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Thread: Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. 1.08 The Well **** SPOILERS ****

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    Default Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. 1.08 The Well **** SPOILERS ****

    Episode Summary from en.wikipedia.org:

    The team assists in the clean-up in the aftermath of the events of Thor: The Dark World and look into a plot to find and assemble three parts of an Asgardian Berserker Staff, which imbues the holder with super strength and an uncontrollable rage. They are opposed by a paganist hate group in Norway led by Jakob Nystrom (Michael Graziadei) and Petra Larsen (Erin Way) and assisted by a professor in Spain named Dr. Elliot Randolph (Peter MacNicol). Touching the staff, Ward relives a traumatic childhood memory involving his brother in a well. He becomes irritable and aggressive and possesses increased strength. Following the clues to the staff parts, the team discovers that Randolph is actually an Asgardian who has lived on Earth for centuries. The team recovers the Asgardian artifact in a battle with the Paganist group. The staff repairs itself, and Randolph is convinced to relocate to Portland, where Coulson offers to introduce him to Thor when next he is in town. Later, Coulson has a nightmare about his recuperation in Tahiti.

    Episode Recap from abc.go.com:

    The team is in England at Greenwich University. They are looking for alien spectrographic signatures amongst debris left after Thor’s latest visit. Simmons has her work interrupted by a call from her parents. They would like some answers for topics such as aliens invading our planet from Asgard. Ward reminds the team that they are there to keep everything under control as he locks away a piece of the alien ship that was left behind.

    In a national park in Norway, two hikers find an area where rocks form a circle. It’s the spot they’ve been searching for. The male hiker, Jakob Nystrom, breaks out a chainsaw. He cuts through a tree to find a metal rod inside. His female companion, Petra Larsen, grabs hold of it. She is affected immediately. Jakob instructs her to not fight the rage she’s feeling inside. Petra turns to two approaching park rangers. She has a wild look in her eye as she thrusts her hand forward to launch one of the men into the distance killing him. Whatever the metal rod is, it has given Petra remarkable power.

    When the S.H.I.E.L.D. team arrives at the park, Simmons overcomes her fear of heights to climb the fallen tree. Fitz says whatever was inside was Asgardian. It was a metal staff with engravings. News reports come in about a disturbance in Oslo. A violent uprising is led by the two hikers, Jakob and Petra. A fiery message is left on the streets. It reads: We are gods. The team learns that Jakob and Petra are leaders of a group obsessed with anything derived from Norse mythology. There are more pieces to the staff they stole. If only Thor had a cell phone, they could give him a ring to help hammer all this out.

    Coulson looks up an expert in Norse mythology, Dr. Elliot Randolph of Seville, Spain. The guy says they are looking for the staff of a soldier of the fierce army. The staff contains a powerful magic that sends the person holding it into a violent rage. The warrior who once owned it fell in love with life on Earth. He remained behind when his fellow soldiers returned to Asgard. He didn’t want his staff falling into the wrong hands, so he broke it into three pieces and hid them in different locations. The search is on for the remaining two pieces.

    The team searches for a second staff piece right there in Seville. Dr. Randolph does as well. Ward sees that he’s found part of the staff. He tries to grab it, but its power absorb into his skin. Skye finds her supervising officer out of sorts. There’s no sign of the doctor. That’s because Randolph is already outside. He runs into Jakob and Peta. They swipe the staff. Now they have two pieces. As for Ward, he’s extremely agitated as he goes through a checkup. He reveals that after he touched the staff he recalled a memory of something he hadn’t thought about in a very long time.

    Ward goes 15 rounds with a punching bag as he tries to work out all the rage flowing through him. He has flashbacks of the memory he mentioned earlier. It’s of a young boy struggling to stay above water in a well. Touching the staff unlocked his worst memory. It was the first time he felt hate. Coulson suggests he let out his pent up rage on the professor to get him to talk. Ward tries to stab Randolph, but the prof crushes the knife with his bare hand. That’s because he’s Asgardian. Coulson had a feeling this was the case. Randolph is the warrior who stayed behind.

    Randolph says he was a mason who broke rocks for thousands of years. He didn’t like the power that came with the staff. It shines an unpleasant light into dark places to all who touch it. That’s what’s happening now, as Jakob and Petra use the staff to give power to more recruits. Randolph reveals that the last piece of the staff is in Ireland. He also lets Ward know that what he’s feeling will not wear off anytime soon. When they arrive in Ireland, someone has beaten them to the staff. This individual stabs Randolph in the chest. Ward knows what he has to do. He grabs the staff to unleash more rage inside him.

