Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1, Episode 8: “The Well” Recap

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 Episode 8

“The Well” is Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s crossover episode to Marvel Studio’s huge box office hit ‘Thor Dark World’. Plus, did two agents hook up?

Continue reading for a spoiler filled discussion of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1, Episode 8.

So the promos that built up this episode as a Thor Dark World tie-in are a bait and switch marketing tactic. Sure, Team Coulson spent the cold open cleaning up debris from Dark World’s climatic battle and there were some clips from the movie trailer interspersed … I think I saw Thor’s boot! Oooh so dreamy!

But I figured as much considering the TV series needs to work as its own entity and shouldn’t disfranchise viewers who haven’t caught up with the Marvel movies. The core story of this episode could air before or well after the events of Thor Dark World without any continuity concerns. This is not a rant rather an observation. The episode itself is incredibly enjoyable and is one of my favorites so far!

A good way to develop Simmons is through consistent characterization and building upon previous events. After nearly falling to her death, it makes sense for her to be afraid of heights and it’s a nice touch for Ward to reassure her “I’ll catch you if you fall” which is a call back to “F.Z.Z.T.” Her offhand quips that dismiss magic as an undiscovered scientific attribute is endearing and is consistent with how a double PhD lab geek would think.

The show receives a hefty amount of criticism for name dropping which has not been problematic for me but Coulson’s Thor Envy <insert Captain Hammer quote here> is really pushing my limit. A possible remedy for this as the characters build their own history is referencing events that actually happened on the show like the way the Chitauri virus is mentioned to give insight on an agents’ behaviour or decision-making process. Plus, little nuggets are fun for loyal fans to pick up on as long as it’s doesn’t get repetitive (i.e. Tahiti’s a magical place!)

The twist in this episode is effective because the Asgardian soldier that stayed behind is right under our noses all along. Peter MacNicol is great as Professor Elliot Randolph for his spot on delivery and unassuming manner. Randoph did try to pull a fast one on Coulson but he had no malicious intent. I appreciate that the writers resisted the urge to turn him into a villain; as if the team could take on a God. Besides, I adore Asgardians who revel in trickery and mischief.

The other twist involving the identity of the boy in the well I saw coming. It somewhat worked for me though it didn’t leave me with a lasting impression. As I watched the flashbacks, I had it in the back of my mind that earlier episodes mentioned that Agent Ward protected his younger brother from his abusive older brother. Further, because this memory enrages Ward instead of terrifies him, it’s a logical clue that it’s his younger brother stuck in the well.


If I understand correctly, the berserker staff shines a light on an individual’s intense angry memory or emotion. The macguffin works as a plot device because it’s a real rage that has always been within Ward that becomes uncontrolled. Skye’s line is spot on, “Is this the old Ward or the new angrier Ward? I can’t tell.”

I was worried an angry Ward would depict him as unlikable yet oddly that wasn’t the case here. Perhaps it’s because there’s an authenticity to the things he did and said (“Skye you talk and talk!”) There’s no cure for the rage effects, it’s something that requires focus, control and practice in facing it head-on which makes Melinda Mays’ ability to instantly overcome it incredibly awesome to witness. Mays and Ward do share a common bond but did they really share a bed or is this another twist? I know Mays wants to take Ward under her wing but I did not expect her to want something more.

“The Well” is a strong, fun episode where all the elements came together without an actual Thor Dark World tie-in. We got super-powered agents, Asgardian god incognito, Coulson’s open heart-stopping first aid, and some good banter. All in all it’s another step in the right direction.

Where does the “The Well” rank in the season overall? Are you interested in learning more about Coulson’s nightmare? What do you think about Ward and Mays?

More Posts You Might Like:

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 Episode 7 “The Hub” Recap

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 Episode 6 “F.Z.Z.T.” Recap

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 Episode 5 “Girl In A Flower Dress” Recap

Fall TV Preview: Your Guide To New Science Fiction-Fantasy Shows

About Sidekick Reviews

Movies, TV shows, comics, and video game news & review.

Posted on November 20, 2013, in Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., Television and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. Loved the Asgardian twist. Definitely a step in the right direction.

  2. I did like the Asgardian stuff but don’t promise a Thor 2 Tie in and don’t give me it 😦

    The twist was nice and I very rarely get fooled by this stuff 😀

    • Shame on the marketing people ;). If they didn’t hype it , it would have been a nice little easter egg.

      I’m glad I wasn’t the only one that got fooled! 🙂

      • Yes, shame on them!

        Wait forgot to mention the last couple of scenes, Wards sneaky time and Coulson’s dream? Discuss!

        • I’d laugh if May is teaching Ward Tai Chi to control his anger.

          I find it hard to theorize on Coulson because my knowledge base and attention to detail could use some work. In the pilot, Coulson dodged the flying van door. In next week’s preview, he does something pretty incredible as well. My question is … can android’s dream?

          • I am thinking of something else that might relax him haha xD

            My current theory is down to clone or android, either way he has artificial memories 😀

            • Yeah. Coulson lost his body. Jarvis lost his core. Coulson got a new body. Jarvis managed to dodge Tony Stark deathwishs by transfering into a body. He get more and more upset about his “life” being endangered. Updates itself to the limits. Ultron is born.

