Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode 15 review: Yes Men

Review James Hunt 13 Mar 2014 - 07:21

Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. comes close to a good episode, but no cigar. Here's James' review of Yes Men...

This review contains spoilers.

1.15 Yes Men

Last week's episode of Agents of SHIELD was a return to form for the show. By which I mean it was entirely composed of the main cast running around, virtually at random, disregarding the SHIELD chain of command and then cramming the only interesting developments into the last five minutes. (And just to get it out of the way, that blue thing in the tube? That was a Kree. As in, "member of the alien race appearing this year's Guardians of the Galaxy").

Luckily for us, things were mostly better this week, save for one rather large problem which I'll save until I've got the positive stuff out of the way.

It certainly helped this episode that it guest-starred Jaimie Alexander as Sif: a great actress playing a great character who was already established in the Marvel canon. And on top of that, it also introduced Lorelai, a fairly prominent character from the comics who was making her debut in the MCU. This, frankly, is the sort of thing I'd hoped to see in Agents of SHIELD doing from day one: expanding the MCU and re-using secondary characters from the films. If they could follow up on Samuel Sterns from Incredible Hulk and/or use an LMD at some point, my wish list would be fully ticked off.

That said, one of the problems with having someone like Jaimie Alexander guest for an episode is that it shows up how one-note and uninteresting the rest of the cast is. In particular, Ward and May's interactions (which were supposed to form the main emotional investment in this episode) fell completely flat. It's hard to tell whether the actors are buttoning it up too tight in an attempt to appear repressed, or so wooden there's no room to emote, but more than anything they just seemed bored by one another. Sif putting aside her personal anger to do her duty induced far more feels than anything Ward and May have ever done.

And if you needed any more convincing that the main cast is a problem, Lorelai and Sif's scenes together positively sparked, even though this was the first time they'd ever met. I particularly appreciated the development of Sif's backstory and the fact that she had more to do in this episode than she did in the entirety of Thor: The Dark World. If there's any way to get her and Lorelai back without making it seem gratuitous (and this episode made it seem natural that one would follow the other) then I'm all for that.

Now, with all that praise in mind, I did suggest that there was a big problem with this episode, and I'm going to make a very serious point here, so look away if you can't deal with those. One of the things the writers saw fit to include in this episode was a scene where Lorelai has sex with a mentally incapacitated Agent Ward. Or, to put it in blunter terms, Lorelai rapes Agent Ward. Because what else do you call it when a person takes sexual advantage of someone who is unable to willingly consent due to a diminished decision-making capacity? The fact that he's affected by a "spell" rather than something real doesn't really matter, because fantasy and sci-fi are all about metaphor. In this case, Lorelai's spell was essentially a metaphor for drugs or hypnosis or brainwashing. None of which it's acceptable to use to help you have sex with someone, just so we're clear on that.

Unfortunately, because this scene was presented as a ripped dude being lucky enough to have sex with a hot dudette, it's completely glossed over rather than treated as the physical and psychological violation that it quite plainly was. Mentally flip the character genders around and it'd be easy to see that this scene is not okay. Mentally change Lorelai to something other than a prime physical representation of female youth and beauty and it'd be similarly easy to see that this scene is not okay. It therefore follows that it's not okay the way it did happen.

In fairness, maybe they're going to follow up on this in future episodes, in which case I apologise for jumping the gun. But they certainly didn't follow up on it in this episode, and they really should have. Ward should be traumatised, or at the very least he should be able to explain why he isn't. As it is, he was raped and no-one else seems worried, or even interested, which is a fairly toxic message to put out, however unintentionally.

Even if you remove this pretty big misstep from the story, the episode still starts to flail once the Sif/Lorelai plot is brought to its conclusion. Rather than accept that The Mystery of Skye isn't actually interesting anyone, the end of this episode shows Coulson redouble himself towards her yawn-inducing cause. And if that wasn't bad enough, it then sets up more tensions within the group as May is revealed as a mole. I say again: when your main cast is the least interesting thing about the show, my advice would be to find ways of spending less time with them, not more. Case in point: was anyone who watched last week's episode thinking "Hmm, I really hope Skye comes out of her coma." Because I know I wasn't.

