Last week on ABC’s “‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”, Agents Ward and Fitz were nearly killed in a mission to save the world. They both survived without a scratch on them. This is only a few weeks since Agent Simmons almost died in a mission to save the world. She survived, and seems just fine. Every week one of the team is placed in mortal danger for some ancient artifact or alien relic. So far none of them actually got hurt.
The promo’s for last night’s episode, titled “The Well”, promised a plot tie in to “Thor: The Dark World”, and a possessed Agent Ward. The episode started with a voice over to remind viewers about the crazy back story of Thor. He’s a god/alien and stuff, but he loves to pop in every so often to visit Natalie Portman. Agent Ward, Fitz, and Simmons are on the scene of Thor’s latest appearance on clean up duty. Soon we see that the entire team is on site working to fix the mess Thor left behind. One thing they need to consider is if Thor paid his hair stylist before leaving for Asgard. He’s done that sort of thing before.
Meanwhile in Norway things are beginning to get creepy. A couple is backpacking in the woods searching for “halo stones”. They find a spot and break out a chainsaw. The guy fells a tree then goes to work chopping it up. In the middle of the tree is what looks like a broken half of a metal rod. The rod is covered with Thor like carvings. The couple grasp the handle and take in power from the artifact. It bestows crazy anger, which the woman uses to throw a park ranger a few hundred feet. Sounds like a job for S.H.I.E.L.D.
Agent Coulson gets the low down on the situation from the living park ranger in Norway, and it’s a good thing that guy speaks perfect English. After Agent Simmons scans the broken tree, Agent Fitz confirms that the rod inside the tree was from Thor. If that isn’t tough enough there are major riots happening in Oslo. The riots are being led by the couple who definitely are dealing with out of control god complexes.
Turns out the couple are part of a Norse Pagan religion. The team can’t get reach Thor for his help in the matter because he’s got better things to do. Skye proposes that maybe the steel rod called out to the couple, and Agent Coulson backs her up. He thinks this is a job for Dr. Elliot Randolph, a leading expert on Norse mythology played by the amazing Peter MacNicol.
He’s flirting with one of his students when Coulson arrives at his office. Randolph thinks the staff piece is a part of the Berserker Staff, which places the holder in a state of uncontrollable rage. In the myth the original warrior who held it fell into love and broke it into three pieces, and then buried the pieces all over the planet. One of the myths involves a river, and the other deals with being close to god. Randolph suggests Coulson checks out Viking burial grounds for a lead.
Skye identifies Seville as a long shot because Vikings sacked the city twice in history. The team deploys there to check out a Viking crypt. Agents Ward and Skye crawl through the crypts looking for another piece of the staff when Ward runs across Dr. Dr. Randolph who is also in the tunnels. Of course he is there. You only cast the great Peter MacNicol to be the bad guy. Ward stops the doctor, but is hit by what seems to be memory migraines.
Skye discovers Ward on the ground passed out, and no sign of Randolph. Dr. Randolph has taken the staff, but he’s confronted by the Pagans when he reaches his car. Coulson spots the Doctor’s car flip in front of him, and runs to investigate. Randolph is there, and not hurt, but he’s lost the staff to the group. Now its a race to find the third segment of the staff. Back on the plane Ward is having his vitals checked after fainting from touching the staff. The test involved him taking his shirt off, and being covered in LEDs.
Dr. Randolph explains to Coulson that he only wanted the staff for academic reasons, and not for the whole god like powers rush. Ward’s becoming more and more aggressive due to the spikes in adrenaline from the staff. He ends up going all Richie Incognito on the group. The staff had brought up memories of his dead brother, and Ward isn’t taking it so well. He’s in such a rage that he takes a swipe at Agent May. She dodges the lunge, but he’s still really angry.
While the Pagans show off how much fun it can be to have two pieces of the staff, Ward comes to Coulson to asks off of this mission. The staff unlocked his most hated of memories, but Coulson thinks he can still be of use. He asks him to focus all of his rage in making Dr. Randolph tell them all he knows. Randolph continues to play coy with him so Ward tries to stab him with a scary knife. Randolph catches the blade and bends it in half. Turns out that Dr. Randolph is actually from Asgard. Could he be the original warrior who brought the staff to Earth?
It turns out that Dr. Randolph is exactly that, the original Asgardian Warrior. Coulson figured it out by putting together a few obvious clues. Randolph fell in love with a French girl, and her brother the priest wrote it into legend. Back on Asgard he was just a mason who never knew Thor. The staff shines a light into your darkest of places, and interacts with whoever is holding it. Randolph refuses to give up the location of the final piece, but Coulson threatens him with a possible call to Thor. That works wonders, and he reveals the final location to the team as Ireland.
The staff is hidden in the original church that first helped Randolph when he arrived on Earth. He’s just about to unlock the final piece when the Norse Pagan gang leader interrupts them by stabbing the Doctor though the heart with the final piece of staff. Ward grabs the charged staff from Randolph’s chest, and tackles the gang leader out of the second floor balcony. This could be a one episode arc for Dr. Randolph, the original Asgardian lover.
Agent Ward and the Pagan God are throwing each other into walls, while Fitz, Simmons, and Coulson work to save Randolph’s life. Ward is able to defeat the leader, and the rest of the gang because he’s a S.H.I.E.L.D. killer. Coulson at the same time locates Randolph’s Asgardian heart, and stops the bleeding. Not a shock because characters with names rarely end up dead on this show. Just when this week couldn’t get more bad ass Agent May picks up the staffs and destroys the rest of the Pagan leadership.
So to recap, Agent Ward seems to be fine after his whole anger thing, Dr. Randolph survived his staff stabbing, and the team once again repelled the forces of evil in less than 42 minutes. That’s pretty much what we’ve come to expect from “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”. Coulson talks to Randolph about his life post “Tahiti”, but once again doesn’t reveal anything more than suspicions about his missing time. The show ended with Agent Ward entering Agent May’s room for some extracurricular activities. How can he be with Agent May when Skye is his perfect rom-com match?
The last scene this week featured Agent Coulson in what looked to be a Tahiti massage tent. It was the moment when he first re-awoke from his experience in New York. That’s the moment haunting his dreams.
Tune in next week to see if we can find out just what is up with Coulson.