Characters: Agents Of SHIELD The Centipede Group

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Warning: Major unmarked spoilers for The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Season One of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. below.

The "Centipede" Group

A sub-division of HYDRA, Centipede is a project headed by John Garrett interested in creating supersoldiers through cybernetic implants that resemble a centipede.

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     The Clairvoyant 

John Garrett / The Clairvoyant

"Oh, the power's all on this side of the room, fellas."

Portrayed by: Bill Paxton

A S.H.I.E.L.D. agent sent to retrieve Ian Quinn from Coulson's team. When he finds out that they need to save a member of their team (Skye), he and his co-agent Agent Triplett aid the group in breaking into the Guest House.

He is also a high-ranking HYDRA agent, having become disillusioned with S.H.I.E.L.D. after being left for dead on a mission. Under the guise of the Clairvoyant, he sought to discover the secret behind Coulson's resurrection so he could heal his dying body.
  • Abusive Parents He was considered a father figure to Ward, and kidnapped him from a government facility when he was a teenager. Garrett proceeded to emotionally and physically abuse him for fifteen years.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the comics, John Garrett is a legitimate agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., one of Nick Fury's closest confidants, and was even on the Howling Commandos. Here, he's a HYDRA agent and the Big Bad of Centipede. One wonders if the comics Garrett might be adapted into a traitor as well.
  • Affably Evil: He maintains the chummy attitude he's previously been using in a civilian disguise, as seen during his interactions with Coulson and Fitz after his true identity is revealed. It's best exemplified when Ward is experiencing a Villainous BSOD after killing Victoria Hand; Garrett keeps laughing and joking as he tells Ward about an old mission he was on, not caring about what's happening to Ward. His humour and "friendliness" seem to be real, but its outweighed by the selfishness and Lack of Empathy.
  • Ambiguous Gender: The few who have spoken with "him" are careful to use neither male nor female pronouns to refer to him, though everyone else just assumes he's male. He's revealed to be male in "Turn, Turn, Turn".
  • Anti-Hero: Posed as one, as he acted like wanted to put bad people like Ian Quinn behind bars and is implied to be A Father to His Men, but he's otherwise a brutal and unfettered guy. To convince Quinn to talk, he threatens to rip out the guy's tongue and later smacked Quinn for getting too lippy. As it turns out, he's not heroic at all.
  • Appropriated Appellation: "Clairvoyant" is the name given to him by his minions; he finds it overdramatic, and he also expresses annoyance at the name of the Deathlok program. "Centipede" appears to come from a similar source. In general, he seems to find code names largely unnecessary.
  • Arc Villain: For Season One. By Season Two, he's largely irrelevant outside of what effects the G.H. serum had on him.
  • Badass: Taught Ward everything he knows.
  • Badass Grandpa: Age hasn't hindered Garrett in the slightest.
  • Benevolent Boss: Despite his tendency to pull out a You Have Failed Me at the drop of a hat, he's extremely friendly to minions who don't fail him. He gives Raina everything she needs for her work (and also a beautiful new flower dress after breaking her out of prison) and buys Ward an expensive steak dinner for finding one last secret in the Fridge. He even acts like this with his minions who are on an Explosive Leash—after Deathlok finishes a mission with admirable speed, the Clairvoyant cheerily has a streaming video of his son set up, without Deathlok even having to ask.
  • Big Bad: As the leader of Project Centipede in Season One, he is the man behind all of their wrong doings, as well as having Ward infiltrate SHIELD.
  • Big Bad Friend: In "Turn, Turn, Turn", the Clairvoyant is revealed to be Garrett, one of Coulson's old friends.
  • Blood Knight: Shown to eagerly be this in contrast to the more reserved Coulson. See the "tongue" example above.
  • Body Horror: He wears turtleneck sweaters to conceal some rather large neck scars. His left side is also cybernetically augmented in some fashion, similar to the comics where he became one to save his life. He's revealed to be Deathlok Mk. 1 in "Ragtag," after having to stuff his guts back in and duct tape the wound shut when SHIELD was unable to extract him after his injury.
  • Broken Pedestal: To several of his colleagues, including Coulson and Triplett. Raina is also disappointed his persona was just a cover for his true identity. Even Ward eventually loses faith in him.
  • The Chessmaster: The Clairvoyant seems to be fifteen steps ahead of virtually everyone else on the show. Even after his ties with SHIELD are severed, Garrett is still able to play every other faction like a fiddle. He becomes more dangerous in a lot of ways, since he doesn't have to hide and is able to just openly raid SHIELD bases.
  • Character Death:
    • The Clairvoyant is thought to be dead when Ward kills Thomas Nash, but Coulson and Skye determine that Nash was a fall guy and the real Clairvoyant is still alive.
    • After Garrett is outed as the Clairvoyant, he tells Raina that there's "no need to call me that anymore". She doesn't and the alias is never mentioned again. Garrett himself is killed at the end of Season One.
  • Comic Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Averted, as "The Clairvoyant" most certainly sounds like the name of a comic book supervillain. When S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are able to talk with him (so to speak), he says his subordinates named him that and he himself finds it a little overdramatic.
  • Cool Old Guy: He tends to make quips during missions in order to keep up his allies' morale, as seen during the infiltration of the Guest House. He keeps this up even after being revealed as a HYDRA operative.
  • Dark Lord on Life Support: He is initially thought to be Thomas Nash, a man who can't even move unassisted and communicates through computer. This is later discovered to be a ruse, meant to throw them off the trail. The real Clairvoyant, however, really is on life support: Garrett is the prototype of Deathlok, as an Emergency Transformation, and until the end of "Ragtag" was dying from organ failure.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: The mysterious and malevolent intelligence behind the group.
  • Emergency Transformation: After getting maimed by an IED, he was made into the first Deathlok. It happens again after taking a rocket to the chest and getting stomped to death by the newest Deathlok, but he's unceremoniously vaporized by Coulson moments after that transformation is finished.
  • Evil All Along: When his true identity is revealed as a HYDRA agent, it's clear that he's been evil for the entire series.
  • Evil Feels Good: He clearly enjoys the heck out of being bad, being incredibly jovial and happy about it and reveling in saying and doing stereotypical Big Bad type things. See Evil Is Funny and Affably Evil.
  • Evil Is Funny: For the evil head of a ruthless terrorist organization, he's pretty funny.
    SHIELD Agent: How did HYDRA know you were here?
    Garrett: We told them!
    [Ward shoots both guards]
    Ward: You could have given me some warning.
    Garrett: I know, but it was such a perfect line.
  • Evil Mentor: To Grant Ward and Antoine Triplett, more so with the former than the latter because the latter didn't turn into an evil hitman.
  • Fallen Hero: He used to be a loyal S.H.I.E.L.D. agent until his superiors left him to die out in the field. It was then that Garrett decided to treat S.H.I.E.L.D. the same as S.H.I.E.L.D. treated him.
  • A Father to His Men: He inspires loyalty in his men, with Triplett would follow him to the end, and Ward has fond memories of serving under him. Ultimately subverted when he's outed as the Clairvoyant, as Coulson realizes that this means he's killed three of his own men because they asked the wrong questions. He's suitably furious at the hypocrisy, and Triplett turns on him completely due to one of the dead men being his partner.
