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

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

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

The first few minutes of The Well are a crystallization of the very, very bad show I'd originally worried Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D" would wind up being.

Read Full Article

Excellent recap and good insight.

It'd be neat if the new Asgardian turned up a few times each season. Heck, an episode where he had to reclaim his staff and put it to use might be interesting as well.

I greatly enjoy these episode reviews. I find the episodes kind of grating to watch, so it's nice to read a summery to keep up on events. I also enjoy learning new tidbits about the characters and events in the comics. Keep 'em coming guys!

Also, is Jon taking over for Bob?

At this point, I'm getting sick of the Coulson mystery. It's the same f---ing thing every week to the point where no matter the resolution, I'll find it underwhelming. Either it's the obvious and they suck at misdirection, or they're going for a "gotcha" twist and laying on the mystery as overcompensation. I kind of like the Dollhouse idea. It has a continuation elsewhere, but it's not like Whedon hasn't spliced in something from one of his works into another (the scythe from Fray being in Buffy).

Spaceman Spiff:
I greatly enjoy these episode reviews. I find the episodes kind of grating to watch, so it's nice to read a summery to keep up on events. I also enjoy learning new tidbits about the characters and events in the comics. Keep 'em coming guys!

Also, is Jon taking over for Bob?

This seems to be Bob's writing, my guess is that john is ony posting the article.

This was definitely my favorite episode so far. Good story, great character stuff.

Also, it was directed by Johnathan Frakes which I thought was awesome.

I like the connections though... my main reason to not watch the show is the lack of Marvel involved. My favorite Marvel anything is where multiple stories/characters/events come together. I don't care for new characters, I want actual Marvel characters involved, even if just minor ones, hell that seems like what this show should be for, to involve the little guys in Marvel's rosters who have little place on the big screen.

Regarding Peter MacNicol: I'm not overly familiar with his earlier work (I know he was on Ally McBeal) but I'm jumping on the "he's awesome" train because, in addition to his fun work here, I recently found out he was the Mad Hatter in Arkham City, and let me tell you - listening to him cry his heart out over a crushed tophat was surprisingly one of the most disturbing things I've ever heard (also, hurray for the continuing revolving door of actors who play both Marvel and DC characters).

Eliwood10:
This was definitely my favorite episode so far. Good story, great character stuff.

Also, it was directed by Johnathan Frakes which I thought was awesome.

That alone is a good reason to watch this episode. I'll have to check it out. So far, it's just an ok show.

There's the Theory Coulson had been taken to the Asgardian afterlife of Valhalla or Hel since he was killed in battle by an Asgardian God in direct combat. His revival might be magical in nature since they keep saying Tahiti is a magical place, similar to how he was phrasing that New Mexico was the land of enchantment in Ironman 2.

vid87:
Regarding Peter MacNicol: I'm not overly familiar with his earlier work (I know he was on Ally McBeal) but I'm jumping on the "he's awesome" train because

He was great in Ghostbusters 2. Okay, a while ago, but still he's just a guy from the 'upper vest side'.

I like "Agents Of Shield" on it's own merits, but I feel it fails given that it's big selling point is supposed to be the Marvel Universe, and really for the most part it's not even obvious that it's supposed to exist in that universe. I am thinking that maybe they wanted to take this show slow, and have the super-agency develop into something more like the comics, but if that's the case they have misjudged the audience.

I'll also be frank in saying that I sort of suspected this might happen for reasons of budget, simply put a TV show doesn't have that much money to sink into itself, and that is one of the big reasons why they focus so much on drama as opposed to big FX when doing science fiction. Many episodes of say Star Trek involving very little except a bunch of people sitting around and gabbing for the most part. I vaguely remember an explanation as to why they didn't do more as far as space battles and such as to the cost of doing the FX for even a single phaser blast, never mind the stunt involved in having someone shot/fall down, which is one of the reasons why people tended miss a lot in Star Trek, and the crew tended to take a beating, because it was easier to put faux burn marks on someone's shirt than it was to try and modify a lot of the alien costumes and such, some of which were apparently pretty stiff which made falling down tricky to say the least.... which is neither here nor there really, but I'd imagine half the problem with SHIELD is
that they just don't have the budget for super heroics, especially to the quality standards people would expect from the movies. Cop/Spy shows and sitcoms are relatively cheap to make, since it's easier to do gunfights with prop guns on the cheap than it is to say have people throwing lightning bolts around, or being thrown through walls, and similar things. Just the FX to let the shield agents blaze away with energy weapons would probably be too much.