So there we have it. Even when Agents of SHIELD is giving us exactly the sort of thing its critics have been crying out for, it can't help sabotaging itself. So close, and yet…

Read James' review of episode 13, TRACKS, here.

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Not the worst episode by far, but with MAoS that's not saying much.

I am kind of hoping that the Clairvoyant is Samuel Sterns, his gamma enhanced intellect enabling him to gain access to information and predict outcomes with incredible accuracy.

As for the episode, I enjoyed it, mostly for Sif, her interactions with both the team and Lorelai were great. I like the "Odin" wants Lorelai brought back alive, thought that was a nice, subtle nod to the end of Thor: The Dark World.

As for Ward being taken advantage of. At a guess he has compartmentalised it thanks to his training, perhaps putting it into the same box as being tortured by an enemy or the mindset required to execute a honeytrap operation (a different type of situation but still involving a type of forced seduction).

What I can't believe is how the show is going away for another two weeks. Honestly I don't get American scheduling, how can you hope to maintain an audience if you only show two episodes at a time, at this point I'm almost to the point of supporting Channel 4's decision to wait until this Friday to continue showing it (and that's something I never thought I would say).

I thought the alien was Kree, although Sif named a number of other possibilities. Kree would be the most widely known blue skinned humanoid race though.

As for the Ward rape thing..you're over-thinking it. It was established that Lorelai didn't take away men's free will. There's nothing diminished about their decision making capacity, except they can't say no to her. As far as Ward will be concerned he made a conscious decision to say yes, and that is what he will remember. If he can remember what happened when he was "enslaved"..the show was a little unclear on that point. It was also rather unclear as to who initiated the activity.

"There's nothing diminished about their decision making capacity, except they can't say no to her"

But...that's rape. When you can't say "no", it's rape. If you can't say "no", there can be no consent. YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE OPTION OF REFUSING FOR CONSENT TO HAVE MEANING. If you can't say "no", then you can't choose to say "yes", and that's RAPE.

I mean, I can't believe I'm explaining this - your own words are defining "rape" and you apparently can't see it.

I am thoroughly hoping that MAoS S1 will go into the books as the missunderstood season (per your excellent article on Angel here the other day).

As it stands, the show tries too desperately to hold on to both the monster-of-the-week idea (even if they are from asgard) and on overarching plot involving the larger concepts in the MCU.
What doesn't help is that the setpieces are all over the place, making it hard to relate to a certain place. Even the plane, the main setpiece, has been demolished in the first few episodes. This is telling me, it's not worth getting attached to.

I expect this show to sizzle for the rest of the season and then rework the premise (perhaps following the events of Cap Am or Avengers2) to be a different show altogether. Hopefully this will be allowed by ABC.

Oh, I totally agree that Ward might be able to compartmentalise thanks to his training, but what bothers me is that the writers didn't see fit to explain or address the issue on any level. "Oh yeah, he was raped but it didn't bother him at all" is not a helpful or sympathetic message to send to the thousands of people watching this program who will have had similar experiences, and it's especially toxic in the context of people watching who might already think that having sex with someone who can't consent is okay, because it does nothing to dispell the notion.

Gillian already made the necessary point, but just to come at the other part of your argument, I honestly don't see how her saying "I'm going to give you a reward..." and then having sex with him could, in any way, be seen as ambiguity about who initiated the activity. Would he have done it if he wasn't under her thrall? Well, no. So I don't think it's really defensible even on that level.

Ward is a single guy & this is still based in a comic book reality. It is techically ra however a guy cannot "partake" unless sexually excited. That is the difference. It would be worse if if he was in a commited relationship as that would have further consequences. Great episode and I thought it made Sif look like a legend!

2 words : hawkeye experiment … reverse the gender and ask if it is still OK … i have not seen much complaining about the clothing of the female characters …

Just becuase a bloke can't get an erection unless stimulated doesn't mean he can't be raped. People that've been raped often report being physically aroused, or even having reached orgasm; Let's put it this way. Chocolate cake tastes really nice. You'd probably still find that it tasted nice, even if someone was forcing you to eat it at gunpoint. You'd still produce saliva at the smell of it baking, and more so when you chewed it, and your oesphagus would still perform peristalsis to take it down to the stomach. It wouldn't mean that you were enjoying it.

