted to hurt him, and had tried to avoid it, to which Fitz noted that he had tried to kill him and Jemma Simmons. However, Ward denied that it was true, instead claiming that he had attempted to save them after John Garrett had ordered him to shoot them, as he claimed that he had instead given them a fighting chance to find their way out from the bottom of the ocean, which they had done.
Despite Ward's claims to have tried to save him, Fitz had questioned if Ward was aware of what he had done to him, as he struggled to find the words to explain his situation. Fitz explained to Ward that he was having trouble with his words, as he suggested that it would be better to show Ward what he did, as Fitz proceeded to drain oxygen from Ward's cell, to demonstrate the hypoxia. As he began gasping for air, Ward questioned what Fitz was doing, to which he explained that he would show Ward what it was like to be deprived of oxygen, giving him three minutes until the damage would be permanent.
Struggling to breath, Ward questioned where Skye was, to which Fitz explained that she was gone, having been sent on a mission to find Donnie Gill. Fitz went on to insist that he should be on the mission with them, but he was unable to be because of the damage that Ward had done to him. As Ward then attempted to distract Fitz by questioning if this was why Skye had asked him about HYDRA's dealings with powered people, Fitz refused to answer him, only for Ward to explain that Gill had been brainwashed with the Faustus method, and Sunil Bakshi would be attempting to recapture Gill.
Confessing the Truth
Once Skye returned to the Playground, she went to speak to Ward in his cell, as she questioned if Ward was relieved that he was not getting another visit from Leo Fitz, to which Ward claimed that he was happy she was okay. Ward told Skye that he was happy that he could help, before Skye noted that Ward had previously mentioned that HYDRA was good at convincing people, as she confirmed that he had been referring to Faustus brainwashing people, which Ward confirmed, noting it was not done often.
Ward noted that brainwashing HYDRA agents was a lot of work, and there were some who were not susceptible, and it would mostly be used on high value targets. Skye questioned if Ward had been brainwashed to join HYDRA, although he denied this, noting that he wished this was the truth, noting that because he had sworn never to lie to Skye, he had to admit that he was not brainwashed, and everything he had done, was done with his own free will. Ward questioned if Skye believed that he was telling her the truth, as she nodded, but had also noted that she did not know why he would be.
Skye questioned what Ward hoped to achieve by compiling, only for Ward to claim that he did not hope for himself, but that he was in hope for her. Ward told Skye that he knew something, and wanted her to believe him when he said it. Ward then got to his feet, and told Skye that her father was still alive, and that he was looking for her, as he then promised that he would one day take her to him, if she allowed him to. Without giving him any reaction about this news, Skye had then told Ward that they were done there, before storming out of his cell, leaving him alone once again.
Skye's Next Question
Ward would received another visit from Skye, as he commented that he was surprised that it had taken her so long to come back, following his mention of her father, although Skye insisted that was not why she had returned. Ward noted that Skye must have been thinking about what he had said, to which Skye noted that Ward was the last person she would want to talk about her family with. As Ward suggested that he could help her find him, Skye insisted that her parents were killed in Hunan, along with everyone in their village.
However, Ward denied that this was true, as Skye insisted that she knew what he was doing in attempting to exploit her weaknesses to find a way in to talk to her, although Ward insisted that he was just trying to help. Ward also insisted that he would never lie to Skye again, to which Skye then demanded to know the source of Ward's information about her father. Accepting these demands, Ward explained that it was Raina who had told him this, which Skye laughed at, while Ward had explained that Raina knew Skye's father personally, although Skye continued laughing at him.
Skye insisted that Ward had been played by Raina, as she had found Ward's weakness and exploited it to use against him. As Ward attempted to argue against this, Skye got to her feet and told Ward to shut up, insisting that she did not want to hear him say another word about her father, as Ward sighed but accepted Skye's demands. Having changed the subject, Skye then presented Ward with her tablet, showing him the Words of Creation and questioning what he knew about them, as Ward noted that he had first seen those symbols on their mission in Belarus, with her and Skye had been on together.
Ward went on to note that he had later seen these same symbols when John Garrett began etching them into glass, which surprised Skye as she questioned if Garrett had said what it was. However, Ward denied that Garrett explained himself, but noted that he had not made much sense after he had taken the GH.325, before he questioned if Skye had been writing these symbols, which Skye denied. Ward noted that once Garrett began writing them, he could not stop, noting that he was relieved once S.H.I.E.L.D. had killed Garrett, as the writing had completely taken over his mind.
Questions about Family
As he would do every morning, Ward awoke a five, thirty am and began his work out inside his cell in the Playground. Once again, Ward would be visited by Skye, who informed him that they needed to talk about his brother, to which Ward questioned if she was referring to Christian or Thomas, as Skye confirmed that she meant Christian. As Ward questioned what had happened, Skye would only tell him that they needed basic information about his personality and habits, only for Ward to advise they stay away from Christian.
Ward advised Skye that Christian was not the man he seemed to be, and that he always had an angle to get his own way, suggesting that Christian might be attempting to use S.H.I.E.L.D. to get to him. However, Skye insisted that this was not about him, which Ward denied, as he reminded Skye about how Christian had forced him to almost drown Thomas in a well when they were children, suggesting that Christian got joy out of hurting people. Ward questioned once again if Christian knew where he was, to which Skye had simply insisted that she would be the only one asking the questions there.
However, Ward insisted that he had always answered Skye's questions, and had always told the truth, but suggested there could be danger if Christian knew he was there, only for Skye to interrupt him by scoffing at Ward's suggestion that he always told the truth. Ward reminded Skye that he had promised to never lie to her again, insisting that he had not since they had begun talking again. Taking a breath, Ward then questioned what this line of questioning was really about, although Skye would still not tell him, demanding that Ward tell her about Christian's connections and daily habits.
Interrupting, Ward had then questioned if this had anything to do with Skye's father, as he promised her that he had not lied about this, insisting that her father was still alive. However, as Ward attempted to tell her about her father, Skye interrupted him and insisted that her father was a murderer, revealing that she had already found him, much to Ward's considerable surprise. However, before they could continue discussing Skye's father, Phil Coulson had then arrived and shut the Inertial Confinement Laser Barrier, abruptly ending Ward's conversation with Skye.
