Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – The Well

by Alan Rapp on November 20, 2013

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – The Well
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Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - The Well

Following the events of Thor: The Dark World, Coulson (Clark Gregg) and his team arrive in London to clean-up the mess caused by Thor‘s (Chris Hemsworth) battle with Maleketh (Christopher Eccleston), but the real trouble in in Norway where two Norse paganists (Michael GraziadeiErin Way) cut a piece of a mystical Asgardian staff out of a tree in a forest reserve which grants the wielder both uncontrollable rage and power. Consulting an expert in Spain (Peter MacNicol) who identifies it as one-third of the Berserker Staff (and whose interference looses the team the second piece of the staff) the team tries to gather the remaining piece before it too falls into the wrong hands.

Ward‘s (Brett Dalton) exposure to the staff exposes him to harmful memories from his past and a rage that threatens both himself and his team. However, it also proves useful in discovering the truth about their professor who is actually the original Asgardian Berserker who split the staff and hid the three pieces across the Earth. Finally convincing their captive to help, Coulson and his team head to Ireland but to fight off the paganists both Ward and Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen) will have to wield the staff whose aftereffects lead to feelings not easily repressed and a night together between the two in May’s room.

Although I don’t know what role he might play in future episodes, I was happy to see MacNicol survive allowing the show to bring him back somewhere down the line. The first real exploration of Thor and Asgard allows for some interesting discussion among the group concerning science, which Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) champions, vs. magic, which Skye (Chloe Bennet) and others are far more willing to discuss. Their time holding the staff works well to demonstrate the similarities but also differences between Ward and May as well give us insight on the baggage Ward carries around with him that May, but not Skye, could help him work through. “The Well” also continues Coulson’s ongoing struggle against his death as we learn there is a four-month blank spot in his memory from dying on-board the Helicarrier to waking up on a beach in Tahiti.

CoosCoos November 20, 2013 at 6:11 pm

I’ve enjoyed MacNicol’s acting since Dragonslayer, and am also pleasantly surprised they decided to let him survive. Had me scared for a minute. I do hope he returns.

However, I felt like this episode was among the weakest so far.

Part of it was the acting – Dalton/Ward lacks the depth to pull off some of the heavier scenes such as when he’s explaining to Coulson why he should be relieved of duty. His one and only expression just doesn’t work for me.

Another part of it was the action at the end. Just didn’t seem well choreographed to me. It fell flat.

Alan Rapp November 20, 2013 at 10:46 pm

I certainly won’t argue with the woodenness of Ward which I’ve found troubling since the Pilot (and his flashbacks weren’t really what I was expecting), but the TV fight worked fine for me especially as it was built to showcase how Ward and May dealt with the pain, power, and rage in far different ways.

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