  • Fiction 500: Coulson and the team, unwilling to believe that the name "The Clairvoyant" could really mean a psychic, conclude that since Centipede would need a lot of money to function, the Clairvoyant must be code for their financial backer. However, Coulson seems slightly more willing to believe he's legit after Raina demonstrates very personal knowledge of him that would not be easy to come by.
  • The Ghost: He had yet to make a physical appearance, until it was revealed in "Turn, Turn, Turn" that he was John Garrett.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: After he's revived with GH-325, Garrett comes back... kinda kooky. It's clear that he's not totally nuts, since he's still just as effective a mastermind as before, but whatever came with that has clearly driven him over the edge.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Acknowledged. Garrett intends to play the "bad cop" for Quinn, but he sees the injuries Quinn got from Melinda May and says, "I guess there was already a bad cop before I got here, huh?"
  • He Knows Too Much: He has a habit of killing off people who ask the wrong questions, such as his three subordinates.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain: For much of Season 1 his end goals (and thus Centipede's) were entirely unknown. They're creating super-soldiers, but their purpose for doing so was not revealed. "Ragtag" reveals that the super soldier project is in fact a nice bonus to Garrett's true purpose of prolonging his own life. When it comes to either replicating the GH serum for use with his soldiers or saving himself, he chooses the latter.
  • I Fight for the Strongest Side: In his words, he didn't join HYDRA because he shares their beliefs, he joined because he thought the winds were blowing in their direction rather than S.H.I.E.L.D.'s.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: In "Turn, Turn, Turn", Garrett mentions Raina having been inside the same memory machine she used on Coulson, a fact that Coulson hadn't shared with anyone.
  • It's All About Me: The true purpose of Project Centipede is to save his own life. Super soldiers are just a handy bonus application of the research.
  • Karmic Death: First, he's blasted and stomped by Deathlok, but he's Not Quite Dead. He climbs into Ian Quinn's cybernetic enhancement table and gets cyborg'd up, while delivering a villain speech...only to get atomized by Coulson using the 0-8-4 device, which is HYDRA technology.
  • Kick the Dog: Forces Ward to shoot his faithful dog and later orders him to kill two of his former friends just to prove that he isn't held back by weakness.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: "There's a reason they say cut of the head. Now, I'll be unst-*zap*"
  • Ludicrous Gibs: He is disintegrated in a truly hilarious manner by Coulson in "Beginning of End".
  • The Man Behind the Man: Usually, Project Centipede does just fine on their own without the Clairvoyant's assistance. However, its members hold him in very high regard and he gives them instruction when they begin to fail.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Knows the right way to push peoples' buttons to get them to do what he wants. The reason for this is because he has access to S.H.I.E.L.D. agent files and uses them to predict their behavior.
  • The Mole: Skye realizes that all his statements about the team members were taken verbatim from their S.H.I.E.L.D. files, and Coulson concludes that rather than having psychic powers, he's a member of S.H.I.E.L.D. itself.
  • The Nicknamer: Calls Raina "Flowers" and Mike "Mikey", among others.
  • Not So Omniscient After All: Despite claims that he's able to know what the President's dreaming, he doesn't know how Coulson came back to life. He's very eager to learn this secret. It turns out he's a high-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who was using his access to the team's files to fake being clairvoyant. He didn't know about Coulson's resurrection because Fury refused to let a file be made about it.
  • No One Sees the Boss: The Clairvoyant is the intelligence behind Project Centipede, pulling certain strings within the organization, but only Edison Po (later Raina) is allowed to speak to him, and any knowledge of his appearance is basically a death sentence. This is because he can't allow anyone to find out that he's a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. Once HYDRA comes out of hiding, he abandons this pretense.
  • The Munchausen: He sure loves to talk about his old battles, exaggerating about half of the stuff he has done over the years. It works on the younger agents, but when someone like Coulson was actually there, he lampshades that he likes to make the stories better.
  • Old Master: He's Ward's former SO, i.e. the one that taught him how to disarm nuclear bombs. He's clearly been in the business for a while.
  • The Omniscient: Exhibits some form of Mundane Omniscience, which is where the name comes from. According to Po and Raina, the Clairvoyant can somehow learn about anything or anyone they need to further their plans, as well as other important information, but he may or may not choose to reveal this information until the time is right. It's later revealed that the source of this omniscience is S.H.I.E.L.D. security clearance, and—as shown to eerie effect in The Winter Soldier—SHIELD has been gathering a lot of data on a lot of people.
  • A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil:
    • He and Coulson studied under Fury himself, and then he goes and becomes a HYDRA agent.
    • He's also this from the other side; Tripplet was outraged that his mentor was evil.
  • Sanity Slippage: The effects of the redone Guest House serum managed to unhinge Garrett to the point of him, seeing "everything".
  • Self-Serving Memory: Known to repeatedly remember speeches and sayings incorrectly.
    • In one instance, he thinks the HYDRA motto involves cutting off a leg instead of a head.
    • He also misinterpreted Nick Fury's "One Man" speech, taking it to mean that one should inspire to be something bigger, instead of being a part of something bigger.
    • Finally, he states "there's a reason they say 'cut off the head'..." Except the context of the quote normally implies that doing so results in more "heads" taking its place, which is not the case here. Garrett seemed to take it literally, suggesting the only way to kill him would be to cut off his head. Coulson complies.
  • Sink-or-Swim Mentor: His first lesson to Ward was to drop him off in the woods with nothing but a bag of clothes and a hunting dog. He came back six months later.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: After he's finally revealed, all that light-hearted joking takes on a sinister hue.
  • The Starscream: He was never really loyal to HYDRA. He only cared about keeping himself alive and getting revenge on S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • Walking Spoiler: He's actually the Clairvoyant, leader of the "Centipede Group", and is also part of HYDRA.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: In addition to the whole "kill switch implanted in his super soldiers" thing, he has a habit of using and discarding people as necessary.
    • He kills off Mr. Po without a second thought when he doesn't produce results in a timely manner, with the role of his contact passing to Raina.
    • Raina is left to rot once captured by Coulson's team, and the next contact is [[spoiler: Ian Quinn. However, he winds up recruiting her again in "Providence".
    • Ian Quinn suffers the same treatment after he aids in the creation of Deathlok and instigates a failed gambit to discover the means behind Coulson's revival. From this point he speaks to Deathlok directly. Quinn gets broken out of the Fridge by him in "Providence".
    • Even Ward gets this treatment. Deathlok, and therefore Garrett, was fine with letting him die of a heart attack if Skye didn't cooperate.
  • You See, I'm Dying: Revealed in "Ragtag" that his organs are failing, and that the entire purpose behind the Centipede project was to extend his own life. If he happened to get an army of super soldiers out of it, that's just a nice bonus.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: By the time of "Ragtag", he has only a month or two left to live due to organ failure. Fitz's EMP on his cybernetic components shortens it to minutes. However, he gets cured at the end of the episode.

