VOD TV review: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Episode 8 (The Well)
Neil Brazier | On 25, Nov 2013
Photo: Walt Disney, All rights reserved.
This episode has been billed as a tie-in to the recent movie release Thor: The Dark World, but there isn’t that much in the way of crossover. The crew are on a clean-up mission in Greenwich post-The Dark World when some rebels find a segment of an old Asgardian weapon known as The Berserkers’ Staff, which fills whoever touches it with a super-powered rage. Look out, Hulk!
Their journey takes them to Spain and Ireland in search of the other two pieces, helped by guest star Peter MacNichol, whose Professor Randolph is actually from Asgard and has been living among humans on Earth. During the final fight sequence, we learn a little about Agent Ward and he and Melinda May share some intimate time together.
We needed something to break down Ward’s robotic exterior – Episode 8 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a good attempt. When using the power of the staff, Ward’s head is filled with the moment in life that made him angriest: when he was stopped from saving a drowning child in a well. (It’s unclear if his brother was the one who stopped him making the save or was the one in the well, but it doesn’t really matter.)
The guilt-racked Ward is then consoled by Skye, who offers him her shoulder should he need it, but it is Agent May with whom he finds himself as they spend a night away from the team aeroplane. All avenues had pointed to a Skye/Ward romance but now we have May thrown into the mix. Will this cause sparks over the next mission debrief?
Our characters are finally growing, slowly, although Coulson stalls a little. Clark Gregg’s Agent is still tormented by Tahiti and the post-credits sting references this yet again. (Dear Marvel: You don’t have to wait for a mid- or end-of-season cliff-hanger to resolve everything.)
Fitz and Simmons endear us more with their charm week on week. Even MacNicol’s character, despite only being here for the one episode, sees some depth and passion to his person – probably because he is such a fine actor.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is now a third of the way into its run and it’s been a bumpy journey. Over the past few weeks, though, we’ve started to see what the show could become – confidence in the series is renewing. There isn’t much time left, though, to do what it needs to do if it’s to leave us yearning for a second run.