Spoiler Warning: This post contains major spoilers for the mid-season finale of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. If you have not watched the episode, I suggest not reading this post.

During last night’s mid-season finale of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Coulson and Ward finally came face to face. After Ward killed Rosalind Price, Coulson has been on the quest to get revenge. When the two eventually got into the fight they both wanted, after Coulson put a few bullets in Ward, the ending was a costly one for both characters.

Coulson crossed the line and killed Ward with his bare, robotic hand. However, Fitz also burnt Will’s host body for Maveth/It and made the creature in need of a new home. Ward’s body is that new home. Maveth is now living inside Ward and made it through the portal and found his way to Malick.

The mid-season finale is the end to Ward as we knew him. Brett Dalton spoke with Variety following the episode and called the death “bitter-sweet” but he is still happy to have a job.

That version of Ward is no longer. I don’t know if we want to call him I-Ward, or Ward 2.0, but that version of Ward is no longer. And I was a little sad, but at the same time, I also knew that I was still on the show!

Dalton had been doing a great job being a revenge driven Ward, but now he is playing the mysterious Maveth/It character that is living inside his body.

Even though he looks like me and talks like me and still has the memories, it’s a different entity, so it’s very exciting, actually. I’m very lucky to have a part on a show that is so successful and a part that changes so often and has such a cool story arc.

The final reveal that Maveth/It was living inside Ward was plenty creepy given the appearance of the character. Just like us, Malick surely has plenty of questions as well.

I think Malick is asking all the questions that the audience is going to be asking too: Just who is this guy? What does he want? Why does he do that weird head-tilt thing? What is that under his skin, exactly? These are all the questions that the audience is asking, so we get to figure that out together. It’s not like ‘oh hey, by the way, this is what this guy is – deal with it.’ There’s a process that we’re all going through, figuring out who he is.

The flip side to how Ward’s death changes the character, is how it will affect S.H.I.E.L.D. and Coulson moving forward. From Dalton’s perspective, Ward may have actually won the war between himself and Coulson.

Coulson crossed a line. Some would say that Ward has crossed every line there is, but Coulson now has crossed a line, and I think this season has drawn a whole bunch of parallels between the two. In some ways, this is the conclusion of those parallels. Coulson, in a way, has become Ward … he’s learned to play my game and has crossed over to my side, so did I win that battle? Is that what that means? I left my mark on Coulson just as much as he’s left his mark on me.

While speaking with TV Insider, Dalton went on to talk about the death even more. According to him, Ward never thought Coulson could actually finish him off himself.

No. Not at all. On the phone call with [Coulson], [when he plays] that ace in the hole of Ward’s younger brother, one of the things Ward said was, “I doubt you have the guts to do it… I doubt you have it in you to actually pull the trigger.” He sees Coulson’s weakness as having the head for [revenge], but not the stomach for it.

As for what is to come when the show returns next year, Dalton could only give a small tease, that makes it sound like we have not seen the last of the other planet.

It’s going to be epic! It’s going to be intergalactic, planetary [epic].

****Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.*** will return for the final 12 episodes of season 3 on March 8th at 9 p.m. EST on ABC.

Sources: Variety & TV Insider