How would it be worse if he was in a relationship? It's almost like you can't understand that Ward might just not have wanted sex with Lorelei; It's not only important if it also affects his partner.

well i think you're just looking for reasons to be angry at the show because it doesn't live up to *your* expectations. it's clear from your reviews you go into each episode expecting it to be poor and a let down.

ward was not raped. by saying he was raped you diminish real rape, by blurring the lines between forced non-consensual sex and an amorous encounter with someone when under the influence of mind-altering substances (ie, high, not forcibly unconcious ala ghb). rape is violent and physically forced, you usually know you're being raped at the time. if you consent and enjoy it at the moment of actual coitus, then i don't think it is rape.

both parties know when a rape is taking place. this was something else, sexual assault perhaps but not rape.

spikey subject i realise. bring it on :)

To be fair, he might have initiated if he wasn't under her spell. (but that's not the point, I know).

The problem here is the clear double-standard. Generally, dudes just don't mind (the idea of) being forced to have sex with hot chicks. It's why rape and sexual harassment is so difficult for many male humans to comprehend or empathize with.

"It's almost like you can't understand that Ward might just not have wanted sex with Lorelei"

Almost? It's exactly like that. :) As I stated above, this is an issue of empathy (and maturity).

Ward was not "high". He was described as having no free will. Or, to put it another way, he was unable to give consent. You say yourself: "If you consent and enjoy it..." but Ward could not consent. And if someone is unable to give their consent and you have sex with them, you have raped them. This is not just my personal definition, this is the definition understood by law across the civilised world.

And forget about the TV show for a moment, because I'm going to be very serious now: You need to seriously reconsider your view on what is or isn't rape. Statements like "rape is violent and physically forced" and "both parties know when a rape is taking place" aren't just incorrect, they're myths that let rapists get away with their crimes.

Rape is sex without consent. There are no other mitigating factors. You can't say "I didn't think I was raping her, therefore I wasn't" or "I didn't hurt her so it wasn't rape." or "she didn't physically resist, so she must have wanted it." If you fail to get consent, it is rape. The only person here who is diminishing "real" rape is you, by trying to create loopholes that would allow rapists to downgrade their crimes. Please, give some serious thought to your opinions.

but i didn't say, or imply, any of those things. where you and i differ is on the definition of consent not the definition of rape. in my opinion, if you know you are engaging in sex and are consciously aware of the act and you consent at the time, then it isn't rape.

as for ward, he didn't lose his rational mind - lorelei enchanted men to view her as sacred but didn't make them automatons. ward was well aware of what he was doing when he slept with her, at the time he simply didn't care about any ramifications.

he wasn't raped.

If someone holds a knife to your throat and threatens to kill you if you don't do what they say. By following orders and not fighting back means according to you that technically it wasn't rape because it wasn't 'violent or forceful'.

I'm lucky to be alive and not dead, it was my compliance that unsettled the attacker into thinking I was a doormat when I'm not.

I can't believe that anyone can defend rape, if someone can't consent it is rape. I think you need to educate yourself further on this topic because it's downright insulting what is in your posts.

I now know why DoG has put up a notice about posting in threads.

The rape thing is a bit morally ambiguous, but to be honest, its not as big an elephant in the room as the two guys the team shot and killed last week. Weren't they just fellow Shield agents doing their job?