     Grant Ward 

Grant Douglas Ward

"...while a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent is considering right and wrong, HYDRA's already taken the shot."
Portrayed By: Brett Dalton

An anti-social Level Seven (formerly a Level Six) agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. who was said to have a strong moral foundation. He became a member of Agent Coulson's team that is assembled to investigate strange events around the world. However, he was really an agent of HYDRA loyal to John Garrett, who recruited him into both organizations at the same time. Following Garrett's defeat, Ward is imprisoned by S.H.I.E.L.D. in The Playground's basement prison, and is used as a source of information on HYDRA.
  • Abusive Parents: As bad as his brother Christian was to him, his parents were worse - to both of them. Garrett was also this, having kidnapped a teenage Ward from a government facility and proceeding to physically and emotionally abuse him for fifteen years.
  • Anti-Hero: He is initially set up to be one of the Good Is Not Nice variety. He has anti-social tendencies, but Coulson sees something in him that made him choose Ward for The Team. As it turns out, he was a villain all along. In Season Two, he's trying to pull a Heel-Face Turn, and hands Bakshi over to Coulson's team after escaping, but he commits several extremely unheroic acts which make him come across as more of a Wild Card than a genuine hero.
  • Anti-Villain: After escaping from USA federal custody, he occasionally drops off presents for Team Coulson, like a Bound and Gagged Bakshi. He's also a dangerous ex-HYDRA member who wants to take down his brother, which also makes him a Wild Card.
  • Arch-Enemy: Much of Team Coulson holds this view of him, especially Skye. He doesn't quite see it that way.
  • The Atoner: In Season Two, he's incredibly forthcoming with information about HYDRA, to an almost creepy extent. This seems to be at least partially because of this trope, partially because his loyalties were not to HYDRA in the first place, and partially because it will help Skye to trust him about her father. Coulson later brutally strips him of his perception as this, saying he will never earn back his place on the team; he's simply an enemy to be interrogated as far as they're concerned.
  • Badass: He was trained to be "the whole solution" and it shows whenever he gets into a fight.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: As is tradition with S.H.I.E.L.D. agents.
  • Beard of Evil: In the first half of Season Two, he has a thick beard and is a captive HYDRA agent. Then he goes on the lam, sends a giftwrapped Bakshi to Director Coulson, and shaves it off.
  • Becoming the Mask: After being revealed as a HYDRA mole, he admits to developing genuine feelings for Skye, to which Garrett says he regrets making him keep the cover for so long. He also claims to have genuinely cared for Fitz and Simmons.
    • He tries to specifically invoke this in Season Two, claiming that he's still a member of Coulson's team, despite the fact that in Season One he only pretended to be a member of the team to be a spy for Garrett, until he was eventually discovered. Given the horrific things he's done in addition to his well-established status as a Manipulative Bastard and Consummate Liar, no-one's buying it.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Hinted at with Skye in the interrogation scene.
  • Berserk Button: Don't mess with Skye. Don't even think about it.
  • Big Brother Instinct:
    • According to his backstory, Ward learned how to fight in order to protect his little brother (and himself) from their big brother, who was physically abusive. He shows shades of this towards Skye, too. "FZZT" reveals that he has this towards Fitz-Simmons as well.
      Ward: How can I protect you from something I can't even see?
    • This is all revealed to be an act designed to get their trust. He becomes genuinely possessive of Skye, which she finds to be creepy instead of touching.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: In Season Two, he seems utterly and genuinely baffled that despite giving up precious HYDRA intel, and claiming to regret his previous actions, that his former comrades point blank refuse to even consider trusting him because of what he did.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: Lorelei. He's a normal human and she's as strong as Loki.
  • Boxed Crook: Starting off in Season Two, he provides HYDRA secrets to Team Coulson on the condition that Skye is the one he delivers them to, since it's the only way he can get her to speak with him.
  • Broken Pedestal: No-one takes the news that he's been Evil All Along particularly well, but the biggest and worst reactions come from Skye (for whom he was a mentor and Love Interest) and Fitz (who viewed him as the hero he'd like to be himself).
  • Cake Eater: So far, the only woman he's shown being consensually physically intimate with is Agent May (at least 15 years his senior, if the actors' ages are anything to go by). Subverted when it's revealed he found seducing her to be the most efficient method to gain her trust. Whatever his actual preferences are, this was just part of the mission.
  • Canon Foreigner: He has no comic book counterpart.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Everything prior to "Turn, Turn, Turn" takes a darker turn when we find out his persona was engineered to make the team trust him.
  • Chick Magnet: Slept with both May and Lorelei, and earned Skye's affection before his true colors were revealed.
  • Combat Pragmatist: If it can be utilized as a weapon, chances are that Ward's gonna use it against his opponent.
  • The Comically Serious: His response to a joking question that Coulson asked him? A legitimately serious answer without a hint of irony. Then Coulson injects him with a Truth Serum in order to get Skye on their side (although he later claims the serum was fake- given it never shows up again despite its obvious uses, it probably was).
  • Consummate Liar: It comes with the territory. He claims that being drugged with truth serum in the pilot was a ruse, and he told Skye nothing that was above level 1. When he's hooked up to a lie detector that checks against 96 different variables, he manages to beat it by drawing on his genuine feelings for Skye to fool Koenig into thinking the machine was getting a false-positive. He also impaled one of his fingers with a paper clip, to throw off the readings a bit more. It's implied in his meeting with his brother that he's lied so much that even he doesn't remember the truth anymore.
  • Creepy Monotone: He starts speaking with one in Season Two after claiming to have achieved some form of enlightenment during the hiatus.
  • Cunning Linguist: According to Episode 1.02, he can speak six languages.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Coulson mentions that Ward's anti-social tendencies aren't surprising, given his family history. This is hammered home in "The Well": his older brother was one hell of a cruel asshole even as a child.
    • It turns out that it got even worse afterwards with Ward having been targeted by Garrett and abused, manipulated, and trained into becoming exactly what Garrett needed, using techniques that included dumping the sixteen year old in the woods alone for six months with only a dog, and ordering him to kill said dog later on as a way of teaching him that caring is weak.
    • Hell even before Garrett he had issues. He drove a thousand miles just to try and burn his brother alive in the family home. His options after that act of attempted murder where hard time which would have darkened his psyche even more. Or Garrett which did the same but with a purpose.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Despite his serious and no-nonsense demeanor, he has his moments.