It's noteworthy that Joss Whedon managed to do a lot with a fantasy TV show, namely Buffy, but in part that worked because it was almost all fist fighting when you get down to it, and he was able to make all the cheez part of the charm. That level of FX and makeup wouldn't work for SHIELD though because of the standards people have from movies that cost millions upon millions of dollars and only had to fill 2 hours or so of footage, where SHIELD has to fill 20+ hours (I'm guessing 21 or 22 episodes for the season, but I'm not sure) with a tiny fraction of the budget.

I am kind of interested to see how Netflix and it's super hero shows turn out, I think they chose a wiser path in wanting to work with low-end heroes that don't have much in the way of powers and neither do their usual rogues gallery. Cage, Iron Fist, etc... all tend to ultimately punch it out with bad guys that are usually just thugs in costumes, or have "heightened physical abilities", meaning they can more or less do the "Buffy" thing, not being expected to play on the level of something like SHIELD where half the idea is supposed to be a bunch of agents with super technology throwing flashier super villains into the slammer somewhere in the shadows of various comics, explaining why the world doesn't fall apart due to heroes not being able to be everywhere at once, and occasionally neeing to get actual super heroes to lend a hand when things go even more pear shaped than usual.... the show was basically just too ambitious for a TV budget.

I'll also say again, as much as it cheezes people off, doing the "Ultimate" Nick Fury for political correctness reasons was a mistake. One of the big things behind SHIELD was that they had Nick Fury with them who pretty much covers the same ground as Captain America, minus the angst, and replacing a variety of weapons, android duplicates (LMDs), and things for the shield gimmick. He's another WW II hero with decades of experience and who pretty much benefited from the same kind of enhancement as Captain America. He's older due to being constantly active, but had his aging slowed so he's still acting like he's in his prime pretty much. As cool and PC as Samuel L. Jackson was, using him means he can't be a regular member of the cast, and I feel that's kind of limiting their options, not to mention that if they used him, this version pretty much doesn't have any powers, so it makes it harder to justify him occasionally going toe to toe with villains. Part of the point was that if Cap could pull something off, Nick could probably do it too. Shield also used a number of super agents (which I thought the show was going to be more about) including characters like Malice (Nick's daughter), Talltale (I think that was his name, basically the more he lies about himself the stronger he gets as he does it), and some others. At the end of the day I think half the problem is that if this group of shield agents we're looking at could take down super villains, they couldn't be considered very super. Shades of the old joke about "in evaluating how much of a threat a comic character is, ask youself are his powers better than simply carrying a gun...", surely there are comic characters this version of SHIELD could handle, but most of those are ones we tend to make fun of or see as knock down villains, not the guys we want to actually see.

We'll see where it goes, hopefully I'll be pleasantly surprised in the long run. Despite my neighsaying I plan to keep watching and find out. I stick with it largely because if this winds up not getting a lot better on average it will be the first time Joss Whedon really disappointed me that I can think of.

lastjustice:
There's the Theory Coulson had been taken to the Asgardian afterlife of Valhalla or Hel since he was killed in battle by an Asgardian God in direct combat. His revival might be magical in nature since they keep saying Tahiti is a magical place, similar to how he was phrasing that New Mexico was the land of enchantment in Ironman 2.

