Tuesday 10:00 PM on ABC (Returning September 20, 2016)

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S01E08 "The Well"

HEADS UP: THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN MILD SPOILERS FOR THOR: THE DARK WORLD.

The prospect of an episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that dealt with the aftermath of the events of Thor: The Dark World (which I'll try not to spoil too much in this review for those of you who haven't seen it yet) was an exciting one. However, it, um, could have been better? 

Greenwich took the full brunt of the Dark Elves' assault on Earth in the film, so naturally, S.H.I.E.L.D. was called in to sort through the garbage and figure out what was alien in origin, and what was just plain old human trash. Most of the team was annoyed at this mission, even though this is technically sort of their job, and then there was Skye. She just walked around wishing that the Dark Elves' ship would have been left behind so she could have taken it for a joyride or something. There was a lot of talk about Thor being dreamy (duh), about Thor being off the grid and unable to help clean up the mess (oh really?), and the episode even included several scenes from the film, including a peek at Asgard and the Dark Elves' ship. 

Unfortunately, that's pretty much where the Thor references ended, because the Asgardian weapon that was the focus of the episode didn't have a single thing to do with the assault on Earth. But while this episode was mostly just an excuse to talk about Thor and remind viewers this is a Marvel television series, the episode did have a few shining moments. So let's break down what this episode did well, what didn't, and that little inside joke for Whedon fans in the final scene.

I truthfully don't know how everyone else feels regarding this, but I for one really enjoy the references to Asgard and Norse mythology. It makes the series feel a bit more like it's part of the rest of the Marvel Universe, a linear connection to the films. Could the tie in with Asgard have been done better? Absolutely, but the simple fact that the series attempted to bridge the gap a bit was a good step. If you haven't seen Thor yet you might not have appreciated the episode as much, but reminding viewers that this universe is bigger than Coulson and his team every once in awhile will never be a bad thing. And if it can do it in a way where it's not just a throwaway line about the Battle of New York or the name-dropping of Captain America, it'll be even better.

The Berserker staff that was the subject of this episode, however, is where I take issue with this Asgardian story. It is completely understandable that the general population of Earth would take a sudden interest in Norse mythology after the Dark Elves arrived and Thor basically tore up Greenwich in an attempt to thwart their evil plans. I mean, I came home from the movie and immediately Googled videos of Tom Hiddelston singing in cars because I also have priorities and was reminded of how great a human being he is after seeing him as Loki in the film. But the series didn't do a very good job of explaining that interest in a Norse myth. Yes, we learned about it (from a man who would turn out to be the Asgardian warrior who stayed behind on Earth), but the series just expected us to believe that two wackadoodles who wanted to harness the power of "gods" like Thor, were able to find the staff in a TREE IN NORWAY WITH LITTLE TO NO PROBLEM WHEN PEOPLE HAD BEEN LOOKING FOR IT FOR CENTURIES? I enjoyed Skye suggesting it called to them through magic and May's dubious face that pretty much said,  "Magic? HAHAHAHAHA GIRL, YOU'RE STUPID." That was hilarious. I appreciated that.

This storyline slightly resembles the events of the pilot in which J. August Richard's character explained his reasoning for allowing himself to be shot up with the Extremis serum. He'd been beaten down by the world, and after discovering the existence of superheroes and "gods" like Thor and Loki after the Battle of New York, he wanted to feel like he still mattered and that he could be somebody too. But where that story succeeded with its emotional depth (and trademark Whedon Meaning of Life Speech), this story failed.

Wanting to harness the power of an Asgardian weapon that would make you super-strong is understandable, I guess. But we had no reason to care about these two crazies, especially when the Beserker staff filled them with such rage that they went on a rampage, littering the streets with "We Are Gods" flaming graffiti. Mike's story in the pilot at least made sense and you cared about him. Here, we weren't supposed to care about these throwaway characters, but even the person you were supposed to care about-Handsome-you didn't. 


This episode introduced us to Handsome's backstory. In theory, this should have been the episode I championed for its character development, but Handsome's dark past wasn't nearly as compelling as it could have or should have been. In our recent 4-Episode Test that included The Tomorrow People, Cory complimented the series' ability to push the narrative forward while simultaneously traveling backward in the characters' lives. The Tomorrow People isn't doing anything new or mind-blowing, but the writers have made it work because they build their episodes around the characters and tell their stories that way. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. tends to build its characters around its episodes, and while that worked for Simmons in "FZZT," it doesn't work here. "FZZT" made us feel sadness and worry for a character as it introduced us to the real Simmons (and the fact that she is still dealing with her near-death experience this week was a shining moment for the series, because I was slightly worried the writers would just move along like it never happened). "The Well" definitely filled me with feelings, but they were probably closer to the rage that was burning through Handsome after coming in contact with the staff than what I felt during Simmons' time in the spotlight.