  • Deep Cover Agent: In Coulson's team, for HYDRA. Everything about him was fabricated to create a different persona than his true one, right down to being a fan of the Patriots football team. In truth, he hates that team.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: At first, he prefers to work alone and resents being put on Coulson's team, but he later warms up to his teammates and even joins them on game night. He exploited this trope to give Coulson "someone to fix" and gain his trust. He does seem to have been defrosted a bit, much to Garrett's annoyance.
  • Delinquents: As a young teen, he ran away from the military school his parents sent him to, stole a car, drove it a thousand miles to get back home, and then tried to burn his house down while his older brother was still inside. Agent Garrett recruited him while he was in juvenile hall awaiting trial.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Ward gets mind-controlled and raped by Lorelei. Yet he shows no signs of trauma, and he is the one apologizing at the end of the episode.
  • Driven to Suicide: After Garrett's death and his own capture, he tried to kill himself at least three times.
  • Dumb Muscle: Comes off as one at first, but then we learn a bit more about him, such as the fact that he's fluent in six different languages, and quickly caught on to the suspicious behavior of the PMP officers.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: When he gets a turn with the Asgardian Berserker Staff.
  • Escape Artist: Can slip handcuffs fairly easily.
  • Exact Words: He's skilled at saying something that a mark will interpret as "A" when he means "B".
    • In "The Only Light in The Darkness" he convinces Eric Koenig that he came to Providence "for Skye". Eric interprets this as him having feelings for her (which he does), but he's really there to capture her on Garrett's orders.
    • In "Writing on the Wall" he tells Bakshi that he can get the man "close enough to Coulson to put a bullet in his head". Bakshi thinks this means delivering Coulson to him on a silver platter, when in fact, it was the other way around. He lampshades this during a phone call with Skye.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He tries to convince Skye that, despite being a HYDRA plant and lying "to everyone about everything", his feelings for her are genuine. She doesn't buy it.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Ward seemed rather disgusted when he saw Garrett murder a Marine Corp general by using his broken rib to stab him in the neck. He's also clearly upset that he had no choice but to lock up the other officers, saying that Garrett's actions weren't necessary.
    • He also takes offense when Skye calls him a Nazi.
    • He keeps his promise to not shoot down the Bus when Skye agrees to go with him in "...Ye Who Enter Here". Too bad Whitehall pulls rank on him.
  • Evil All Along: Implied when he reveals his true colors in "Turn Turn Turn", and confirmed in "Ragtag" when we learn that Garrett recruited him for HYDRA years before he became a Double Agent inside SHIELD.
    • Word of God is that hints were dropped about his true colors all season. Of note is the scene from "Yes Me" when he fights with May while under the spell of Lorelei, ending with them both on the floor and having a gun to her head; the way the scene is edited, it implies he pulled the trigger after he was released from her control.
  • Evil Counterpart: He may or may not have had one in his older brother, but if Christian was the worse brother when they were younger, then as time went on the polarity was reversed. Both of them grew up to be lying liars (though Ward refuses to lie to Skye, either about how HYDRA works or about her father), though suffice it to say lying is part of Senator Ward's job description, whereas Grant Ward is simply manipulative; also Christian is a Senator, while Grant chose to side with HYDRA, if only because Garrett did as part of his own ultimate plans.
  • Forced to Watch: As a child, Ward's elder brother dropped their younger brother down a well. He was forced to watch their brother struggle to tread water and hear his pleas for help, but could not drop him the rope. If he did, the elder brother threatened that he would join their brother in the well. Ward says it was the first time he ever truly felt hate. He later claims that he was also forced to personally beat his younger brother.
  • Foreshadowing: Ward does a very convincing job of faking the effects of a truth serum. Late in the season, it is revealed that he has been lying about his allegiance, working for HYDRA all along.
  • Freudian Excuse: Ward's Abusive Parents and Big Brother Bully are the reason he becomes an arsonist and attempted murderer, and later a HYDRA mole within S.H.I.E.L.D. All of that happened before Garrett got hold of him and promised him protection, only to subject him to more abuse.
  • Genre Savvy:
    • When he comes in contact with the Berserker Staff and becomes short-tempered and aggressive even towards the rest of the team, he's the first one to report this to Coulson and admit he cannot be trusted in the field. Coulson remarks that admitting this makes him trustworthy. It is that same genre savviness that he uses to build trust so he can exploit it later...
    • It turns out that he lines his jacket with armor plating just in case. It comes in handy when Skye shoots him in the back. He survives even though the rounds pierce the plate.
  • Hannibal Lecture: He tries to do it to Skye, only for her to be Genre Savvy enough to first shut it down instantly, then actively play on it to make sure he has no more information than he's already given.
  • Heel Face Door Slam: Every single original member of Team Coulson (except for May, mainly because she has yet to interact with him on-screen in season two) makes it quite clear that he can never make amends for what he did and will never be considered a part of the team ever again.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Is often seen dressed casually wearing a leather jacket, which visually contrasts with his status as a One-Man Army.
  • Hero Killer: Given that it's long been established that he's a One-Man Army along the lines of Natasha Romanoff and Steve Rogers, this should be expected.
  • Hidden Depths: As shown in Mama's Boy below, he's softer than he lets on. He's also not as dumb as you may believe. A good example of this is in the episode "FZZT" when he imitates Simmons' imitation of himself. Very hidden. He's a HYDRA agent.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: He says his canine companion, Buddy, is "better than human" because he's "smart, loyal, and trustworthy." Given his family history and the people he works for, it's easy to see where he's coming from. Garrett then confirms this by ordering him to kill Buddy.
  • Improvised Weapon: Against himself when he's Driven to Suicide following his actions in the first season. He breaks the buttons on his pants and uses the sharp edges to cut his wrists. When this fails and he's given buttonless pants, he rips pages out of books and folds the paper until the corners are sharp enough to do the job. This fails too and his reading material is taken, causing him to ram his head into a wall until he's forcibly sedated. This would explain his Beard of Sorrow, since he obviously wouldn't be allowed near a metal razor.
  • It Meant Something to Me: After being outed as a HYDRA agent, he claims that his feelings for Skye were real. Instead of being touched by this, she's sickened.
  • Ironic Hell: Ward spent the entire season lying and manipulating his former comrades. Therefore, it's only fitting that he ends up getting his throat crushed by May, rendering him temporarily mute.
  • It's All About Me: When Skye calls him out on being a lying murderous traitor, he goes on an angry rant about how hard it was to keep his cover up.
    • In Season 2, he wants forgiveness from the Team for his misdeeds, yet he refuses to grant any his older brother Christian. In fact he murders him, right after he gets him to confess that he made Grant torture their younger brother.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Played with. It turns out he loved that dog Garrett ordered him to kill, and admits aloud that he does care for Fitz and Simmons. Apparently this only means he prefers trying to kill all three from a distance, although whether he killed the dog or Garrett did is left unclear. Whether he's this trope or Jerk with a Heart of Gold is also unclear.
