And it looks like Patton Oswalt's ready to help
I tuned in just in time this week to catch Ward's act of betrayal again, followed by the HYDRA symbol instead of the SHIELD one. I'm less convinced now than last week that Ward is faking anything. Those three bullets he put in Hand at close range would seem to be fairly inarguable, and as more back-story was revealed over the course of the episode, it seems like Ward has been garbage since frame one.
That's cool. That's the version of the story I hope they're telling. If he turns out to just be faking everything, it's going to really irritate me. Right now, Ward suddenly got a personality, and he's suddenly an interesting character with some actual dimension to him. If they try to wrap everything up this year by just making him a good guy again, it's going to feel like it's just not playing fair anymore. There are only so many times you can have characters switch sides and only so far you can push them when they're working undercover before it becomes ridiculous. They're in a very interesting place for the story and the characters right now, and I'm hoping they push forward without trying to eventually roll everything back to the status quo.
More than anything, what last week's episode reminded me of was the Super Bowl episode of "Alias" where they blew up SD6, the covert agency that Sydney Bristow worked for. It was a great move, but it also started the show down a creative path that it never quite recovered from, and I think it may have been a mistake in hindsight. If you're going to blow up the premise of your show, you'd better have a great plan in place for how to build from there.