We get it. Handsome has done some really horrible shit in his life. And he's had a lot of really horrible shit happen to him. And like any other adult in need of some real therapy, he's locked those memories away so he doesn't have to think about them and he can go on living his life as an emotionless robot. I really want to explore Handsome's backstory and find out the truth about his upbringing, but the scenes in the well didn't sell it for me. I didn't really feel much at any point during his flashbacks. And I wanted to. The most surprising part of Handsome's story this week was not the action surrounding the well, but the open hotel room door. May faces her own rage every single day and now Handsome and May are going to bond, probably sexually, over their shared hidden rage, etc.? I don't even know how to process that.

I don't necessarily think this was a bad episode for the series, because even if I disagree with how Handsome's backstory is being doled out, the show is making an effort to explore that story. And I liked the tie-in with Asgard. But coming off two very strong episodes, this felt a bit off. I enjoyed the special effects this week, and I enjoyed Skye attempting to reach out and bond with Handsome as a friend, but I don't think I buy the Handsome and May bonding over their shared misery. It's an interesting development, that's for sure, but right now that's all it is. I think, or hope, that it'll continue and maybe then I'll care more about it. But right now? I think I'll go look at some Loki GIFs.


DECLASSIFIED CASE FILES


 - Coulson's story is moving slightly along, although I will admit that I'm getting a little tired of it being mentioned in every single episode. It would be far more effective if it was only mentioned every few weeks. Right now we're being bashed over the head with the 
WHAT HAPPENED TO COULSON? storyline. And if we don't start getting some answers, I'm going to go into my own Hulk mode.

 - There was a treat for Dollhouse fans this week! In the final scene where Coulson was dreaming about supposedly being in Tahiti getting a massage, he asked the masseuse, "Did I fall asleep?" And she replied, "For a little while." This was a recurring bit of dialogue in Dollhouse, when after a doll returned from a mission, Topher (Fran Kranz) would basically wipe their minds and they'd wake up and ask him that same question. I don't think this was meant to be a clue as to what Coulson actually is (because that doesn't even really make sense), even without the legality issues that probably come in to the play, but rather just an Easter Egg for Whedon fans to devour with joy. Which I did. Tremendously. P.S. Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen, who are EPs for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. also wrote for Dollhouse, so there's also that.

 - "Let's see what we can dig up. See what I did there?" - Coulson, talking about going to a crypt

- Oh hey, Peter MacNicol! I know you've been working steadily, but you'll probably always be that guy from Ghostbusters II to me. And truthfully, MacNicol did a pretty fabulous job portraying Professor Elliot Randolph/the Asgardian warrior.

 - To this day I cannot hear the word berserker without thinking of Clerksso this episode made me laugh inappropriately throughout. And FYI: That link is definitely not safe for work. 


thekaitling:list:marvels-agents-of-shield-what-did-you-think-of-the-well/

 

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I am wondering if Coulson is an Asgardian or half Asgardian and half human?
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This review sounded overly critical too me. Anyway, in my opinion "Handsome" acted in full accordance with his character and thus quite authentical. The open hotel door was also believable to me in view of two emotionally controlled/repressed people. In order to be engaged by all of these characters I don't need everything spilled out and talked over. I actually like the way the stories are told very much and I hope the series gets the time it needs to tell them all.
The hints about the movie was quite sufficient for me as well. And yes, I loved the Dollhouse innuendo.
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I liked this episode and figured the tie-in would be more of a clean up, though I kinda' expected them to go after "fido". But that might've spoiled the movie for those who haven't seen it yet. I'm figuring that May and Ward had a post rage drink-off, not a hook up. It kinda' looked like they both were wrecked by what the staff did to them.

Cool, Vigo's Asgardian (ghostbuster reference).

The flashback was confusing and I still don't know which kid Ward was, but that whole scenario was messed up! That older kid is a burgeoning sociopath.