While Ward remained in his cell, he was eventually rejoined by Skye, much to his considerable surprise, as he had also acknowledged that all of the cameras inside of the room had been turned off, as Ward then questioned if Phil Coulson knew about this meeting, to which Skye explained that Coulson was out of the Playground. Skye had then noted that Coulson cut their last meeting short, but now nobody was watching their conversation, as Ward simply smiled at the prospect of a private conversation with Skye.
Ward questioned if Coulson was speaking with Christian Ward, as he insisted that he could not be trusted, explaining that Christian would smile and bare his soul, but that it was all manipulation, calling Christian a master manipulator. With Skye not responding, Ward acknowledged the kind of man he was, but insisted that Christian was worse, as he promised Skye that he was telling her the truth, asking if she believed him. Ward told Skye that he never lied about her father, but she had never given him the chance to tell her, which Skye admitted was true, as she gave him that chance.
Skye insisted that she wanted to know everything about her father, as Ward told her that while he had killed people, this had all been done because her father loved her, claiming that he could not fault him for that. Ward went on to claim that the people who had died in Hunan were not villagers, but HYDRA agents, who had managed to find Skye and her mother, with Skye reacting tearfully to the mention of her mother. Skye questioned if her mother was also alive, as Ward explained that she had been killed by HYDRA, as Skye questioned why HYDRA did this.
As Ward told Skye that he did not know HYDRA's motives, he explained that once her father had arrived, he lost control and slaughtered the HYDRA agents there, as Skye questioned how he could have done this, and what her father was. Unable to answer those questions, Ward told Skye that her father had lost his entire family that day, and had cracked, resulting in the brutal massacre, but that her father had now wanted to put his family back together again, insisting that he could help with that by taking Skye to her father, as Skye had then questioned where her father was.
With Skye questioning how Ward could help reunite her with her family, Ward explained that he still had connections and people they could go to, as Skye noted that Raina was gone, asking who else they could find, only for Ward to insist that he was resourceful and could manage without Raina. Skye demanded to know everything Ward knew, desperately asking if there was anything else that he could tell her, only for Ward to claim he could not tell her anything more, but promised that they would be able to find her father, as Skye thanked Ward for telling her everything that he knew.
Skye then told Ward that it was time to get him out of the Playground, much to his considerable surprise and relief, as he believed that Skye would break him out to help her reunite with her family. However, Skye had then explained that, rather than her arranging a prison break, Ward was actually being transferred, explaining that Christian wanted to take him into his own custody, in exchange for Christian dropping his anti S.H.I.E.L.D. proposals to the United States Congress, and they would give him exactly what he wanted, much to the complete horror of Ward.
Pleads to Phil Coulson
- "I thought we were rebuilding trust, Coulson? I can help you, I'm still part of your team."
"My team? You are not, not will you ever be, on my team. You dropped FitzSimmons out of a plane, you murdered Victoria Hand and Eric Koenig, you betrayed every one of us, you deluded son of a bitch."
- ― Grant Ward and Phil Coulson[src]
Horrified about the risk to his safety if he was transferred, Ward took a meeting with Phil Coulson, as he insisted that Christian Ward could not be trusted. However, Coulson pointed out to Ward that he had previously attempted to speak to him for three and a half weeks, only for Ward to not say a word to him. As Coulson told him it was too late to bargain, Ward insisted that everything he had said to Skye was the truth, claiming that he had not given S.H.I.E.L.D. a single piece of bad intel.
As Ward questioned what this was worth, Coulson simply told him that he would never see Skye again, to which Ward claimed that he had believed that they were rebuilding trust. As Ward insisted that he could help S.H.I.E.L.D. and that he was still part of Coulson's Team, Coulson rose to his feet and insisted that Ward was not, nor would he ever be a part of his team. Coulson furiously reminded Ward that he dropped Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons out of a plane, as well as murdering Victoria Hand and Eric Koenig, while he had betrayed everyone of them, calling Ward deluded.
Coulson went on to claim that the only reason Ward was still alive was because he had been of use, and the reason he was now being transferred was because his brother was of more use to S.H.I.E.L.D.. Ward questioned if it had been Coulson or Christian's idea to put him on trial, suggesting that it would work well for Christian politically to be seen as brave enough to have his own brother executed for his crimes. As Coulson compared Ward to his brother, Antoine Triplett had then appeared, and informed Coulson that he was needed back upstairs, as Ward was left to consider his upcoming fate.
Transfer and Escape
Eventually, Ward's cell was surrounded by Phil Coulson, and his teams of heavily armed STRIKE agents, as Coulson took down the Inertial Confinement Laser Barrier and allowed the agents to step inside and handcuff Ward, which Ward reluctantly allowed. As he was being handcuffed, Ward made direct eye contact with Coulson as he did, believing that Coulson was allowing him to be taken to his death, as Christian Ward would undoubtedly be calling for his execution.
As he was marched through the Playground, led by Coulson and with armed guards either side of him, Ward passed by Antoine Triplett, while Leo Fitz remained in his laboratory and made eye contact with Ward. As he neared the exit, Ward came across Skye and attempted to talk to her, only for Jemma Simmons to stand between, as Simmons insisted that if she ever saw Ward again, she would kill him. In order to prevent Ward from even attempting to communicate with anyone else, one of the STRIKE agents put a black bag over his head, blocking his view as they continued walking.
Ward was then taken outside, still with his hands and ankles cuffed together, and a bag over his head, as Coulson handed over his custody to the FBI, recommending that they do not give him an inch to move in. Ward then had the bag removed from his head, as he was loaded into the back of the FBI's truck to be taken to his brother. As he stepped inside, Ward had then sked Coulson to tell Skye that this situation would not change his deal with her to bring her to her father, insisting that he would keep his promise, although Coulson did not respond and had simply walked away.
Ward remained silent during his transfer, as he focused his attention on his hand, and began subtly massaging his thumb, as he had been practicing to do in his cell, without drawing the attention of the guards surrounding him. As he took a deep breath, Ward managed to dislocate his thumb, which allowed him to slip his handcuff off, much to the shock of his guards. Ward then proceeded to elbow the guard next to him, and grabbed the guard in front as he attempted to draw his weapon. Ward had then killed the guard, before pulling the gun out of his hand and shooting the driver, allowing him to escape.
