Tuesday, November 19, 2013

REVIEW: 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' Loosely Ties In with Thor in 'The Well' but Fails By Centering So Much Action on Ward

ABC's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Episode 1.08 The Well

In the aftermath of the events that happened in Thor: The Dark World, Coulson and the team pick up the pieces - one of which threatens to destroy a member of the team.

I purposefully did not go see Thor: The Dark World during its first two weeks of release just to see how this episode plays as it has been teased as a big crossover with the events from that. If I couldn't watch this hour without first seeing the movie, it would seem like such an epic fail. To my surprise, "The Well" did not confuse me at all. The only thing that seemed like it directly correlated to the film was the opening sequence with the team cleaning up a mess left by Thor. The rest of the episode operates under an Asgardian concept but it's a very separate and self-contained entity.

My biggest disappoint with the show has been how bland the core cast have been. None of them feel like characters at this point - not even Coulson. They are all ideas and plot points. But I see the value in having Coulson lead this team. I enjoyed the cuts to Skye, Fitz and Simmons during the tense scenes elsewhere. They have the potential to be interesting.

But it has been eight full episodes now and I still don't feel anything to any of these characters. Elizabeth Henstridge got surprisingly close in the episode were Simmons was dying. But since then, it's been all seriousness and no development. I especially dislike Agent Ward. He has no redeemable qualities. He has had some moments of humor but that's still not a well-defined character. Thusly, centering so much of this episode's "emotional" beats on him just doesn't work at all. Since that is a huge component of this episode, I want there to be a moment of clarity and understanding of that character. But they never got there.

Some more thoughts:
  • Peter MacNicol was amusing as the Asgardian god on Earth. But is he seriously gonna walk away from all of this, no questions asked? That is very hard to believe.
  • Another episode, another case of a faceless villain that doesn't add to the emotional benefit of the episode. It also deprives the hour of tension.