May is too kickass for this group. Why isn't she playing with the big kids? There's a serious story behind all of this, and I cannot wait for it to break!
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Well, I guess I was wrong about May and Ward...bummer.
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"Berserkers" reminded me of the fighters on Falling Skies who are led by Pope.
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I agree Skye. Thor is dreamy.
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Why can't this be as good as Alphas?
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I'm Norwegian, and actually live in Oslo - so this was probably more fun for me than your average viewer. ;)
The "Norse paganist hategroup" made me grin at first, because I know some of the people who started the current Åsatru society (i.e. Norse pagan society), and they're generally the sweetest people ever.
Then I remembered one of our more virulent neo-nazi hategroups, which - while supposedly shut down - was very fond of Norse mythology as a backdrop for their homemade civil rituals and generally used it as an excuse for a number of unacceptable opinions.
I have a feeling Thor would have kicked their collective asses with relish, had he ever met them. ;)
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The one thing I will say is that Pete MacNicol was really good. He was the best thing about this episode. I found the idea of an Asgardian in a lit. prof's suit very amusing, and he played it well. So, kudos to one of the two people who actually did any acting in this episode!

Another cringey line: Simmons at the end "Maybe I should jump in," trying to somehow tie her answering her parents' phone call with Coulson plunging his hand in the guy's chest... I mean I can't really describe the THUD as that line landed. So godawful embarrassing.
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After this week's Person of Interest? Meh...
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Even before this week's Person of Interest...
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True...
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I'm from Seville!!!! There, I said it, mmmmmgabye.

No, really, I loved the fact that for once my hometown wasn't used to show a bullfight or a flamenco session.
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Oh, I'm also curious. What river did May refer to? Her pronunciation there was completely undecipherable.
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Sorry for the delay on the reply. The river we have here is the Guadalquivir river, cruise ships can enter this inland river, and back in Columbus' days, it was the river that saw all the ships coming in that came with the gold from America. Seville was the capital city of the Spanish empire a long time ago.
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Wait, she was actually saying "Guadalquivir"? Wow. I mean, I don't blame her, it's a tough word, but... wow.
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Still, the siesta mention felt like a cheap shot. And no Spanish university has ever looked like that. Hey, still above average for this kind of thing, which is sad in itself.
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No worries about the siesta xD We andalusians take pride in living life our own way, siestas should be a right in the Constitution!
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There was a scene with Coulson close to a car against a backdrop of the streets of Seville. Damn, that looked so fake.
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I'm not sure if I recall correctly, but I think that place is the entrance to Mateos Gago Street.
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It still looked like a big-ass green screen.
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"You should go up Northwest, maybe try Portland. Great philharmonic."

.....Coulson, you've never been here, have you?
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I thought that line was because he was dating some harpist or something in one of the Iron Man movies?
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True, the cellist he was dating moved back to Portland right before Coulson died.
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Ah right, thanks for the clarification!
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Cellist.
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Terrible episode.

Coulson name-dropping Thor all the time was annoying. It's not as if Coulson is friends with Thor. And Coulson's death was mostly only used to get Captain America and Iron Man to work together.

And clearly Coulson would know Loki's still alive.


Skye continues to be extremely annoying. I actually smiled when Rage Ward told her to shut up and that she talks too much. Fitz and Simmons were usually gentle tones when dealing with Rage Ward but Skye was simply being annoying and pressing for info from him -- that seemed to be done simply because she wanted info on him and not for trying to get him to calm down. Rage Ward later swung at May -- who was being totally cool with him. It doesn't really make sense that he wouldn't have swung at Skye.


Are we supposed to believe Coulson's team was the only SHIELD team there?


These people were supposedly as powerful as 'gods', so why wasn't SHIELD sending in 'bigger guns' instead or to to supplement Coulson's team?


I actually consider the ending scene with Ward wanting to sleep with May, May realizing it and decided, "Sure, okay" was the best part of the episode. It's true to life. And both didn't to 'blow some steam'.


Simmons continues to be my favorite character. This episode made Ward seem like kinda a terrible person. He let others bully him and that resulted in his younger brother being scared in a well. It would have been much better to have something like his finding out that a bully put his younger brother in a well, and his deciding that he was no longer going to be a pushover. Then he does something like punch that bully out and get his younger brother out. And then decide he wants to help the weaker and that leads to him eventually joining SHIELD.
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Am I the only one who thinks they didn't have sex, but just drank themselves into a stupor?
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Definitely with you on that.
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This whole series has been sub-par so it's not like this episode was worse than most of the others. Although I did like the pilot and the one about Scorch.