Ward knew that S.H.I.E.L.D. was pursuing him so he went a bus station in Philadelphia and, in a locker, got money and supplies. He also strapped explosives to himself which deterred Antoine Triplett from pursuing him.
The bus took Ward to Atlanta where he saw Bobbi Morse on page a hundred and seventeen of her book. Calling himself Zack, he then helped Eliza and her son, Graham, onto a bus to Dallas. When Eliza wanted further conversation, he opted to sit with Morse reading her book, who was also on that bus. After flirting with her, Ward revealed that he knew she was an agent of Phil Coulson because she is still on page a hundred and seventeen. Ward showed her his bomb and left the bus. However, he boarded another bus headed to Boston with Lance Hunter on board.
Betraying Sunil Bakshi
Once he arrived in Boston, Ward met Sunil Bakshi in the Goldbrix Tavern, which was being run by a member of HYDRA. During the meeting, Ward asked Bakshi to whom he answered, as Strucker was overseas, to which Bakshi replied that he answered to Daniel Whitehall. Ward also asked if he could meet Whitehall, to which Bakshi replied that Whitehall was busy, but then Ward told him that he could get them close to Phil Coulson. However, Ward then killed the bartender and the two HYDRA agents that accompanied Bakshi; Bakshi was then tied up and left for S.H.I.E.L.D., who took him into custody.
Having stopped off at a hotel, Ward decided that it was time for him to change his appearance to avoid detection. Ward proceeded to shave off his beard, briefly leaving himself with his moustache, before shaving that as well. Ward would also take the razor to his hair, cutting that short, before giving himself a wet shave and admiring his new look in the mirror. Having put on a new suit, Ward then called up Sunil Bakshi's phone, knowing that S.H.I.E.L.D. would have likely taken it when they had arrested Bakshi.
As was expected, the call was answered by Skye, who attempted to trick the caller by claiming to be a member of HYDRA, only for Ward to immediately reveal his identity. As Skye demanded to know where Ward was, he had simply claimed that he wanted to make sure that S.H.I.E.L.D. had received his present, noting that he had promised Bakshi a one on one meeting with Phil Coulson, acknowledging that this was likely not what Bakshi had in mind. Ward then promised to continue sending S.H.I.E.L.D. some more presents like Bakshi over the next few months, which Skye had simply rejected.
With Ward insisting that he just wanted to be helpful, he had then noted that he had met Bobbi Morse and Lance Hunter, claiming that he believed they should not be around for much longer, with Skye questioning if Ward was threatening them, to which he insisted that he was merely a suggestion. Ward insisted that Coulson could do better than Morse and Hunter, claiming that he was a hard man to replace. Looking at an article about Christian Ward leading a hunt for him, Ward told Skye that he had to go deal with a personal matter, promising he would see her soon, before hanging up.
Killing Senator Ward
Ward soon found Christian as he was talking to his wife and setting up a date with his mistress. Ward sneaked up to the car and silently murdered his brother's security team in seconds before smashing Christian's car window with a man's head and violently pulling his brother out of the car. As Christian rolled down a hill and looked up in horror, Ward simply smiled and said that he had heard Christian had been looking for him.
Ward handcuffed Christian and forced him to walk through the woods where they had grown up, Christian continued to try and manipulate Ward by reminding him of his many crimes, but Ward ignored him and forced him to continue walking. Eventually, Ward had them go to the well from their past that their parents buried as their younger brother Thomas had almost drowned in it. Christian was forced to uncover the well while Ward watched, the brothers continued to debate their past and Ward insisted that Christian was still living in denial about his abusive past towards him and their brother. Eventually, Christian found the well, but took a chance and attacked Ward before attempted to flee. Ward soon caught up and bushed Christian's head against a tree.
Ward dragged Christian to the well and threatened to drop him inside if Christian refused to admit to his part in torturing Thomas in their youth. Eventually, Christian tearfully admitted his part. Ward then embraced his brother and they walked back to the road together, making it appear to Christian that he had forgiven him, but in reality he was setting him up. Ward had recorded what Christian said. When they got back to the house, Ward killed Christian and their mother and father and burned down the house, making it appear to be a murder-suicide case. Ward put the recording of Christian's confession in the remains of the house to further ruin Christian's appearance to the public.
Return to HYDRA
Meeting Daniel Whitehall
Later, Ward had a meeting with Daniel Whitehall, asking if he could work with him in HYDRA. Whitehall accepted and showed Ward news footage of the alleged murder-suicide of Senator Christian Ward and his parents. Calvin Zabo entered the meeting, Zabo was immediately interested in Ward due to his experience being a part of Coulson's Team. Ward asked Zabo about his experiences meeting Coulson, claiming that it can be a tough experience.
Tracing the Tracker injected into Raina, Ward found her aboard the cloaked Bus and Whitehall had it surrounded by four HYDRA Quinjets. Ward boarded the Bus with other operatives as Skye, Melinda May, Lance Hunter, Antoine Triplett, Billy and Sam Koenig surrounded him with guns drawn. When Skye saw Ward back working with HYDRA, she told him to pick a side, reminding him of how he had kidnapped Sunil Bakshi for them earlier; he told her that he had.
Ward then told them that if a shoot out began, all would die as the HYDRA Quinjets flying outside would shoot the Bus out of the sky. He promised that if Raina and Skye came willingly, nothing would happen and they would be allowed to go free. Sam Koenig asked what promise did he give his brother before killing him. Ward simply replied by asking who Koenig's brother was. Though the Koenig brothers and the rest of the S.H.I.E.L.D. team had Ward in a cross fire, they chose not to shoot. The women left with Ward; however, Daniel Whitehall ordered the Bus to be destroyed regardless.
Keeping His Promise
Ward took Skye to the HYDRA base at the Ponce de León Theater in San Juan; as they walked together Ward admired how much Melinda May taught her while he had been gone, noticing Skye was already looking for an escape strategy and remaining calm under the circumstances. Skye continued to question Ward's loyalty to HYDRA and why he had taken her, and Ward assured her it would be revealed soon. He took Skye to reunite her with Calvin Zabo, her father, who was waiting patiently. He left the pair alone to meet.