After watching Thor 2, I think it might be a little different, straight out of comic lore, and a bit more cosmic. Coulson wasn't killed by an Asgardian god. Coulson was killed WITH an Infinity Gem. The Mind gem specifically. The blue egg shaped gem in the head of .loki's staff. It's likely that Phil's paradise of Tahiti was inside the gem. (Which remained in Shields possession at the end of Avengers. ) And classically the Infinity Gems have been used quite often for all sorts of weird resurrections. (Heck how many times has Adam Warlock been killed and spit back out by them now?)

faefrost:

lastjustice:
There's the Theory Coulson had been taken to the Asgardian afterlife of Valhalla or Hel since he was killed in battle by an Asgardian God in direct combat. His revival might be magical in nature since they keep saying Tahiti is a magical place, similar to how he was phrasing that New Mexico was the land of enchantment in Ironman 2.

After watching Thor 2, I think it might be a little different, straight out of comic lore, and a bit more cosmic. Coulson wasn't killed by an Asgardian god. Coulson was killed WITH an Infinity Gem. The Mind gem specifically. The blue egg shaped gem in the head of .loki's staff. It's likely that Phil's paradise of Tahiti was inside the gem. (Which remained in Shields possession at the end of Avengers. ) And classically the Infinity Gems have been used quite often for all sorts of weird resurrections. (Heck how many times has Adam Warlock been killed and spit back out by them now?)

I remember hearing theories that Loki's staff housed an infinity stone, but has that been confirmed?

I only ask because in Thor 2 they pointed out that the Tesseract and the Aether were infinity stones, but say nothing of the gem in the staff. Sure, that's not ruling OUT the staff, but would the guy seeking to Catch Em All really give one to Loki to bring to Earth?

AgentNein:

faefrost:

lastjustice:
There's the Theory Coulson had been taken to the Asgardian afterlife of Valhalla or Hel since he was killed in battle by an Asgardian God in direct combat. His revival might be magical in nature since they keep saying Tahiti is a magical place, similar to how he was phrasing that New Mexico was the land of enchantment in Ironman 2.

After watching Thor 2, I think it might be a little different, straight out of comic lore, and a bit more cosmic. Coulson wasn't killed by an Asgardian god. Coulson was killed WITH an Infinity Gem. The Mind gem specifically. The blue egg shaped gem in the head of .loki's staff. It's likely that Phil's paradise of Tahiti was inside the gem. (Which remained in Shields possession at the end of Avengers. ) And classically the Infinity Gems have been used quite often for all sorts of weird resurrections. (Heck how many times has Adam Warlock been killed and spit back out by them now?)

I remember hearing theories that Loki's staff housed an infinity stone, but has that been confirmed?

I only ask because in Thor 2 they pointed out that the Tesseract and the Aether were infinity stones, but say nothing of the gem in the staff. Sure, that's not ruling OUT the staff, but would the guy seeking to Catch Em All really give one to Loki to bring to Earth?

I suspect that if nothing else, simple economies of film production will almost guarantee that the gem from Loki's staff does in fact turn out to be the Mind Gem of the set. Loki got it from Thanos. It has been shown being used to mind control people (a power Loki really did not natively display in either Thor movie, save perhaps the illusion bit against Skarsgard in the end teaser of 1). It is basically the same sort of energy as the Tesseract (remember it could cut through the shield in Avengers.) And it saves them from having to go through all the build up, expense and film time of introducing a new magical macguffin, when they already have one sitting right there on the mantle in plain sight.

The other safe bet is that the Soul Gem turns out to be the Eye of Agamoto (isn't there a Phase 3 Dr. Strange movie planned?). The Time Gem will probably be used to in some way introduce the other Avengers big bad villain, Kang the Conqueror at some point.

Getting back to this episode. I really liked it. It finally felt like a comic book story. Good twists, best action of the series. Not as many readily apparent easter eggs as previous, but some right up in your face stuff. Was I the only one thinking "Fear Itself" with the Berserker Staff? Not just the idea of it. But the overall look of it? The glowing orange details etc?

