Agents of SHIELD
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review - Episode 8: The Well

Bob "MovieBob" Chipman | 20 Nov 2013 16:53
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Yup, Randolph is himself the self-exiled Asgardian of the legend (which Coulson had already guessed); and he's been trying to thwart the bad guys without drawing attention to himself. The whole subsequent exchange is really pretty excellent as postmodern mythology gags go: No, he doesn't know Thor - he was just a stone mason who volunteered for military duty because it sounded like a change of pace and decided to stick around. After two Thor movies, the idea that one of these guys is just a regular, decidedly non-Shakespearian dude slumming on Earth is inherently funny. He's "just a guy," but also just alien enough not to consider that the knowledge of it likely taking decades for the psychological effects of The Staff to wear off isn't much comfort to Ward.

Everything wraps up with the series' best (and also silliest) action sequence to date: The heroes and villains converge on an Irish monastery to collect the last piece of staff. Randolph gets stabbed in the chest, and since Fitz/Simmons don't have a proper reference point for Asgardian anatomy Coulson elects to shove his hand into the guy's chest and have Team Nerdy tell him what he should do when he finds this or that organ - betting that Asgardians' fast-healing will make this work. Grant re-ups on Berserker Power to go hand-to-hand with the first wave of similarly-powered thugs, but when reinforcements arrive it's Agent May (whose help managing his stress Ward had rejected earlier) who steps in to finish them off by picking up the entire staff, then somehow shaking it off with an ease that unnerves almost everyone but Ward in particular - who knows firsthand what she probably went through.

Later, Skye tries to comfort/flirt-with ("com-flirt?") Ward at a hotel bar. Why are they staying over at an Irish hotel instead of just getting back on The Bus? Because they need to be for the scene after this to happen. But for now, it's time to explain the episode title: The boy in the well was actually Ward's younger brother, and he was the kid at the top - being forced to put his sibling through some kind of hazing/bullying ritual by their previously-mentioned evil older brother. Skye does everything but hang a sign reading "STRESS RELIEF TOY" around her neck, but Ward heads back to his room alone...

...almost. Just before he heads in, Ward spies Agent May heading into her room holding a bottle of whisky whose size indicates she's not coping with the Berserker effects as coolly as we'd thought. She shoots him a look, heads in leaving the door open, Ward follows after her and shuts the door behind him. Um... huh.

In our final post-credits beat, we find Coulson lounging on a massage table in, yes, Tahiti; which he tells the masseur is "too good to be true." "Yes," she replies, "it's a magical place." Cut to Coulson waking up in a cold sweat on The Bus. To be continued.

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