So his final rap sheet at the time of his arrest includes multiple counts of murder, including one severely disabled man and one woman who as a character deserved a far better fate, two counts of attempted murder on the two most endearing members of the main cast, a count of kidnapping, a zillion counts of theft and jailbreak by which the world has been put in a lot more danger, being an accessory of far more nefarious plans, and making nasty misogynist comments to Maria Hill and Melinda May and a rape threat to Skye. And that leaves out anything he might have done before the series began, though the producers have hinted he didn’t kill the dog at least. Can he actually be redeemed at this point? Well, is there going to be a third season? It just might take that long.
Still, the finale seems aimed at convincing us it’s not impossible. By the time Coulson tells him he has to figure out who he is without Garrett, he’s already demonstrated a few feelings that definitely didn’t come from his now deceased master. It’s even in spite of Garrett that he has his strong feelings for Skye, his affection for Fitzsimmons, and especially his squeamishness of actually being involved with the greater Hydra; his loyalty clearly was to Garrett alone. On the other hand, the nasty comments probably weren’t directly from Garrett, though I am willing to believe until presented with evidence otherwise that he didn’t actually mean them. And he was already a really troubled kid before he met Garrett at all.
He probably needs psychological help, though who knows if he’s actually going to get that; will Coulson eventually bring himself to do the right thing there? If he does, they might just find themselves with a man willing to give them all the information about Hydra that they want, especially if he decides his main feeling left in life is the protection of Skye. But actual redemption and forgiveness ought to cost more than that. I’m still not sure he can even earn it without dying for her and/or the team, or at least trying to and ending up in a Fitz-like state Though that would be a nice touch, if a then-recovered Fitz worked with Simmons to cure him-speaking of Fitz, if he doesn’t recover, that’s going to block forgiveness likely. Unless Ward is the one who ultimately figures out the way to fix him. That might also get him redemption without him having to either die or nearly die.
Still, now that Triplett’s on the show, Wards role would be redundant, unless the kill the other guy off(which I really hope they don’t). Perhaps that indicates a longer stay in prison, or some other form of custody, and final redemption only to come much later. Maybe by then Skye might even be willing to give him a second chance?