TV REVIEW: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – Episode 1.08 “The Well″

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This week: A well needed ratings booster by tying in with Thor and Asgard!

 

 

Directed by Jonathan Frakes no less, this episode harks back to how SHIELD was introduced to us on TV as a body for the safe retrieval of alien artifacts. In this episode the artifact is a Norse berserker staff that unleashes a powerful rage in those who hold it, lost in the aftermath of Thor: The Dark World.

Beginning with the clean-up after Thor: The Dark World, we learn that centuries ago an Asgardian came to earth but elected to stay, after making a pact with himself to break up his Berserker staff and hide the pieces around the world in the three different locations. Well, these things invariably have a habit of a) becoming unhidden, and b) winding up in the wrong hands (in this case, some minor league neo-Nazis). And so it falls to our plucky team to recover the parts, blah, blah, blah…

This is very much a Ward centric episode, although we get the usual weekly dribble into the “A Funny Thing Happened to Coulson on the Way to Tahiti” story arc. The big surprise was who Ward ends up pairing up with after his soul-bearing flash-backs – and yet it seems wholly appropriate… Oh, and “The Well” of the title? It refers to a part of Ward’s past involving his aggressive brother, teenage bullying and a boy in a well, although obviously we have more to see there (like how it ends). Peter MacNicol is always likeable and he brings a Loki-ish charm to the role of a demi-god who chooses to stay on Earth. However, the Norse Paganists, ended up looking more like a bunch of thugs lost on their way to a Blue Brothers audition.

The die-hard fans, and I am a fan, are probably loving every minute of this show, connecting the dots of in-jokes and references to Marvel lore, the big budget effects and those precious cameos, but for me, this show is nowhere near as compulsive as Arrow. When an episode of Arrow finishes, it always a minute too soon, and the next episode is always a week-too-long away. When SHIELD finishes, we all look at each other trying to find something positive to say, in order to gee us up for the next week. When SHIELD finishes, it’s usually gets deleted straight away – when Arrow finishes, we leave it there for a few days in the hope we might squeeze in a repeat viewing… you need to try harder Marvel – it’s not the storylines, it’s some of the characters that are dragging the show down…

Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: SilverFox

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