SPOILERS FOR AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON AND FOR AGENTS OF SHIELD SEASON 2 FINALE!
I’m going to be explaining a lot of background for my theory beforehand, so if you just want to get a basic idea of the theory, skip down to the ‘theory’ heading and if you want a more detailed explanation, come back up and read the background.
Cool. Let’s begin.
Ok, first let’s get the obvious out of the way. It’s very hard for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to affect the movies in big ways because not many of the moviegoers watch the show. Providing a Hellicarrier here and there and finding where a sceptre is located (Avengers: Age of Ultron) are just subtle things. It’s not really fair since in the movie, it makes it seem as if the Avengers themselves found where the sceptre was after multiple Hydra raids. Then, the Hellicarrier appears to be a Hellicarrier that Nick Fury had hidden. The Agents of SHIELD never got acknowledged. Now throw back your mind to 2 years ago. The events of The Avengers brought with it the introduction of the show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. One of the show’s overarching mysteries was how Coulson was still alive after Avengers.
Thus, the movies directly affected a season of a TV show. In that same year, a crossover with Thor: The Dark World saw the agents doing cleanup work. Now move a little bit further in time to last year. The Captain America: Winter Soldier crossover threw the whole of SHIELD into disarray, pulling Hydra agents from out of the woodwork, such as Grant Ward. Up until the past 3 or 4 episodes of S.H.I.E.L.D., they haven’t done anything to the films. Plus, all they’ve done are only subtle things. The only other thing worth mentioning is how Season 2 ended, with Terrigen mist finding itself in fish oil, thus allowing Inhumans to be created just like in ‘Inhumanity.’ This COULD affect the movies (and it probably will to a small extent), but the movies will probably blame this on a weird phenomenon, thus leading into the Inhumans film. The whole ‘Caterpillars/Secret Warriors could also maybe lead to something in the movies. The TV show seems bogged down with catering to the movies and the show’s stories suffer for it (except in the case of Winter Soldier). Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has to affect a movie massively for it to feel relevant. So how could the show affect the movies, especially after the complete gamechanger that was Winter Soldier?
The answer is: Have someone from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. KILL Captain America.
What do you mean?
Do you know what just started filming?
Captain America: Civil War.
Do you know what happens at the end of 'Civil War' in the comics?
Captain America dies.
Do you know who kills Captain America in the comics?
Crossbones and Sharon Carter ( hypnotized by Dr. Faustus)
So, Crossbones is in the film and if they are going with the Captain America death scene, Crossbones and Sharon Carter are already in the film to do the killing. But who can hypnotize Sharon Carter?
The Dr. Faustus that appeared in Agent Carter is probably dead given his age at the time and the timeframe between then and Captain America: Civil War. To put that into perspective, at the same time that Peggy Carter was still young (and now she’s VERY old), Dr. Faustus looks like THIS:
He’s probably dead by now. Even if he was alive for some reason, he’d be VERY old and he wouldn’t be able to do anything.
So who else is there?
Currently there are 2 options:
1. Baron Zemo
But Baron Zemo was never really known for hypnosis, so it’d be straying from the comics. I believe he’ll have a completely different role, as the last Hydra head. He represents Captain America’s fight with Hydra and once he is dead, Hydra (like S.H.I.E.L.D.) are just small remnants and Captain America’s job is over, thus giving his death meaning.
2. Martin Freeman’s character
We still don’t know who he’s playing. Maybe the son of Dr. Faustus?
So, we can also assume that Sharon Carter will be used to kill Captain America. Why? Because having a film introduce a love interest to Captain America and then leave her alone when Captain America allegedly dies has been done before in the first Captain America film. While it might be poetic for it to happen twice, it’d have even more of an impact if he developed a love interest just to have her turn against him against her will. Ok, now we have the background behind my theory. Let’s talk about the theory.
Grant Ward will kill Captain America.
Many have said that Grant Ward becomes Taskmaster and one theory suggested that he becomes Punisher. While I love the Punisher theory, let’s take that out of the equation for this one. Even if Ward does become Taskmaster (which I just addressed in THIS article), this theory can still come to pass. He is a man filled with hate and he always has to find the most painful way to hurt someone. He wants to hurt Coulson, so what should he do? He should kill Captain America. Captain America is Coulson’s role model. He’s why he became an agent. His love of Captain America is pivotal to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and his hero-worship is what spurred the Avengers into action. If Ward could take that away from him, he will have made Coulson suffer, at least a little bit.
He has also been accused of relentlessly pinning the blame on others to avoid the truth. He hates Coulson. Who made Coulson who he is? Captain America. He hates S.H.I.E.L.D. Who formed S.H.I.E.L.D.? Peggy Carter; probably inspired by the bravery of Captain America and to carry on his goal. Why was Skye (and the rest of the team that he loves) taken away from him? Because he had to reveal himself after Captain America exposed Hydra. This hatred for Captain America has been welling for a while.
He could come into the film as Taskmaster (assuming he becomes Taskmaster by the time Civil War arrives), or he could even appear as himself, calling himself a remnant of Hydra (which is technically what he is after Season 2, where he decided to form a Hydra gang), thus no prior knowledge of the show is required, but those who want to know more about him will turn to the show, thus gaining more viewers.
But how could he do it?
Not taking into account that he’s very manipulative and as Taskmaster, could probably pick up more manipulation and hypnosis techniques. He also has a light machine that he used to hypnotize Bakshi into doing his bidding. This light machine is called the Faustus machine, which is 100% a reference to Dr. Faustus. Why would Ward have a Faustus machine in his possession otherwise at this point? Ward loves torturing people, so imagine this scenario: Sharon Carter and Captain America become love interests. Captain America beats Baron Zemo, thus ending Hydra’s highest ranking officer and completing the Captain America trilogy (the emergence, reign and defeat of the major Red Skull-led Hydra, the defeat of the Hydra that was hiding in S.H.I.E.L.D., the final defeat of all major Hydra leaders). Now, imagine Captain America still at war with Iron Man and his allies. Sharon Carter gets kidnapped by Ward and Crossbones (coincidentally, they’d both have skull masks if he was Taskmaster). Captain America tries to rescue her, but he can’t and his former friend Iron Man won’t help him. All he wants to do is protect, so he decides to face Iron Man about it and end the war by finishing him off. Iron Man beats him and takes him into custody. Like in the comics, Crossbones snipes him and Sharon Carter arrives to finish him off. Captain America dies seeing the woman he loves kill him. It’d make for great drama.
It may or may not go down that way, but I definitely feel like Ward should be the Dr. Faustus substitute. It gives Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. real bearing without spoiling much for those who haven't seen the show. If they show him as Taskmaster, nothing is spoiled from the show at all as you can’t see that it’s Ward. If they show him as Ward, the only thing that is spoiled past the Winter Soldier crossover is the fact that Ward has a Faustus machine, which isn’t THAT much of a spoiler.