agents of shield closure 3 Ward pays the ultimate price in SHIELDs mid season finale

“Agents of SHIELD” aired it’s mid-season finale on Tuesday (Dec. 8) which found things escalating on “Maveth,” the strange blue planet.

While last week’s episode, “Closure”, put Coulson (Clark Gregg) on the warpath with Ward (Brett Dalton) in his sights, things don’t play out as either man expects. Coulson’s number one goal is revenge for the murder of Rosalind Price (Constance Zimmer), but there’s more to bargain for once the two men meet in the planet’s no-fly zone.

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It’s nice to see Will Daniels (Dillon Casey) return, as his character was an intriguing one explored throughout “4,722” hours. And while not much is spoken of regarding his budding romance with Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), the astronaut does help lead Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) away from the soldiers and toward the portal to get back home.

The only problem? That ain’t Will!

In a lovely twist, it’s revealed the ancient being Maleck (Powers Boothe) wants to lead his army of InHumans is some sort of alien parasite that takes control of its dead vessels. Think “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” meets “The Strain” except with none of that vampire nonsense.

A fight plays out between Fitz and Will, ultimately finding the scientist the victor as Will’s head gets set on fire in a brutal ending to a man who is already technically dead.

This is a cool bit of foreshadowing as not too far away from this confrontation, Coulson has Ward cuffed at gun point. It’s an interesting back-and-forth the two have as both character’s dynamics have changed. There’s a moment here where Ward expresses an epiphany — that he’s discovered a bigger meaning to everything. It plays out as a sort of coming to God moment for the man which makes the fight between the two much more satisfying.

It doesn’t take much for Coulson to unleash his fury on the former SHIELD agent. On the ground and unresponsive, Coulson uses his robot hand to finish the job and literally crushes Ward’s chest — seriously, the cracking sounds are a nice touch. In the last possible second, Coulson and Fitz escape the blue planet and all’s well that ends well for our heroes. Or is it?

For the second twist of the night, Maleck’s escape from his castle — now in ruins, thanks to SHIELD — is interrupted as his transport happens on a freshly dead Ward blocking the road. It’s zombie Grant Ward to Hydra’s rescue, or something!

RELATED: ‘SHIELD’s Constance Zimmer believes Rosalind was not working with Hydra

This new iteration of Ward is sure to pave the way for the second half of the season and Brett Dalton tells Zap2it he has an idea of where things are going: “We’re shooting episode 13 at this point. We’re deep in it and I have an idea, it has set the stage. It’s a big thing.”

A big thing? How big, exactly? Dalton continues, “It’s a new version of the character. It’s not like I’m just dropped in the show as this new being and we’re like, ‘OK, deal with it!’ Maleck’s asking the same questions as the audience is. Who is this guy now? What does he want exactly? What are those creepy things under his skin? Is Ward still in there? These are all the questions Maleck is asking as well and we get to see that unfold.”

The actor keeps things coy when asked what sorts of InHuman super abilities Ward will be bringing in these new episodes: “I guess people’s birthdays pretty well. Exciting stuff.”

“Agents of SHIELD” will return with new episodes on March 8, 2016 on ABC.

Posted by:Aaron Pruner

When he was a child, Aaron memorized the entire television lineup, just for fun. He once played Charlize Theron’s boyfriend in a Japanese car commercial. Aaron’s a lover of burritos and a hater of clowns. TV words to live by: "Strippers do nothing for me, but I will take a free breakfast buffet any time, any place."