The show is getting better, but I wish they would lay off the shippy stuff a bit. All this May likes Ward, Ward likes Simmons, Skye likes Ward, Simmons likes Fitz... stuff is much too soap opera for a show like this

i haven't defended rape, i have merely disagreed with the concept that ward was raped. what happened to you was terrible, i'm glad you managed to survive the ordeal. i never disputed the need for there to be consent, i think you should go back and re-read what i said.

my point, which i'm clearly making badly, is that i don't think this scenario involving ward and lorelei was in any was comparable to your experience. i do not believe ward was raped.

to clarify, non-consexual sex is of course rape. my whole point regarding consent is that if you enjoy the experience at the time, and knew what you were doing (even if you were under the influence of drink/drugs/magic) then it isn't rape. btw, i am using these examples as they relate to this fantasy story we are discussing, not as some made-up fanciful notion i can use to justify rape. clearly this is not a typical set of circumstances.

clearly the subject makes people passionate, but as a gay liberal left wing man, i take umbrage at being accused of defending rape simply because i don't accept that a TV character was raped in a science-fiction drama.

ward knew he was about to have sex. he knew who it was with, he was not afraid for his life. he chose to have sex with her under no duress. the fact he was high on magic is irrelevant if it didn't impede his faculties in chosing where to place his penis. he consented. ergo, no rape.

But Ward was not in a situation where his judgement was simply impaired. He was in a situation where he had no judgement, no control, and no power to refuse. If nothing else, he did not choose to be put under that spell, he was forcibly intoxicated.

So now consider this scenario: Someone abducts you off the street. Injects you with a drug against your will. Has sex with you while you're hallucinating. You don't care at the time because you're strung out. Only when the drug wears off does the extent of the violation become apparent to you. This person has still raped you. Now replace the drugs with a sci-fi macguffin. Still rape.

At the very least, if you are only arguing semantics, do you concede that what was portrayed was both problematic and poorly dealt with? If so, my underlying criticisms of the writing stand.

i agree there are questionable ethics where the story is concerned, and i concede there is an element of subterfuge involved in the circumstances leading up to the sex.

as for your example, i concur that that would be a rape. perhaps my understanding of ward's state of mind is different to yours - for me, a more accurate example, using your previous scenario, based on my perception of ward's predicament is thus: someone i find physically attractive, but whom i have no desire to have sex with, gives me drugs which make me shed my inhibitions. i am aware i am high, but not strung out, i know the drugs are making me feel this pleasant buzz but damn he's hot. due the drugs my id is making all my decisions. he wants to have sex with me, i shouldn't but now i'm high (id-boy, to quote willow rosenberg) i no longer care about the repercussions. i'm horny, i have sex anyway. afterwards, i feel guilty perhaps and maybe ashamed, but i don't think i was raped.

the more i type, the more i feel like i'm digging a deep hole in which to bury myself. rape is terrible, but i felt like ward had enough wherewithall to have consented in this situation. i think i just find it complicated to use that word to describe an experience both parties seemed to enjoy. i accept that my opinion may be incorrect.

At the end of the show, it looked like Ward WAS going to deal with it with May until she did her usual "shut up and ignore it" routine. So I think they will definitely be coming back to this plotpoint sometime.

Not to mention the fact ward did pull the trigger point-blank on May, lucky for him the gun was empty, eh? :)

Ever notice though with ward...whether he's 100% emotionally overwhelmed in love (the spell), fighting tensions with May, angry to the extreme (bezerker staff episode), or just doing his job, he's almost exactly the same guy? I mean, I know he's a hardened trained elite, but damn, can't the actor put SOME nuance into the role at least? This episode would have been perfect, he's basically lovestruck to an absurd degree due to a magical enchantment...great time for the actor to do something a LITTLE different you think, with a built-in character excuse???

I may be a one man Island here with this opinion but quite frankly for a TV show .......... I love it, didn't think I would at first but I think its great, sometimes a tad cheesy but overall the characters are all entertaining in their own way and they seem like the outcast family battling against the tide of bigger, grander players which gives them a family bond different to the big shots in Avengers cause lets face it, those guys can look after themselves.

People are being overly critical imo and are expecting way too much, its a sitcom not a Million dollar blockbuster.

I'm hoping the name is literal, and it is Clair Voyant. Nice way to introduce magic into the universe.

maturity mmm yes in a comic book based show ... It's ok they will cancel it anyway thanks to know it all keyboard warriors that are never satisfied.

I was referring to your maturity level, not the show's. But it takes effort to rise above base emotional self-involvement, so don't feel too bad: you're not alone! Lots of people are content to just feel their own feelings and think their own thoughts without worrying about what anyone else might feel or think.

