While Agent Victoria Hand (Saffron Burrows) might have fooled Coulson, the truth is that HYDRA is infiltrating S.H.I.E.L.D.
This means that a number of Hydra sleeper agents are infiltrating Coulson's team and they're all tying into Captain America: The Winter Soldier. In this episode, we discover that one of these sleeper agents is actually the Clairvoyant.
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His clairvoyant ability allows him to see what lies ahead of him, which is especially useful when dealing with enemies who are trying to kill him. This trait also helps him to identify Inhumans, which he identifies by using his ability to sense energy fields.
He also has a keen eye for detail, which comes in handy when dealing with HYDRA agents who have involuntarily time-jumped into the present. He is able to recognize and disarm them before they can harm Coulson or the rest of the team.
In a previous episode, he helped the team to rescue Fitz and Simmons from the sea. However, he was severely injured during this incident, and he was in danger of dying.
When Grant returned with a hard drive full of Coulson's research and the Bus, he revealed that Cybertek had only given him a couple of months to live. He was in grave condition, so Ward took him on board the plane to deal with him. But he was distracted by Fitz, who triggered an EMP device disguised as a toy buzzer, shorting out his robotics and worsening his condition.
Before this episode, we didn't know who the clairvoyant was, but now we do. And this is all thanks to the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
During this film, Hydra infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. to begin a program called Project Centipede. This project used a “clairvoyant” identity to control the group from behind the scenes.
It was eventually discovered that a few of these Hydra agents had infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Hub, where the clairvoyant was based, and had taken it over. This was how they came to be in charge of the Hub, and the clairvoyant was able to control Hydra from within.
Agent Triplett is a loyal and dedicated member of the S.H.I.E.L.D. team, who comes across as a true friend to Coulson. He takes a keen interest in all the missions they are assigned to and helps Coulson rebuild S.H.I.E.L.D.
He is known to have a heart for Skye and is very supportive of her, particularly when she loses her freelance status after she is arrested. He also has a deep interest in tracking down possible Clairvoyants, helping to lead the raid on the abandoned racetrack that results in death of Deathlok and the capture of Thomas Nash.
Triplett also works closely with Coulson’s team during their searches for the Kree City, working with Leo Fitz on creating gear for S.H.I.E.L.D., and he is an expert in martial arts, defending Providence from Glenn Talbot’s forces before leaving to retrieve Skye from Grant Ward. He is a strong and accurate marksman, being able to defeat Cybertek security operatives in the Battle at Cybertek.
During the HYDRA uprising in S.H.I.E.L.D., Triplett helped Jemma Simmons and Bobbi Morse escape HYDRA by stealing a Quinjet for S.H.I.E.L.D. He was a key player in the search for Grant Ward and helped to provide a distraction at the Cybertek Manufacturing Facility before Phil Coulson rescued him and Melinda May.
He also was a key part of the team’s plan to retake Grant Ward from Cybertek, ambushing one of the security guards and seizing a Humvee for the team to use to escape.
In addition to his regular missions, Triplett also teamed up with Coulson on the GH325 mission. He helped to create the tracer bullets that destroyed Deathlok’s computer, he also used a Zip-Line gun to create a path for Melinda May and Phil Coulson to escape from Cybertek Corporate Headquarters.
He is also a clairvoyant and can decipher a coded message that is meant to instigate an uprising within SHIELD. He is a good leader, assisting Skye in her decipherment of the message and helping to encrypt it, and he also allows Fitz, Ward and Garrett to capture Hand. He has a great rapport with Skye, and is an excellent partner for Coulson’s team, especially since he helps to keep them on their toes by constantly questioning them about their activities.
Victoria Hand was originally an accountant in S.H.I.E.L.D., but became discontent with Nick Fury’s management of the organization. Her views led her to be a vocal critic of Fury’s policy, which eventually led to her being relocated and leaving S.H.I.E.L.D. She was later promoted to the position of Deputy Director of H.A.M.M.E.R. by Norman Osborn on the basis of her strong convictions.
When Hand was called to the Bus by Phil Coulson, she joined Coulson and John Garrett, as well as Antoine Triplett and Jasper Sitwell on the mission to take down the Clairvoyant. She expressed her doubts about the Clairvoyant’s true psychic abilities to no avail. She then returned to the Hub to run back-end support for the mission.
During her time with Shield, Hand quickly established herself as a hard-nosed Agent, which made her a natural leader. She also has a brilliant organisational mind, which helps her keep track of the team’s work and missions. She also has a working knowledge of hand-to-hand combat and all of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s issue weapons.
She was also quite skilled at computer usage and public speaking, which is helpful when she gets involved in the events of the series. She was also very good at arguing her case to fellow agents.
Her biggest challenge was probably trying to convince her teammates that Coulson was a member of HYDRA, and her arguments are supported by the fact that he hid vital information from S.H.I.E.L.D. and disobeyed multiple direct orders.
After a brief standoff, Hand finally managed to convince Simmons and Triplett to join her as HYDRA agents, by pretending to be them and demanding they pledge their full loyalty or face the same fate as Nick Fury. They passed her test, but they still had to agree to be captured by HYDRA agents if they opened fire on Hand’s men.
As a result, the team is trapped in a loop of bad events that they can’t escape. The team is now dealing with Hydra’s rise from within the ranks of S.H.I.E.L.D., and their friendship will be tested as a result. It’s a battle the entire team will need to get through.
In the wake of The Winter Soldier, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D has become a fittingly twisty-turny show, leading us on a roller coaster of intrigue, betrayal, and subterfuge. It’s not just Coulson’s mysterious phone calls or John Garrett’s Clairvoyant identity that have caught our attention — the biggest gut punch so far has come from an unlikely source: Ward, the clairvoyant agent of shield
Casual viewers might find Grant Ward to be a rather cliche and stock character, but the series reveals some surprising depths to him that make the audience care for him. This is especially true when he kills his family to avenge a childhood of violence.
When he joins the team, he takes an instant dislike to Skye — who was their only lead in finding Mike Peterson, a man exhibiting superhuman abilities. Despite this, Ward agrees to be her “Supervising Officer” and oversee her training and education, a role that allows him to learn more about Skye.
He later finds himself in the middle of a battle with pagans who are seeking the location of the third piece of an ancient Asgardian staff. During the fight, he touches one of the pieces and relives his childhood memories.
While Ward was reliving the traumatic event, his body became inflamed and he started to bleed copiously. He also began to become irritable and aggressive.
After this, he killed his brother Christian, whom he beat up frequently throughout his childhood. This is just the beginning of Ward’s governing dynamic, which will drive him to violence in order to avenge his past.
As the season progresses, Ward’s story continues to be told in small, tantalizing bits, making his eventual return to Hydra even more satisfying. The climax of this arc, however, leaves us with the biggest question of all: Is Ward a HYDRA mole?
It’s a difficult question to answer, and we can only speculate. But if he is, it’s one that will make his death in mid-Season 3 that much more jarring. Nevertheless, the resulting saga is a compelling watch, and will give fans plenty of opportunity to appreciate this understated yet complex villain.