Wednesday, November 20, 2013

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.

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