I really liked this episode. The other episodes were pretty meh but this series season there is barely anything else worth watching :( (feel free to recommend stuff)

vid87:
Regarding Peter MacNicol: I'm not overly familiar with his earlier work (I know he was on Ally McBeal) but I'm jumping on the "he's awesome" train because, in addition to his fun work here, I recently found out he was the Mad Hatter in Arkham City, and let me tell you - listening to him cry his heart out over a crushed tophat was surprisingly one of the most disturbing things I've ever heard (also, hurray for the continuing revolving door of actors who play both Marvel and DC characters).

He was also in the crime show Numbers and Ghost Busters 2 among many other supporting roles. Really great actor one of the best things in Ghost Busters 2.

Was it just me btw or did the woman\s it's a magical place have a tinny almost robotic reverb over it. I wonder if this will tie into the Ultron movie.

I kinda felt like that this was one of the weaker episodes. Maybe its due to the fact that it wasn't an actual tie-in to Thor: The Dark World but that's just how I feel. Still, getting more insight on Ward's past and a possible relationship (friendly or romantic) between him and May was a nice touch. I'm also betting on we'll see the bastard older brother down the road.

Personally, I wish this series would delve a bit more into the Marvel Universe rather than be its own entity. Hell, we've got the Leader still hanging in limbo after The Incredible Hulk. If there isn't going to be another Hulk film, then let Agents of SHIELD play with him.

I'm still betting on Coulson being a LMD but is he a product of SHIELD's dirty work or is there something more to this. Just got a nagging feeling that he is living in some sort of Matrix-type of reality but it might be my paranoia acting up.

I've only started watching this show recently and this is the episode I've enjoyed the most so far. I'd characterize it as a cross between Stargate SG-1 and NCIS, it's not really deep enough to channel CSI. It strikes me as a not too serious take on aliens, government conspiracies and undercover police-work. Overall it's pretty cheesy, but I think that's necessary given the source material. They can't really stay true to source material that's as ridiculous as Marvel Comics and make a serious show.

I can see me continuing to watch this for the same reason I watched Stargate SG-1. It's interesting to see what the writers have come up with this week and at least some of the characters are endearing (Coulson, Skye). I do find they're really playing up stereotypes with Ward, Simmons and whatever the curly-haired tech's name is. Ward is essentially an emotionless brick and the other two play up all the nerd stereotypes in the book.

It would be nice to see the characters more fully developed and maybe subvert some of those stereotypes. E.G. Simmons is a nerd but she's also a crack shot or Ward's a cool soldier-type but he secretly loves kittens. Blaming himself for a past failing doesn't count either, that's also part of his stereotype.

P.S. Please don't compare this to the X-Files, that show was all about subtle tweaks away from reality while still keeping the idea that it could happen. This is never going to be like the X-Files.

Therumancer:
I'll also say again, as much as it cheezes people off, doing the "Ultimate" Nick Fury for political correctness reasons was a mistake.

Technically that's not really something they could have changed. See when Ultimate Nick Fury was designed, the artists based his likeness on Samuel L Jackson. The similarity is referenced within the comic itself, in a scene in which the Ultimates discuss who they think should play each of them in a movie about the team. Fury's answer for himself is "Mr. Samuel L. Jackson, of course, no discussion." Jackson did not originally give his consent for Marvel Comics to use his likeness, but after he learned of the use of his likeness he contacted Marvel and secured the role of Nick Fury in any future movies which will feature the character.

That happened way back in 2002, so of course Marvel agreed to give him any hypothetical role to avoid legal action. I doubt anyone who was involved in that decision actually thought there would one day be a spin-off television series based on SHIELD.

May says she was able to deal with the Berserker Staff dredging up whatever her version of Ward's well-flashback was because she already "sees it every day." Is she talking about general nihilism/self-hate, S.H.I.E.L.D in general... or one of her teammates specifically?

My guess while watching 'The Hub' was that it would turn out that May was the unspecified female agent that brought Skye to an orphanage, possibly was responsible (at least partially) for her parents deaths.

