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    Deke Shaw From "Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D." Deserves Better, And Here Are 10 Reasons Why

    We don't appreciate him nearly enough.

    With Marvel rolling out new shows on Disney+ such as WandaVision and Falcon and the Winter Soldier, I want to revisit the first-ever Marvel television show: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which aired its final episode in August 2020.

    ABC / Via giphy.com

    My favorite character from the ABC show was the chronically misunderstood Deke Shaw. Many fans of S.H.I.E.L.D. have made it their mission to continue to hate on him, despite three excellent seasons of character development. While Deke Shaw is not the perfect character, he deserves significantly more respect than he's gotten from the fandom. Let’s break down some of the traits and behaviors of this lemon-loving misfit to prove he’s not the egomaniac people think he is.

    🚨Warning: Spoilers ahead!!🚨

    1. He grew up in a post-apocalyptic dystopia run by the Kree.

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    As a form of escapism, Deke recreates the Framework and sells the experience of entering it to other members of the Lighthouse. When Daisy confronts him in Season 5, Episode 2, she describes his actions as “trading one prison for another.” Deke responds with “Sweetheart, prison would be nice.”

    Having grown up in the Lighthouse for almost three decades, Deke has not been exposed to the many comforts that are a staple of American society in the 21st century. As a result, his actions and choices are strongly impacted by his environment…and not in a good way.

    2. The trauma induced by losing his parents forced him to “play the long game.”

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    Many fans of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have issues with Deke turning in Daisy to Kasius in Season 5, Episode 3, making the argument that he sold her into slavery. While this is true, Deke’s personal trauma and environment forced him to make a choice that would save Daisy's life.

    At age nine, Deke had to watch his mother be dragged away and killed. Deke’s father took up the mantle, but he was arrested and sentenced to die on the surface of the Earth at some point later.

    After having to watch both his parents die, Deke realized he could no longer be vocal about resisting against the Kree. As a result, he adopted his motto of “playing the long game.”

    This comes into play when Deke sells Daisy to Kasius. He recognizes that Daisy is likely going to be caught and killed by the Kree in her attempt to rescue Jemma. Furthermore, turning in Daisy allows Deke to be in good standing with Kasius, which allows him to be able to work alongside the other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents undetected.

    His plan, while not necessarily respectable by our standards, is quite brilliant for the dystopian setting he is living in.

    3. When he came to Earth, nobody on the team was willing to help him navigate the new terrain.

    ABC

    In his first adventure on Earth, Deke gets drunk on Zima at a bar, tries a burger and onion rings for the first time, plays darts, and watches television. He gets thrown into a local jail because he's unable to pay his tab, not having access to American currency.

    Throughout the season, we watch him savor a Twinkie and spray orange-scented air freshener into his mouth. Clearly, Deke is clueless about navigating daily life on Earth. However, none of the members of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Team offer to help him. Instead, they are annoyed by his antics and insult him for his curiosities.

    This behavior is in no way helpful in allowing Deke to acclimate to life on Earth or learn how to navigate in a democracy.

    4. He has saved the S.H.I.E.L.D. Team on MULTIPLE occasions.

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    Deke Shaw is a crucial lynchpin in the team's survial for the three seasons he's a character on the show. He continually sacrifices himself to help them and receives ZERO RESPECT for it.

    In Season 5, Episode 10, Deke sacrifices himself to help the team return to their timeline, expecting to die. Fortunately, he gets brought to their present day timeline.

    In Season 6, Episode 12, Deke is responsible for designing and manufacturing the bracelets that the S.H.I.E.L.D. Team wears when facing down Izel so she can't use mind control on them.

    In Season 7, Episode 13, Deke stays behind in the '80s so the team can return to their timeline. He helps to power the drive responsible for sending the team and the Chronicom ships into the Quantum Realm.

    5. He will defend the people close to him within an inch of his life.

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    While fans may like to call Deke self-absorbed, he sacrifices himself on multiple occasions in order to protect other members of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Team who he considers family.

    In Season 5, Episode 17, Deke takes a bullet for Daisy during her battle with Ruby and Hale and almost dies as a result.

    Deke also defends Jemma on multiple occasions. In Season 7, Episode 5, he defends Jemma from Sousa’s verbal harassment, de-escalating a tense situation. In Season 7, Episode 11, Deke endures emotional and physical abuse by Nathaniel Malick and John Garrett so he can prevent Jemma and Fitz’s location from being discovered.

    6. He is incredibly loyal and compassionate to the other team members.

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    In Season 7, Episode 7, Deke looks after the younger version of Mack and his brother, Ruben, while he's stranded in the '80s. He brings them school supplies and toys and even buys them a drum kit. At the end of the episode, Deke is able to recite facts about younger Mack, such as the fact that he cried when reading Where the Red Fern Grows.

    Deke clearly cares about his other team members and even looks up to them, yet he's wildly disrespected. In this same episode, Mack insults Deke by calling him “a Peter Pan in constant need of attention,” all while Deke manufactures a new shotgun axe for Mack and constantly praises him to other members of the Deke Squad.

    7. He is wildly intelligent.

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    While the writers like to capitalize on Deke’s sense of humor or cluelessness, he has proven himself to be quite intelligent.

    Back in his dystopian future, Deke rebuilt the software from the Framework from scratch. In Season 5, Episode 13, Deke figured out that the ship the Principia was floating in the air rather than sunk several feet under the ocean before either Fitz or Simmons.

    8. He wants to change when given the opportunity.

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    While Deke is by no means a perfect character, he shows remorse for his previous actions and wants to change.

    In a scene with Daisy in Season 7, Episode 3, Deke says “I’m not the guy that you met in the Lighthouse. Not anymore. And I don’t want to be.”

    He acts on this sentiment in the next episode of the season, telling Yo-Yo that he rejects the status quo after observing the racism and sexism that exists in the 1950s as well as the evil of the Malicks. He says that he’s not a fan of what he’s witnessed.

    9. He understands boundaries.

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    Deke spends much of his time onscreen being in love with Daisy Johnson.

    In Season 5, Episode 17, Deke admits that he is in love with Daisy while under the influence of heavy drugs after an operation. He says, “I want to put my mouth on her mouth and move it around a lot. But I don’t want to do that unless she wants to, too.” Even while he's heavily sedated, Deke understands the importance of consent.

    When Deke learns Daisy is still in love with Lincoln in Season 5, Episode 20, he backs off. Many bemoan his decision to build a sexy version of Daisy in a recreated version of the Framework entitled Remorath Rumble in Season 6, Episode 4. While this might be a bit questionable, his actions could be chalked up to wish fulfillment. Most of us can say that we have a fictional character who we dream about at night to help alleviate stress and anxiety. (Deke Shaw may or may not be mine.)

    Deke also learns from these actions when he notices that Daisy and Sousa are interested in each other in the season 7 finale. He tells Daisy, “I just want you to be happy.”

    Clearly, Deke is respectful of Daisy despite his unrequited love for her.

    10. And finally, he is adaptable to whatever timeline he finds himself in.

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    Throughout his time on S.H.I.E.L.D., Deke managed to: survive in a post-apocalyptic utopia in the future, found a very successful tech startup in the present, and become the lead singer of a cover band in the past.

    No matter what timeline Deke is in, he manages to steal the spotlight with his resourcefulness, intelligence, and quick wit.

    Well, have you been convinced? Leave your favorite Deke Shaw moment in the comments.

    Deke performing "Don't You Forget About Me"
    ABC

    I, personally, will never get over his performance of “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” with the Deke Squad. It may or may not be my ringtone.