SPOILER WARNING: If you have not watched the winter finale episode “Maveth”, I would highly suggest doing so before reading on. All good? Onward then.
That was some finale, was it not? We didn’t get quite the detailed character reveal I was expecting/hoping for but we got several hints to tantalize us for the next three months, most of them in the episode’s final few minutes. We learned a few things about the Blue Planet’s history, that a city (or at least the ruins thereof) exists on the planet and that it was one of 9 cities there once upon a time. We also got an interesting thematic parallel as the Monster (as Will) describes a civil war (hint hint) that brought about the civilization’s destruction based on their resistance to change. As Earth faces the emergence of powered people and the Inhuman outbreak, it struggles with the same resistance to change, a foreboding note on its possible fate. Fans were rewarded with a few key reveals, specifically…
Will IS the Death Monster!
This was probably the most accurate of the prevalent theories, that Will was not what he appeared and was in fact a manifestation of the Death Monster. Certain character traits and inaccuracies had led many fans to distrust the astronaut from the beginning and propose that It had possessed the form of Will and was manipulating Simmons. This turned out to be only half correct as the real Will died saving Simmons right before she returned home. That final image of Will seemingly unfazed walking away from the sandstorm after firing his one bullet never sat quite right with me, and now we know why. Poor Will – 14 years of solitude on a barren alien planet, avoiding and fighting a vicious Death Monster, and he dies within a few months of Simmons arriving while she gets to go home free.
What has Grant Ward become?
There were many last week that were theorizing Grant Ward would become a canon character during his time on Maveth, the most popular theory being that he would become Hellfire. Many had pegged the Death Monster’s powers as mind control and/or shape-shifting, leading to a plethora of theories on It’s identity. But what we learned last night is that it actually inhabits recently-dead bodies as a new host. We watched some kind of glowing worm/parasite crawl out of Will’s burning body, which then presumably took over the recently crushed body of Grant Ward whom we then see in the final scene, meeting Malick on a dark road. Given this, the predominant theory on the identity of the Death Monster and what Ward has now become is… The Hive. A creation of the Secret Warriors comic (another point in favor of this theory), The Hive was genetically engineered by HYDRA, though that origin could be retconed for the show and MCU. The Hive’s parisitic physical nature obviously fits well with the details we saw last night (creepy worm crawling beneath the surface of Zombie Ward’s skin). The character is well connected to HYDRA, even becoming a leader of the organization at one point, and speaking a language only understood by its members. In order for it to live it must be fed new bodies, which fits with the sacrificing concept more accurately than I had previously thought. Does it retain the memories of previous hosts? Is that how it knew Jemma’s name when inhabiting Will? It certainly holds a deep knowledge about its history and that of its civilization so it’s difficult to know to what extent it merges with its host body. In its Evil Ward form will it retain Grant Ward’s memories and desires? Is that how it recognized Malick and knew where to find him? Will It be automatically driven to go after Coulson? For me and many other fans, Ward’s transformation is a great way to keep the character and the actor in the show without backing down from the inevitable end to the character’s story arc. Grant Ward may be gone, but Zombie Ward/WardIt/WardHive lives on!
WHAT DO YOU THINK, IS WARD THE HIVE? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!