Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical

[SHIELD] 1.21 "Ragtag" [2014-05-06]

I have never been interested in Ward as a character, and I continue to be not interested in his tragic backstory which is clearly setting him up for a redemption arc.

However, I continue to be intrigued by the long con that Raina is clearly playing. I think it was the first ep I saw her in that she was sassing her lady boss (the doctor whom Mike visits when she's hospitalized) and I was like, "What game are you playing, Raina? Because you work for evil people, so you must have a plan." And then she gets in an elevator and leaves the lady boss to be burned alive -- 'cause a subject was blowing up? I don't remember the details exactly, but I distinctly remember Raina shutting the door.

Anyway, I'm not entirely sold on Raina's interest in "special people" (or at least, if it is true, she has an "interest in" not a "concern for" -- she's still like pathologically detached), though this implication that she and Skye are sisters or something (they're being very vague and cryptic -- she has a line about them having something in common, and then she tells the story we already know from Coulson and May, about the baby in the village in the Hunan Province -- which, okay, it literally only just now occurred to me that that's their Watsonian explanation for the Doylist fact that the actress who plays Skye is half-Chinese) could complicate that (her spiel about stuff on the inside waiting to come forth or whatever ... does she know/suspect that she has latent powers?). But she is clearly playing a very long game -- when she texts Ward and tells him the stuff about Skye, she's totally laying some groundwork to get him on her side (against Garrett) and yes we as viewers are primed to see it because we know we're watching a television show, but espionage scores to match Romanoff my ass, Ward.

ANYWAY, I felt like Garrett's "don't trust anyone, ever, including me" to Ward was perhaps a touch heavy-handed in priming us -- though it occurs to me that perhaps we're supposed to echo back to that when Ward betrays him in the finale because of the power of the True Love of Team (because our heroes are so special that Ward has bonded with them in ways he hasn't anyone else in the 15 years since Buddy) -- but it did definitely have me more attentive than I otherwise would have been to Raina not playing along. She's doing all your science magic and she tells you this is the last/only vial in existence and she can't make any promises & the way to protect yourself when you can't trust anyone is to have lots of redundancies &c. so that no single person can betray/kill you but you have no idea wtf science magic she does and sheesh, you keep letting Ward tell people to clear out ... like could you give the kid you abused more of an opening to kill you? I know, complicated dynamics of abuse, he's unlikely to kill you, but still, Don't Trust Anyone. And really, I think Raina's the one you should be more worried about -- she totally could have killed you with that vial and no one would be the wiser. And I'm really curious what she thought would happen -- like, was she expecting it to kill him? Was it the interaction with the centipede serum she hadn't expected that kept it from killing him? Or is she playing a longer game (likely) and was playing the vial things straight? (Well, for versions of "straight" that mean she hadn't poisoned it/made it useless -- I would totally believe she has another vial or something.)
Tags: tv: agents of shield

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