TV Recap: Agents of SHIELD – 1.08 – The Well


So Marvel continues to tie their movies into “Agents of SHIELD” with the much anticipated episode “The Well”. For those who haven’t seen “Thor: The Dark World”, you won’t be too lost or anything. Much of what is relayed in the episode is general background information about Asgardians.


The episode picks up directly after the events of “Thor 2” and has SHIELD playing clean-up in the aftermath of the epic battle in London. Coulson quips about how he wishes the Asgardians would send the God of Cleanup after one of their visits. Skye is in full geek-out mode as she questions Coulson about Asgardians and whether other deities may have been aliens. A great moment comes when Skye comments that Thor is dreamy, and Coulson says sure he looks good, to which Agent May says, “No, he’s dreamy.”

Two Norwegian anarchists are searching for something in a national park, and after cutting down and opening a tree they find what they’re looking for. After the team does their analysis, Coulson goes to see a man who specializes in Norse mythology, and who previously helped them research Thor’s hammer. That man is Professor Elliot Randolph (Peter MacNicol, a delight in the role). After the anarchists use the object, known as the Staff of the Berserker, to cause a riot in the streets and draw more to their cause, things begin to heat up.

PETER MACNICOL in Agents of SHIELD - 1.08 - The Well

The Staff of the Berserker was broken into pieces to keep it out of the grubby hands of humanity, but using old poems SHIELD manages to track down the second piece, only to run into Randolph, who has the piece. Ward grabs the staff and in doing so becomes possessed by rage. Randolph gets away, but is attacked by the anarchists and is relieved of his prize. SHIELD takes Randolph into custody, while Fitz/Simmons tries to figure out what is affecting Agent Ward. Simmons is especially anti-magic. Meanwhile, Ward’s temper begins to flare and he has painful visions from his past about a young boy struggling in a well. The visions trouble Ward, and he tells Coulson he doesn’t feel he can trust himself, that he’s losing control. Coulson suggests Ward let loose by interrogating Randolph, and in the ensuing interrogation it is revealed that Randolph is an Asgardian who decided to stay on Earth.

Randolph tells the team the location of the last piece of the staff and there, where they run into the anarchists. Randolph is stabbed in the heart and almost dies, while a huge fight ensues, leaving Ward and May to save the day.

Toward the end of the episode, Skye and Ward are out for a drink, and Ward turns in. As he opens his hotel door, he sees May enter her room with a bottle, and she looks at him before entering, leaving her door open for Ward — who takes her up on the offer. Ooooohhh!!!! Nobody saw THAT one coming I bet! The episode ends with Coulson having a dream of Tahiti and how “magical” it is, with him waking up from it as if it were a nightmare. The mystery of Tahiti continues.


Agent Coulson and Crew:

This week’s episode was the first time we see a more vulnerable side of Agent Ward. His memories were actually kind of heartbreaking and it kinda shows why he’s so gung-ho about protecting people. I do wish we could’ve found out a bit more about what happened, but I like that we were teased with something so vital to his character. Skye and Fitz/Simmons didn’t do much this episode, with Skye as always our Everyman point of view into the story, so we get to geek out with her.

Coulson plays leader here as usual and his character is just fun to watch, especially when he tells Randolph how he knew he was Asgardian. It was Agent May that surprised me the most though, with her actions at the end of the episode. I truly didn’t see that coming, and I always thought of her as staying away from doing something like that, but I guess she saw something in Ward and wants to keep it at bay. We’ll have to see how all this pans out.

As a whole I’d say this was definitely one of the better episodes. Not because it was connected with “Thor 2”, but because it moved the characters forward and told a good story that didn’t rely on its connection to “The Avengers”. Its connection to “Thor 2” was small, other than the Norse/Asgardian connection. I’d really like to see MacNicol return as Randolph at some point though, as he was a lot of fun.

Until next time!

Promo for next week’s episode, “Repairs”