  • Just Following Orders: When dumping Fitzsimmons into the ocean in an airtight container, he admits to them that it's not because he wants to, but because he has to.
    Fitz: You care about us!
    Ward: I do. That's a weakness.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Literally, as Garrett ordered Ward to kill his dog after being accepted to a SHIELD academy. He doesn't do it. Maybe.
    • Also done with Fitzsimmons by dropping them out of the plane midflight in an airtight container.
    • He's also on the receiving end of these from Garrett several times, including being dumped in the woods after accepting Garrett's offer of rescue and protection, and being ordered to kill the dog that was his only friend.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Betraying Bakshi to Director Coulson, and later tying up a loose end with his family from all those years ago—not just involving arson but finally exposing them for the heartless, abusive shits that they really were.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Once his true colors are revealed, he becomes one of the darkest villains on the show. Best summarized in this article, up to date as of the episode "Nothing Personal".
  • Lady and Knight:
    • After losing his "liege lord", so to speak, he decides to become Sky's Dark Knight by keeping his promise to her, slaying dragons like Bakshi, and protecting her from villains like Whitehall. However, she refuses to be his Bright Lady and shoots him in the back.
    • "Love in the time of Hydra" sees him become this for Agent 33 A.K.A Kara. He becomes a pillar of strength her for, finds someone to repair her damaged mask, helps her rediscover her identity, and manhandles Bakshi (again), and all seemingly without ulterior motive; he even rejects sexual favors from Agent 33 when she used Skye's face. Kara, for her part, is much more willing to be his Bright Lady (or Dark Lady as the case may be).
  • The Lancer:
    • Acts as Coulson's Number Two and is a straight man to his Silent Snarker. As May becomes more of this, he slips into The Big Guy role because of his interrogation methods and preference for solving the problem by punching out the person responsible.
    • Then he flipped switches and was revealed to actually be The Dragon to John Garrett.
  • Love Is a Weakness: Garrett taught him that any form of compassion or sentiment is weakness. It's part of the reason why he rejects Fitz's olive branch at a chance of redemption.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Ward was unbalanced before he met Skye but with Garrett's death the only thing he has driving him is his fixation on Skye.
  • Love Redeems: Invoked Trope. Ward is being actively helpful to Team Coulson so he can endear himself to Skye and tells her such. He goes so far as to sever any ties he had with HYDRA so he can provide them with a high ranking member to interrogate and comments that he is going to continue to do so.
  • Mad Bomber: When he escapes from custody he realizes that Bobbi is trailing him. When they end up on a bus, he reveals his duffle bag is filled with explosives that he'll set off if she still tries to follow him.
  • Mama's Boy: When Skye is questioning him on Truth Serum, she asks him if he's killed anyone. Yes, but they were all terrible people and afterward he felt really bad about it and does his grandmother know about this?
    Ward: [pout] Grammsy?
  • Manipulative Bastard: He managed to play the entire team and they never suspected that he was a HYDRA double agent.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • To "ward" means to defend, which goes hand in hand with being an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
    • It is also used as a suffix to indicate direction or bias. Which becomes important as he goes from acting in a SHIELD-ward manner to a HYDRA-ward one, inverting the first example in the process.
  • The Mole: He has been working for Garrett and HYDRA his entire career in S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • Moral Event Horizon: As with Loki and the Battle of New York in the movies, the series treats his betrayal of Team Coulson as this, beginning with the murder of Victoria Hand at the end of "Turn, Turn, Turn" and culminating in the ocean drop in "Ragtag". Coulson, Fitzsimmons, and Skye all make it perfectly clear that Ward burned every last bridge with Team Coulson with especially that last act, and when Senator Ward asks for custody of his brother in exchange for S.H.I.E.L.D. not being officially declared an enemy of the Earth, Coulson is familiar enough with the younger Ward's treason to be all too happy to comply.invoked
  • Mr. Fanservice: Provides the male eye candy in the main cast. Skye comments on his "firmness", and ogles him with some X-ray glasses in the stinger of "Eye Spy".
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: His true loyalty is to Garrett, not HYDRA itself, and was very eager to get away from HYDRA once Garrett had the cure, much to Garrett's annoyance. He gets an earful on this point in "The Beginning of the End", as he proves incapable of dealing with the situation when Garrett goes nuts. As Coulson points out, he gave all his loyalty to a narcissistic psychopath.
  • Necessarily Evil: Under truth serum, he said that he feels "very bad" about killing "terrible people." It's later revealed that S.H.I.E.L.D. has no truth serum and that he feels nothing at all over killing people, terrible or otherwise.
  • Never My Fault: Blames other people for more or less everything he's done, except when talking to Skye. Even when he says he's taking responsibility for his actions, he takes no responsibility for the factors that led him to take those actions in the first place. His brother eventually gives this a Lampshade Hanging.
    Christian Ward: Spare the not-apology. I'm a senator.
  • No Social Skills: Maria Hill gave him the lowest rating in this department, even drawing a small porcupine (which Coulson mistook for a "little poop with knives sticking out of it") on his assessment sheet. He's actually very adept at reading and manipulating people, and only pretended to have No Social Skills to appeal to Coulson's instinct to take in and rehabilitate strays.
  • Not Brainwashed: In regards to his service to Garrett. He did all that bad stuff with his own free will.
  • Not So Different: In "A Fractured House", Coulson caps off his "The Reason You Suck" Speech by saying that he may very well be just like Christian.
    Coulson: Your brother saw the same angles. Maybe you two are more alike than you think.
  • Not So Stoic: He usually drops his characteristic stoicism when not on missions, like when he opens up to Skye about his brother or when he expresses his disappointment at losing to her in Battleship. Then there's his encounter with the Beserker Staff: To say that it had an unpleasant effect on him would be an understatement. Just touching one piece of it sends him into a rage for hours, resulting in him, among other things, yelling at Skye when she tries to calm him down.
  • Nothing Personal: In "Nothing Personal", he says this about being a HYDRA agent. It really pisses Skye off.
  • Omniglot: Is said to speak six languages.
  • One-Man Army: He was trained to be "the whole solution", and is annoyed to find that half the team isn't as combat capable as he is.
  • Only a Flesh Wound:
    • In the pilot, he denies that Coulson's syringe hurt him... until its truth serum takes effect and Ward admits "Yes, that did hurt, but I mask my pain in front of beautiful women to preserve my masculinity."
    • He barely reacts to a shallow bullet wound in "0-8-4". It's not until a few hours after the firefight that anyone else even knows about it. Skye freaks out upon seeing it, but Ward doesn't see what the problem is, since it's not killing him.