Ah please dude I think you may have some issues here yourself getting so wound up about whether or not a hunky agent in a TV show was technically "raped" by an attractive woman he would have slept with ANYWAY given half the chance.... Expecting a live action cartoon to deal with issues like this is just over the top (much like your obsessive need to prove that YOU are right).
The episode was a really good one and to have Lady Sif guest star is incredible as were the effects & continuity. But I mean dang lets get upset that you know, the bedroom that was supposed to be in Caesars Palace was too small or that the view from the window was incorrect somehow.....
Telling people that they don't understand what your saying so they are at fault and inferior kind of says a lot about you my darling but kisses and hugs all the same.
Agents of SHIELD is thankfully getting better each week and I really hope it is renewed!

As iffy as it maybe considering it's about "agents" I actually think that the team lacks that cool factor a superhero has - as much as I like the show when it's good.
I see Fitz-Simmons as almost irreplaceable as they have both done so well - I worried they would be annoying but they are the heart of the show.

Ward and May are too similar and Coulson is kinda a dud even though I do like him, I just feel a hero even if it was like a Chewbacca character that was not always in your face saving the day is what would link this nicely with the overall continuity.

Buffy was cool & each member was soo important but you still had Angel etc whereas at the moment we have two Xanders in Fitz-Simmons and a Giles in Coulson :-)

I stopped watching the show sometime around the Graviton episode, but judging from what I've read, I haven't missed much.
As to the question of rape: sex without free will is rape. Sex without free consent is rape. Victims can experience pleasure during the rape, that does not mitigate the crime. And unless you get your gender politics from The Benny Hill Show, men being raped by women is as execrable as the reverse. I'm appalled if not surprised that this has to be clarified in 2014.
And I'm appalled if not surprised that the apologists for the show and its writers fall back on the "it's just a comic book show" excuse. Maybe if it was a comic book from the 50s...

I think really there is an issue here with what is real & what is fantasy.
For most of us and probably the writer being coerced into sex with an attractive lady does not equate to a woman or man being held down against their will and have something DONE to them.
Rape is appalling but here in this situation it was a naughty way of getting a few fanboys rocks off.

Akitaman is right - at the end of the day this is based on comic books that were originally from the 1950's etc as above. You internet heads get way too wrapped up in technicalities even if it means drawing on actual rape accounts to prove a point.

This didn't happen and could not happen - it is safe for this to stay as a whoopsie.

Not everyone is going to agree but as stated elsewhere these were pretty people that would have likely boinked anyway - duuuh.

The issue is not whether or not this was real or whether it would happen in real life. If the woman had used a gun or drugs instead of a spell, would that have crossed the line for you?

And the issue is not whether or not they're 'pretty people'. If the woman was, by your standards unattractive, would that have crossed the line for you? If the genders were reversed and the victim was a woman, would you have told her, "Hell, you should have expected it, looking the way you do"?

And the issue is not whether or not the 'pretty people' would have 'boinked' anyway. Why didn't they? Why didn't the writer simply have her seduce him normally, without the use of a spell that took away his free will as effectively as a roofie or a knife to the throat? Because the writer probably did get off on it, like a few people would.

I get that this situation may be a blurred line for some, but the line is still there. I get that some people think that rape can only happen by mask-wearing, knife-wielding thugs who appear from the shadows, but the law, and most right-minded people, see it as something more than a 'whoopsie'.

This show, and the movies, may be based on old comic books, but the makers of the show are attempting to present a world as close to our own as possible, and as real. And the fact that many 'internet heads' like me (and you too, presumably, otherwise why are you here?) point out the wrongness of this scene shows the severe flaws in the writing. it could have been explored, as similar themes in 'non-real' shows such as Star Trek: The Next Generation have done. But the writers of this show seem blissfully unaware of this potential.

rubbish, this was a deception at best he was tricked into bed.
People say they are doctors or firemen in a club to get girls, women wear padded bras - all those who have slept with someone they believed were not married - were they raped too?
They were deceived into believing something much as Ward was deceived .....