Daniel Whitehall decided to have a meeting with Ward, Raina, Skye, and Calvin Zabo to discern Ward's motivation for bringing the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent to their base and defying his order to destroy the Bus. Raina revealed that Ward loved Skye and his desire for her outweighed his allegiance to HYDRA. When Whitehall ordered Skye to pick up the Diviner, it caused a dangerous stand-off, with Ward aiming his gun at the HYDRA guards. Although they were able to kill a few of Whitehall's men, Ward, Skye and Zabo were captured by HYDRA.
While bound and guarded by Agent 33, Ward asked her about her resemblance to Melinda May. She talked of her loyalty to Whitehall and Ward commented on how he was once loyal to John Garrett who had gone insane. Ward witnessed Whitehall torture Zabo and mock Skye about her mother's death. When the Battle for the Kree City began, Ward talked to the guard that replaced Agent 33 long enough for Zabo to free himself, sneak up behind the guard and kill him. Ward asked Zabo to free him, but he refused, citing that he did not want Ward and Skye to see him kill Whitehall.
Ward managed to free himself from the chair shortly after Zabo left, then freed Skye, saying that he would get her to safety. However when Ward's back was turned, she took the dead guard's gun and shot Ward four times in the side and left him for dead, noting that he should never turn his back on the enemy. Ward was saved by the Bulletproof Vest he wore. Agent 33 came to him emotional over the death of Daniel Whitehall. He told her that she was free from HYDRA and, together, they can find her place in the world. She then helped the injured man leave the scene.
Closure of Kara Palamas
Repairing Agent 33's Mask
Over the next few weeks, Agent 33 treated Ward's gunshot injuries and eventually nursed him back to health, they developed a strong flirtatious relationship and Ward felt he owed Agent 33 a debt for saving his life. Seeking to begin making amends for his debt, Ward was able to track down the inventor of the Photostatic Veil to a diner where he was enjoying a meal with his family; once there, he and Agent 33 discussed their short history together while Ward politely ordered the pancakes from the waitress Rhonda for the two of them to enjoy.
Agent 33 still struggled to make decisions for herself now that her controller Daniel Whitehall was dead and they discussed what had happened with them in the aftermath of the Battle for the Kree City. Before their pancakes could arrive, the inventor of the Veil got up to leave, with Ward noting his disappointment and not getting to eat them. Ward left Rhonda a tip before he and Agent 33 pulled out their guns, with Ward shooting the CCTV cameras and helping Agent 33 threatening the inventor, who begged them to take his wallet and leave him alone, only for them to kidnap him together.
They took Selwyn back to their hotel room and forced him to fix the mask. Although he was unable to remove the mask, he was able to get it working again to cover up her scars and fix her voice, allowing her to transform her face into anyone at will. Once he was finished, he and Ward discussed how Agent 33 could use an old photograph to make the mask give her old face back, and Ward revealed that he was unaware of what she really looked like. Once they were satisfied that Selwyn had done all he could to assist them, Ward killed him to ensure he did not tell anyone about their actions.
Ward later found Agent 33 in their hotel room experimenting with the Photostatic Veil, creating new faces to cover her own scars, settling on using Melinda May's face. Ward offered to buy some clothes for Agent 33 while he was out, when Agent 33 questioned where he was going, Ward would only tell her that he was going to pick up another surprise for her. To Ward's surprise, Agent 33 asked him to stop helping her, as she felt guilty for not being able to give him something back; however, he insisted that this was not why he was doing this and promised to come back within a couple of hours.
When Ward returned, Agent 33 had turned her face into Skye's and tried to seduce Ward, but he insisted that he wanted to be with her, not anyone else. He explained that his feelings for Skye had gone when she shot him. As she was clearly upset at the rejection, Ward cheered up Agent 33 by handing her Sunil Bakshi's file, who was being held in a prison by Glenn Talbot. He then proceeded to tell her how John Garrett saved him from his family's cruelty and how, after he had a confrontation with them, he was free to be a new man. Ward promised they would kidnap Bakshi and get revenge.
Using the Photostatic Veil to successfully disguise herself as Brigadier General Glenn Talbot's own wife, Carla who was due to meet the General there, Agent 33 gained entry into the facility where their target was being held by tricking the guard that she had simply forgotten her access card. Once she was inside, she turned off the security cameras, allowing Ward to arrive without being tracked, finding the guard on the security desk paying so much attention to fixing his monitors that he did not see Ward coming towards him with a weapon.
With no cameras to capture his actions, Ward quietly murdered the guard at the desk and hid his body before stealing his access cards to help them get through the facility. While he was checking the dead guard's pockets, Ward found himself being watched by Brookton and prepared to draw his weapon to kill the United States Armed Forces soldier, before realizing that it was in fact Agent 33 in disguise, as she had already murdered Brookton. Ward teased her for her choice of disguise with her noting that he was the smallest man she could find, which was why the uniform was slightly too large for her.
Together, they located Sunil Bakshi, who was initially delighted to see Agent 33, believing her to still be loyal to HYDRA and following the orders given to her by the late Daniel Whitehall, although as soon as Ward appeared, he knew he was in danger, questioning who was truly giving orders to Agent 33 and being horrified to learn that they were working on their own orders. When Bakshi attempt to control her using the Faustus method, Agent 33 knocked him out and Ward smiled at her successful before together they took Bakshi outside in a wheelchair and made their hasty escape from the facility.
Once they were back at the hotel, they tied down the captured Bakshi and used the Faustus method to brainwash him, holding his eyes open as he starred into the screen. Agent 33 was able to turn the mask off to reveal her true scarred face. Ward smiled at seeing her true identity and, to show her that it was time for a new beginning, introduced himself to her again, and she introduced herself by her real name, Kara Palamas. Palamas then began to taunt Bakshi when he asked if his compliance would be rewarded, while Ward watched closely from the side, amused at Bakshi's suffering.
Recruited by Phil Coulson
In Mexico, Ward bought a cactus for his and Agent 33's house while she called her mother, who was helping her get better reacquainted with her old life by sending her old pictures of herself which allowed her to recreate her original and unscarred face with the Photostatic Veil. However, just as Ward was leaving the shop, he got a call on Agent 33's phone and learned that she had been captured by Phil Coulson.
