Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Review: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D 1x08 "The Well"

Original air date: Nov. 19, 2013

Pretty much since Sunday all of my shows have been punching me in the gut with feelings and it’s only Tuesday.  Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is no exception.  Oh man, team feelings, Ward feelings, May feelings, and then that last scene. 

“Did I fall asleep?” “For a little while.” I might have ran around the room, jumped on social media, texted a friend, and then rewound and watched that bit again. *screams**keyboard smash**shakes fist* WHEDON!

Anyway, this is the Thor tie-in episode.  The team starts out cleaning up the mess left by Thor in Thor: The Dark World.  We all saw that movie right? It was the greatest thing ever right? (OMG BROTHERS!) Anyway, the gang is there recovering all the alien tech left on earth.  Alien tech ending up in the wrong hands is never a good thing.  After the events of a few weeks ago, there’s no such thing as being too careful.  Also, Skye and May confirm for all of us that Thor is in fact dreamy.

That’s when the Berserker Staff (I was calling it the Rage Rod for a bit) is found by a disgruntled couple from the Norse Pagonist Hate Group.  They want to be gods and cause mayhem and destruction.  Let me jump up and down for a sec, because Erin Way.  I loved her so much in Alphas and loved her here and yeah.  She can be reoccurring character? Yes?  

The team seeks out a Professor of Norse mythology, Professor Elliot Randolph.  He gives the team a history lesson on the staff.  Long ago, the staff was a weapon with the power to command armies, whomever touched it would become enraged and gifted with the strength of ten men.  The mighty warrior who had once wielded the staff fell in love with humanity and decided to live out his days on Earth.  He broke the staff into three pieces and hid them around the globe.  They were well hidden until very recently.  

When the team go to secure the second piece of the staff they find Professor Randolph has gotten to it first.  Ward accidentally grabs the staff and is forced to relive the darkest memory in his history and they both lose the second piece to the Norse Pagonist army.  This is when we discover that Professor Randolph is not who we think he is.  Randolph is the Asgardian warrior that had decided to stay.  

Let me pause again and just say, Brett Dalton.  Let me stand up and applaud you, sir.  This was your episode and you rocked it. 

After Ward touches the Berserker Staff (definitely sounds better than Rage Rod) he faces the memory of the first time he felt hatred.  Later we discover it was the day he was too afraid of his older brother to save his little brother from a well.  He hated himself.  The staff gave him a rage, a darkness that threatened to consume him.  He turned on his team. 

The scene with him, Skye and Fitzsimmons in the lab, hurt me.  He was angry and he was mean and he wanted to hurt them.  Don’t even talk to me about what he said to Fitz.  It juxtaposed the earlier scene of the kind Ward who had previously been so encouraging of a frightened Simmons. 
“I’ll catch you if you fall.”  He had said as she took his advice and put her mind on the task at hand and not on her own fear.  Simmons trusted that he would be there because he had already caught her once before. I could go on… but I won’t.

This deep darkness in the pit of his belly will be with him for decades according to Randolph.  He’s going to have to face this rage for the rest of his life.  Yet, when the team is attacked he grabs the staff again and does what he has to do to protect them.  He fights until he can’t stand anymore and then May takes up the staff for him.  Ward isn't alone anymore and he doesn't have to carry the weight of the world himself.  His team is there for him.

Then something that I never saw coming happened.  May and Ward.  After what they've been through, it makes sense.  There’s comfort to be found in each other and maybe May can help Ward deal with what he is feeling.  I just… did not see that one coming.

Of course, Coulson waking up from his dream of Tahiti in a cold sweat was the biggest OHMYGOSH moment of the night for me.  There's that phrase again "Tahiti. It's a magical place." Is he really Coulson? Is he an android? Is he a Doll?  What happened to him that was so terrible that they had to give him false memories?

Favorite bits of the episode?
  • “You’re our little monkey.” Ward and Fitz.  Everybody on this show is just so damn shippable.  I just can’t help myself.
  • Fitzsimmons.  They don’t even have to speak anymore to know what the other is thinking.  They. Just. KNOW.
  • Ward and Simmons.  I already wrote it but just “I’ll catch you if you fall.”  I’m going to be clinging to that entire scene for a bit.
  • “Yay Internet! She said sarcastically.” Just that right there is evidence of some character growth from Skye.  The world looks a lot different now that she’s seeing everything first hand instead of from behind the safety of her computer screen.
  • Skye calling him Grant.  The fact that the team resorts to first names when they are worried will never stop hitting my soft nougat center.
  • Coulson just shoving his hand into an Asgardian chest.  Dude is hardcore. And he saved Randolph’s life.
  • Skye telling Ward she’s there to listen if ever wants to talk.  He told her it was a memory about his brother.  He thought about telling her more and about opening up to her.  That’s something.  He didn't immediately shut her out.  Perhaps, next time he will talk to her.  I think he wants too.

In conclusion: I live a Coulson pun appreciation life.  Don’t assume that every Asgardian knows Thor, that’s rude.  It’s only Tuesday and it’s already a good week for shirtless men on television. 

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