  • Only Sane Man: Though he didn't know that Skye was The Mole for the Rising Tide at the time, he was the only member of the team to suggest that letting the girl who hacked into the S.H.I.E.L.D. system on the team wasn't a good idea.
    • In retrospect, as The Mole himself, he didn't like having an unknown variable thrown into the mix. Considering that she's the one person on the team he developed real feelings for, he was right.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: He justifies his kill count by saying they were "terrible people." Later subverted when he turns out to be a HYDRA mole and has no problem killing good people, either.
  • Perma Stubble: As of "Providence" as an early form of Beard of Evil.
  • Pet the Dog: Dumping Fitzsimmons into the ocean may have been intended to give them a fighting chance while making it look like to Garrett he killed them, as he notes in "Making Friends and Influencing People".
  • Playing Both Sides: Hints have been dropped that he may be the MCU's incarnation of The Taskmaster, having betrayed both SHIELD and HYDRA and now being on the run from both.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Once his cover's blown he reveals himself as a bit sexist, commenting that a lot of people lost faith in Nick Fury when Maria Hill was made his lieutenant; if Fury wanted "eye-candy", he suggests Black Widow would've done just as well. Though given the context, this could have been an attempt to distract Hill.
  • Put on a Bus: At the end of the first season, he is taken into custody by the U.S. military. Word of God has stated that they decided not to kill him off because they feel there's more left to tell with his story. Sure enough, he returned for the second season.
  • Redemption Rejection: Fitz believes that Ward still has some good in him, and tries to make him see he doesn't owe Garrett anything. Ward responds by confirming that Fitz is right about their friendship, but Ward sees that as a weakness and ejects him and Simmons from the Bus into the ocean.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: He consider himself "helpful" in Season Two by providing intel and delivering presents. Team Coulson considers him a loose cannon because he's not as reformed as he thinks. Framing your brother for the murder of your parents is not something a good son of SHIELD would do.
  • Replacement Flat Character: His straight-laced personality greatly resembles Coulson from before his development in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. As noted elsewhere, his entire persona was a construct deliberately designed to win the trust of the people on Coulson's team.
  • Red String of Fate: He believes he and Skye are bound by this. He knows he's a monster and Raina leads him to believe that Skye is destined to become one as well. When she does, they can be monsters together.
  • Self-Made Orphan: He becomes this (with the additional murder of his brother Christian) in "The Things We Bury".
  • Single-Target Sexuality: He's slept with May as part of a gambit to gain her trust and had sex with Lorelei while under her influence, but it seems as if the only person he's actually attracted to, and wants to pursue for personal reasons, is Skye.
  • Stalker with a Crush: After escaping from USA federal custody, he acts like this around Skye. He tells her he's watching her, calls her with unknown numbers and leaves little presents that involve dead bodies. Once she shoots him in the back in "What They Become", he finally gets the message that it's not mutual, as he tells Agent 33 in "Love in the Time of Hydra" when she tries to have hanky panky with him while wearing Skye's face. He says "I'm not crazy", because he'd have to be delusional to think he and Skye still have a future.
  • Stealth Expert: According to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s ratings, his espionage scores are the highest since Agent Romanoff. Which, in hindsight, was a clue to his true character.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Flashbacks reveal that Ward finally fought back against his abusive brother by running away from military school and attempting to burn the house down with him inside. His brother survived and wanted him to be tried as an adult, while his parents didn't care.
  • The Stoic: He generally has a calm, collected reaction to most situations, whether it's taking on a group of armed guards or dealing with a Tesseract weapon that will kill him and the rest of the team if it blows.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In the season one finale. Taunts Skye that she is as bad as he is and threatens to simply take what he needs from her. During the fight with May he keeps taunting her, leading to her crushing his larynx just to shut him up.
  • The Unfavorite: The only one of the Ward brothers who wasn't regularly abused by their mother was Thomas, the youngest.
  • Villainous Breakdown: He has a nasty one between seasons as the full weight of his betrayal hits him. He tried to kill himself several times before he was able to come to terms with it and offer information on HYDRA.
  • Villainous Crush: Towards Skye. Before Skye finds out about Ward's true allegiances, the feeling is mildly reciprocated. Afterwards, she's disgusted.
  • Villains Never Lie: Deceive, perhaps, but never lie. This is why Skye agrees to come along as a hostage in "Ye Who Enter Here", because he kept his word that the Bus would be spared. Whitehall would have none of it, though, and orders Agent 33 to have the Bus blown out of the sky.
  • Walking Spoiler: He's actually The Mole on Coulson's team and The Dragon to Garrett.
  • We Used to Be Friends: His role in Season Two. Instead of killing him off (as was originally planned) or otherwise writing him out of the series, the writers chose to keep his character as part of the core cast, albeit in a slightly reduced capacity (so far, he's only been in every other episode). In practice, this means having him held prisoner on Playground base itself, so that S.H.I.E.L.D. can use him for inside information on HYDRA.
    • While Coulson, May, Skye, and Fitz have all made it clear that the trope title very much applies to their feelings towards him, Ward insists that he genuinely wants to help them and regrets the harm he did to them now that Garrett is gone. So far, they're not buying it.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Though Garrett is his mentor instead of his father, the fierce devotion Ward shows him definitely gives off this vibe. In fact, his loyalty is exclusively towards Garrett and not towards either of S.H.I.E.L.D. OR HYDRA's ideologies. He says he always thought his and Garrett's association with HYDRA was only a means to find a way to heal Garrett's wounds and that they would go their own way once that objective was completed.
  • Wild Card: Ward is shaping up to become this, after escaping from federal custody. First, he captures a well-known HYDRA member for SHIELD and then, he goes back to HYDRA for unknown reasons. After the death of Daniel Whitehall in "What They Become", he and Agent 33 become complete wild cards, not even beholden to HYDRA either.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He's not above hitting women when the situation requires it, but only to the extent that is necessary. Averted with his vicious fight with May, where he attempts to use a Bench Saw on her, while taunting her about their previous sexual positions.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: In Season Two, he seems to be trying to turn himself into The Atoner, but he's an accomplished liar and also slightly unhinged, so it's hard to tell how sincere he is. He doesn't seem to get that he can't atone on his own terms, and he genuinely seems to think that Skye will eventually forgive him for killing a bunch of innocent people, betraying SHIELD, and mentally crippling Fitz if he tries really hard. Coulson eventually tells Ward that he'll never be forgiven and that the only reason they keep him around is for information.

