Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review – “Ragtag”

Just announced: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been renewed for a second season, and Agent Carter is getting a first season pickup for next year as well.

Cast and Crew Information

Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson
Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May
Brett Dalton as Grant Ward
Chloe Bennet as Skye
Iain De Caestecker as Leo Fitz
Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmons
BJ Britt as Agent Triplett
J. August Richards as Mike Peterson / Deathlok
David Conrad as Ian Quinn
Ruth Negga as Raina
Austin Lyon as Teenage Ward
Bill Paxton as John Garrett

Written by Jeffrey Bell
Directed by Roxann Dawson


Between flashbacks of Ward’s first interactions with Garrett, we learn what Garrett’s plans and goals really are.

High Point

Fitz’s continued reactions and plans are some of the most believeable in any series. These are real, flawed humans all around.

Low Point

The setup and reveals, to me, undermine the threat of Garrett through much of the episode. That changes in the last few minutes, but not in the build up to it.

Also, there’s absolutely no chance that particular ceiling would support that weight.

The Review

This is an original tone and structure, revealing much about a character’s history, with pieces of the puzzle that may or may not lead to a reveal that a bad guy isn’t necessarily a bad guy here. There’s also a full reveal of a hinted twist to a classic comic character. I give it 5 out of 6.

The effects were well done again. With this many conversation heavy episodes in a row, I suspect we’re seeing scripts written to leave excess budget for the post-Winter Soldier and season finale episodes. What we really have here is de-aging tech, and a couple of minor physical stunts. The good news is that the characters can carry the stories as needed. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story is well structured and effectively told. Some of the flashbacks feel a bit abrupt when not following a commercial break, but it’s not terribly disruptive, and the scenes do contribute to the overall story at the right moments. I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting is effective from all involved. The cast has really come together in the latter part of the season. I give it 5 out of 6.

The production from Mutant Enemy is the usual. 6 out of 6.

The emotional response is good, but not as potent as other recent episodes. It feels more like pieces are being arranged for a big finish. It has good moments, but it’s not the wall-to-wall tension that other recent episodes have been. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a good episode, and definitely worth watching as part of the serialized end of the season. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Ragtag receives 36 out of 42.

4 replies on “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review – “Ragtag””

  1. What do expect when the show was directed by a Klingon? :)

    Seriously, Ward has to wake up. Garrett is doing a grand mind F–k on him.

    Also, I wonder which brother Ward really is? I think he was the bully brother, not the one picked on. (Or maybe he has multiple personalities, and he bullied himself :) ).

    • Last we heard, there were three brothers. His older brother didn’t beat up the younger brother, he made Ward do it. This episode has two interpretations: there were three brothers, but only one was coming to see him because he burned the other one down, or you are correct about his MPD, and he had one physical brother and one fictitious brother. I’m interested to see what role he’ll have in the second season, if any.

      • I’m kinda hoping he sticks around as a morally complicated but completely unrepentant villain.

        Straight evil is boring. A Ward who is evil because he’s loyal to Garrett who turned around his life, and a Garrett who’s bitter at SHIELD over betraying him, now that’s more interesting.

        • Agreed, especially since they can have the biggest villains still working to make the world “a better place,” for some definition of “better” that may not be common.

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