    Ward battles the bad guys while flashing back to his worst memory. It was when he was a young boy and let another kid stop him from saving his brother’s life. Ward unleashes his rage on his attackers until they are immobilized and he is exhausted, both physically and emotionally. Jakob and Petra storm into the area. A completely drained Ward reaches for the staff once again. This time, however, May stops him. She convinces him to let her help. May grabs the staff. She takes down Jakob and Petra. The staff is fully assembled now as May sets it on the ground before her.

    May lets Ward know that she was able to handle the visions she saw while holding the staff because they are what she sees every day. Coulson considers grabbing the staff just before a fully recovered Randolph approaches him. He recalls how he died once, but admits that he’s not haunted by it. As for Randolph, he’s considering a change of scenery. Coulson says he’ll introduce him to fellow Asgardian Thor next time he’s in town.

    Ward admits to Skye that the memory he recalled was about his brother. He passes on her offer to talk it out. He sees May stepping into her hotel room with a bottle of liquor. She leaves the door open. Ward closes it after stepping inside. In other news, Coulson is getting a massage on the beaches of Tahiti. It’s a magical place. Only he’s not really there. Coulson awakens in a cold sweat. He’s in his own bed nowhere near Tahiti.

    Please use this thread to discuss the series' eighth overall and first season eighth episode The Well. Rule: Please keep spoilers limited to those revealed during the series up to this episode only.
    Last edited by Shooter; November 30th, 2013 at 07:54 AM.
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    After going to see Thor 2 earlier than I otherwise would have, I was cautiously optimistic about what we would get in this episode. I really liked Thor 2 and wanted to see how it would continue in AoS.

    The Thor 2 Clean-up - As was mentioned in another thread, there wasn't actually a ton of reference to the movie. The clean-up at London's University of Greenwich was cute, but it was cursory and served to get people who would have probably waited a few weeks to rush out and see the movie... like I did. "Marvel & ABC Marketing departments, you get a raise, and I deserve to feel a tiny bit bitter."

    I was hoping to see how they dealt with the damage to London, any residual portals, and even the ice-demon/dog creature that was left behind. While this could be counted as a missed opportunity, I get how the writers of the show / Marvel wanted to avoid any spoilers for fans who hadn't seen the movie yet. In fact, I don't think I'm even that upset about not exploring the aftermath in London; the rest of the episode moved along at great pace and pulled me with it, making me largely forget about the tie-in with the movie.

    The Asgardian Artifact storyline - There was no doubt that this was a prime opportunity for the writers to explore the historical significance of Asgardian technology on earth and how it could impact the current day. I liked the whole berserker army concept mixed in with the angry neo-paganistic thugs reminiscent of european skinheads. The introduction of a pacifist Asgardian living among us and steeped in mythology and historical texts was interesting, but seemed to be a bit of a sideline story. If the prof had been just a human professor, and told them where to find the staff and told them the myth about an Asgardian who lived among us, it probably still would have worked, but we would have missed out on the opportunity for Coulson to have a pseudo-cathartic moment when he saved the life of an Asgardian stabbed in the chest by a human. It's an interesting parallel, but we didn't get to explore how this affected him (more below).

    The interactions between the team members were pretty complex, including Ward supporting Simmons at the tree, Skye being supportive (and not being taken up on it) by Ward, and Ward taking May up on her 'offer' at the end. I really hope they just stayed up drinking, but I think the writers want to leave it open and be intentionally ambiguous about what happened.

    Lots of Ward in this episode, and not all of it bad. I'm warming to his character, but I really need to see more of Ward living up to his rep by kicking butt and taking names. The church full of berserker thugs was a great start

    As usual, May was the stand-out for me again. Her calm, cool demeanour, her ability to take the rage staff and then put it down after taking out the berserker girl was pretty danged cool, and her line about always dealing with what she saw was almost identical to Banner's "I'm Always Angry" in the Avengers. Her dry line about Thor being dreamy (I forget the exact line) drew confirmation from my wife. And while I think her invitation to Ward (and ward taking her up on it) could definitely screw up the team dynamic, I respect her invitation to ward at the end given what they had shared. May personifies the no nonsense, straight to business, no extraneous crap SHIELD agent, and as we saw in the one-sided dialogue with Coulson in a previous episode, she doesn't even have to talk to communicate her intentions. We saw that again with the open door invitation (without anything having to be spoken), which is the direct opposite to Berserker-Ward's comment about Skye always talking. It's an interesting parallel which I'm sure the writers put in intentionally. However, for two by-the-books agents, it does bug me as it's probably against regs for two agents on a team to, ahem, fraternize.

