Grant Douglas Ward grew up in Massachusetts and had a difficult childhood regarding his family. He had parents who took out their issues on all four of their children. His older brother, Christian, forced Grant to bully his younger brother, Thomas, before making him throw him down a well to try and kill him, which was unsuccessful. Having fully snapped from all of the abuse, Ward escaped from his military academy and burned down the family home, unaware that Christian was inside. After Christian survived this ordeal, Grant was arrested and sent to juvenile to await trial.
While in juvenile, Ward was visited by John Garrett, who offered him a choice: come with him and learn the skills to "survive", or stay in prison where is family was pushing for him to get to a maximum security facility. Although unwilling to trust him, Ward accepted his offer and was broken out of prison.
Garrett drove Ward into the middle of a forest and left him there with just a dog called Buddy, telling him that from now on he would have to survive on his own, hunting for his own food and building himself a place to sleep. While Garrett promised he would return in a few months, he instead left him for six months. In the meantime, Ward managed to raid nearby cabins and build his own camp and survive with ease. Garrett was impressed by Ward's efforts and promised to teach him how to shoot.
Over the next five years, Garrett put him through gruelling survival challenges which eventually shaped him into a cold, driven survivalist with the skills required. Garrett told him the story of how he gained his cybernetic enhancements and turned against S.H.I.E.L.D., before explaining to him about HYDRA and how he is secretly working for them within the agency. Afterwards, he became a proficient marksman and was eventually welcomed into HYDRA by Garrett and was assigned to S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy to be officially trained as an agent. Before leaving, Garrett ordered him to shoot Buddy so he wouldn't be emotionally attached. Although Ward couldn't do it the first time, he reluctantly shot him afterwards, in which he was scarred for life.
Early S.H.I.E.L.D. Career
At the S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy, he was trained in the arts of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s combat proficiency and became one of their best field agents. About five years outside the Academy, Ward was posed for sixteen months as a Russian attaché at the embassy in Warsaw, Poland. After proving his worth, Ward became a full-fledged agent, rising through the ranks under Garrett's tutelage and supervision. Deputy Director Maria Hill gave Ward top marks in combat and the highest espionage rating since Natasha Romanoff, although he gave him low marks only in his people skills, which was actually a part of his facade. In 2008, Ward saw action in Georgia during a rebel uprising. He made several contacts along the South Ossetian border during this time, including Uri Dubrovsky.
Before the Battle of New York, Agent Phil Coulson, an old friend of John Garrett's, was slain at the hands of Loki before the Chitauri attacked during the events of The Avengers, and days later restored to life through unknown means. Garrett, whose health was beginning to fail on him, hoped to find out how Coulson was revived, hoping that he could restore his own health through the same means.
When Coulson intended on assembling a new team of specialists to investigate new, strange and unknown threats around the world, Garrett suggested to Coulson that Ward should be a part of the team, ostensibly to "smooth out his rough edges", but in reality, he was sent by Garrett as his undercover asset to try and uncover how Coulson was resurrected.
After Ward successfully retrieved a Chituari neural link from a vault that belonged to international black market dealer Vanchat, he was called back to HQ by Maria Hill where he was assessing him for Coulson's team since she vetted him. Coulson revealed himself to be alive, much to Ward's "surprise" and wanted to recruit him onto the team. Maintaining his anti-social facade and knowing that showing insistence to join the team could draw suspicions, Ward objected to the idea so he could convince Coulson that he should be recruited. After he was successfully recruited, he arrived on the Bus in a hanger and met with the rest of the team, Melinda May, Jemma Simmons and Leo Fitz. He was surprised by May's membership, viewing her as a threat to his cover.
Investigating a hacker group known as the Rising Tide, Ward and Coulson brought in and interrogated the "hacktivist" known only as Skye, who was their only lead to finding a hooded figure with super strength. Ward had a instant disliking towards Skye because of his past encounters with the Rising Tide, and was also an unknown factor neither he or Garrett predicted. After Coulson convinced her to cooperate by using Ward as a test subject to Truth Serum, she named the figure as Mike Peterson, who was a part of the Centipede Group (Garrett's secret project) and the team were able subdue him safely before his powers could overpower him.
Despite May and Ward's objections, Skye was brought onto the team as a consultant. The team were then sent to investigate an 0-8-4, an object on unknown origin, which was located in Peru. Arriving, they met with Camilla Reyes, an old acquaintance of Coulson who wanted to prevent the rebels from taking it. After they made it to the Bus with the 0-8-4 after a rebel attack, the six were betrayed by Reyes, who had her own plans for it. As she held Coulson captive, the other five escaped their captives and used the 0-8-4 to blow a hole in the plane so they could subdue Reyes and her men. After this, Ward considered taking up as Skye's S.O., secretly to assess her to see if she was a threat.
Acting as Skye's S.O.
Ward took on being Skye's S.O. but find her to be difficult and her unwillingness to commit irritating. As the team starts investigating the kidnapping of S.H.I.E.L.D. scientist Dr. Franklin Hall by billionaire philanthropist Ian Quinn that involved the element known as Gravitonium, he must teach her self-defense after she gets invited to one of his parties. After the mission, she becomes more open with him after opened up about his childhood. The next week, after the team captured Akela Amador (who was unwillingly pulled into the Centipede Project via eye tech), Ward used Backscatter Glasses to impersonate her and complete her mission. After doing so, which involved scanning strange symbols on a chalkboard, he escaped from the Todorov Building despite the handler learning of the deception.
A few weeks later, the team investigate the disappearance of Chan Ho Yin, a member on S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Index, in which it involved Rising Tide hacker Miles Lydon who was secretly Skye's boyfriend. The team felt betrayed after she alerted him of S.H.I.E.L.D. closing in on him. Ward cuffed the two of them and put them into custody on the Bus. When Ward produced evidence that Lydon had accepted payment of one million dollars for the information that endangered Chan's life, Skye was infuriated and felt betrayed by Lydon, especially after learning that it was part of the Centipede Project.
Despite Skye's betrayal, she was allowed on the team on the condition she wore a Tracking Bracelet, and Ward ironically had issues trusting Skye again. He further gained the team's trust after jumping out of the Bus with a parachute to rescue Jemma Simmons, who had jumped without a parachute in order to save the team from the Chitauri Virus, and administered the cure during free-fall.
When the team had been called to the base known as the Hub, high-ranking agent Victoria Hand assigned Ward and Fitz on a mission to Georgia to destroy the enemy weapon known as the Overkill Device. Ward went on the the mission while being personally asked to protect the inexperienced Fitz and despite making a few mistakes, Fitz surprised Ward with his quick-thinking, adaptability and courage. After the mission was a success, Ward became more fond of Fitz and likened him to his younger brother, whom he had never seen for years.