              I know, no ants in my plot. So it works !! Cinema these days…
              Sorry I just bugged on the Coulson-android association. 🙂

              That being said, if it turns out to be true, that desastrous TV material would be elevated to the “mythology” by Marvel fan base.

  3. Thor’s boot! Lol! Sounds pretty awful. I knew it would only be a matter of time before they started to try to tie in the show with the movies. That’s the only way they could get people to watch this train wreck of a TV program.

  4. It was a cheap trick to lure viewers but the episode had a neat Asgardian twist. If they are going to promise something they better deliver next time. 🙂

  5. Good recap, I’ve enjoyed reading your thoughts on each of the episodes. I think the show keeps inching in the right direction, and this episode was another good step. At first I was a little disappointed the Thor 2 crossover wasn’t a little more direct, but I did like how the professor was an Asgardian. That was a neat twist, and I liked that he was kind of a trickster, like Loki. Also not sure what’s going on with Mays and Ward — definitely didn’t see THAT coming. 😉

    • I had all these ideas in my mind about how the show would pull off their first movie crossover so yeah I felt mislead. The good thing is that the episode was actually pretty good. I liked learning about the Norse mythology and the Asgardians, very fascinating stuff. OMG, Loki is so awesome, might be awhile before we see him on screen again. Yeah, Mays and Ward is so unexpected, I hope we get to find out the details next episode. Thanks so much for supporting my blog and discussing the show with me! 🙂

  6. Hi there, I know I’m INCREDIBLY LATE to this discussion about this episode, but I was late to watch and review this episode, so now that I’m up to date, I had to swing by and see what you thought of this episode and give you my thoughts.

    For me I thought the episode was good, not great. That’s not to say its bad, I’m just saying that it wasn’t as good as I was expecting. I think that was mainly due to the Thor tie-in marketing prior to the episode. I guess its my own fault for getting too hyped up, but I think it was incredibly misleading and lame that there was such an emphasis on this cross-over episode, just for a few tiny clips and one scene in London, and that’s it. Felt a bit cheated.

    As for the rest of the episode I thought it was pretty good. The use of the Berserker staff was interesting. I didn’t care much for that underground cult with those two foreign people, it was more interesting when it started to take effect on Agent Ward. I think it was about time he got an episode to flesh him out, we got shades of his past before but this is the first proper look inside his head and memories and I think his character was made better for it. Angry Ward is the best Ward we’ve had so far, seeing him snap at people was great. Man Ward’s older brother is such an asshole, dunno what kind of life they were living, but that is some harsh options; 1) don’t save your brother and live or 2) try to save him and get thrown down the well yourself. Bad times yo.

    Also the fight between him and those people in the church was cool, pure rage, love it. But what was even more interesting is how May handled the situation with such class and style, only to reveal that she’s been dealing with her shit for years, she’s hardcore.

    The end of the episode was totally unexpected and interesting. Ward and May, hotel rooms, together? No way! Mental stuff yo.

    • I always look forward to your thoughts and reviews! If I didn’t do recaps on AOS, I might be behind on this show. I have so many other shows that I’m behind on that I may consider dropping them until they come out on home video.

      The marketing trick is a tough pill to swallow. I can totally understand if it left a bad taste in your mouth and soured your feelings on the episode. It didn’t bother me that much though. 🙂

      One thing I noticed is that whenever a macguffin like the Chintari virus or berserker staff effects a random character it will eventually effect an Agent and put them in serious danger. Yeah, I didn’t bother to even mention the two foreign people and their cult in the recap because they weren’t really that relevant or memorable. Except for maybe when Ward and May were beating them up! Haha.

      These cult members could have attacked the agents all at once instead of one at a time. On Arrow’s fight choreography the bad guys usually won’t wait for their turn. 😉 Yeah for some reason this angry Ward is good even when putting down Fitz. But when he threw away the sandwich in The Hub I was cross with him. Haha. I wonder if we will ever see Ward’s brothers in the present day. That would be something.

      Ward and May in the hotel room came out of nowhere! May was the initiator and she did it without any words (we find out more next episode).

  7. I’m excited that Agents Ward and May now seem to have super-powers from the staff. I hope that will lead to some spectacular fights in future episodes. Ward’s flashbacks also tell us more about his past and lend some sympathy to this character. But I also feel sorry for Skye, who obviously likes him but it doesn’t seem to be returned, and to make it worse, he ends up in May’s room. I totally saw that as an indication of them going to bed together. That was a huge surprise, yet to me also highly interesting, in making May the kind of tough woman character who could ‘approach sex like a man does’, separating emotions and the physical act. Really did not see that coming (her and Ward), so it was very interesting.

  8. It’s good to see Ward’s flashback and it helps us to understand a little more about why he’s the way he is. The build up between Skye and Ward took a left turn here. I actually like the idea of Ward and May together better. Yeah, if a woman invites a man to her hotel room it’s probably not for tea and biscuits haha. If you haven’t seen the next episode yet I won’t spoil anything except that it addresses what happens in May’s room. I really like that May can keep her feelings separate too, it will be very interesting to find out the nature of their relationship. Great as always to discuss the show with you, I look forward to what you think about the next episodes, especially the mid-season finale.

  1. Pingback: TV Review: Agents of SHIELD, “The Well” (S1/EP8) – For Odin! For Asgard! For..Blah | We Minored In Film

  2. Pingback: Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. – The Well (S01E08) #AgentsOfSHIELD | TV And Comics

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: