Review: “The Well”

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(Three weeks ago, sorry!), on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: In the aftermath of the events chronicled in the feature film Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World,” Coulson and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pick up the pieces–one of which threatens to destroy a member of the team.

General Thoughts

Diego: A step back, I feel, to the (admittedly not that good either) past episodes. There was the needlessly confusing Ward backstory (he was forced by his brother to not help another kill by the well?). The odd villains. The low stakes.

The more I think about this episode, the less I like it. The villains of the piece were crazy-eyed, long-haired pagan worshippers whose only purpose was to be…loud? And rowdy? It’s not just that, though. They were cannon fodder. They didn’t further a theme, they didn’t….argh. They were just there.

What I did like in this episode was the casualness of Peter MacNicol’s Asgardian. “No, I don’t know Thor, I was a stonemason.” That broadens the world this characters live in. And I hope he comes back in a better episode.

At least we had the Dollhouse shoutout at the end. “Did I fall asleep?”

Matt: This was a Thor crossover….but it wasn’t. You gained nothing from watching the movie first. I understand them not wanting to alienate people who hadn’t had the opportunity to go see the film first. But I think they still could have made it work if it was something directly related to the movie.

Peter MacNicol was the highlight of this episode. He made it better by a factor of 4 at least (I think I am the only to ever use a Baby Geniuses reference right?). I too, hope he is recurring.
I thought of nothing but Bruce Wayne when I saw Wards back story. I did like the twist, but seriously where did they find that kid? He looks exactly like Brett Dalton.

Laura: I agree, this crossover just didn’t work whatsoever. It wasn’t really connected besides “oh look someone from Asgard!” On the other hand, MacNicol was great in the capacity they gave him. It was great to highlight some of Ward’s backstory – well needed at this point – but it was almost a little too convoluted. So one of his brothers bullied him and his other brother by basically playing complicated “I control your fate” games? And Ward was the less injured one, but he still turned out this way? It would make a lot more sense if he was the one in the well.

That being said, I’d really enjoyed his interactions with the others in this episode. Also the way May just took over at the end with zero hesitation for what demons in her past she would face.

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Replies

Diego: Total Batman flashback, Matt! Don’t know how I missed that. But yeah, even in that this was uninspired. Glad we all liked MacNicol, though it’s a shame it didn’t work as a crossover. If they were indeed afraid of alienating people, then don’t do it. Choose one or the other, not this middle-of-the-road choice.

MattIt sucks that now I’m scared for the Captain America “Crossover”. I should be excited. The crossover’s should feel like the 4th season finale of Doctor Who in my opinion. It’s almost like they roll dice with random words on them then build episodes around them. This week we got ‘Sticks’ ‘Thor’ and ‘Ward’!

Laura: The results of the crossover episode really just confirmed my worries from a few weeks ago. I knew they weren’t going to be able to connect it too directly in fear of alienating your “average” TV viewer that just randomly flips channels and commits to what looks interesting (I have a hard time understanding those people, but apparently they exist). Unfortunately for the show, the final product just wasn’t good enough as a crossover episode or as it’s own individual piece of the larger Agents of SHIELD puzzle.

Parting Thoughts

Diego: I’m losing faith in this show, guys. I’m way more excited for the four upcoming Marvel shows on Netflix, not because of the characters (seriously, I don’t care about Iron Fist.) but because all four will have a unified take on the character and themes. This one is either too scattered or too eager to appeal to a broad base. I wondered how an alien incursion on Earth would affect humanity. Apparently, it makes it boring.

Matt: I agree Diego. I think the shows biggest enemy is ABC. If this were on Netflix or even basic cable, I think it could thrive much more. ABC’s aim is soccer moms who miss Desperate Housewives along with everyone else. If they narrowed it focus it might gain a better reputation.

Laura: I’m feeling the same way. This show has quickly become my “watch while doing something else productive” show. I’m still struggling to find a character to really care about, besides Coulson, but most of that is emotion gained from having already been established. Setting up these back-stories is helping, but not much. The characters still need to be more sympathetic in the current time frame, and that’s not happening fast enough.

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