Does Ward actually feel guilty about killing Thomas Nash?
Answer 1: Nope - he’s totally manipulating Skye here as Victoria Hand said HYDRA does in the previous scene.
Answer 2 (ie. what I believe): Yes, he feels very guilty about killing Nash.
Why do I think this? Well I believe that he has never had to kill an innocent person before. Think about it - Ward was taken to the woods by Garrett when he was a teenager and lived there on his own. He hadn’t killed anyone before. Who would he kill out there? I mean he couldn’t even kill Buddy. Then he went right to SHIELD Academy to train to become an agent. Anything he did from there on out, was part of being an agent. He admits to killing people in the first episode saying he didn’t feel good about it. Even though this was under the effect of the supposed “truth serum” I still believe him. Any killing he has done was sanctioned by SHIELD and so was acceptable. Whether Garrett gave the order or not to kill Nash is up for debate as well but I digress…
So Nash was the first person that he killed that was not part of a mission or part of his work for SHIELD. I doubt he did much killing when he was training with Garrett because they would be under the watchful eye of SHIELD as well and really, there was no reason to. Ward is going into an impossible situation in this scene, 12 agents against him. He has to take them all out with just two ICERs and we hear the SHIELD agents have a shoot to kill order. He knew he could likely die. Why would he say he deserves to die for killing Nash? Sounds like guilt to me. If not, what would be the point of manipulating Skye at this point and saying that? I feel like he just wanted to get it off his chest about how he felt about him killing Nash. This shows to me that he can take responsibility for his actions. What does this mean? He is totally capable of redeeming himself. I think with his conditioning and brainwashing by Garrett, he doesn’t see SHIELD agents as innocent though. Garrett told him that SHIELD was the enemy, abandoned him and left him to die. I think he needs to face the fact that these agents that he murdered were innocent in that they did not deserve to die, no one does in that way. This will be painful for Ward but will open him up to redemption. I look forward to this journey!