Agents of SHIELD new castThe finale of Agents of SHIELD’s second season was called “S.O.S.” but it could have been called “What I Did For Love.”



That was apparent when Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) looked at the picture of Kara (Maya Strojan), the former SHIELD spy who loved him. Because of heartbreak that was actually his fault, he has vowed revenge against SHIELD, Coulson and Agent May for what happened. He’ll do it by rebuilding HYDRA.

As May told Lance Hunter (Nick Blood) when they discussed  the disappearance of Agent Bobbi Morse (Adrianne Palicki), and why his feelings for Morse change every second, “Love’s weird that way.” He prefers to call it a “dance of desire, discomfort and unreliable feelings.” That applies to more people than him and Morse.

It can be argued that Jiaying’s attempt to set off a war against SHIELD, and the outside world, was done out of love. SHIELD SOS EShe told Gonzales in “Scars” that she won’t let SHIELD put her people on a list to be put under surveillance, or allow them to experiment on them, especially Skye. Sadly, that included killing him, and framing him for shooting her. She may call it love, but it may have also been paranoia or loss of faith. That led to unreliable feelings, too.

Her husband, Cal (Kyle MacLachlan), in his near-Hulk state, had a tough time finally realizing what Jiaying had become. He said he did her bidding, including distracting SHIELD while she set off the battle, all to reunite their family. Slowly, though, he revealed the truth about her:  “I reassembled her, piece by piece, sewed her back up. She was never the same.” He also revealed she had to absorb the life force of someone every few decades to stay alive and young, and she hated to do it. But, after Whitehall, it took a village to keep her alive, and he had to sacrifice it to her. She was “death,” not Skye. “She had a good heart, Phil,” Cal said “she did. It was just torn out.” That’s what made his final act, killing Jiaying before she used terrigen crystals to create more Inhumans, and kill regular humans, all the SHIELD Scars Emore tragic. It was still an act of love, to give his wife peace and his daughter safety.

Then there’s the unlikely romance between Grant Ward and Kara (the former Agent 33), and how that led to them kidnapping Agent Morse. Kara wanted revenge because she claimed Morse deliberately allowed Kara to be brainwashed by HYDRA while Morse was Security Head. Morse said it was a tough call, but it had to be done. She also claimed Ward is molding Kara as Bakshi did. She disagrees, saying that Ward confessed all his sins to her. “He remade himself. That’s why I love him,” Kara says, “and why no matter what he does, I will always stand with Ward.” This isn’t surprising, since she tried to convince the crew to see Ward the way she does.
Maybe Kara’s faith in Ward could have turned him around, but we’ll never know because he accidentally killed her, thinking she was May. A broken heart, and a belief that what he did was SHIELD’s fault, convinced him to embrace the dark side and bring back HYDRA.

Love also influenced Morse. She was tied to a chair by Ward, planning that if Lance did find her, he’d get killed by a SHIELD Ward and Kararifle when he opened the door. She made sure the bullet hit her, not him. Lance was upset by what happened, and looked over her as she healed,. Then she said to him “I can’t do this anymore.” What did she mean? It was supposed to lead to a spinoff for her and Lance until that was called off. Still, their future together is still uncertain, and it may be up to Lance to convince her otherwise. Besides, she still has to heal.

In a smaller way, love also influenced May. The crisis between SHIELD and the Inhumans inspired her to call her ex, Daniel Garner (Blair Underwood), and admit she should have told him about what happened in Bahrain. That also convinced her to take some time off to spend with Daniel.

Love may be weird, as May says, but it can influence the decisions of SHIELD agents, an ageless leader who lost her heart and a budding villain.

It may continue next season. Skye will be in charge of looking after enhanced people including Lincoln Campbell, who might be a possible love interest next season. There’s also Fitz and Simmons finally considering a date. Too bad that strange Kree rock swallowed her.

New episodes of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. return this Fall on ABC.