Agreed, also "the law" & "the issue" - these are not yours to own.

l think the deception notion rings truer with me than rape. She convinced him she was desirable & that he willingly wanted her.

How many people fall into bed because they believed someone was different. You have nailed it Ward was conned or deceived by her power not forced he said himself I know your using me He was himself but due do her deception he didnt care!!

He was described in the show as having "no free will".
You yourself wrote he was "coerced into sex".

This does not describe deception.

You know, some fans will espouse the general public misconception that comic books (and comic book movies and TV shows) have to be just "kid's stuff", that they can be sophisticated and deal with adult themes in a mature manner. And they'd be right.

But when those movies and shows fail at this, as Agents of SHIELD has done, some of those same fans will cry out, "Hey, leave it alone, it's just a comic book show!"

And it's not just this whole Lorelei/Wade business. My interest in the show declined when the characters proved paper-thin and generic, and the storylines reminiscent of those filler stories they used to put in the backs of Marvel Annuals - ones with only tenuous links to the main universe. Coulson, and the few Easter Eggs thrown into the AoS episodes were hardly enough to keep me tuning in each week.

Do we really have to go this far - a few lines up you lose your case & jump ship:
" And it's not just this whole Lorelei/Wade business. My interest in the show declined when the characters proved paper-thin and generic"

Ward was not raped so there is nothing for him to deal with - there was no soap in the shower scene on AOS ....

I guess if you had actually had real sexual encounters you may look at this for what it was in the show - one of those things.

Sometimes someone is not who you thought they were, Lorelei used magic to trick/coerce/deceive Wards better judgement - his "free will" if you please. There is no issue here for heavens sake the same thing would have happened on Ursula & Eric's wedding night in the little mermaid.

Wait for the strawman argument AKITAMAN .... It's coming ..

To think that someone could stoop so low as to insult the late great Benny Hill, OMG.

"I guess if you had actually had real sexual encounters you may look at this for what it was in the show - one of those things."

That attempt at an insult, and your general attitude to the subject, reflects more on you than me.

"That attempt at an insult, and your general attitude to the subject, reflects more on you than me."

I think you hurt his feelings, he doesn't like it when he doesn't win! Told you the strawman was about to surface.

I'm far more bothered by the fact that the "men have a weakness women don't" crap is still a thing. Honestly, why couldn't Lorelai have the power to seduce women as well? And frankly, the implication that Sif was chosen for this mission because she is a woman, rather than for her skills as a warrior is insulting.

Well, someone doesn't know what a straw man argument is...

Talkin about yourself there Jimmy boy - did you get a tingle when you thought you were smart and special?

I can see more than one straw man point in the preceding argument as a way of taking power away from the valid criticism Tobyjuggs had?

I like how you actually created a strawman in the exact smarty pants comment you gave James - you see you attacked me instead of trying to argue my point ...
The next step is to say that my point was so invalid that you didn't wish to bother - but that would make you even more of a silly billy.

Akitaman there is a possibility he means the hat guy that has not responded since he lost the argument .. he he he...

A straw man argument involves misrepresenting someone's original point then deconstructing that, rather than the point they made. Which isn't what's been happening here. Sounds to me like you're confusing it with an ad hominem attack, which is when comments are aimed at the person rather than the argument.

Of course, in a discussion that revolves around the meaning of words, you might argue that it's pretty important to have a good grasp of them....

BS - it seems clear that you have either not read the entire thread or you don't grasp what's been said and why.

There have been people that have expressed opinion and those that have stamped an air of superiority over the subject - these threads maybe your haunts but this is not your place where others have to pay lip service to you guys just because you comment on everything - even on shows you don't like.

The rape pov was being used as another way of attacking the show even though this was a great episode & they pulled out all the stops here..

Acting like bossy or spoiled children does not help the show, a show that whilst they should have had tighter knit episode arcs does fulfill a dream of sorts. There will never be complete satisfaction from people who feel THEY own characters or opinions because guess what the world is home to people of different beliefs, races and opinions - had we agreed to disagree this would be done but you barflys have to have the final say.

Agreed!

