There was a lot of promo building up to last night’s episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ‘The Well’, with hints of a THOR: The Dark World tie-in. It will be interesting to see if there was a bump in viewership because of it. Bottom line, it wasn’t ALL THAT and the so-called ‘Thor tie-in’ was minimal if not virtually non-existent. But what it was, was a huge step in the RIGHT direction for the show!
I was ready to be mad at this episode. Really mad. Because let’s face it, the entire promotional campaign for this episode was a big lie. After the very beginning, this episode had nothing to do with Thor: The Dark World. They could have done this episode at any point in the season, with the same Asgardian connection, and it would have been as specifically tied (which is to say, not at all) into Thor 2, since it all dealt with an Asgardian item that had been on Earth for 1000 years and wasn’t at all a part of what happened in that movie.
But as he states, there were some bright moments in last night’s episode…
Jakob and Petra were completely empty villains (though seeing Erin Way made me think about how much I miss Alphas again) and the whole “Norse pagonist hate group” sounds pretty funny, even if it’s a real thing… which… is it? But what helped make this episode work was Peter MacNicol. The great character actor, known for everything from Ghostbusters II to 24 (and let us never forget Addams Family Values!) was a lot of fun as Dr. Elliot Randolph, an expert in Norse mythology and Asgardians who turned out to be an actual Asgardian. That reveal was a really good one that gave us the most powerful character we’ve seen on this show so far, in a commendably unassuming form.
Larger than even the awesome performance and presence of Peter MacNicol, however, was the move (even in mentioning) toward more integration between Marvel film and TV as well the inclusion of ‘elements’ of the Marvel universe like the Asgardians, and constant referencing to events that occurred outside the show but within the Marvel spectrum (i.e. cleanup duty of the battle between Thor and Malekith that took place in the climatic ending of Thor: The Dark World).
After last night’s move, I am slowly starting to come around and have more hope for the future of the show. We’ll see if they can build upon this moment!