SnowmanCA:

May says she was able to deal with the Berserker Staff dredging up whatever her version of Ward's well-flashback was because she already "sees it every day." Is she talking about general nihilism/self-hate, S.H.I.E.L.D in general... or one of her teammates specifically?

My guess while watching 'The Hub' was that it would turn out that May was the unspecified female agent that brought Skye to an orphanage, possibly was responsible (at least partially) for her parents deaths.

Yeah, I didnt get the impression it was any of Bob's options at all, rather "seeing it" as in remembering a past trauma every day, as opposed to Ward who had made a point about locking his memories away and not thinking about it.

Although Im not sure on the specific explanation of May being involved with Skye. I was thinking that SHIELD agents were the dead in the photos, and also there was a point made about May agreeing to help Coulson track down leads. It wouldnt fit her character very well (at least as established so far) to happily lie to his face about helping.

MovieBob:
May says she was able to deal with the Berserker Staff dredging up whatever her version of Ward's well-flashback was because she already "sees it every day." Is she talking about general nihilism/self-hate, S.H.I.E.L.D in general... or one of her teammates specifically?

My guess? It's similar to Bruce Banner saying "I'm always angry" in The Avengers. She's come to terms with her traumatic past, whereas Ward just repressed his (it was bound to cause trouble for him sooner or later because, as Banner pointed out, "avoiding stress isn't the secret").

Eliwood10:
This was definitely my favorite episode so far. Good story, great character stuff.

Also, it was directed by Johnathan Frakes which I thought was awesome.

Exactly that: Yay for Frakes! And yay for Dollhouse too! :D

Bob, thank you for reminding me of that actor's name; I just KNEW I saw him in a few other places! Although, I thought this episode, as good as it was, would deal with something left behind by Malekith's invasion, not something buried in a tree for a few centuries.

I may have misread (miswatched?) this episode a bit cos I ended up with a different opinion on Ward. When we find out what happens at the well, it was the eldest brother that looked exactly like Ward. As such, i thought the hate that Ward felt was towards himself for bullying his two younger brothers (and possibly killing one of them?).

Either way, it's some seriously dark stuff that I was not expecting to see in this series.

"May says she was able to deal with the Berserker Staff dredging up whatever her version of Ward's well-flashback was because she already "sees it every day." Is she talking about general nihilism/self-hate, S.H.I.E.L.D in general... or one of her teammates specifically?"

OMG are you thinking that maybe May was on the Helicarrier and saw Coulson get stabbed or is somehow involved in the cover-up so she sees it, IT being a LMD of coulson, everyday as a reminder? I really like this theory.

Also---Did he really say that the Portland Cellist was female? So many Clint/Coulson fics seems to capitalize on the fact that Cellists use a Bow (much like say Hawkeye). Not saying that it's likely to be the case but that loophole for fanfic should still remain open if it is the case.

I am very much enjoying Agents of Shield and guessing what's going to happen next. I even post Bingo cards over on shieldgames on Tumblr for playing along.

Two-A:

Spaceman Spiff:
I greatly enjoy these episode reviews. I find the episodes kind of grating to watch, so it's nice to read a summery to keep up on events. I also enjoy learning new tidbits about the characters and events in the comics. Keep 'em coming guys!

Also, is Jon taking over for Bob?

This seems to be Bob's writing, my guess is that john is ony posting the article.

I also like the idea of Dollhouse being incorporated. In Avengers they have that Clint/Natasha scene about "being unmade" HOW EASY would it be if Dollhouse was a part of Red Room (the people who brainwashed Natasha).

SnowmanCA:

May says she was able to deal with the Berserker Staff dredging up whatever her version of Ward's well-flashback was because she already "sees it every day." Is she talking about general nihilism/self-hate, S.H.I.E.L.D in general... or one of her teammates specifically?

My guess while watching 'The Hub' was that it would turn out that May was the unspecified female agent that brought Skye to an orphanage, possibly was responsible (at least partially) for her parents deaths.

Oh I like that theory too!