I'm grateful for any time Coulson is on screen versus anyone else on the team except for Fitz and Simmons, but I agree that his dialogue is over-saturated with name-dropping and the CONSTANT references to being killed. No, really, you were stabbed in the heart with an alien spear?? OMG I've never heard about that before! Seriously, we ARE interested in Coulson's arc but you need to lose the harping. Let the little flashbacks and other things tell the story for themselves. For example, they could have just had the "Tahiti" flashback and no other self-references to Coulson's death, and that would have been plenty effective by itself, in fact more so.

Also, Skye's one-liners are SO not funny, it's like one of those sitcoms with canned laughter where the viewer is left saying "Oh, that was a joke? I didn't notice." I'm so disappointed with the Whedon writing team. They're so much better than this.

At this point I'm resigned to the fact that the show is not going to be what the viewers wanted it to be, at least for a long time. So, every time I go into an episode now, my expectations are lowered. That way, maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised once in a while.

Meanwhile, Person of Interest FTW!
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"This episode made Ward seem like kinda a terrible person. He let others bully him and that resulted in his younger brother being scared in a well."

First off, Ward was a kid at the time, and he was facing off against someone who was older, bigger, stronger, sadistic, and likely psychopathic. Most adults I know wouldn't have the backbone for defiance in that situation. Expecting a pre-teen to play White Knight is just plain unreasonable.

And second, Ward did play White Knight. Even though he was threatened and told not to, he still lowered the rope.

And that's why I had the exact opposite reaction: I thought the ep made Ward out to be too good of a person. It added virtually no complexity or humanity to his character, and he remains a complete cliche and utter bore; he's just another ultra-idealized hero who emerged from a traumatic childhood unscathed but for a bit of angst.
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LOVED the Dollhouse reference, Thx for mentioning it :-) Really Loved DH and still miss it. Time to wake up, I guess :-(
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This episode, i like It! Another!!
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Personally I like the idea of Ward/May WAY more than Ward/Skye. Every time they shove down scenes between those two I want to turn the episode off. I hate them forcing them as a couple tha tmuch.
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It would also help if I actually, um, cared about either of them. As it is, honestly they could both die and I would be like "Oh yay, does that mean they're going to be replaced by someone who can act now?"
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There's a fine line between dropping hints here and there and hit the audience over the head with it: Skye and Ward has been hit over the head way too many times for it not to be forced.
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So if they can't renew Chris Hemsworth's contract for the next Thor, maybe they can go with Peter MacNicol instead? (And isn't he dreamy in his own peculiar way?) You know... Asgardians: you've seen one, you've seen them all.
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I really enjoyed the episode, and I think it's good they didn't include too much from the movie, as I haven't seen it yet!
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I loved this episode and the one thing I asked for was some character build for Ward and a sneak peek into his childhood and I got it. Although I did miss seeing Thor now that would have been alwsome I would love to get my earthy hands on him :).
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I found the episode quite boring. This is not what I expected at all, especially after the last two weeks of amazingness.
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I think this was a decent episode in terms of the whole series, but it doesn't compare to the last two weeks. Those were fantastic.
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Agreed, I did like the last two episodes.
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Staff
I think I'm going to tap out for a little while, let this build up on the DVR. Someone let me know if there's a significant improvement.
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Bruce Banner (AKA Hulk) could learn some really valuable anger management techniques from May
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So the last thing he remembers is having a jagged metal spear jammed through his heart and the next thing is lying on a beach getting a massage.

I think I'd want some answers.
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Oh my god guys did you know that Coulson got stabbed and died for a while? I couldn't believe it. Amazing development!
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omg. the last scene!
coulson: did i fall asleep?
Woman: for a little while
i just smiled!

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I liked the episode, i like the way they explored some of Wards background without giving us the whole picture. To be honest i didn't want to find all about it in one episode, i got a taste, and i would like to think it will come in waves.

From previous episodes when he said that his brother tortured him i wasn't really impressed but the flashbacks from the well were pretty horrifying and gave a pretty good feel of what his childhood must of been like.

The scene with May was nice and it makes sense that he would prefer her company in a time like this than Skyes, and also enjoying the company of May rather than Skye makes him so much more mature and serious in my eyes. It groups him with the adult portion of the team rather than the teenage one.