Ward immediately drove to the restaurant where Agent 33 was and found her unharmed by being guarded by Deathlok. Ward greeted his former ally from his days with John Garrett and was ordered to remove all his weapons. Ward complied with these orders, dropping his guns, knives and garrote, although he tried and failed to keep one small blade on him which Deathlok spotted with his Backscatter X-Ray Eye Implant. With Ward now unarmed and defenseless, Deathlok directed him to a booth where Coulson was waiting to speak with him while he stayed back to keep guard over Agent 33.
Ward and Coulson exchanged false pleasantries as Coulson noted that he knew Ward could kill him if he wanted to. Ward then listened as Coulson explained that he was not after him anymore but was looking to find Wolfgang von Strucker and List, hoping that Ward could find a way to locate the pair. Although Ward was skeptical about the plan, Coulson mapped out a deal, in which Ward would help infiltrate HYDRA and then have his bad memories wiped using Project T.A.H.I.T.I. which would allow him to begin a happy and completely peaceful life with Palamas by his side.
Ward agreed to take the deal, and he and Agent 33 were taken back to their home by Deathlok where they gathered their belongings in preparation for the mission, also taking Sunil Bakshi and locking him inside the trunk of the car. While Deathlok spoke with Coulson, Ward commented that something was amiss as Melinda May was not involved with the mission. Although Palamas insisted they run, Ward reminded her that they could use Coulson to get to Bobbi Morse and find the closure that they were seeking. They then discussed finding another house to continue their relationship in.
Just as Ward and Palamas shared a kiss, Deathlok opened the door and ordered them to break it up, much to Ward's annoyance. They then opened the boot and Ward showed Coulson Bakshi, explaining that he had now undergone the Faustus method and would obey their orders completely. Ward explained that he had brought Bakshi to help with the infiltration as he knew List and could get them inside HYDRA, assuring Coulson that Bakshi was now loyal to his and he was happy to comply with anything Ward or he ordered him to do.
Bakshi reached out to his old HYDRA allies and soon arranged a meeting with Doctor List. In Coulson's Quinjet, they discussed the mission plans until Ward asked how Leo Fitz was doing. Fitz exploded out of his seat at him, and quickly had to be restrained by Coulson and Lance Hunter, leaving Ward's question unanswered. Fitz pleaded with Coulson that both Bakshi and Ward would undoubtedly betray them the first chance they had, but Coulson reassured Fitz that he was aware of the risks and as a result Deathlok would join Bakshi as his bodyguard while he attended the meeting with List.
Using Sunil Bakshi
Ward watched from onboard the Quinjet as Sunil Bakshi and Deathlok met with Doctor List. Looking through Deathlok's prosthetic eye, they watched as List discussed the death of Daniel Whitehall and the resulting Assassination of HYDRA Leaders, questioning if Bakshi himself was involved, which he denied, even turning the suspicion onto List himself while Ward smugly commented that he was right all along.
When Bakshi offered to trade Deathlok to List for his experiments in exchange for a meeting with Wolfgang von Strucker, Ward was accused of betraying the plan. A standoff ensused with Phil Coulson and Ward aiming their guns at each other while Agent 33 held Leo Fitz by a knife and Lance Hunter drew his gun. Ward convinced Coulson to trust him and lower his gun so Fitz could instruct Deathlok to go along with the plan and not fight back against HYDRA. With the situation calmed, Coulson warned Ward that if he tried that again he would be thrown off the Quinjet to his sudden death.
When List's plan took off, Ward assumed it was because Strucker was overseas and Coulson gave the order for Ward to fly the Quinjet and follow them. They listened as List explained his desire to track Inhumans and his belief that there was a teleporter they were close to capturing as he had been located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Ward overheard Coulson and Fitz noting that this was the same teleporter who had taken Calvin Zabo, Raina and Skye, allowing Ward to learn that the mission was to find Skye, although Coulson still refused to explain why HYDRA would want to find and capture her.
When Doctor List took his plane to Milwaukee, Ward and the others followed him and landed the Quinjet on top of Calvin Zabo's Building, where Sunil Bakshi and a team of HYDRA agents stormed inside the building in an attempt to capture any gifted individuals they could find. Ward, Phil Coulson, Agent 33, and Lance Hunter armed themselves and went in the building as well, separating in an attempt to find Skye before she could be found and captured by Doctor List's HYDRA agents.
Ward and Coulson fought their way through many HYDRA agents, before locating Deathlok who had been fighting Lincoln Campbell but advised them on where to find Skye. Coulson and Ward were forced to subdue more HYDRA agents before they turned to see Skye, who started towards them before suddenly being interrupted by the arrival of Gordon. Before Coulson or Ward could get to her, Skye was teleported away with Calvin Zabo by Gordon. Frustrated by the failure, Ward responded by kicking a HYDRA agent hard in the skull and shot another while Coulson looked on in dismay.
When Agent 33 found them with an injured Hunter who had been shot in the firefight, Ward listed the many ways they were currently at a disadvantage in this fight and advised Coulson to retreat, since they were outmanned and outgunned and their only backup was Leo Fitz. Coulson chose to allow Ward, 33 and Hunter to escape onto the Quinjet while he decided to surrender to Bobbi Morse and Alphonso Mackenzie so he could then be taken back to S.H.I.E.L.D. where he would request Robert Gonzales' assistance in tracking Doctor List and rescuing his teammates from HYDRA.
On the Team Again
Ward followed the Bus with a Quinjet while Phil Coulson was being questioned, as they flew Ward suggested that Kara Palamas could fly, offering to teach her how. Palamas, however, refused, jokingly telling Ward that if she was allowed to fly she would forget the mission and take them away on vacation. Palamas questioned why they were going to S.H.I.E.L.D. as Ward had fulfilled his promise to Coulson, but Ward insisted that he still had a promise to her that he wished to set right.
When Coulson was finally allowed to continue his plan following his interrogation, in which he offered the Toolbox as a peace offering, he messaged Lance Hunter and Leo Fitz onboard the Quinjet and Ward landed the Quinjet on top of the Bus. Once at the Playground, he was placed under guard with Kara under the order of Robert Gonzales, with Melinda May making it clear that if Ward ever stepped out of line, he and Palamas would be gunned down without any hesitation. In response, Ward mockingly told Palamas that May could be very friendly once you got to know her a little better.