Okay, let's go back to your comments. You said "being coerced into sex with an attractive lady does not equate to a
woman or man being held down against their will and have something DONE
to them."

The first point I want to make is that no-one actually said that those two situations are equal. (For reference, this is you creating a straw man argument.)

My second point is that your understanding of rape seems to be incomplete. Rape does not have to be violent. Rape does not have to involve force. Rape merely involves a lack of informed consent given by one of the parties involved. This is fact, not opinion. If you disagree, then you disagree with reality and that is the point at which our discussion must conclude.

However, my final point is this: even if we accept your view that "this was a deception at best" then here's something to consider: there is such a crime as Rape by Deception. By your own words, what we saw in this episode was a form of rape.

I'm happy to leave it here if you are.

"If you disagree, then you disagree with reality"

Internet opinion based arrogance - utter crud and as has been said previously you do not own facts as you choose to lay them out.

You are referring to a western notion of rape and making the story fit you also cannot tell us what we have said and use it to be "happy to leave it here if you are."

If you were born as a Bedouin and were a good person as you perceived it but your culture meant you wife could not say no and by law that would be ok.

Understanding goes a million ways. This is fact, not opinion.

Anyhoooo here Ward was not raped - there are situations that could have occurred that could lead to that argument but thankfully here he merely had a one night stand against his better judgement.

Sorry, I didn't realise that I had to define the terms of this argument as being within Western culture since I took that to be assumed, what with SHIELD being a Western show set in a Western country being discussed on a Western website by two (I assume) Westerners. I regret any offence caused to the Bedouin people.

But seriously, Ward cannot have had a one-night stand "against his better judgement" because as the show defined his mental state, he had no judgement.

Oh dear ... planes pass over borders so fail. Also to presume is just that. As a character Ward was never going to cry himself to sleep over what occured. The show did not define this as rape so since you like to go by the shows rules I think you fail again.

I guess you got a lot of comments on that already but...

Okay, fine, I'll let you win any argument that by strict definition you might consider this a rape. But your outrage about his lack of reaction... Honestly... What do you want? A scene where he's crying saying something like "The perfect woman had sex with me while I was in love with her! I feel so violated!" And at that point he WAS in love with her and she did represent the perfect for woman for him. It doesn't even matter how she looked. Why would he be bothered by that at all?
Because it wasn't his choice to fall in love with her? Is it ever?

Of course it's pure fiction and a situation like that is not possible in real life. If it was, I guess it would be a whole other level of discussion and would probably reshape our society a lot. But simply saying he should be traumatized... feels like just a strategy to make sure the comment section will be filled. Don't get me wrong, it obviously works ^^

But to be honest... if he was traumatized by that... I guess I would finally be able to stop watching the show. It would be a complete 180 for the character. Although.. maybe he'd quit the cast and we'd get someone interesting for a change... that would be nice.........

You're talking about the two guys in the Guest House? I thought they made clear that the GH technically wasn't run by SHIELD, so they were private contractors. But still, yes, I was surprised that they died, especially in a show that goes so far as to give their lead characters non-lethal guns.

They were a bit vague about it, but either way, its still not justified. You can't just kill contractors (at least, that's what my boss tells me)

My wife and I always watch it and this episode's Thor nods made up for the less impressive ones from the first half of the season. I'm really enjoying it.

Yeah I was like "did Ward and Bill Paxton just kill Shield agents?!?!"

You've misunderstood my problem here. It's not Ward's lack of reaction, particularly. I don't think "he should be traumatised" - I think he should be traumatised OR he should explain why he's not. Either would be an acceptable response.

That's why my complaint is that the *show* doesn't acknowledge the gravity of what it portrayed, not that Ward specifically doesn't. The closest Agents of SHIELD gets to addressing the issue is when May punches Ward in the face for the crime of being forced to have sex with someone while incapacitated, which goes beyond problematic into actively damaging territory.

And again, the fact that magic isn't real isn't a defence. Fantasy and sci-fi are metaphor. I've gone over this elsewhere but if I'm thinking about SHIELD in more depth than its writers, something has gone seriously wrong somewhere.

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