Dark Past Revealed
After Thor saved the universe from Malekith and the Dark Elves during the events of Thor: The Dark World, Ward along with the rest of the team and S.H.I.E.L.D. proceeded to clean up the mess from the battle, much to all of their annoyance. Later, they were called to investigate the mystical weapon known as the Berserker Staff, which had been found and taken by Norse Paganist leaders Jakob Nystrom and Petra Larsen. While searching for the second piece of the staff, Ward came across it in the hands of Professor Elliot Randolph and when he tried to take it, the piece infected Ward with its power and brought back his worst inner demon: his memory of the day he was forced by Christian to push Thomas down the Well. The staff still had an everlasting effect on him, causing him to lash out on his team.
The team finally located the final piece of the Staff thanks to Randolph, who was revealed to be an Asgardian soldier who had hidden it. When the team arrived and were confronted by Jakob and his paganists, Ward grabbed a piece of the staff and fought them. During the battle, he fought his memories of events at the Well. After beating them, he handed the staff to May, who then used the assembled staff to defeat Petra and another paganist. Later at a bar, Ward apologized to Skye who let him know if he ever needed to talk she was there.
As he went to his room he saw May with a bottle; after a brief moment of eye contact, she entered her room, leaving the door open, and Ward soon followed. Seeing May as the biggest threat to his mission, he allowed things to get intimate to blindside her. The next day, the team investigated the supposed telekinetic powers of Hannah Hutchins, who was then revealed to be stalked and "protected" by her co-worker, who was trapped between that and another universe following an accidental particle accelerator explosion. Afterwards, he had fun playing Scrabble with Simmons, Skye and Coulson.
Hunt for the Clairvoyant
Ward and May continued their sexual relationship, in which they had to keep it secret. They then investigate Edison Po, a criminal broken out by Centipede Soldiers. Working with a remorseful Mike Peterson, the team learned that the Centipede soldiers were kept in line by the same eye-tech that kept Akela Amador in check. They also learn that they, Po and a woman named Raina (who was involved in the incident with Chan) were all working for an unseen mastermind known only as the "Clairvoyant", who was secretly Garrett. After Centipede kidnapped Coulson and "killed" Peterson, the team worked with Agent Hand to find him, subduing Vanchat in the process. After saving Coulson, the team subdued Raina but Po was killed by the Clairvoyant for his failures.
Ward, Skye, Fitz and Simmons went to investigate attacks on cadets Seth Dormer and Donnie Gill at the S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy, in which they learnt that the two staged the attacks to lure the team to the academy, so Fitz could finish an ice machine they were building for Ian Quinn. The team were able to destroy the device and apprehend Gill, but Seth was accidentally killed in the process. After learning of Quinn working for the Clairvoyant, the team intercepted a train transport a cargo for Quinn in the hopes of finding him. During this time, Ward was threatened by Coulson that he would guard Emil Blonsky's cell if his relationship with May endangered the team. After finding Quinn, they learn that he shot Skye twice in the stomach. They placed her in a Hyperbaric Chamber to keep her stable.
The thought of losing Skye caused Ward and May's relationship to wane as he started falling for her genuinely. As they learn the Skye could not be saved and is placed on life-support, Coulson vows to save her life by finding and using the very thing that saved his own. Garrett arrived with his protege Antoine Triplett to retrieve Quinn, but was actually here to follow Coulson to the cure that saved his life. The team travelled to the Guest and once inside, Ward, Coulson and Garrett fought the guards stationed there while Fitz helped them look for the drug. In the aftermath, the four escaped and Ward witnessed the GH.325 drug healing Skye's wounds.
As Skye was recovering, Ward admitted that he blamed himself for her injury, but Skye reassured him that it wasn't and promised to train harder once she recovered. Ward received the assignment to help Lady Sif of Asgard find and capture Lorelei in Nevada. Lorelei enthralled him after she saw his strength in battle. After spending the night in Las Vegas, he assisted her in taking control of Coulson's team, who stood between her and world domination. During the fight, Lorelei was captured and Ward was freed. May ended the relationship after learning that he was in love with someone else.
Continuing their hunt for the Clairvoyant, Ward witnessed Skye become an official S.H.I.E.L.D. agent so she could help conduct the search via suspects from the list of rejected Index candidates. Ward was teamed with Triplett to investigate Elijah Fordham, but before they could find him, they were called to assist Felix Blake against Deathlok, a reborn Mike Peterson. After suspecting Thomas Nash, the team tracked Deathlok to an abandoned building but instead found Nash, who was paralysed and "spoke" through a computer. Under Garrett's secret orders, Ward killed him to end the investigation. This resulted in him being put in custody for questioning.
True Colors Revealed
As Ward was being held in the Cage on Bus, he was confronted and questioned by an angry Coulson about whether or not he was acting under someone else's orders. Ward defended his actions, despite Coulson's theory being secretly true. He is later visited by Coulson and Fitz carrying an I.C.E.d May, who was revealed to have been reporting to Nick Fury the entire time. Knowing that the suspicion would be diverted away from him, Ward chastised her about her seeming betrayal. He is later released by the team and "learns" that Victoria Hand is the number one Clairvoyant suspect and that HYDRA was within S.H.I.E.L.D. After the Bus is shot up in the Hub's hangar, Ward manipulates Skye and Coulson by telling them to transfer their intel onto a hard drive.
Escaping from the Bus, Ward and Skye head to the circuits room to disable the power so that Garrett, Fitz, May and Coulson could rescue Trip and Simmons from Hand. When preparing to go through a hallway of suspected HYDRA guards, Ward proclaims his feelings to Skye and that he killed the supposed Clairvoyant because he threatened to hurt her. After the two kiss, Ward fought off the guards and defeats them before the two head to circuit, in which Skye destroys it. In the aftermath, he maintains his facade as being shocked when Garrett was exposed as the real Clairvoyant. As Hand planned to personally take him to the Fridge, Ward requests to go with her, and the two leave the Hub with the HYDRA traitor.
During their flight over to the Fridge, Hand taunted Garrett over his capture and the expressed her desire to have him executed instead of incarcerated for his crimes. She then asked Ward if he would like to kill the real Clairvoyant and finish the job once and for all. A silent Ward stood up and loaded his gun. Without any warning, Ward coldly reveals himself as a HYDRA double agent by opening fire on the two guards sitting next to Garrett, before shooting Hand three times and kills her. As Garrett sadistically grins in delight, Ward silently nods and the two escape. Afterwards, he sat in silence and contemplated his next move.