Ward was present at a meeting with Coulson, Gonzales, May and Bobbi Morse, with Anne Weaver and Oliver speaking to them from the Iliad, where they discussed the plan to attack Doctor List and rescue Mike Peterson and any other enhanced individuals that HYDRA was holding hostage before destroying the facility. Ward explained that Sunil Bakshi was no longer working for HYDRA but was instead working for him, although May remained skeptical. Gonzales put the matter up to a vote and it was decided they would move ahead with the mission, using Coulson's Team only.
Ward later spoke to Agent 33 alone and convinced her to stay at the Playground in an attempt to learn more about who she was as an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. before being captured by HYDRA and then subjected to Daniel Whitehall's brainwashing. Although Palamas remained highly skeptical about the idea as she claimed that these methods of reconnecting with her past only worked when she called her mother, Ward insisted that a key part of her life had been stolen from her and this was the only way that she would be able to get it back and learn who she was before Whitehall's torture.
Having gathered their weapons and been fully briefed on the mission plan, Ward arrived onto the Bus alongside Phil Coulson, Melinda May, Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons. However, just as the doors closed behind them, a loud noise was heard causing everyone to raise their guns at Ward who denied any involvement with whatever had caused the strange noise. It was quickly revealed that the noise was Skye being teleported onto the Bus from Afterlife by Gordon. With everyone having now calmed down and lowered their weapons, Ward noted they finally had gotten the team back together.
On route to the Arctic HYDRA Research Facility, Coulson asked Ward to brief the team on Sunil Bakshi's intel before the mission. Ward began breaking down the plan to attack the base; however, sensing that there was too much tension, Ward chose to speak out about his previous actions since being revealed to be an undercover HYDRA Operative working under John Garrett. He expressed that his greatest regret was not the people he had killed but the fact that his actions had destroyed their once great team. Despite this speech, Skye remained pleased that she had shot him.
When the Bus was spotted by HYDRA, the team ran into the Quinjet and Melinda May used that to escape while the Bus was shot out of the sky. Once they landed, they ran to the base and soon they encountered Sunil Bakshi who had just killed one of List's soldiers. Ward calmed Bakshi's mind before they continued on their mission, with Bakshi insisted on joining Ward. Ward and Bakshi joined Skye and Jemma Simmons as they were attacked by soldiers, Skye demonstrated her new powers of creating shockwaves and knocked out the guards.
When Ward suggested she should thank him for allowing her to gain her Inhuman powers in the Kree City, Skye said she would simply not try to kill him again. While subduing many of the attacking guards and forcing List to retreat, the team soon found Mike Peterson, who had been tortured by HYDRA and had lost his robotic eye implant and his cybernetic leg. Ward stood guard while Jemma Simmons attended to Peterson's injuries, until she accused Ward of standing around doing nothing and ordered him to find a stretcher to help get Peterson out of the base safely, which he did without question.
While Ward was searching for a stretcher as requested, Simmons sneaked up behind him and attempted to assassinate him with a Splinter Bomb while his back was turned. Ward, however, was saved when Sunil Bakshi sacrificed his own life to protect his master. Realizing what had happened, Ward aimed his gun at Simmons and demanded to know why she had tried to kill him, she reminded him that she had promised to kill him if she ever saw him again. Ward noted that Simmons had changed and he was disappointed in her, before making his escape from the facility.
Leaving Kara Palamas
As Coulson's Team had successfully destroyed the HYDRA base and freed Mike Peterson and Lincoln Campbell, Ward called Phil Coulson, saying he had decided that it would be better for him to escape before ending up either in a prison cell or with his brain being erased. Ward explained that he knew the team would never forgive him but Kara Palamas did deserve forgiveness and so he had decided to leave her at S.H.I.E.L.D. so she could have a chance at rebuilding her life as an agent.
In reality, however, Ward had organized a plan for Kara Palamas to use the Photostatic Veil to disguise herself as Melinda May and fly herself and Bobbi Morse to Ward's location where they planned to kidnap and torture her. Once Morse learned of Palamas' deception, the pair had a prolonged fight and Morse knocked Palamas out with a strong kick to the jaw, but as Morse walked out of the Quinjet, dazed from the fight and unsure of her current location, Ward fired a single shot from his I.C.E.R. and shot her in the head, knocking her out cold.
Ward and Palamas dragged Morse's unconscious body back onto the Quinjet and tied her up. They expressed their love for each other, with Palamas telling Ward that she had found it difficult to be away from him for so long. Although Palamas wished to execute Morse straight away in revenge for betraying her to Daniel Whitehall and beginning her brainwashing torture, Ward told Palamas that in order for her to get full closure, they would have to ensure that Morse's suffering be prolonged before she died. He then shot Morse, who was regaining consciousness, with the I.C.E.R. three more times.
Torturing Bobbi Morse
Ward and Kara Palamas took Bobbi Morse back to an abandoned warehouse, where they tied her to a table. Ward revealed to her that they had learned from Sunil Bakshi that it was Morse who had sold out Palamas' location to HYDRA, leading to her capture and torture at the hands of Daniel Whitehall, and they wanted her to confess this to them to give Palamas closure. When Morse remained calm, Ward opened his toolbag and took out a long sharp needle before revealing that he knew Morse hated needles.
Ward explained to Morse how she would be tortured, that he had used an anesthetic to remove any sensation of pain from her while he pushed needles under her fingernails, knowing that Morse could push away most pain he inflicted to her. He explained that this way, the sensation of unbearable pain, would hit her body all at once. He offered to avoid this pain if Morse confessed. Morse, however, told Palamas that she had made a choice while at HYDRA to give away the location of one S.H.I.E.L.D. Safe House, not knowing if it was empty or not and believed she had done the right thing.
Eventually, Palamas saw in Morse's eyes that the pain was finally engulfing her entire body, she told Ward and they embraced as they watched Morse suffer. Morse attempted to convince Palamas that Ward was playing with her emotions, explaining that Ward was using symbolic targets from her past life to make her believe he cared about her. Palamas, however, revealed that she knew all about Ward's past with John Garrett, and how he had killed many S.H.I.E.L.D. agents including Victoria Hand, but she was in love with him nonetheless and as a result she would always stand with Ward.