DataSnake:

MovieBob:
May says she was able to deal with the Berserker Staff dredging up whatever her version of Ward's well-flashback was because she already "sees it every day." Is she talking about general nihilism/self-hate, S.H.I.E.L.D in general... or one of her teammates specifically?

My guess? It's similar to Bruce Banner saying "I'm always angry" in The Avengers. She's come to terms with her traumatic past, whereas Ward just repressed his (it was bound to cause trouble for him sooner or later because, as Banner pointed out, "avoiding stress isn't the secret").

This was how I read that scene but all these other theories are exciting.

SnowmanCA:

May says she was able to deal with the Berserker Staff dredging up whatever her version of Ward's well-flashback was because she already "sees it every day." Is she talking about general nihilism/self-hate, S.H.I.E.L.D in general... or one of her teammates specifically?

My guess while watching 'The Hub' was that it would turn out that May was the unspecified female agent that brought Skye to an orphanage, possibly was responsible (at least partially) for her parents deaths.

Chloe Bennet's actual ethnicity leaves open some interesting possibilities there.

ciancon:
I may have misread (miswatched?) this episode a bit cos I ended up with a different opinion on Ward. When we find out what happens at the well, it was the eldest brother that looked exactly like Ward. As such, i thought the hate that Ward felt was towards himself for bullying his two younger brothers (and possibly killing one of them?).

Either way, it's some seriously dark stuff that I was not expecting to see in this series.

These were my thoughts exactly. I actually read this article because I was confused as to which of the children was Ward, since the evil one looked like him. The whole scene doesn't make too much sense to me, because as I see it there are three options:
1) Ward was the eldest, got his little brother killed, and somehow stopped being a horrible human being somewhere in the next twenty years.
2) Ward was the middle child, who sent down the rope even though he wasn't supposed to, which I think would be a moment of pride, as he was disobeying his evil older brother, unless he waited longer than it seemed he did.
3) Ward was the youngest child, in the well, which doesn't make sense because of the way they revealed the rest of the event to us.

I just hope they spell it out a little more clearly some time in the future, as a recap for new fans and an explanation fr people like me who are confused.

So just a question about Coulson "knowing Thor". Does Coulson know that Thor (most likely) knows that he's still alive? Heimdal sees everybody so he knows Coulson is alive. Thor isn't "level 8" but if he was even mildly curious enough to mention it, Heimdal could tell him. Also, how would the son of Odin feel about being manipulated like that? Just a thought.

On Mae - I'm sure it's PTSD already. Remember she mentioned that she didn't wnat to get back in action because of something SHE did? This is a staff that enforces PTSD to generate rage in its user. Mae has been focusing this stuff for longer than any of the rest.

Also, the other thing about these Norse worshippers - White Supremacists have been up to this for awhile, something about sticking to white mythology. It kind of frightening. This was an undercurrent of the arguments against multiracializing Asgard in Thor.

That said, I also found this a great premise for The Wrecking Crew, whcih Ithink would be a good tie in to both Thor and Agents of SHIELD.

I like the interesting teases about Coulson. Is he an android, because he was getting 'rusty'? Disproved given the test he put himself through. Is he a clone going through the 'Clone Blues', he seems fairly happy for that. Was he resurrected through a magical ritual? It is a possibility. Mankind does have a history of fear about magic, along with its fascination of it. And the constant reference to Tahiti being a magical place does reinforce it.

I have just had an interesting idea. What if Coulson is Adam Warlock? I was originally going to say Asgardian, with his mind being kept alive by the Mind Gem of the Infinity Gauntlet, their regeneration could still work and repair his body, but I like the idea about him being Adam Warlock...

I mean, given ALL the crazy stuff he deals with, but accepts it anyway, without second-guessing... It could be Mr Warlock wanted to live like a human, or knows it's how to get his glove back without pissing of the entire Asgardian Race, and because he is already aware of it subconsciously, he accepts in consciously.

That's my theory on it anyway. I doubt we will find out until Avengers 3.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Your account does not have posting rights. If you feel this is in error, please contact an administrator. (ID# 54301)