Raiding the Fridge
Garrett sent Ward to free Raina from her imprisonment so he could move forward with his plans. Taking her to Havana, Cuba, Ward introduces her to their mutual benefactor and looks on as Garrett reveals himself to be a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who had high-level security clearance, not an actual psychic, before welcoming her into HYDRA. As Ward and Garrett plan their raid on the Fridge, Ward gets a phone call from Coulson's phone, who turns out to be Skye. Ward remains in character as Garrett listens before they end the call.
Ward and Garrett then argue about the latter's decision to shoot Skye against the plan, which was meant to go without bloodshed, only until Coulson was revealed to have known nothing about his revival. As Ward was told to stay focused and forget his attachments, the presented Raina with the drugs from the Guest House and the encrypted hard drive Skye had created so she could hopefully use them all to successfully recreate the drug that saved her and Coulson. They get ready to raid the Fridge. As Garrett talked with the others, Ward talked to Raina about how he manipulated the team and that Garrett got him back up on his feet when he was a teenager, thus declaring that he owed him everything.
Afterwards, they went off to raid the Fridge, tricking the two guards to let them inside so they could proceed. After dealing with the facility's guards, they cleaned out a room full of confiscated weapons that were supposed to have been sent into the Sun, including the Berserker Staff and the Peruvian 0-8-4. As they began leaving, Ward used the Peruvian 0-8-4 to blast open the floor, revealing the Gravitonium's location that he tricked Coulson into giving him.
After returning to the Barbershop Headquarters, an irritated Raina told them that Skye encrypted the hard drive and that the data would be erased if anybody tried to crack into it. Realizing that they need Skye in order to move forward with Garrett's plans, Ward was ordered to convince her to crack into it. Needing a cover story, Garrett punched him several times, damaging his face and cracking his ribs before sending him to the Providence. Upon arriving, he was greeted by Skye.
Ward is HYDRA
As Simmons patched up his wounds, Ward lied to the team about the events at the Fridge, telling them that he killed Garrett when he was freeing the prisoners. Coulson decided to take half the of team to Portland, Oregon to pursue Marcus Daniels, but Agent Eric Koenig insisted that they all pass the Lie Detector first. Ward barely passed his test. He did this by using a piece thin piece of metal stabbed into his finger, when he told the truth he stabbed himself to give the machine the impression that his reaction to telling the truth and lying were the same. After the team left, May left the base due to Coulson being unable to trust her, much to Ward's delight.
Realizing that Koenig was going to uncover his actions at the Fridge, Ward killed him and stored him in the supplies room. As he attempts to persuade Skye to open the hard drive, he reveals what his brother made him do and genuinely claimed he wasn't good man despite her insistence otherwise, and the two kiss. As he cleaned blood off of him that he missed, he convinces Skye to leave the base with him on the Bus, telling her that Coulson needs the hard drive unlocked. Little did he know, Skye had already found Koenig's body in the supplies room and secretly left the message "Ward is HYDRA" for her teammates to find. During the flight, Ward notices that Skye begins acting suspiciously but ignores it and starts getting impatient about the hard drive not being unlocked.
She then takes him to the restaurant where she met Mike Peterson since the hard drive needed to be at a certain location. After the authorities arrive to arrest them, Skye reveals that she tipped them off and that she knows he is HYDRA. With his cover blown, Ward fought off the authorities and chased Skye, who was then subdued by Deathlok. Back on the Bus, Ward argued with Deathlok due to Garrett having him shadowed because of his feelings for Skye. After Skye wakes up and Deathlok leaves the room, Ward tries to justify his actions and even though he was a traitor the whole time, he had no part in her near-death experience and that his feelings for her were genuine. However, Skye was still openly disgusted, refusing to reciprocate them.
After Garrett grows impatient, he has Deathlok remotely give Ward a heart-attack to force her compliance, knowing that she wasn't a killer, and she gave up the codes. This infuriated Ward and he was confronted by Maria Hill and Triplett in another plane, refusing to surrender Skye and turn on Garrett. As he takes off, Coulson snuck onto the plane and rescued Skye. As the two escaped to the cargo hold from Deathlok, Ward caught on and arrived to stop them. However, the two escaped. Although Ward insisted on getting them, Deathlok stopped him and as Ward was still furious about what he did, Deathlok said that he was "only following orders". This started Ward's questioning of his loyalty to Garrett.
Questioning his Loyalty
Now with the codes, Ward returned to Cuba and was angry at Garrett for what he did. As the two were arguing, Garrett's mechanics malfunctioned and he was forced to admit that he was dying from organ failure. As Raina was able to finish recreating GH.325. she told him about Skye's parents being monsters looking for her. Garrett ordered the abandonment of the Barbershop Headquarters for the new Cybertek Manufacturing Facility and was given the GH.325. Before the Centipede members could leave, Ward found Fitz and Simmons tailing them. Bringing them to Garrett, Fitz activated an EMP Joy Buzzer that damaged Garrett. Garrett ordered Ward to kill them and after cornering them in a Medical Pod, he could bring himself to do it and ejected them into the ocean. After returning to Garrett, he learned that he had had Raina inject him with the GH.325.
Ward became worried about Garrett, whose mentality started deteriorating from the GH.325. Arriving at the new Cybertek Manufacturing Facility, Ward watched in horror as Garrett butchered as U.S. general while ranting nonsense. He then confronted Raina, who was leaving with Quinn, and started wondering if he was a monster or if he only thought that because Garrett wants him to. Despite this, he stays with Garrett and tries to talk sense into him but to no avail. After getting a call from Skye, Garrett ordered him to get Skye. As he confronted her, he was attacked by an enraged May which led to a long battle. Just as he was gaining the upperhand, May nailed his foot to the floor and fractured his larynx before knocking him out. As Ward was apprehended, he was confronted by Coulson who promised to ruin his life for what he did and left him with one question: Who is Grant Ward without John Garrett? He was then taken into custody by the U.S. Marines.
For the next few months, Ward was S.H.I.E.L.D.'s prisoner for intel on HYDRA but refused to speak, and had occasionally tried to commit suicide due having no purpose. For three-and-a-half weeks, now-director Coulson sat outside Ward's cell in Vault D at the Playground, but Ward refused to talk to anyone except Skye. Eventually, Ward started complying and was questioned by Skye about Carl Creel's connection with Garrett. Ward told her about his power and also provided information on how HYDRA was communicating between its factions. Before Ward could tell Skye about her father, she left and returned him to isolation.
Later, when the team was trying to track down Donnie Gill who had now gained freezing-based powers, Skye came down to gain information from Ward about HYDRA's recruiting tactics. The two get side-tracked, discussing Ward's alleged abuse by his family who are now considered well-known respectable people, but she then got them back on topic. Ward then explained to her that when HYDRA goes after a gifted individual, they will either try to recruit them by whatever means necessary, or terminate them if they fail. As she expressed about how that was the difference between S.H.I.E.L.D. and HYDRA, he retorted back by saying that S.H.I.E.L.D.'s morals will lead to their defeat.
