REVIEW: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D 1×08 “The Well”

Well that was a fun episode to watch, not really the “epic crossover event” it was billed as, but still an enjoyable episode of television. “The Well” took a few tiny steps towards fleshing out Agent Ward and brought a nice wrinkle into the entire affair of who he is as a person and what motivates his anger and drive. Even more so it managed to build up some aspects of the Asgardian world and the Marvel universe. However, this truly was Ward’s show and Brett Dalton manages to maximize on the material which is afforded to him. It is not to say that the other characters have dropped to the wayside, but rather that at this point the writers seem to be using singular episodes to branch out tiny bits of the characters backgrounds. It seems to be working well at this point, and even with this crossover thats not a crossover the show managed to push forward even if the overarching season long plot has apparently stagnated. So let’s dive in,

Like I said this was Ward’s episode to play around with and the Idea of the mysterious item causing rage powered super strength was fun. What really helped to make the episode excel was the idea of the flashbacks and the left turn they took at the end. I did not think Ward would be the chubby kid at the tope of the well, and it was a nice twist to find out he was a bully of some sort to what I guess was his little brother. This move gives ward a lot of leeway moving forward as he is now in a position of pure power, and how he uses his position at S.H.I.E.L.D will either help or hinder his process towards redemption. Ward wants to do the right thing and be a good person, but he knows some part of him will always be the kid at the top of the well how hesitated to throw the rope down. I really like what the professor said about the fear and hate never truly going away, if anything this will be a lingering problem for Ward throughout the series.

As for the crossover part of the plot it was about as much of a crossover as any other episode we have seen. It was not the team cleaning up some dark elf tech, or trying to recapture the behemoth, it truly was a simple case of the week situation. This was kind of disappointing as I really wanted this to be a crossover or continuation of the plot from Thor: The Dark World, but i guess that would have been hard since the film had only been out for two weeks at this point. The berserker staff was a nice plot device in comparison to some of the other things the team has had to confront, I just wish our “villains” could have possibly been stronger mental instead of a bunch of misguided kids whose sole purpose was anarchy. Luckily the professor character was just slimy enough to make up for the complete lack of a threatening villain.

Speaking of plot this episode was very much an A plot only type of episode and that slightly irked me. It felt like there were many different types of subplots that could have been introduced and played around with and the writers chose to only focus on one plot line. Granted, it was an interesting and fun story to follow especially once the team found out about the Asgardian, but there was still room for the plot to explore how Ward’s paranoia and rage effected the team. May did manage to pick up some of the slack in that exploration, but she became very Hulk like once she got a hold of the staff. I mean the idea of living with your darkest pain was slightly expected, but the once again managed to put a nice twist on the event by having May leave her door open so she and Ward could talk it out.


Overall a solid episode.


Final Grade B-

+Great material for Ward

+Nice use of marvel comic lore


-All A plot, no B plot.

-Not really a villain in sight

-not even really a crossover


Extra Thoughts

-Coulson almost went full Kali Ma. It was pretty awesome.

-We are apparently still stuck on what happened in “FZZT,” and we might be reaching a point of diminishing returns soon.

-So I guess Tahiti was some type of computer simulation or maybe Valhalla.

About the author

Scott Swartz