Also, more Fitz and Simmons please!
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I just love how territorial Fitz got to the Asgardian that said Simmons was the most beautiful thing he had seen in a 1000 years. And how they institinctively stood shoulder to shoulder whener they had a meeting.

It was as if neither Leo or Jemma wanted to be separated after the last two weeks.
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I noticed the same thing, and loved every second of it.
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I think it must have been the first time I've seen Fitz take the initiative when it comes to Simmons too.

Jemma was right, getting out of the lab has done wonders for them. I'm looking forward to see where this is going.
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I'm just hoping they continue to devote screen time to them. They're so obsessed with Coulson that everyone else's development is taking a backseat, but that's honestly what the show is in dire need of. Though not Skye, I know more about her than I ever wanted to.
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I loved what Brett Dalton has done with the character and while this was only a little glimpse into Ward's past - and not a particularly interesting one, it did give reason to his desire to work alone and also his protector instincts.

I liked his semi-bonding with Skye, poor girl is starting to cling to her accidental family more than Stitch. But it was nice to see that she did not give up and that he didn't brush her of completely.

Peter MacNicol was amazing and I hope he comes back.

I think Fitz and Simmons are into each other but don't know it yet but the signs are showing.

I didn't like the last scene with Ward, May and the closed door. I love them as fighting and drinking buddies but until shown otherwise, my story is that they drunk themselves silly and understood the other's pain in silence.
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Yeah, I don't think May and Ward had sex. I just think that neither of them wanted to be alone that night. They probably just talked, drank the scotch, and passed out together.
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Yes, that's what I got from that scene; they both had a rage hangover and wanted to have a real one instead...sex not included.
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May will be laughing on the other side of her face when Dr. Strange walks in and turns her nose into a strawberry. :D
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Beserker=Clerks, definitely.

When I see Peter McNicol, I think, "Vigo."

"Wow. Living for a thousand years. You get to see all the bad stuff like the Crusades, the Black Death, Disco..."

I'd comment on Thor's dreaminess, but that could be misconstrued. (He is?)
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Do we know if Handsome's brother is alive?.... How soon can that be fixed? His being alive (if thats the case!).
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Best moment of the episode for me: The reference to Doll House.
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I think I know who's behind Centipede and the Extrmis trial that created Scorch. It's been staring us in the face all the time, Roxxon. They have done some despicable things (in the comics at least) like trying to create their own superpowers operatives.
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Better but still falling short of its potential.
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Still having some problems with the show;

Skye does the whole freudian slip joke thing, looks great in a tight wet dress but she just isn't Kaylee or Willow or Cordelia or River or even a Fred. Don't know what it is but despite being hot and the whole baby left at the orphanage by a shield agent who became a hacker thing I get a blank response. No father/daughter chemistry with Coulson, no chemistry with Ward or it just feels unsuccessful.

Thought Fitz/Simmons would be the most annoying but they same to fit the Whedon-verse better. I believe their chemistry and you can never have to many women who look vaguely like Keira Knightly but her look before jumping off the plane had the most impact so far.

Ming Na is good but still not at Zoe level, thought the scene at the end with Ward worked as they both seem immune to chit chat. Enjoyed her jamming a bullet proof car between the frozen up team and a hail of bullets than this weeks martial arts posing. All the weapon posing and then clang, bad guy unconcious, if your not going to have some dojo duel like CTHD or better martial arts films spare us the tiger stance or whatever cheese they dishing out. More saving the day less posing.

Ward, whatever, replace him for a week, see if he's missed.