    Jonathan Frakes' directing was great. Moody shots in the catacombs and moreover, quick pacing that didn't pull me out of the story. In the past episodes, when the pacing has fallen off, or the tension in the scene was absent, I found myself moving out of the moment. Even with the interrogation, there was a tension that Frakes got out of the scene, drawn primarily from Clark Gregg's performance. You could tell he didn't like dealing with Asgardians, or at least ones that were deceiving him. I bought his character in these moments.

    Overall a very solid and enjoyable episode, and I hope we get more of the same coming up. I'm still watching and starting to get into it more.

    Oh, after the cut, Tahiti blah blah blah. Obviously now he's having dreams and is tormented about Tahiti. Viewers got his concern about it in his conversation with the Asgardian and from his actions in every episode leading up to this. The dream sequence didn't actually add anything - just another blunt attempt to remind viewers that Coulson's "Tahiti resurrection" is a big deal. If his concern over Tahiti is getting worse, he could have said "it's getting worse" in passing to the Asgardian when they were talking about it, or in a subsequent episode to May. We get it - this is the big mystery - move on and deal with it, or build some tension by making us wonder about it. Yawn.

    Instead, this would have been the right opportunity to explore how saving an Asgardian who was stabbed in the chest impacted Coulson, or how S.H.I.E.L.D. dealt with the Asgardian tech. Was the staff placed into the Vault, or handed back to the Asgardians? It would have been cool to have had a cameo from Heimdall/Idris Elba or Sif/Jamie Alexander or Volstagg/Ray Stevenson (none are strangers to the small screen) or another supporting character from the Thor universe and have the staff handed back as a gesture of goodwill. This would have tied it back into the movie at the end of the episode, echoing the tie-in at the start of the episode, bringing it full circle, and reminding the viewers that it was a Thor the Dark World tie-in.
    Last edited by Amberite; November 21st, 2013 at 09:50 AM. Reason: Affect instead of Effect. Sincerely, the grammar police.
    “Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it. If you put a large switch in some cave somewhere, with a sign on it saying 'End-of-the-World Switch. PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH', the paint wouldn't even have time to dry.”
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amberite View Post
    Was the staff placed into the Vault, or handed back to the Asgardians? It would have been cool to have had a cameo from Heimdall/Idris Elba or Sif/Jamie Alexander or Volstagg/Ray Stevenson (none are strangers to the small screen) or another supporting character from the Thor universe and have the staff handed back as a gesture of goodwill. This would have tied it back into the movie at the end of the episode, echoing the tie-in at the start of the episode, bringing it full circle.
    Agreed, but... (Thor 2 spoiler)

    Spoiler:
    I was kind of hoping to have Loki appear to the bad guys in the tag scene to berate them for their failure. That would explain how they happened to find the staff in the same episode as the Thor 2 tie-in.

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    Ohhhh, good one - hand't even considered someone or another organization coordinating or using the berserker-thugs as, um, thugs. As "M" on the SciFi Diner Podcast would say.. "delicious!".
    “Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it. If you put a large switch in some cave somewhere, with a sign on it saying 'End-of-the-World Switch. PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH', the paint wouldn't even have time to dry.”
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    Nearly forgot one or two things that did bug me a bit during the episode. When the two Swedish (Norwegian or am I confused?) park rangers were talking to each other, they did it in English. So did the Scandinavian Pagan hate thugs. OK, so maybe the berserkers were a hodge-podge of different nationalities, but as soon as the rangers spoke english... BLAM... I was out of the moment and complaining to my wife about it.

    Petty complaint? Maybe, but compare that to last week's Arrow episode that had Summer Glau and Oliver Queen speaking Russian to each other with subtitles, Oliver speaking to the Russian mob boss in Russian, and Russians speaking Russian to each other, and you see my point. Arrow seems to be pushing a bit harder to get things right.

