Dear AoS creators (and everyone else), I want to tell you something.
I have personal and professional experience with abuse, and that experience is something that shapes my world view and the way I interact with what you’d call entertainment – books, music, movies, TV. I fell love with AoS during first twenty minutes of the pilot episode, and Agent Ward was my favorite character ever since. Learning more about his personal history early in the season 1 only solidified his position as my favorite. The entire twist with John Garrett and Hydra was heartbreaking, especially seeing how powerless Ward was in his situation. I just sympathized with him very much, until that conversation between him and Skye in “Nothing personal” when she calls him all the ugly things, and he says at one point something along the lines of: I’m a survivor. You don’t know what kind of sacrifices/decisions I had to make.
At that point he became the most real character for me. As a mental health professional I understand what he was talking about. As an individual who went through rough personal experience, I know how it felt. Even though what I’ve been through can’t compare to his personal history, the mechanics of abuse, emotional abuse in particular, is the same: you’re forced to make decisions to sacrifice parts of yourself, your uniqueness, your self worth, your interests, in order to stay within abuser’s good graces. You accept their demeaning and toxic definition of who you are (worthless, weak, loved, accepted and allowed to belong or exist only under conditions) in exchange of being allowed to survive, mentally and sometimes literally. And I wonder if those lies that Ward said, those specific lines were just randomly good, or really smartly written. Considering everything I’ve seen on this show, I’d choose option #2. Watching the rest of the season, and especially season finale was painful to say the least. Seeing Ward robbed of his voice was the most painful thing that happened on the show – because that’s exactly what abuse does to you – it robs you of your voice.
Sometimes, to truly recover, you need to hit the bottom, face it and start anew. I know that too, from personal experience. The question here is, will Ward be allowed to recover?
See, the thing that interests me the most is where his story goes. (Actually, at this point, nothing else interests me). He is now completely alone in the dark. I’m not sure I’ll be able to continue watching if there is no hope for recovery and redemption for him, because I’m that part of the audience that he represents. There are lot of people saying that he is now much more interesting character and would make a great Big Bad. If that happens, what kind of message am I, and other people like me (and there are lot of others who are relating to Ward in similar manner and for similar reasons like I do) getting? “Life is bad, you get no chance to make it better, sorry, bye?” Because a TV show entertains, but it sends out a message as well. Like Doctor Who says, We are all stories in the end, and we reach out for stories, in their various shapes and forms to find an echo of ourselves and find that someone understands us.
There is another thing as well. People like me, who are fans of the show, and invested in it enough to discuss it on social media are now attacked because we’re expressing our compassion and understanding and saying that we want to see a redemption story for him. We’re getting actual hate messages from other fans, who are practically cheering for Ward being punched, tortured, locked up without any help or any chance to make his life right, or even killed. (And it’s a frightening notion just how much negativity and judgment some people are expressing, or casually throwing around words like serial killer, abuser or rapist.) And yes, you could say this attests to brilliant writing, because this TV show is provoking intense response from the audience. What kind of response its provoking is still very important. Making Ward evil, putting him through torture and more darkness will validate the part of the audience that’s been spreading very toxic, very negative sentiments around, and attacking their fellow fans who are saying that compassion is, indeed, harder route to take, but also a better one. This TV show started with a very humanistic premise: that nobody is nobody, that every man matters, and I think that turning Ward into an evil, irredeemable figure will be completely contradictory to that original premise of the show, and what Coulson believes SHIELD should stand for. That is why I stand with Grant Ward. The way the show and subsequently his (former?) teammates treat him will show us what kind of new SHIELD they’re about to build.
Fandom: Dominion (TV)
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings, Rape/Non-Con
Relationships: Gabriel (Dominion & Legion)/Alex Lannon
Characters: Gabriel (Dominion & Legion), Alex Lannon
Additional Tags: Kink Meme, Blow Job, Bondage
Gabriel finally has the Chosen One under his control, but now what is he going to do with him?
So apparently there is a sort of tension in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D fandom over Ward. I’m neither on the side of “Ward is a complete shmuckface” or “Ward is a misunderstood puppy” (though I don’t think many are; those are two extremes)….
"There are guerrilla armies that make little boys kill their own families. Such acts rip out the soul and make space for beasts to grow inside. Armies need beasts, don’t they?[…] And the worst is, it’s almost impossible to retrieve a soul that has been ripped away. Almost.[…] But it can be done, if ever…if ever you decide to go looking for yours." Izîl, Daughter of Smoke & Bone
Okay, no matter how many times I see this it will always break my heart because HE DOESN’T EVEN FUCKING KNOW WHO HE IS!!!!!
"Grant Ward is a completely irredeemable character. He’s a murdere-"
"He made that sexist commen-"
"He pushed Fitzsimmons off-"
Excellent point illustrated with excellent visual aids.
Stop being weak. All these years and you’re still playing the victim. (Based on a request from unebellereverie)
People who don’t look at this and see abuse obviously have no understanding whatsoever of what abuse is and how it warps you.