Published on November 23rd, 2013 | by Sharp-O0
S.H.I.E.L.D. Exposed – “The Well”
The reviews from America were right, this is a pretty good episode!
The Well takes place in the aftermath of Thor: The Dark World as the team is cleaning up debris in Greenwich. Soon they’re called in to deal with an Asgardian artifact that is being used to induce rage by a revolutinary group. Directed by TNG‘s Jonathan Frakes, this episode is possibly the best episode to date. It’s got action, mystery and feel connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, rather than just referencing it.
Your guest star du jour is Peter MacNicol, best known for his roles as Janosz Poha in Ghostbusters II and some guy in Ally McBeal, appears as unassuming Professor Elliot Randolph. In reality, he is an Asgardian who stayed behind on Earth and gave up his position in the Bezerker army. Unfortunately, his weapon has been unearthed and it’s a race against time and the revolutionary forces who are also hunting the artifact. Something to note, the news broadcast about riots in Oslo actually uses news footage from the 2006 Dublin Riots (as confirmed by my Irish comrades).
This episode is chock full of character development, from Simmons’ reluctance to call her parents after her near-death experience to Coulson’s feeling that anything to do with Asgardians is “personal” to him. The big reveal is Ward’s past and the moment I presume when he started to learn to defend himself. The Bezerker staff causes the wielder to feel their deepest, darkest fears and drives them into a blind rage. In Ward’s case, it’s the memory of his younger brother trapped down a well (the title is making more sense now, eh?) and his older brother threatening to throw Grant in if he tried to help. It’s a pretty dark memory and eventually, Ward collapses due to fatigue and having beaten a dozen guys unconcious with a big stick. Melinda May gets in on the action as a female bezerker shows up and May grabs the two pieces of staff Ward had. Uniting them with the third piece and beating the crap out of the female berzerker, she finally puts the now-complete staff down with relative ease. When questioned later by Ward, she reveals that the staff didn’t effect her as bad because she lives with her pain every single day. It’s later implied that the two get drunk and bang. Or, that’s how I take it anyways.
Coulson Watch this week involves lots of references to his apparent demise in Avengers and near the close of the episode, he talks with Randolph about the staff giving him access to memories that he can’t recall. Randolph says that if they’re not haunting him, then it’s not a problem. The stinger though shows us a little bit of Tahiti as Coulson gets a massage and asks if he’s been asleep, to which she replies “Only for a little while.” and Coulson awakes on the bus in a cold sweat. Dollhouse fans lose their shit and the rest of us are left with feels for our precious Coulson.
The Well is a damn fine episode, with great direction by Frakes and top nothc character development but as the show’s ratings are in decline, I’m hoping they do more episodes like this and less like the Pilot and 0-8-4 before the show is cancelled.