Agents of SHIELD 1×09 ‘The Well’: or Chekov’s Pen

Screenshot from 2013-11-20 00:19:28

This episode of SHIELD brought to you by the good people of Thor. Remember, when you need a God of Thunder, call Thor. Thor. I don’t think they could have possibly done more to plug the film other than show a full length preview on the screens in the airplane but it didn’t get as much in the way as I full expected it to. The episode starts with some eurotrash campers trying their darndest to find some mysterious artifact which though hidden is conveniently placed inside a giant tree surrounded by blue rocks arranged in a perfect circle. Because if it was hard to find the show would have to be longer. The artifact in question is a totally awesome metal fragment

Source ABC

Source ABC

They find it and it turns out to be a Berserker fragment that leads to the imminent demise of a Norwegian park ranger, while his partner cowers in fear at the extras from “Run Lola Run” that seem to have killed him. So our story begins. The agents are on hand nearby cleaning up the mess from the Thor movie (did you hear this was a Thor tie-in?) and they’re given some pretty decent access to the site, because who else would you call? They determine its origin and track down a man who can decipher the pretty scribbles while a bunch of leather clad, skin-head-esque guys and gals rampage across Europe determining their own divinity: That is to say they think they’re gods now. They go to this man, who is clearly not a throw away character because he’s marginally famous.

source ABC

source ABC

He tells them there is an ancient poem that speaks of the staff of the berserker and how he thinks it might lead them to Canada because vikings actually sailed to North America long before Columbus was born, and he’s super excited about it all. He also shows Coulson his super fancy gold nib pen. That makes a lot of sense all around. Oh, and its clear that he’s a lecherous hump because he hits on every woman under 30 he sees. So I’m sure he totally won’t turn out to be important…

They roam around a crypt and Ward ends up touching a fragment of the staff and it makes him super cranky. We don’t really see him flip any cars or anything, but since we saw him touch it after a tussle with the professor there, they take him in for questioning. In the biggest gamble against the ACLU I’ve ever seen they attempt to stab professor lech right in the chest only to have him bend the knife like so much putty. He’s Asgardian! Thor. How’d they know? Well didn’t you guess. His pen was too expensive for a Norse Literature professor to buy on his salary. So he must be an alien. Sure, the pen in question is like, 600 dollars and a tenured professor makes 85k a year, but it paid off.

They make it to the last piece and Ming-Na Wen ends up taking up the staff because Ward is all tuckered out, who could blame him? He beat up thirty super strong super angry thugs while fantasizing about the darkest moment in his past. Which, in hindsight is character development. When all is said and done a lot of VERY COOL and interesting things happen but I’m not that into spoiling everything fun in an episode so this is what you get from me.

Source ABC

Source ABC

They find themselves victorious again. The professor is reccomended by Coulson to move to the Pacific Northwest because the Philharmonic is great and they have “a good food scene”. I thought that was an awesome tie-in to his continuity. As they walk away all smiles and handshakes, he tells him he can introduce him to Thor. Thor.

This episode has a lot going for it. The tie-in wasn’t terribly subtle but it was very well done in many respects. It was also directed by Johnathan Frakes, who you might know better as Commander Riker from Star Trek. He does his best work behind the camera now, and this was a very fluid episode. It was hard for me to even take screen-caps because the story was like a long act instead of the usual three acts you get from TV. It ended with a stinger where Coulson is starting to piece things together about Tahiti, and his death. Overall the episode gives me hope for future tie-ins: 91/100 (It looks better than Coulson in the last shot, at least)

Source ABC

Source ABC

 

 

Christo S.

is a long time avid television watcher who has watched to completion over 115 TV shows (seriously, ask him). In his spare time of which he has decidedly too little he enjoys the great outdoors and sleeping. He is a student of physics at a university though, so he mostly drinks coffee.

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