A now-brain-damaged Fitz, feeling that the others were keeping secrets from him, discovered Ward in his cell and attempted to kill him for what he did, as he tried to convince him how he actually gave he and Simmons a fighting chance. During this, Fitz revealed the team had left to go after Gill, causing Ward to reveal that HYDRA brainwashed some of its agents, including Gill, who was used by HYDRA to take the Sandbox before he broken free. Fitz allowed Ward to live before leaving. Upon returning to the Playground, Skye visited Ward due to his promise to always tell her the truth, and asked if he was brainwashed by HYDRA; he told her that he wasn't. He then revealed to her that her father was alive and that he could lead her to him.
Weeks later, Ward thought Skye wanted to talk about her father, but she didn't believe him and said that Raina was playing him when she told him about him being alive. She then asked him about the Words of Creation, in which he explained about how Garrett started carving them after being given the GH.325 and hoped she wasn't the one doing them. After she denied that she did, he said how Garrett couldn't stop carving them and started behaving psychotically. Their conversation led Skye to realize that Coulson was the one carving them. Skye then later realized that Ward was telling the truth after Raina told Coulson that she wanted to bring her to her father.
Escape from Custody
After HYDRA attacked a United Nations summit while posing as S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and Christian Ward (now a Senator) declared to hunt down the agency, Coulson had Skye question Ward about his brother for intel. Ward begged her not to trust him due being manipulative as well and changed the conversation to her father before they interrupted by Coulson who cut them off. Skye later came back and asked him about her father. He revealed to her that her father was trying to rescue her from HYDRA and that her mother was killed during the rescue attempt. He then tried to convince her to set him free and promised he could take her to him. Skye, however, revealed to Ward that he was being transferred to his brother's custody to be put on trial, much to his dismay.
Coulson later came down as Ward tried to convince him that he could still help them fight HYDRA and he was still a part of his team. Coulson angrily listed Ward's atrocious actions (including dropping Fitz and Simmons out of a plane into the ocean and the murders of Victoria Hand and Eric Koenig), explaining he was not a part of his team, nor will he ever be. He then revealed that the only reason he was still alive was because he was useful and that he was being transferred was because his brother was more useful. Realizing that he was now considered disposable, Ward lost his intention to earn their trust back. Coulson escorted him into a truck, advising the FBI agents not to give Ward a single inch. However, during the transfer, Ward broke free of his handcuffs, killed the guards and escaped into the open.
Knowing that S.H.I.E.L.D. was pursuing him, Ward went into a bus station and retrieved supplies that included clothes, money, a phone and an explosive vest for insurance. Ward got onto a bus to Dallas but then confronted Bobbi Morse, realizing that she was S.H.I.E.L.D. and threatened her. He then got off and onto a bus heading to Boston, unaware that Lance Hunter was also on board. Arriving in Boston, Ward met with Sunil Bakshi in Goldbrix Tavern, requesting to meet with whom he answered to, Daniel Whitehall. Ward then promised Bakshi would get a face-to-face with Coulson, but then killed the HYDRA agents beside and the bartender before leaving Bakshi for S.H.I.E.L.D. Ward later took a shave and called Bakshi's phone, in which Skye answered. He greeted her and promised to see her again, and then set out to settle a score with his brother.
Revenge on his Family
Ward then tracked down Christian to his family's summer retreat, who was setting up a date with his mistress after talking to his wife. Ward then pulls him out of the car and confronted him after many years. As Ward pulled Christian through the forest, he ignored all of his attempts to manipulate him and his claims that he was free because of him. Eventually, Ward brought him to where the well was located, the same one that Thomas was nearly drowned in, and had Christian dig it up after their parents buried it. After Christian dug it up, Ward threatened to throw him in unless he confessed that he made him push their brother down the well. A fearful Christian admitted what he did and that he was sorry. Ward appeared to have forgiven and walked him back to the car.
Finally gaining the confession he needed, Ward took Christian to where their parents lived. According to Ward, they were surprised to see him but that he was able to "express his feelings", implying that he forced apologies out of them to gain the closure he needed for what they did to him. Afterwards, he killed them and Christian by burning their house down before leaving a recording he had of Christian's confession, therefore making the deaths look like a murder-suicide. The recording ultimately destroyed Christian and their parents' appearance to the public, granting Ward the revenge he longed for.
Ward later had a meeting with Whitehall, proclaiming that he could help him and that his skills would be useful to him. Whitehall didn't doubt his claims and then showed him live news footage reporting the alleged murder-suicide of Christian and his parents. Ward coldly looked on unsurprised and without regret, which ultimately winning Whitehall's trust. Skye's father, Calvin Zabo, later entered their meeting and Whitehall introduced Ward to him, who then gained his immediate interest after revealing his experience in being a part of Coulson's team. He then asked Zabo about meeting Coulson, saying it can be tough. At some point after the meeting, Ward told him that he intended on keeping his promise to Skye and taking her to meet him.
Keeping His Promise
Requiring Raina's help to locate the Kree City, especially since she can hold the Obelisk without dying, Whitehall sent his men to retrieve her. However, she was taken by S.H.I.E.L.D. but after learning of the Tag Rounds that was injected into her, he sent Ward to collect her. Tracking her to be on board the cloaked Bus, Ward boarded the plane while Whitehall had four HYDRA Quinjets surrounding it. Ward was held at gunpoint by May, Skye, Triplett, Hunter and both Billy and Sam Koenig. As he told Raina to leave with him, he then demanded Skye as he intended on keeping his promise, and that he swore that the plane won't be shot down. Despite May's protests, Skye willingly agreed to go with him and Raina.
Ward brought Skye to HYDRA's current quarters in the Ponce de León Theater in San Juan, Puerto Rico, which was located above the Kree City's central chamber. As he took Skye to meet her father, he was impressed by May's training, in which she remained calm. After taking her to Zabo, he left the two together. Later, Whitehall had a meeting with Ward, Raina and Zabo regarding how they found the city. After bringing Skye forward, he discern Ward's decision for defying his order to destroy the Bus. As Ward, Skye and Zabo tried to overpower Whitehall but were outnumbered, Whitehall vowed to make Ward comply and remove his love for Skye and his devotion to her.
While bound and guarded along with Skye and Zabo, Ward conversed with Agent 33 about her resemblance to May and that she was loyal to Whitehall, not HYDRA. Ward then watched Whitehall torture Zabo and threaten to experiment on Skye in front of him, before being forced to leave after S.H.I.E.L.D. attacks. Ward then distracts the guard long enough for Zabo to get up and kill him, only for him to leave him and Skye tied up while he goes off to exact vengeance on Whitehall. Ward is able to free himself and freed Skye as well. As he checked the perimeter, Skye took the guard's gun and shot Ward four times. Fortunately for Ward, he was saved by his bulletproof vest. Agent 33 arrived and felt lost after Whitehall's death. Ward offered to help her in which she agreed, and she helped him out of the building to safety.
Agent 33's Revenge
Helping Kara Palamas
Over the next few weeks, Agent 33 nursed Ward back to health and treated his wounds, and the two became close and developed a flirtatious relationship. Feeling that he owed her for taking care of him, Ward tracked down the inventor of the nanomask, Selwyn, in the hopes of fixing hers which was damaged by May in their fight. They tracked him to a restaurant and then held the visitors at gunpoint before kidnapping him. Taking him back to their hotel, he was able to rebuild the mask and fix her voice, allowing her to get the mask working again. However, the mask was too damaged and could not be removed. Satisfied that Selwyn did everything he could and not wanting any loose ends, Ward and 33 killed him to keep him from talking. Ward later left to get things ready for the next part of his plan.
Upon returning, he learned that 33 turned her face into Skye's in the hopes of seducing him, but he insisted that he wanted to be with her. He also expressed how he lost his feelings for Skye after she shot him in Puerto Rico. She was heartbroken by this rejection and felt that her old self was gone because of Whitehall. Ward then cheered her up by explaining his backstory regarding his abusive family and Garrett training him into a killer, but that he was able gain closure after he confronted his family, he was free to be his own man. He presented her with a file on Sunil Bakshi in the hopes to help her gain closure for what he and Whitehall did. He explains that he was being held by Glenn Talbot and that they would have to break him out in order to gain revenge for her.
Using the nano-mask to pose as Talbot's wife Carla, Agent 33 gained entry into the facility to turn off the security cameras, allowing Ward to arrive and kill the guard at the desk. Together, they then locate Bakshi in his holding cell, who was delighted to see her and believed her to still be loyal to HYDRA. As soon as Ward arrived, he watched Bakshi attempt to reactivate 33's brainwashing but who then knocked him out. They then take him outside in a wheelchair and escape. Back at the hotel, Bakshi gave 33 her real name, Kara Palamas, who then thanked Ward for helping her. He then looked on sadistically as Kara taunted Bakshi, who was being subjected to the Faustus Method. At some point, Bakshi was successfully brainwashed and told them that Bobbi Morse was the one who gave them safehouse that Kara was hiding in while she was undercover. The two then plotted to get revenge on her.
Alliance with Coulson
Weeks later, Ward was in Mexico buying a cactus for his an Kara's home while she called her mother. However, after a call from her phone, Ward realizes that Coulson and Deathlok had apprehended her and wanted a meeting. Ward immediately arrived and was forced to disarm himself before being directed to Coulson at a booth. The two exchanged false pleasantries, knowing that Ward could kill him if he wanted to. Coulson offered him a deal that if he helps him find Wolfgang von Strucker and Dr. List, he would have his memories wiped so that he could live a peaceful life with Kara. Seeing this as an opportunity to get to Bobbi, Ward accepted the deal.
Ward and Kara gathered their belongings to prepare for the mission and, along with Deatlok, brought Bakshi to them so he can help infiltrate HYDRA, demonstrating that he was now brainwashed. Although Kara was skeptical about the deal, Ward assured him that using Coulson is their way of getting to Bobbi and exact vengeance on her. On the Quinjet, Ward asked how Fitz was doing, only for Fitz to try and attack, forcing Hunter and Coulson to restrain him, leaving Ward's question sort of answered. He then learned that Deathlok would accompany Bakshi in his meeting with List. Knowing that List would be suspicious, Ward secretly had Bakshi ordered to offer up Deathlok in order to gain his trust.
Ward oversaw the meeting along with Coulson, Kara, Hunter and Fitz, and after Bakshi offered up Deathlok to earn List's trust, Coulson accused Ward of betraying them. A stand-off ensues with Coulson and Hunter aiming at Ward as he was doing at Coulson while Kara held Fitz with a knife. Ward is able to convince Coulson to trust him and they lower their guns so Fitz could stop Deathlok from attacking HYDRA, but although the situation calmed down, Coulson threatened to drop him from the Quinjet midair if he tried anything like that again. As List's plane took off with Bakshi and Deathlok, Coulson had Ward pilot the Quinjet. During this, he learns that the mission was actually about finding Skye, but Coulson refused to explain why HYDRA was hunting her.
Following List to Milwaukee into Calvin Zabo's old office, Ward, Coulson, Kara and Hunter went inside and split up to fight the HYDRA agents. During the ensuing battle, Ward and Coulson found Deathlok engaged by an individual with electrokinetic powers and told him that Skye was in the building as well. As Ward and Coulson fought multiple HYDRA agents, they found Skye but who was then taken by an eyeless teleporter along with Zabo. An infuriated Ward kicked a HYDRA agent's head before coldly killing another, much to Coulson's dismay. When Kara found them with an injured Hunter, Ward advised Coulson to retreat, since they were outmanned and outgunned. Coulson chose to allow Ward, Kara and Hunter to escape with Fitz while he surrendered to S.H.I.E.L.D.
Original Team Reunited
As Coulson negotiated with S.H.I.E.L.D. leader rival Robert Gonzales on the Bus for help against HYDRA, Ward followed them on a Quinjet with Kara, Hunter and Fitz. He offered Kara to teach her fly, suggesting that she could when she was a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. When Coulson got the green light from Gonzales, he notified Hunter to tell Ward to land on top of the Bus. Arriving at the Playground, Gonzales and May placed them under guard with Kara due to not being able to trust them, and were ordered to kill him if he tried anything clever.
Ward was present at the meeting with Gonzales, Coulson, May and Bobbi, with Anne Weaver and Oliver speaking to them from the Iliad. They oversaw Mike losing his eye during HYDRA's experiments, knowing that they had other enhanced individuals captured as well. Ward explained that he had a brainwashed Bakshi on the inside to give them intel, although May remained highly skeptical. Ward then looked on as Gonzales put it to a vote about whether or not they should go with Coulson's plan to use his original team, in which it ended in a tie with May being the deciding vote. He then later spoke to Kara and convinced her stay and learn about her past while he went with Coulson's team to the HYDRA base in the Arctic.
Boarding the bus along with Coulson, May, Fitz and Simmons, they were joined up by Skye, with Ward noting that the team was back together. During the flight over to the base, Ward tried to debrief the mission plan but there was obviously tension. He tried to apologize to them, not for the people he's killed but for destroying their team, which he regretted the most. Despite his speech, Skye was still pleased she shot him. After the Bus is spotted by HYDRA as planned, the team escape in the Quinjet. Entering the base, they unite with Bakshi who then told them where they needed to go. Splitting into two teams, Ward went with Bakshi, Skye and Simmons to save the prisoners and fought HYDRA agents as List escaped. After witnessing Skye's powers, Ward suggested that she should thank him for making that happen, only for her to say that she won't shoot him again.
Finding a tortured and dismantled Deathlok, Ward was ordered by Simmons to find a stretcher. As he did, Simmons snuck behind him and tried to kill him with a Splinter Bomb, only for Bakshi to get in the way and get killed by it. Holding Simmons at gunpoint, Ward angrily questioned her about why she did it, in which she told him that she promised to kill him. He told her that he was disappointed with her changing before making his escape. In the aftermath, the team successfully destroyed the base and save the prisoners. Ward called Coulson, saying that he preferred to not have his memories wiped or be imprisoned again. He then explained to Coulson that he knew the team would never forgive but that Kara did, and so he left her with S.H.I.E.L.D. to rebuild her life.
Torturing Bobbi Morse
In reality, however, Ward arranged Kara to be at the base so she could use her mask to disguise as May, trick Bobbi into leaving with her on a Quinjet and fly to Ward's location. Once Bobbi learnt of Kara's deception, the two fought that resulted in Bobbi knocking her out, but she was then I.C.E.d by Ward before she could escape. Upon tying Bobbi up, Ward explained to Kara that in order to gain true closure, Bobbi had to be subjected to prolonged suffering before they could kill her. As Bobbi started to wake up, Ward ruthlessly shot her with the I.C.E.R. three times.
The two then took Bobbi to an abandoned warehouse and tied her to a table. Ward explained to Bobbi that Bakshi revealed to them that she sold out Kara's location to HYDRA, which led her to be captured and brainwashed by Whitehall. All they needed was for her to confess what she did so Kara can gain closure. Bobbi refused, and so Ward proceeded to give her an anesthetic and a paralytic so she couldn't feel all of the pain she would receive until it wore off. He then pushed needles into her fingertips, knowing that she hated them, and demanded her confession so that he could then remove them for her. Bobbi, however, told Kara that she had to choose between giving up a safehouse or get other agents, and believed it was the right thing to do. Morse told them that she would never give an honest apology to them and she would make the same call again.
Eventually Kara saw in Bobbi's eyes that the pain was starting to engulf her body. She told Ward and they embraced as they watched Bobbi suffer. Bobbi attempted to convince Kara that Ward was manipulating her emotions and using her as his slave, explaining that Ward was using symbolic targets from her past to make her believe that he cared for her. Ward listened on happily as Kara revealed that she already knew all about his past with his abusive family, Garrett and how he killed many S.H.I.E.L.D. agents including Hand, but she was in love with him nonetheless because he remade himself from the pain and that she would always stand with Ward.
Final Descent into Villainy
As Kara went to sleep, Ward continued to torture Bobbi and as he offered her a way out of it by confessing to betraying Kara, she called him a hypocrite who betrayed his entire team and that he is a coward who always blamed others for his problems. Caught off guard by what she said, Bobbi ripped off her restraints and pulled out her needles before attacking Ward. The two fought fiercely throughout the warehouse and were evenly matched before Kara joined in with a gun. Although she fought well, the two overpowered Bobbi and Ward shattered her kneecap by stomping on it. After Bobbi refused to apologize and Kara didn't feel closure since she didn't have remorse, Ward declared he knew what to do to a worried Bobbi.
The two tied her up in a chair and rigged a rifle behind her and Ward explained that since she had no regard for her own life, he would force her to watch someone else get killed while trying to save her. He then mocked her by explaining that the first person through the door would get killed in front of her, which would give Kara the closure she desired and break her heart and fill it with anger. After a S.H.I.E.L.D. team led by Hunter and May arrived to rescue Bobbi, Ward decided that he would kill May as payback for what happened the last time they fought. Taking out several agents, Ward overheard a message on the radio for all agents to move to the south corner and await her arrival. Taking this opportunity, Ward hid and waited for May to arrive, and as he did, he grabbed her and fatally shot her three times in the stomach. Much to his horror, however, he discovered that it was actually Kara and begged her to stay with him, but she died in his arms, breaking his heart and forcing him to escape.
Now desiring vengeance, Ward had HYDRA enforcer Kebo and three others look for any remaining HYDRA leaders that he could meet with. Waiting at the Goldbrix Tavern, he was approached Kebo and the others, who gave him a small list of names, but it didn't satisfy Ward. He then listened to Kebo explain that thanks to S.H.I.E.L.D., the Avengers and Ultron, HYDRA's leadership was gone and the organization has disintegrated. Unhappy with this, he demanded more names, but Kebo refused to take orders. Ward then smashed his drink glass on the bar table and slammed Kebo's face onto the pieces. He then declared to the other agents as HYDRA's new leader and demanded more names. When one of them asked him what the plan was, Ward looked down at a picture of Kara and simply replied "Closure".
Director of HYDRA
Recruiting von Strucker
Months after his return to HYDRA as its 'director', Ward successfully found many new recruits who were fiercely loyal to him and those who were loyal to the founding values of HYDRA before the leadership of Strucker and Alexander Pierce. He established his HYDRA faction with social Darwinistic ideals and set up ring fights to make sure his subordinates were strong fighters with indomitable willpower, believing that HYDRA's greed and wealth led to their defeat. With Kebo as his second-in-command, Ward made it his goal to reunify HYDRA's splintered cells and ensure them as strong fighters that weren't driven by greed, so he could lead them into a war against S.H.I.E.L.D., whom he blamed for his past pain and the death of Kara.
Now targeting May's ex-husband Andrew Garner, Ward set his sights on Werner von Strucker, the son of the late Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, who he thought could open many doors for HYDRA. Ward and Kebo found Carmine, a HYDRA agent who knew of Werner's location and stole his new sports car and drove with him on the bonnet. Arriving at a warehouse, Ward slammed the brakes which flew Carmine off the hood, and presented to Carmine with Kebo and his faction. He then demanded Werner's location, and he fearfully gave up his location. The two tracked him to his boat in Ibiza, Spain, which he purchased with his father's money. As Kebo used rats to scare off Werner's guests, Ward defeated the guards on board and kidnapped him.
The two then brought Werner back to their base, where they told him that since he never earned anything in his whole life, they are taking his wealth, starting with his banking passwords. When Werner arrogantly resisted, Ward punched him in the face and retorted that he wasn't going to ask for his money, but was going to get it. He then had Kebo torture Werner for the money. After he returned, he found Werner beating down Kebo and revealed that he knew who he was. He then revealed that the torture was to bring out a savage fighter inside of him. They then discussede their complicated families and Ward explained his goals for the new HYDRA, convincing Werner to join the family business. Ward then sent Werner to get close to May's ex-husband by posing as a new student.
A week later, Kebo recruited a new soldier into HYDRA, who offered them a crate full of weapons as a show of good faith after killing Spud to gain entry. As they examined the box, Ward noted that he was impressed and that it would serve well for his plans. Ward then expressed his plans for the new HYDRA, noting key comparisons between his vision and S.H.I.E.L.D.'s values, claiming that he almost viewed it as a shame that they were going to bring down the agency. He then gave Kebo equipment to give to Werner so he could use to kill eventually Garner.
Ward then met with Kebo at his base, who arrived with the new recruit. However, to Ward's horror, the recruit was revealed to be Hunter, who was on a mission to kill him for what he did to Bobbi. A firefight broke out with Hunter stealing a gun and firing at HYDRA agents. Ward and Kebo got to cover and discovered that Hunter had seemingly came without any backup. Just as his men nearly killed Hunter, May arrived to assist Hunter. Realizing what he had to do, Ward had Kebo to call Werner to film Garner and threaten his life to keep May and Hunter at bay. Although May initially didn't believe it, she realized that he wasn't bluffing.
While May was horrified of the video, Hunter refused to surrender and instead advanced on Ward and Kebo while firing his gun at the pair. With no other choice, Kebo managed to break a window by throwing a chair through it and ran to the truck with Ward behind him. However, Hunter managed to fire a shot which wounded Ward in his shoulder, causing him to fall hard on the ground. Kebo was able to bring the director onto the pickup and were driven away to safety while Hunter continued to fire down at them without landing a shot, leaving him and May angered.
Tying Up Loose Ends
After establishing themselves a new HQ, Ward and Kebo oversaw new weapons being unloaded from a van. Ward was angered by S.H.I.E.L.D.'s attempt to kill him and accused Kebo of being sloppy as if he allowed Hunter into HYDRA. While Kebo expressed that Hunter wanted him dead so badly, Ward lashed out how every S.H.I.E.L.D. agent wanted him dead so badly. They then changed to subject to Werner failing to kill Garner and realized that he has gone A.W.O.L. Knowing that he is now a loose end, Ward ordered Kebo to find and kill Werner before S.H.I.E.L.D. could get to him.
As more weapons were being unloaded, Ward was unhappy with Kebo not looking for Werner and questioned him why. Kebo then handed him a phone without a word, in which Ward picked it up and found himself talking to Gideon Malick, an old HYDRA leader who was feared by all of the agents who were aware of his reputation. Malick accused Ward of making many mistakes during his time as HYDRA's director and offered his assistance in finding Werner before S.H.I.E.L.D. could. Ward questioned him why he would do that, and Malick explained that he had chosen a side. Pleased with the development, Ward sent Kebo to kill Werner in Lisbon, Portugal. However, May and Bobbi were able to find Werner and kill Kebo, but Werner fell into a coma before he could tell them about Ward.
Ward later met with Malick and they discussed Werner being in coma following Kebo's attempt to kill him.. Ward wasn't worried as he viewed him as weak like his father. Malick then asked Ward if revenge was his only goal but Ward insisted that his goal was to assassinate Phil Coulson and destroy S.H.I.E.L.D., as he believed without Coulson, S.H.I.E.L.D. could never return. As they were speaking they were interrupted when Malick received a call from Rosalind Price, the head of the ATCU and Malick's associate.
Learning HYDRA's History
Ward and Malick had dinner with octopus served up for them, in which he explained why it was HYDRA's symbol, describing it as smart and the ultimate killer just like Ward. Malick pressed Ward for a request and they discussed how HYDRA's remaining leadership had been destroyed thanks to the latter, but Malick knew that he was looking for Baron Strucker's supposed secret vault. Although Malick insisted that it didn't exist, Ward didn't believe him due to ratting out Werner, the sole heir to its ownership. Ward requested that they use the weapon inside it. As Malick was called away by his right-hand, Giyera, he explained that he won't support his revenge campaign and as he left, he had a team of assassins try and kill him. However, Ward proved himself the better fighter and overpowered them.
Ward then placed three of the surviving assassins in a row and demanded the location of Baron Strucker's secret vault. When they refused, he started torturing them but they remained strong, earning his admiration for it. After he started blow torching one in his face, one of the men told him that the vault was in Zepkow, Germany. Having gained the information he needed, Ward killed the three of them. Ward boarded a plane to Moscow which was flying over Zepkow. He seduced one of the flight attendants, who gave him a drink and suggested that he stay with her in Moscow. Ward, however, revealed his true intentions, horrifying her. After making a speech over the speakers and noted how HYDRA was going to kill them, Ward put on a parachute and used an exploding watch to blow off the door. He then allowed himself to be sucked out as the plane crashed, killing everyone on board.
Ward eventually located Baron Strucker's vault and broke into it through the ceiling, in which he discovered that Malick was already there and waiting for him, who noted that he was impressed and that he could actually be HYDRA's second head. Although Ward was interested in killing him, Malick explained HYDRA's true origins and that they were far older than Red Skull, World War II and the Nazis, before pulling out a piece of stone that was also a portal to another planet. He then explained that an Inhuman known as Hive was born thousands of years before, who was so powerful and fearsome that other Inhumans banished him through the portal, and that HYDRA was founded to engineer its return, using the ATCU to build an army for it. Malick vowed to help Ward destroy S.H.I.E.L.D. in exchange for learning how they brought Simmons back from the Monolith planet so they can bring back Hive and rule the world beside it. He then oversaw Garner being tortured, after it was revealed he could literally transform into a monster.
Opening a Portal
Having learned that Price knew of Malick's allegiance to HYDRA, Ward was sent to assassinate her. While she was having dinner with Coulson, he took position across the street and shot her through her throat and cruelly watched her die in Coulson's arms. Ward then phoned Coulson and mocked him about her death, revealing Malick's intention to open another portal and that he was sending his men to kill finish him off. He hung up as Ward's men arrived to kill him, but Coulson managed to escape barely. Returning to the HYDRA castle, Malick complimented his successful mission but criticized his attempt to kill him. Malick revealed more about HYDRA's history with the Monolith, claiming that Ward was risking everything because of his desire to avenge Kara's death. However, Ward remained confident, saying that he knows Coulson better than he knows himself.
Thanks to Ward's clever machinations, Malick had Giyera ambush both Fitz and Simmons, and killed Luther Banks and the others, who were all investigating a Project Distant Star Return facility after Ward mentioned their plans. After Fitz and Simmons were brought before them, Ward oversaw Malick trying to get their cooperation, only for the duo to instantly refuse. After Malick recommended suggestions, Ward had the two split up, knowing that only one has to break. Ward then taunted Simmons about being sent to another planet and being dropped into the ocean. After saying that he would never hurt her, he left Simmons to be tortured by Giyera. He then cruelly taunted Fitz about Simmons' torture as they listened, hoping that he would break.
During this, he got a call from Coulson, who revealed that he's kidnapped his brother Thomas before hanging up. Angry by this, he called back only to get Thomas on the phone. Thomas revealed that he knows what he did and cut off all ties from him so he could escape from him. As Ward tried to justify his actions, Coulson picked up the phone and reveals that he traced the call before hanging up. Losing what little sanity he had left, Ward furiously tortured Simmons, which broke Fitz and got him to comply. As Ward got ready for S.H.I.E.L.D.'s arrival, Malick wanted him to go to Maveth to bring back the dark Inhuman. Although Ward was reluctant, Malick expressed how he was the best thing that happened to HYDRA and that it was his destiny, which got Ward's interest. As the portal opened, Ward took Fitz and a team through to complete HYDRA's original mission.
Final Showdown and Death
On Maveth, Ward led the team and Fitz around the planet. After Fitz tried to grab his gun, Ward overpowered him and threatened to break his arm. As he got Fitz back under his control, one of his men called them over to a rise and they find an ancient HYDRA shrine, causing Ward to say "Hail HYDRA" for the first time in his life. As they continued through the planet and Fitz berated how finding the Inhuman was impossible, Ward was caught off-guard as the agent descended into a hideout. Ward followed where he met Will Daniels and although he initially wanted to kill him, he learnt that he was an astronaut sent to Maveth by the Distant Star fifteen years before. Needing a guide, Ward allowed him to tag along and lead them across the alien planet. Ward walked behind Daniels and Fitz and watched them closely as he led them across Maveth.
After Daniels stopped, he explained to Ward that they would have to go through the "no fly zone" if they ever wanted to reach the second portal in time. Ward later spoke to Daniels alone and asked about the HYDRA statue he had seen as Daniels explained what he knew of Hive's history, noting that all he had ever seen on this planet had been death. They then briefly discussed how Daniels had survived alone for so many years on his own while also mentioning the Inhuman outbreak that was happening in recent months. As a sandstorm arose, Ward ordered the team to take shelter while Fitz and Daniels stayed together. After growing impatient, Ward learnt that Fitz and Daniels had escaped and then his men were killed. He was then shot and confronted by a vengeful Coulson, who then took him prisoner to get them to the second portal.
As the two walked the landscape, Ward expressed his newfound mindset of HYDRA and how he felt that he finally had a sense of purpose ever since Garrett recruited him and when he was seeking revenge. As Coulson felt that he was talking nonsense, Ward said that he felt was now part of a grand plan set into motion by Malick. As the two reached the portal, they witness Fitz about to be killed by Daniels, who was revealed to be Hive possessing his body. As Coulson shot Hive, Ward attacked Coulson and they proceeded to fight. Because of Ward's injuries, Coulson used his bionic hand to overpower him and then beat him down to the verge of death. Remembering all of the people he's killed, including his own family, Hand, Koenig and Price, Coulson then knelt down before slowly crushing a defenseless Ward's ribcage with his bionic hand and killed him, finally ending his threat to S.H.I.E.L.D. once and for all.
Although Ward was effectively dead, his actions still had ramifications on his old team. As Coulson initially did believe that he did the right thing, upon learning that Hive returned to Earth in his body, he unhappily comes to the conclusion that he made a mistake. Even though he finally killed him following the number of victims, the lives he’s hurt and the loved ones he betrayed, Ward still defeated Coulson and the team and got the last laugh on them. This was proven correct when Hive’s actions caused many people (good and bad alike) to either get hurt or killed.
Ward and Kebo’s torture of Werner von Strucker proved traumatic as he became more murderous, psychopathic and ruthless years later. It also led to him being put through the T.A.H.I.T.I. memory machine in order to find Malick, which resulted in him gaining an enhanced memory that proved helpful for when he was helping Ruby Hale overthrow her mother and fuse herself with Gravitonium. This also indirectly led to Talbot becoming a supervillain after Ruby tortured him during her mission for power. Overall, Ward's plan to use an act of savagery to bring out his killer nature like Garrett did with him had succeeded, thus proving his point.
Ward’s betrayal of the team still affected the original team, especially Fitz and Simmons. Ward’s actions caused his teammates, especially Coulson and Simmons, to become darker people even before and after his death. When Fitz was betrayed by Holden Radcliffe, he began to feel that trusting people is weakness, as he was abandoned by his father and betrayed by Radcliffe and Ward. He even considered that he should become less caring for people, although Simmons talked him out of it because it was why she fell in love with him. After Daisy was released from Hive’s control, Daisy compared herself to Ward as they had more in common than she wanted to believe, as she viewed Ward being brainwashed into putting faith in HYDRA. After Fitz emerged from the Framework while being the Doctor, he compared himself to being just like Ward in every way possible, as he thought he was truly a bad person just like him.
Even though Coulson finally killed Ward for his actions, the decision came back to haunt him and S.H.I.E.L.D. as while he and Fitz jumped through the portal, Hive exited Will's body and quickly took possession of Ward's before returning to Earth. Hive used Ward's memories of the team and his capabilities against them. This affected Coulson the most, who felt responsible for what was happening because of his decision to kill him. Despite the objections of the other agents, Coulson knew that killing him was a huge mistake and even though he would plague their lives no longer, Ward ultimately won as he would get the final laugh through Hive. Months after Hive assumed Ward's body, Lincoln Campbell trapped him in a Quinjet while in space, in which they were killed by a warhead, therefore destroying Ward's body and ending his threat to S.H.I.E.L.D. once and for all. Hive's brainwashing of Daisy Johnson and Lincoln's death led her to leave the agency and become a vigilante, effectively putting her and S.H.I.E.L.D. in the pathway of Ghost Rider and the Darkhold, which would then lead them to fighting several other threats. In a way, Ward's death became S.H.I.E.L.D.'s worst decision as it still had ramifications on Coulson's team.
Over a year after his death, a version of Ward appeared in the Framework, a virtual reality identical to the real world that was created by Radcliffe using the Darkhold. However, while the real Ward was a double agent working for HYDRA within S.H.I.E.L.D., this version of Ward was a stark contrast of him as he joined S.H.I.E.L.D. after learning her reality's version of Daisy was an Inhuman since their HYDRA was hunting Inhumans and experimenting on them. After the real-world Daisy arrived in his reality, he learns about the real-world Ward and was disgusted by his actions. He was eventually erased by the former L.M.D. Aida after she lost her sanity. The entire revelation cause Daisy, who initially thought he was just like the original, to realize that despite all of his flaws and horrible traits, there may have been some good left inside the real Ward after all, something that the rest of Coulson's team thought to be highly untrue.