The more they harp on about the Coulson mystery the less I care (as some have already said as well) Loved his approach and talk in the first episode but then undermined by a sniper shot and I suppose we were supposed to cheer? Would like to see a little less Avenger name dropping (surely you got a whole Marvel World of characters to talk about, are mutants off topic in this show?) but then whats he gonna do? Throw bags of self raising at people?
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Yes Mutants are off topic, 20th Century Fox has a Monopoly on Marvel's Mutants. However Marvel has a workaround, the Pre-Mutant Inhumans.
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Thanks for that, nice to know. Naive as it is to say, that all just seems sad, the usual; business throwing a spanner into the works of what could be better art if they shared, could improve guest stars and tie ins and hints at other things in the works.
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This episode was okay in my mind, not as good as the last few. I like that we are getting back story on characters, but the whole well trauma was very strange. Maybe I have to watch the episode again, but the incident was just confusing. Like I think we were supposed to be surprised that Ward wasn't the kid down there, but I just got bewildered. I wish they would spend some time on May, and I think they will next week. Somehow she is interesting despite the fact that we know basically nothing about her. And I hate all the Coulson death things. I get it, he died and he wants to figure it out. But either address it not every week, or develop an episode around him searching for answers and then give us a few. At this point it is just annoying.
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I loved this episode. Really felt like the whole package to me.
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That guy from Ally Mcbeal you mean.
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no, it's that guy from NUMB3RS.
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Chloe Bennet is attractive.
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There are definitely Manchurian Candidate shenanigans going on. If you're going to steal, steal from the best.
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The tie in with Thor 2..was barely there..
That said......it was the best episode of the season for me.
It felt like more like the Marvel Universe I was promised..
Grade B+
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May the Cavalry forever unclean!
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I thought it was all right. I really like the show; I think it has great potential and I am going to keep watching but I find the show is good not great. It feels a bit broken right now and I feel like it is going to get better however for now it is in the middle between good and bad it is just ok ): We will see about next week I guess :)
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Another good episode. I don't know if it's just me but since the beginning, I felt like we were given the impression that May was a perfect woman who's in complete control of herself, but now we see that this is not the case. Things are getting interesting :)
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I enjoyed the episode. Being a big fan of Numb3rs, I was so happy to see Peter MacNicol in this episode, who was just fantastic. I disagree a bit on the Ward front, I enjoyed seeing the flashbacks to his childhood, I liked that it was shown, rather than told, this time around. Also really got me wondering what May saw when she held the staff.
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A) Personally, I've always been a case of the week or monster of the week kind of girl, with one main arc (or two) to carry the series through its season. I feel like that's the best way to go about it. I always loved X Files and Fringe for that reason, and they did it so well even if they got heavy on the mythos from time to time, but you needed that.
B) Um, was I the only one that saw the GIANT BOTTLE OF BOOZE in May's hand? Wouldn't you need a drink after a rage memory slam? Why are we reading into this so much? I didn't see anything remotely sexual between them other than it being in a hotel room. For christ sake, they are two very similar, rage filled, often distant people that just need to sit and drink it out! Dear god, i hope they don't think this makes for a good 'love triangle.' Ew, i say. On my end I see Coulson and May, and Ward and Sky, but in truth the 'couple' i'm rooting for is Fitz/Simmons. Frankly, they're adorbs and i so don't care about the other characters.
C) I didn't see the correlation to the movie other than the opening, period. I was certainly hoping for more coming off the high of a movie that good.
D) Appreciated the nod to Dollhouse. His former actors/characters love to filter in his lines from his various shows. I swear, Nathan Fillion must have written into his contract "Must be allowed to throw in Firefly references at will" before he signed on to Castle. It's like an Easter egg hunt in that show!
E) I expect more from Joss Whedon than this. Don't make me question you Joss!!! I don't like questioning my fave directors/producers, but this is far from par for the course when it comes to his shows. LIke, is the passion not there? Is it because he has to work within the confines of a world that was already created? He does his best work when it comes from scratch, and this just isn't cutting it for me. It misses the mark and makes me wonder how long he'll really be the one running it. I don't see passion for this. There was passion in his characters and in his writing with his short lived Firefly and Dollhouse, and i'm not getting it here.
F) The creepy robot voiceover at the end.
G) I did the 4 episode test and so far the only thing that impressed me was Simmon's episode. love her. she deserves her own show.
H) Sky: WAY less annoying this week.
I) I thought Ward's memories were pretty sad/disturbing. I'm sure we'll see more, I hope. He's still so stiff and rigid.
J) Poor FItz. :(
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I'm pretty much just on the FitzSimmons bandwagon at this point too. Agree on your point that the Simmons episode was hands down the best so far - that's the episode that convinced me to keep watching. I was a pretty passive viewer before that, and honestly didn't care much about any of them.

What's the "J) Poor Fitz. :(" refer to in this episode? I'd love to see more of him, but he's terribly underutilized.
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I very much agree about point except that Ward is my favorite and I to hope there was nothing physical between him and May. It could be maybe interesting if it was a one off and never really spoken of again but I don't believe the show not to use it for useless ansgt.
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I think they have to walk a very fine line when it comes to incorporating the Marvel Cinematic Universe into AoS.

