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TV REVIEW: FTN reviews Agents of SHIELD S01E21 “Ragtag”

May 7th, 2014 by Todd Black Comments

With the fate of the world (and possibly the series) resting on the last two episodes, Agents of Shield had to something big. And depending on how you looked at it, they did, or they didn’t. I’m with the former!

“Ragtag” could refer to many parts of this episode. From how Coulson and his team had to go to the most basic measures to do their job (Coulson geek-out coming soon), or the reveal of how Ward and Garrett became so “close”. Either way you look at it, it was a strong episode that made the finale all the more unbearable to wait for.

This really was about two stories intertwining, and it worked really well. First, you had Coulson and crew trying desperately to strike at Hydra with what little they had, and get what was theirs, “I want my plane back!”

Yet as Maria Hill said last episode (anyone else miss her already?), there is no SHIELD, they were on their own, and they had to go outside the box to get what they needed. Enter Agent Triplet. One may have wondered why they mentioned he was a descendant of a Howling Commando in a previous episode. My theory was to endear himself more to the fans. This probably was half the point. The other half? COOL TOYS!!!!

This show has always been big on the comedy, even when we didn’t want it to be there. Yet Coulson’s reaction to all the Howling Commando gear was perfectly in line with the character. Especially with what we saw in The Avengers. Add in Fitz’s goofiness and we’ve got comedy gold.

Speaking of comedy gold, the Coulson-May undercover op where they impersonated Fitz-Simmons? Nice. Simple, elegant, and once they were in the clear…they got to kick butt again. And who didn’t love that “large file transfer”. Oh yeah, laugh out loud!

However, the true guts of this episode was about Ward. Many have wondered if he really was evil, or just evil by circumstances. This episode gave us a pretty good view into what the “truth” is. And it wasn’t pretty from start to finish. Ward’s past came into full light, and Garrett really was the one man who saved him from what was going to happen. It was chilling, yet understandable.

This came full circle in the present as Ward’s faith in Garrett seemed to wane, all for it to return when Garrett revealed he was quite literally dying. Garrett also got some light shed on him, from how he became what he is both physically and mentally, to just how brilliant he really is.

Props to Bill Paxton for playing his part so well, from charming and confident, to cold and calculating, it was all well done.

That’s not to say that other didn’t play their parts as well. A scene between May and Skye about what Ward had done and how they’re dealing with it was greatly written. And May no doubt just created a new martial art, “Hate-Fu”! Booyah.

And yet, for the second episode in a row, the award for best acting goes to Fitz! His passion and belief that Ward was still good, still their friend was awesome, and yes, believable. He even had some epic moments that showed that though he’s kind, he can be menacing when he needs to be. Yet even that all tied in to him trying to save Ward.

…unfortunately for him and Simmons…it wasn’t returned in kind. Now no, I HIGHLY doubt that they’re both dead. At least for right now. One of them COULD die in the finale, but they’re not dead now. Not with so much still needing to be said.

The ending was quite interesting. As Coulson and the others were put in some extreme danger, and another Hydra plan began rolling into effect. We’ll see how it all rolls out in the end.

Some Notes:

– Garrett was the first entrant into the Deathlok program? Foreshadowing maybe?

– Skye’s parents were “monsters”? Interesting. Also sounds familiar to a Marvel movie character…

– Raina. What do you make of her? Something is seriously off about her

In the end, “Ragtag” put the pieces in place for a potentially epic finale. We’ll see what gets answered, and what doesn’t soon. But for now, this will wet our appetites.

4.5 out of 5



Todd Black is reader of comics, a watch of TV (a LOT of TV), and a writer of many different mediums. He's written teleplays, fan-fictions, and currently writes a comic book called Guardians ( He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!