Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 1.21 Review: ”Ragtag”


It has been very interesting to follow Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. during its first season and as the season finale approaches in less than a week, “Ragtag” started to round things off very nicely.

There have been several questions about Ward’s background ever since they revealed that he was a traitor this whole time. It also gave the viewers a deeper look into Garrett and why he did what he did. I have wanted to get more of Ward’s origin since “The Well” where we saw that flashback that he had. “Ragtag” did a great way to tell that origin by making it compelling and show Ward’s deeper human side, something that we haven’t had a chance to see a lot of throughout the season. Those last seconds in his flashback where he was struggling with killing Buddy the dog, was painful and thankfully, he didn’t kill Buddy.

While I’m not extremely familiar with the Deathlok mythology in the Marvel universe, the way that the show adapted it into the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been very solid. They also kept the concept from the comics where several people have carried that name. Even though it was exciting at first when Marvel announced that Mike would become Deathlok , seeing how well this concept has been done on the show, makes me as a viewer appreciate it a lot more.

It shows that you can take some of these smaller parts of the comic universe that hasn’t been on the big screen and make it work as something big on the small screen. If the show-runners can continue to do this in the second season, the show can become like a mini movie every week. It was also cool to see that Garrett was patient zero of the Deathlok project and through that, give us a very close comic book version of Garrett (while still being evil in this incarnation).

Even though Joss Whedon isn’t as heavily involved with the show as one had hoped, “Ragtag” felt like a very Whedon-y episode and it could be because of writer Jeffrey Bell (executive producer of this show as well as other Whedon projects). The scene where Triplett presents some of the spy equipment from the Howling Commando’s time which made Coulson having a geekout with Trip was hilarious and felt like classic Whedon quirkiness.

I have waited to see some brighter interactions between Coulson and May since “Turn, Turn, Turn” and seeing them team-up together, FitzSimmons-style was a strong highlight of the episode. Clark Gregg and Ming-Na Wen have great chemistry and their dynamic is something that has helped the strength of the show since day 1. Speaking of great dynamics, they did a lot with Fitz and Simmons in this episode and Iain De Caestecker deserves a lot of props for his performance last night.

It breaks my heart seeing how he really wants to save Ward and see the best in him despite everything that has happened. A nice callback, which there were a lot of, this week, was Fitz’s promise to Garrett that he would take him down and while he didn’t do it completely: it was outstanding to see Fitz own him with a EMP. This later got us to the scene where Garrett had to be injected by the GH325 and he went from being a villain into a super-villain, so that should be fun for Coulson and the team, right? Garrett said that he was now feeling “the universe” and this is also something that makes me wonder how deep that serum was.

There have been teases about Skye’s mysterious past as well as her 0-8-4 part and as the season is almost done, having Raina expand on that front wasn’t a shock. It was however the information that was more shocking. It’s a question whether or not we should take Raina’s statement literally about the parents of that baby (supposedly Skye), being monsters. Was it just that they were acting like monsters or is this the first major introduction of something from the Marvel world? Hopefully the season finale will give us all those answers.

Overall, “Ragtag” was a solid penultimate episode that gave us a lot of great cliffhangers, with Coulson and the team being surrounded by Centipede soldiers while Fitz and Simmons being trapped in a locked room that Ward dropped into the ocean. Bell did a magnificent job with this script as they prepare the viewers for what has been described as a big season finale. In addition, by the time they air the finale, a season two renewal will have been announced as the ABC Upfronts will be taking on the same day as the season finale.

Don’t miss the epic season finale of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. titled “Beginning of the End” next Tuesday (May 13), 8/7c on ABC!

[Photo via ABC]

Andy has contributed to sites such as KSiteTV,and It's Just Movies. While working as a TV Critic for TVOvermind, he is also a podcaster and podcast producer for as well as a moderator of and Andy is also the founder/owner/editor in chief of He has always had a big passion for writing and analyzing superhero, fantasy and sci-fi television. Follow him on Twitter @AndyBehbakht
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  • percysowner

    Although it’s a bit ambiguous, I’m pretty sure Ward DID kill Buddy. He fired in the air with the handgun, then Buddy was killed with the sniper rifle. We see Buddy through the sights of the rifle. This is shown when Ward is alone with FitzSimmons he is remembering that day. Garret was being treated by Raina and had no reason to flash back to that scene. Also Ward laid his rifle on a rock and Garret is not shown taking the rifle with him. I think the point was Ward hesitated, let Buddy go, and then changed his mind and killed Buddy. I hope there is an interview with the writers that states it one way or the other, but as of now, I think Ward killed Buddy, just as he was willing to dump Fitz and Simmons into the ocean.

    • Paulette A Hamilton

      no he did not kill buddy but garret did and said it was an weakness flaw that Ward had developed. That’s why when he dumped Fitz and Simmons out the plane because it was an weakness he even whispers it at the same time they are hurdling out of the plane.. Garrett was Wards father figure he desperately needed.