Agents of SHIELD S1E8: “The Well” – Review

It’s finally here, the Thor: The Dark World crossover with Agents of SHIELD! Sadly, there was no sign of Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston or Natalie Portman in this episode. Not even a Cat Dennings or Stellan Skarsgård. We do get an Asgardian though. Unfortunately, it’s not this Agardian:

Sorry fellas. No Sif in Agents in SHIELD.

Sorry fellas. No Sif in Agents in SHIELD.

Instead, we get this Asgardian:

elliot randolph

That’s right, mother-fucking Dr. Janoch Pohaa! Sorry, I mean Dr. Elliot Randolph as played by Peter MacNicol. Sadly, MacNicol is not using his excellent foreign accents skills in this episode. And he doesn’t worship any paintings of Vigo, the Scourge of Carpathia, the Sorrow of Moldavia.

But MacNicol is a full-fledged Asgardian in this episode. He’s wearing a suit in that photo and not a bitchin’ set of armor because centuries ago he renounced being an Asgardian Beserker to live a quiet life on Earth. Unfortunately, a Nordic hate-group has discovered his Beserker staff, which he broke into three pieces and hid, and hid well. One of the pieces was inside a tree! Just a fragment of the Beserker staff is enough to give a mortal superpowers (and as Ward found out, dredge up all your worst memories). The staff is like half power ring and half Scarecrow fear toxin.


“How do we stop Gozer?!”
“Um, wrong Ghostbusters movie, jerks.”

The effect of the Beserker staff on Ward really lets Ward’s asshole side take charge. At the same time, it opens up new layers of the character. We see the childhood trauma that shapes so much of Ward’s present day. Holding the staff is too much for him, but not for Agent May, resident bad-ass of the SHIELD crew, who takes it and doles out a whupping on the bad guys.

"I got this."

“I got this.”

The “Holy shit!” moment of the episode came after the villains were defeated and the SHIELD team was getting a rare night of R&R in a hotel instead of sleeping on The Bus. Skye wants to hang out with Ward, but he decides to head up to his room alone instead. Agent May is entering her room as Ward reaches his door. She’s holding a bottle of wine and leaves the door ajar as she heads inside. Ward follows her in. WHAAAAAAAATTTTT! It looks like Ward and May are going to get the effects of the Beserker Staff out of their systems in the most fun way they can.

I was hoping for more of a tie-in with Thor: The Dark World than Coulson’s team acting like a Damage Control clean-up crew. But their roles as janitors to superheroics did lead to an interesting expansion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the introduction of The Berserker. I just wish MacNicol gave The Beserker a Carpathian accent.