     Edison Po 

Edison Po

"We all have to do things that make us uncomfortable If we are ever to get our toy soldiers off the shelf."

Portrayed By: Cullen Douglas

A sinister character the Centipede group breaks out of a federal prison. One of Raina's associates and part of the Centipede group, he is one of the few people permitted to contact "the Clairvoyant" and obtain information about the project's necessary later stages. Becomes Centipede's primary tactician after his escape from prison.
  • Cryptic Conversation: Raina comes to him to tell him how their latest plan was derailed, and that's the only thing the audience has context for at the time. They then go on to talk about "Phase 2" and "the Clairvoyant."
  • Dissonant Serenity: Calmly eats his meal while a fight breaks out in front of him.
  • The Dragon: The Clairvoyant only allows him to contact him and thus the orders for the organization flow through him. Then the Clairvoyant kills him and gives Raina the position.
  • Eye Scream: He was arrested after gouging a man's eyes out with a steak knife. When Raina asks about the Clairvoyant, he warns he'd have to do the same to her if he told her.
  • Lack of Empathy: He doesn't seem to particularly care that Debbie was killed. He expected her incompetence to off her sooner or later.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Gives off this vibe with his suits and taste for refined food.
  • Mouth of Sauron: "The Clairvoyant" allows no one else to speak with, see, or contact him. This is enforced on pain of Eye Scream.
  • Obviously Evil: Skye even describes him as a "walking mugshot".
  • Pet the Dog: Claims to care about Raina (at least, more than he did for Debbie) enough that he tries to dissuade her from learning too much about the Clairvoyant, since he would have to kill her, and he'd rather not do that.
  • Significant Anagram: Swap the first two letters of his first name with his whole last name. You get the word "Poisoned".
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: Maintains a quiet and calm tone of voice while he tortures Coulson.
  • The Strategist: He has background on tactics, and the S.H.I.E.L.D. team speculates this is his role in the organization.
  • We Have Ways of Making You Talk: Tries torturing Coulson to force him to succumb to his mind probing. It doesn't work. And he's killed for his failure.
  • You Have Failed Me/You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: A combination of the two after he fails at forcing Coulson to reveal his secrets and the Clairvoyant makes Raina his new Mouth of Sauron.

    Ian Quinn 

Ian Quinn

"I'm now a naturalized citizen of this fair country. Stunning beaches, beautiful tax laws, and a deep-seated hatred of outside forces telling them what to do."

Portrayed By: David Conrad

An old schoolmate of Franklin Hall, who stole his research and used it to create a multi-billion dollar company, Quinn Worldwide. Upon discovering that Hall's theory of graviton particles is correct, he becomes fixated on controlling this technology before someone else does and kidnaps Hall in order to make that dream a reality. He's also a libertarian opposed to any kind of government control or oversight over private businesses.
  • Berserk Button: Treating him like an average Corrupt Corporate Executive is a good way to make him lose his cool. Skye, who made that mistake during their first encounter, gets gut shot for it, though he reveals later that it was under orders as part of a gambit to learn how Coulson was brought back to life.
  • The Corrupter: Whether deliberately or not, he's so far been responsible for the creation of several supervillains.
    • Turning Dr. Hall into Graviton by kidnapping him for his gravity technology.
    • Turning Donnie Gill into Blizzard by hiring him and then cutting him loose when SHIELD found out.
    • Turning Mike Peterson into Deathlok, through his collaboration with Centipede and Cybertek.
  • Cradling Your Kill: Does this to Skye after shooting her, only to shoot her a second time mid-cradle.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Kidnaps people, steals ideas, and, by his own admission, has certain "exploits" he doesn't want Skye leaking through the Rising Tide. As explained below, he prefers to see himself as a visionary. When he thinks Skye is treating him like any other corrupt figure to be exposed, he briefly loses his temper.
  • Deal with the Devil: In "Seeds" he acts as the devil to both Donnie Gill and his friend Seth by hiring them to create a weather control device. As is customary, he screws them both over.
  • Diplomatic Impunity: Seeks a form of this - a place where no government has the jurisdiction to touch him.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He honestly believes he's advancing humanity, and that anyone slowing down progress (with laws or regulations) is just doing it for greed and lust for power. However, he himself is very greedy, callous towards the lives of his enemies, and is implied to perform ecologically dangerous strip-mining without thought of the consequences. For instance, he fools Donnie and Seth into creating a dangerous weather machine, and now personally knows the Clairvoyant, to which he gloats to Coulson about it. And in the next episode, he casually shoots Skye. Yeah... there's a reason Coulson threatened to kill him.
  • The Heavy: Becomes this after Po is killed and Raina is captured because he became the most prominent Centipede member still free. He is captured himself, but is later freed again by Garrett.
  • Honest Corporate Executive: He thinks he's one of these, because he advocates freedom of information and freedom of enterprise. He also saw his kidnapping of Hall as a rescue from his real captors (i.e. S.H.I.E.L.D.) so he could complete his life's work. When he assumed Skye thought of him as one more corrupt to expose, he was offended even though there was no one to look good for.
  • Hypocrite: For all his blustering about freedom and accountability, "The Asset" spends quite of time building him up as one;
    • He's perfectly happy to use his money to set up shop in Malta surrounded by a small army to make himself unaccountable to anyone (and accuses S.H.I.E.L.D. of avoiding accountability for their actions while banking on it to prevent them from overtly storming the compound).
    • He "frees" Hall from S.H.I.E.L.D. by tracking down and kidnapping him, then putting him to work deep inside said base (and gives an emotionally manipulative speech to Skye while talking about how S.H.I.E.L.D. use such methods to recruit people like her).
    • Hall himself points out that despite his insistence that information should be free for everyone's benefit, he made his fortune by keeping the flow one way. When he catches Skye poking around, he assumes she's investigating him for the Rising Tide and is outraged that she thinks he has something to hide and prepares to call security to have her taken away for poking around.
  • Ironic Hell: Quinn wants his own form of Diplomatic Impunity. He ends up in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody, where, as he wanted, no government can touch him... meaning he has no rights to protect him either.
  • Karma Houdini: Two episode plots were caused by him and his dirty money. Third time unlucky. As of "T.R.A.C.K.S.", he's imprisoned on The Bus and Team Coulson are furious that he gut shot Skye. Unfortunately, he got broken out of prison by the Clairvoyant himself, John Garrett, and escapes his downfall at the end of the season. When Team Coulson attacks Cybertek, Quinn hightails it out of there with the gravitonium and escapes justice.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em:
    • As soon as he realizes what Hall's doing, he gives the order to evacuate immediately.
    • Bails early on his investment in the ice machine in "Seeds" as soon as S.H.I.E.L.D. finds out about its existence.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: He's an evil and charismatic mining magnate, so this isn't too surprising. In some respects, he's like an evil Tony Stark (see Shadow Archetype below).
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • His in-universe crossing point is in "Seeds" when he manipulates Seth and Donnie into creating an ice machine. This causes Seth to get killed and Donnie to become a Gifted. After that, Coulson warns him that if his plane ever goes into S.H.I.E.L.D. airspace, he will be shot down at once. As in, S.H.I.E.L.D. will shoot to kill.
    • His second in-universe crossing comes when he shoots Skye. After that, an enraged May beats the tar out of him.
  • New Era Speech: Gives one to his guests when he introduces gravity control technology.
    Quinn: Imagine a world where you don't drill for oil; it rises to meet you.
  • Odd Couple: His libertarian views would seem to put him at odds with HYDRA, but given the many Hypocrite examples above, and the fact that he's meant to be a Strawman Political it's not as odd as it appears.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In "Seeds", he decides to back out of his deal with Donnie and Seth once they realize that S.H.I.E.L.D. has uncovered their plan.
    • In "Beginning of the End", he flees with his gravitonium when Team Coulson attacks the Cybertek facility (and also because Garrett has lost it).
  • Shadow Archetype: He's basically Tony Stark with more Jerkassery, less genius, and zero morals. He's also one for Skye, or at least Skye as she was at the very beginning of the series.
  • The Sociopath: Flat out stated as such in "The Only Light in the Darkness", where he is described as the least dangerous one of these locked in The Fridge.
  • Strawman Political: Of anarcho-capitalists and libertarians. He is notably angry when he finds out he has been working for the explicitly Fascist HYDRA all along, but quickly comes around when they offer him his money, reputation and Gravitonium back. Ultimately he is likely just an opportunistic reprobate out mainly for himself.
  • The Team Benefactor: In "The Bridge", Coulson's team tries to pinpoint where Centipede's financing comes from. When the tremendously wealthy Quinn is revealed to be part of the group, it's implied that he is the source.
  • Too Clever by Half: He's smarter than your average TV villain and Hall manipulates him with his desire to "look smart".
  • Villain with Good Publicity: His image is so squeaky clean that even Skye didn't know that he wasn't the wonderful philanthropist he claimed to be. S.H.I.E.L.D. knew better. He was arrested by S.H.I.E.L.D., but with their collapse he's able to regain his reputation.
  • Visionary Villain: Sees himself as a crusader, spearheading a movement against oppressive government control. In practice, he comes off more as a Corrupt Corporate Executive, though some of his rhetoric was sincere.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Quinn doesn't realize that Dr. Hall deliberately allowed himself to kidnapped, so he could sabotage the graviton machine that Quinn hired him to improve.
  • We Can Rule Together: Tries this with Skye when they first meet to recruit her from S.H.E.I.L.D.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: He hasn't been seen or even mentioned since he high-tailed it after Cybertek.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The Clairvoyant cuts him loose after he's served his purpose in revealing how Coulson was brought back to life, leaving him at the mercy of some very angry agents. Even better, it turns out the person telling him this was the Clairvoyant himself. But he's broken out when HYDRA raids the Fridge, and Garrett even gives him the gravitonium Coulson's team took from his facility in their first meeting.

     Akela Amador 

Akela Amador

"Why are you doing this? Why are you helping me? Where's the "I told you so"?"

Portrayed By: Pascale Armand

A former S.H.I.E.L.D agent who disappeared for years and was presumed dead. Shows up and starts stealing diamonds, which leads Coulson to her.
  • Alliterative Name: Akela Amador.
  • Badass: Coulson puts her skill on par with Melinda's.
  • Combat Pragmatist: When it becomes clear that Melinda is the superior hand-to-hand combatant, Akela knocks out the lights, switches to her x-ray vision, then tries to shoot her.
  • Dark Action Girl: An assassin, thief, misc. dirty worker for an unknown organization. Though the "Dark" part was against her will.
  • Explosive Leash: Her x-ray eye can be detonated if she disobeys orders.
  • Ineffectual Loner: Coulson states that she never trusted her fellow agents and always preferred working alone. This is why the op went bad, her fellows died, and she was captured.
  • It's All My Fault: She blames herself for the op going bad seven years ago and thus the death of the people she worked with.
  • A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: Ultimately subverted; Ward's belief that she sold out her fellow agents turns out to be false (the op just went bad) and she isn't willingly working for her episode's villain. Given that Ward is an actual agent working for the episode's ultimate villain (the Clairvoyant), it's highly likely he wanted to get rid of a loose thread while breaking down SHIELD's loyal members.
  • The Stoic: Undergoes surgery on her cybernetic eye while awake without a single sign of worry.
  • Trapped In Villainy: Akela initially tried to ignore her handler's orders; he responded with remote electric torture. And then there's the kill switch.
  • Whatever Happened To The Mouse: She is not seen in Season One after her first episode, not even when Garrett and Ward release every prisoner from The Fridge.
  • X-Ray Vision: Thanks to a cybernetic eye. When closed, it switches over from normal vision.



Portrayed By: Shannon Lucio

A doctor rescued by Mike from an exploding building.

     Brian Hayward 

Brian Hayward

Portrayed By: Rick Malambri

One of the Centipede supersoldiers, whom the team finds through his sister.

     The Englishman 

The Englishman

Portrayed By: Dominic Burgess

Akela's handler. She knows nothing about him other than what little she has been able to glean from his typing patterns.
  • Character Death: As soon as he looks at Coulson's S.H.I.E.L.D. badge, his Explosive Leash eye implant activates, killing him.
  • MI6: It's revealed he's one of their agents, no doubt to establish how dangerous the Clairvoyant is, given that they can consistently subjugate members of agencies full of impressive agents.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Just like Akela, he was being monitored and controlled through an eye implant by another unidentified party. A later episode shows that he's being controlled by the Clairvoyant. In other words, he was the man behind Akela but there was another man behind him.
  • No Name Given: He's only ever called "The Englishman" and we never learn his name during the episode.
  • Separated by a Common Language: Akela calls him "The Englishman" because his messages use British English instead of American English. For instance, he'll write "lift" instead of "elevator".
  • Trapped In Villainy: Like Akela.

     Agent Kaminsky 

Agent Kaminsky

Portrayed By: Jeffrey Muller

An agent working for the Clairvoyant of his own free will.
  • Black Shirt: He's pretty enthusiastically on board with this whole taking-over-the-world thing. Maybe a little too much.
    Kaminsky: [doing salute] HAIL HYDRA!
    The Clairvoyant: Alright, alright. Put your arms down, Kaminsky, you look like a West Texas cheerleader at a pep rally.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: He's taken out by May almost immediately even though he's armed with the Berserker Staff.
  • Mook Lieutenant: He's the guy the Clairvoyant leaves in charge of ambushing Coulson's team at the HYDRA base under the Havana barber shop.
  • Name's the Same: In-Universe: There was a "Kaminsky, Henry" trying to enlist in the military. He was at the same recruiting office as Steve Rogers in Captain America: The First Avenger. Mix in a little One Steve Limit and some saddening possibilities emerge.