Bobbi Morse's Escape Attempt
As Kara Palamas slept, Ward visited Bobbi Morse, who had now been suffering from the pain for many hours. Ward complimented her on her resilience before comparing himself to her, as they both hid their true identities from the world, noting that this was why neither she nor Phil Coulson could ever see them coming. Ward attempted to convince her once again to end her suffering by admitting she betrayed her and thus giving Palamas the closure she needed, but Morse refused, calling Ward a complete hypocrite as he had betrayed his entire team.
Without warning, Morse managed to rip off her restraints and attacked Ward, ripping the needles out of her fingers and attempting to stab him in the neck. The pair engaged in a fierce fight, throwing each other at the walls and through windows until Palamas came to Ward's aid and together they overpowered Morse before Ward shattered her kneecap by stomping on it. Ward offered Palamas the chance to shoot Morse, but she refused, citing that it did not feel right as she did not feel remorse. Ward told her he knew what to do instead, making a plan to break her mentally while also finally killing her.
A Terrible Mistake
Ward and Kara Palamas tied Bobbi Morse back to a chair and rigged a rifle behind her. Ward explained that as Morse had clearly shown no regard for her own life, he would force her to watch as someone else, presumably Lance Hunter, was killed while attempting to save her. He told her that the rifle was set to fire at the doorway the moment it was opened, killing them instantly in front of her eyes, which would give them the closure they desired. As they left Ward mocked Morse, noting that whoever opened the doors would have their head blown open.
When a S.H.I.E.L.D. team led by Hunter and Melinda May arrived to rescue Morse having located their Quinjet and followed Ward's bait. Ward watched them enter with Palamas still by his side, mockingly watching Hunter knowing that he would undoubtedly be dead soon. As Palamas was concerned about May's involvement as she could give the S.H.I.E.L.D. team the advantage in the fight, Ward reassured her that he would kill May as payback for the Battle at Cybertek where she had nailed his foot to the floor and fractured his larynx before arresting him and handing him over to Phil Coulson.
Seeking to take out several agents of the S.H.I.E.L.D. team one by one, Ward and Palamas split up so they could hunt down the agents while they were searching the warehouse. Ward hid in a bathroom and waiting for an agent to appear, at which point he attacked and disarmed the man before subduing him by smashing his head over a sink before moving on. At one stage, Ward overheard a message on the S.H.I.E.L.D. radio for all agents to move to the south corner and await May's arrival, so Ward prepared to finally gain his revenge against his former friend and lover.
Ward hid himself and the moment he saw May, he grabbed her and fired three fatal shots into her stomach. To his horror however, he discovered that he had accidentally killed Kara Palamas after she had used the Photostatic Veil to disguise herself as May. As Palamas fell to her knees and began drowning on her own blood, Ward begged her to stay with him but she died in his arms as her Photostatic Veil switched off, revealing her true scarred face. As Ward looked down at the woman he loved he began to cry as his heart broke before he made his escape before he could be discovered and killed as well.
Return to HYDRA
Ward escaped to Goldbrix Tavern; there, he sat staring at a photo of Kara Palamas. A group of HYDRA thugs that he had hired to find the remaining leadership showed up and gave him a list of names. Ward told them that he wanted more, but Kebo, explained that HYDRA no longer had any leadership, and that he cannot give them orders. Unhappy with this answer, Ward smashed Kebo's head into the bar and ordered the others to get more names so he could form a team. When one of the thugs asked him what the plan was, Ward looked down at Palamas' picture and replied "Closure".
Director of HYDRA
A few months following his return to HYDRA, Ward had successfully found many new recruits who were fiercely loyal towards him and his control; all of whom were loyal to the founding values of HYDRA that had been lost during the leadership of Wolfgang von Strucker as well as Alexander Pierce, among others. With Kebo as his new second-in-command, Ward made his goal to reunify HYDRA's splintered cells, and to clean the organization from soft and greedy members who cared only about wealth and not about power, which he blamed as the main reason for HYDRA's decline and inevitable failure, desiring a HYDRA made of strong and loyal fighters.
Hunting HYDRA's Leaders
Seeking to find new members who could bring something to his organization, Ward set his sights on Werner von Strucker, the son of Wolfgang von Strucker. Ward found Carmine, a HYDRA agent who knew of von Strucker's location. He stole Carmine's new sports car and drove into him, driving through his warehouse base with the completely terrified Carmine still on the bonnet.
As they drove with Carmine clinging on for dear life, Ward and Kebo spoke about the old HYDRA's greed, and how they were entitled and mistook wealth for success and privilege for power. Eventually, Ward slammed on the brakes, sending Carmine flying across the floor of the warehouse, at which point he, Kebo and the rest of their loyal soldiers then walked over to him and demanded to know where the could find the young von Strucker's location.
Under fear of torture and death, Carmine quickly gave up the information and told Ward that Werner von Strucker was living on a boat, purchased with his father's money. Ward and Kebo scouted out the area and spotted von Strucker having a party on the boat surrounded by beautiful women in bikinis and his security team. Ward and Kebo once again spoke about how the old HYDRA wasted their money and never used it to its fullest potential, as von Strucker would never let his ship out of the dock. Ward then ordered Kebo to sneak onto the boat and unleash a bag full of rats to scare away the women so they would not be harmed in the upcoming fight.
Once the women had run away, leaving only the young von Strucker and his personal body-guards, Ward casually walked onto the boat where he was soon stopped by a large security guard who demanded that he turn around and leave. Without stopping, Ward used the skills he had learned from his S.H.I.E.L.D. training and knocked out the guard before walking onto the boat, prepared to fight anyone who was foolish enough to try and stop him. Despite multiple guards attempting to stop him, Ward continued to walk forward and knocked out guard after guard with minimal effort on Ward's part.
Within mere minutes, Ward had fought every guard on the boat and succeeded in disarming them before knocking them out or throwing them overboard, deciding not to use deadly force on them. Before long, however, Ward came across Werner von Strucker, but was hit in the face by one final guard; angered by the blow to his jaw, Ward pulled his gun and fired a single shot into his heart and killed the guard, dropping his corpse into the sea. Remaining calm, Ward told von Strucker that he was an exterminator before knocking out and kidnapping von Strucker with a solid punch to the face.