They have to include enough to keep the superfans happy, while not spoiling too many big plot points for those fans who haven't had a chance to catch the latest movie in theaters. But they also can't focus too much on the movies so that they don't alienate people who aren't interested in the wider universe. (I hear rumors that there are people like this, go figure)

I think they did a good job this week, they included enough for those of us who've seen the movie to catch the reference, they didn't spoil any plot points, but they also made the reference fleeting enough that people who don't plan to see the movie won't be confused or feel like they're being dismissed in favor of fans that generate more revenue for Marvel.

Kind of like that nod to the bigger Whedonverse in the last scene, Dollhouse fans got it & loved it (so much!), but people who've never heard of Dollhouse weren't put off, the dialog was perfect for the scene so no one would feel left out.

In the end, I enjoyed The Well, and I'm looking forward to next April, I can't wait to go see Captain America: The Winter Soldier in theaters & how it's events will ultimately fit into AoS.
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I'm glad the episode had almost nothing to do with the movie, contrary to what was being advertised. I had no problems following it in that department. I intend to watch the Thor movie only when it comes out in 3D Blu-Ray, so I'm no hurry. But if they were even reasonably true to what was being advertised, the danger should have come from some debris left in the university, something left there during the movie.

I'm getting tired of Ward's nickname, but I laughed with this piece of dialogue:

Skye: "Thor is dreamy."
Coulson: "Yeah, he's handsome, but..."
Then I thought May was going to say:
May: "No, Ward is Handsome. Thor is dreamy."

My biggest problem was with Ward's flashback. I wasn't sure which boy was him, especially when a third boy showed up. And because Ward's negative moment was about great rage, not fear, which was what the boy in the well must've been feeling. I think that was confusing.

I'm fed up with them teasing us with Coulson's story. I get it, it was not Tahiti. So either explain it or not, but stop saying what we are already aware of. It won't get us more curious than that. Annoyed, yes.

I'm sure lots of fans were delighted with Ward complaining how much Skye and Simmons talk too much. I like them, but I know many people think they are annoying blabbermouths. I thought it was a poignant moment when Ward practically accused Fitz of not stepping up "like a man" to save Simmons when she needed, reminding everybody that when push comes to shove, it would befall on him to save the day. But it was ugly to see him bully Fitz that way, as he repeatedly tapped on Fitz's chest. I'm sure Ward hated himself for that.

May had her chance to shine, something I had been complaining about. Basically until then she had been pretty much useless as a team member. I hope they can use her better. One of the problems is that May tends to say most in the background unless there's a heavy action scene, when she could give different contributions to the team even if that doesn't involve direct physicality. But the writers of SHIELD seem much more comfortable giving things for the more talkative characters to do and comment on. This show could learn a thing or two from Person of Interest about how to develop surly, action-oriented characters with a dry sense of humor.
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Totally agree about the Fitz bullying. I love that they're still bringing up the Simmons episode though.
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Oh, and whenever I see Peter MacNicol, I always associate him with Ally McBeal, a show I found terribly annoying. Ward was totally right. Some bad memories are difficult to erase, and they may never go away!
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Ward, how could you. \Skye wants you but you pick Mae. Another show where the main guy picks an easy score over someone who cares for him, grr! All th sexual tension and flirting is for nothing. Happened in Arrow too. The ep was okay but not much to do with Thor. I liked the Dollhouse nod, that was fun.
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Was that the Pipkins I heard in the background during the show?
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This could have been a great episode except whoever plays Ward is not a good actor and is a horribly written character.As Forrest Gump would say, that's all I have to say about that.
I loved seeing Peter McNichol (from Numbers) and thought he pulled off the left behind Asgardian warrior pretty well.
One thing that I wish this show would quit doing is trying to hook up every character romantically. Skye with Ward, Simmons with the nerdy lab guy, Ming with Coulsen, Ming with Ward. It's like , just drive them to a large brothel and let them all get laid. Good writers shouldn't need romantic entanglements to drive character development and advance the story.
I like the tie ins to the greater Marvel Universe and really want to see more. It would be nice if they could release a Movie quarterly and use the Movie as a basis for tie ins for that movie and then a bridge to the next one coming out.
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Pretty good episode. I kind of wish they would have delayed the show a bit and made this the pilot. Or at least one of the second or third episodes. Why not give Ward and Ming Na powers? Strength, something. I think something like that would pull in more viewers. I enjoy the show and all but I am expecting more from Whedon.
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