    The other was Simmons putting on a harness to walk maybe 10 feet up the tree, and over-acting the whole "she needs coaxing up the tree" schtick. It appeared both earlier and later in the episode that anyone could use the scanners, so why send her up the tree? And how long did it take to rope her in and set up the harness, and waste a no-name agent manning the rope on the belay? If it's serious enough to bring in SHIELD, why waste that kind of time?
    Last edited by Amberite; November 20th, 2013 at 05:02 PM.
    “Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it. If you put a large switch in some cave somewhere, with a sign on it saying 'End-of-the-World Switch. PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH', the paint wouldn't even have time to dry.”
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amberite View Post
    Nearly forgot one or two things that did bug me a bit during the episode. When the two Swedish (Norwegian or am I confused?) park rangers were talking to each other, they did it in English. So did the Scandinavian Pagan hate thugs. OK, so maybe the berserkers were a hodge-podge of different nationalities, but as soon as the rangers spoke english... BLAM... I was out of the moment and complaining to my wife about it.

    Petty complaint? Maybe, but compare that to last week's Arrow episode that had Summer Glau and Oliver Queen speaking Russian to each other with subtitles, Oliver speaking to the Russian mob boss in Russian, and Russians speaking Russian to each other, and you see my point. Arrow seems to be pushing a bit harder to get things right.
    It is always fun when Hollywood takes a stab at depicting Norway. The only thing that was anything like Norway was how the woods looked. (However our trees are nowhere near a thousand years old.) The truck was wrong, we don´t have park rangers like that and there was incorrect grammar on the sign... Even the road from the news coverage was easy to see was not from Norway.

    The ranger that survived did however kind of sound like the way we speak english. None of the others were even close. The only modern movie/tv thing I know of that did this right was the new The Thing. Norwegian actors speaking norwegian to each others.

    From what I understand there are a lot of folks on your side of the atlantic that strongly despise reading subs, so I think maybe the creators did the right thing though in using english speaking actors. I just find it annoying that they have them speaking a broken english. They all differ in how they mispronounce words so the illusion is just half assed anyway. (And also not really important to the storytelling. This show has pushed the suspension of disbelief way past these kinds of considerations anyway.)

    This might sound like I had any problems with the show, but I find it highly entertaining. But I always drop any expectations of realism before watching the show. Character interaction however needs to be solid. And I think it is in this show.

    IMHO of course.

    BTW I actually think the exteriors of the diamond heist was shot in Stockholm.
    Last edited by tha_lode; November 21st, 2013 at 03:44 AM.
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    Not a bad episode. Better than last week's which wasn't that hard

    Anybody else notice the Dollhouse hint in the final scene? I love the stuff they're doing with Coulson.
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    Alpaca Prime Scott the Hockey Guy's Avatar
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    Yeah, way more better then last week was!!! (Maybe the clean up duty was a small punishment for all the rules they broke last week....I'd have like to see them push that a bit more).....the interactions were pretty good....glad to see Skye be less annoying again, and if we can mention Simmons' dive out of the airplane, this SHIELD team could certainly be in Fury's dog house too.... the alien angle was a nice touch and I loved Phil's deducing it, and the Thor name drop ....and hopefully this was a start with this show dealing with more super-humans stuff, I could have lived without the DEEP DARK SECRET of Ward as a kid....and I kinda groaned at the whole bully thing (but that might be me as a football fan being sick of hearing about Johnathan Martin too)....this episode did a damn good job of washing the bad taste of last week away....

    I did have to make a wiseass comment when Phil said "he never saw anything alien do any good in human hands" and I had to say Green Lantern waved hi, cross-continuity be damned on that comment!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by tha_lode View Post
    It is always fun when Hollywood takes a stab at depicting Norway.
    ...

    From what I understand there are a lot of folks on your side of the atlantic that strongly despise reading subs, so I think maybe the creators did the right thing though in using english speaking actors. I just find it annoying that they have them speaking a broken english.
    Lode, thanks for the perspective of a local! Awesome.

    Yeah, in my initial comment I could have sworn it took place in Norway, but when I poked around on the web to confirm that I found two sites calling it Sweden - forget the subtitles, folks couldn't even put it in the right country :P
    “Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it. If you put a large switch in some cave somewhere, with a sign on it saying 'End-of-the-World Switch. PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH', the paint wouldn't even have time to dry.”
    ― Terry Pratchett, Thief of Time

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    Did no one watch Episode 9 this week?? Me and Jamie got half way through it before going to see the Hunger Games today....was curious to read comments about it....
    (I was smck40, but unlike George Lucas, when I write something you can't speak I change...and upgraded....the username!)

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