Friday, 22 November 2013

S1x8 - Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Well

Aired 19/11/13 on ABC

This episode dealt with the aftermath of the second Thor movie and I should probably start by saying I haven’t seen it. I was worried that this would affect my understanding, but it was pretty easy to follow, and on the plus side, they didn’t give any major spoilers. Good job team.

The gang were in London cleaning up after what I can only assume was a big epic battle on the Thor movie. They were gathering anything that might be alien so that us pesky humans didn’t get our hands on it and cause havoc. That didn’t stop two people in Sweden who cut down a tree to get a shiny stick from inside. They were the leaders of a cult that believed they needed to defeat the Gods, or as Coulson explained, the Norse Gods who are actually aliens, but when they came to Earth thousands of years ago nobody knew that, so they were called Gods. This cult believed that the only way to defeat a God was to get the power of a God and luckily this shiny stick was an Asgardian prop that filled the person who touched it with darkness and gave them super strength and rage for a bit.

Coulson took the gang to Seville in Spain to talk with Professor Elliot Randolph who had helped him when he was first confronted by Asgardians. Randolph was an expert on everything Asgardian and told them that the stick was one third of a staff that belonged to an Asgardian Beserker warrior who decided that he didn’t like the rage that the staff caused and wanted to stay with the peaceful humans when the army left Earth. He split his staff into three and hid the pieces around the world so no one would find them, leaving riddles as the only clues to where they were.

And wouldn’t you know it, there was one piece hidden in Seville. How lucky! So Ward and Skye headed down into the underground of a Church that clearly hadn’t been dusted in a while to find the second piece. Except the good old Professor had beaten them to it and when Ward tried to grab the staff piece from him, he got a bit of the Asgardian whammy and the professor escaped. Randolph was then confronted by the scary cult people who took the second piece and left him for Coulson.

While Coulson interrogated Randolph, FitzSimmons and Skye ran some tests on Ward who was exhibiting some of the rage symptoms the staff pieces seem to cause. It was actually kind of cool to see Ward acting like a human, even if it was an angry one. I was pretty much convinced that he was a secretly a robot soldier, but I did cheer a little bit when he basically said all the things about Skye and Simmons that I’ve said in previous reviews. Although I didn’t like when he was mean to Fitz; he proved himself to Ward last week so I feel a little bond with him. Ward was just a big meanie.

I also liked the fact that we’re finally getting some insight on Ward’s background. We already knew that he had some difficulties in his childhood that led him to being the robot he is, but we saw a flashback of a kid trying not to drown in a well calling up to a younger Ward, except when younger Ward was going to lower the rope, his brother threatened him not too. Kind of harsh and definitely not something he wanted to think about ever again.

It did come in handy in the final confrontation though, as it was eventually revealed that Professor Randolph was actually the Asgardian soldier who stayed on Earth. He took them to a Church in Ireland where he had hidden the last piece, only to be stabbed by the cult leader in the chest. While Ward used two of the staff pieces to give him super rage/strength to take down the cult, Coulson stuck his hand in Professor Asgardian’s chest to keep his heart beating while he healed with his alien ways.

It was kind of funny to see Ward roaring away and killing everyone, like a robot who had just discovered feelings. Just when he finished the she-leader walked in, but May decided to give Ward, who was not handling the resurfacing of his memory well, a break and went completely badass by putting the staff back together and holding all three pieces to take her down. I say it every week, but May is so cool. They should just focus on her all of the time. Ward obviously thought the same thing as he asked her how the hell she managed to hold all three pieces and handle the dark memories. Her answer: she sees them every day. More hints at May’s mysteries. That should be a spin-off – I’d definitely watch it.

Everything worked out in the end as the staff was taken by S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Professor decided to move away to restart again. Although the episode ended with a really weird scene of Ward going into May’s hotel room after she walked in with a bottle of booze and suggestively left the door open for him. On any other show that usually means they’re going to have sexy time but I wasn’t sure if that was the case or if they’re just going to drink themselves to a stupor. It probably was some dark and twisty sexy time to bond over their dark and twisty memories, but I guess that’s what love is made of.

Speaking of dark and twisty memories – Coulson had a dream of Tahiti that seemed like luxury but caused him to wake up in a panic. Yet another hint to his maybe-not death, and special mention to Amber who caught the Dollhouse reference. Maybe that’s a hint as to what really happened? Or maybe it was just a Whedon reference. Both make me happy!