Recruiting Werner von Strucker
Ward and Kebo brought Werner von Strucker back to their base where they told him that he had never earned a single thing in his life and had wasted his family's money. Ward demanded that he hand over all his wealth to them by giving over his banking passwords. When von Strucker resisted, Ward punched him in the face and made it clear that he was not asking for his money but was going to get it. He ordered Kebo to torture von Strucker until he handed over the money.
Before long, Ward returned to find Werner von Strucker trying to kill Kebo. When von Strucker tried to use his family's name as leverage, Ward made it clear that he knew who he was, noting that Wolfgang von Strucker was one of HYDRA's greatest leaders before dying a meaningless death. Ward told him that he had earned his respect and, in a technique that John Garrett had used with him years earlier, gave him tacos as a reward. Ward and von Strucker then explored the base where they discussed their families before Ward explained his goals for the new HYDRA. For his first mission, Ward sent von Strucker to get close to Melinda May's ex-husband Andrew Garner by posing as a student.
Kebo was able to recruit a new soldier in HYDRA, who offered them a crate full of weapons as a show of faith after killing Spud to gain entry. As they examined the box Ward and Kebo discussed their plans for the new HYDRA, noting key comparisons between his vision and S.H.I.E.L.D.'s values, claiming he almost viewed it as a shame that he was going to destroy the agency.
Showdown with S.H.I.E.L.D.
Ward met with Kebo when he arrived at their base with the recruit, who he tried to introduce to the director. Ward greeted the new recruit who seemed oddly reluctant to show his face, however, to Ward's horror, the recruit turned out to be Lance Hunter, who was on a mission to kill Ward. Before Ward could draw his gun, Hunter grabbed a nearby machine gun and ran behind containers to hide from Ward's soldiers.
A firefight broke out with Hunter using the stolen gun and firing at the HYDRA agents, one of whom used his own body to shield Ward from a bullet. Ward and Kebo were able to get to cover and discovered that Hunter had seemingly come without any backup; leading to the pair mocking each other. Ward noted that he would have rather fought against Bobbi Morse who he thought would provide a better challenge while Hunter reminded Ward of how he had killed Kara Palamas by mistake. Ward ordered his men to surround Hunter, but before long, Melinda May arrived to assist Hunter, killing Ward's men.
Finding himself now at a major disadvantage during this battle, Ward ordered Kebo to tell Werner von Strucker to film the murder of Andrew Garner to threaten May. Ward explained how he had planned to use the weapons Hunter had provided him with so HYDRA could cause chaos and draw S.H.I.E.L.D. to him but now she had come to him instead. When May tried to insist that Ward had no way out, he told her not to interrupt before throwing the phone with the footage of Garner being surrounded by Strucker as well as two HYDRA operatives who would kill Garner if Ward died.
Although the video horrified May, Hunter refused to surrender, instead advancing on Ward and Kebo while firing his gun at the pair. With no other choice, Kebo managed to break a window by throwing a desk through it and ran to the truck with Ward behind him; however, Hunter managed to fire a shot which wounded Ward in the shoulder, causing him to fall hard on the ground. Kebo was able to bring his boss to safety as they drove away and escaped while Hunter continued to fire down at them without landing a shot. With Ward not giving the order to stop Garner was attacked and very nearly killed.
Gideon Malick's Offer
Having found themselves a new hideout, Ward and Kebo watched as their new weapons were unloaded from a van. Ward discussed how S.H.I.E.L.D. had sent Lance Hunter to try to kill him and accused Kebo of being sloppy as he had allowed him into HYDRA, noting that everyone wanted him dead. They changed the subject to Werner von Strucker, who had disappeared after failing to kill Andrew Garner. Ward ordered Kebo to hunt down and assassinate von Strucker before S.H.I.E.L.D. could find and interrogate him.
As more weapons were being unloaded, Ward was shocked to see that Kebo had returned without Werner von Strucker. When Ward attempted to question him, Kebo handed him a phone. Ward picked up the phone and found himself speaking to Gideon Malick, an ally to Wolfgang von Strucker who was feared by everyone who knew of his reputation. Malick accused Ward of making many mistakes during his time as the Director of HYDRA and offered his assistance in locating Strucker. Ward questioned why Malick would do this and was told that he had chosen a side. Ward then sent Kebo with a team of operatives to Strucker's location in Lisbon, Portugal.
Meeting Gideon Malick
Ward again met with Gideon Malick and they discussed Werner von Strucker, who had survived the assassination attempt and fallen into a coma. Malick asked Ward if revenge was his only goal, but Ward insisted that his goal was to assassinate Phil Coulson and destroy S.H.I.E.L.D., as he believed without Coulson, S.H.I.E.L.D. could never return. As they were speaking they were interrupted when Malick received a phone call from Rosalind Price, who apologized for missing her meeting with Malick due to having to capture Lash with Director Coulson.
Malick had a dinner of octopus served up for the pair of them and explained why the octopus was HYDRA's symbol, describing it as smart and the ultimate killer. Malick continued to press Ward for a request and they discussed how HYDRA's leadership had been destroyed due in part to Ward; Malick made it clear that he knew Ward was looking for Wolfgang von Strucker's secret vault, which was said to contain HYDRA's greatest weapon, but Malick insisted the vault did not exist. However, Ward argued that Malick had killed Werner to become sole owner of it. Ward suggested that they put the mysterious weapon inside it to good use for HYDRA.
Malick was called away by Giyera and explained that he would not support Ward's plan of revenge against S.H.I.E.L.D. as he believed that it would not fit in with his current plans for HYDRA. Ward insisted that he would find Wolfgang von Strucker's vault with or without the help of Malick, but Malick informed him that although he had proven himself to be a fine predator, he was not top of the food chain as he left, leaving Ward to finish off his final drink. Malick's team of HYDRA assassins then stepped into the room and aimed their weapons at Ward who took his one chance to defend himself.
Managing to use his S.H.I.E.L.D. training, Ward managed to disarm one of the assassins, using his gun to shoot, kill or wound his attackers. When the gun ran out of ammunition, Ward used whatever weapon was closest to him to fight back, hitting the men with pool cues and cracking them over the head with whatever was nearby. With only one man left standing, Ward succeeded in overpowering and plunging the man's knife into his own throat, smiling as Ward watched him choke on his own blood and die. After the brief but violent fight, Ward was able to kill all but three.