Jonathan Frakes

CLARK GREGG, CHLOE BENNET, MING-NA WEN

“The Well” was the most anticipated episode of Agents of SHIELD since the pilot, with Star Trek: TNG actor Jonathan Frakes behind the camera, guest star Peter MacNicol, and, of course, the cross-promotion with Thor 2. Fortunately for ABC and the series’ steadily falling ratings, “The Well” was also the SHIELD‘s best hour by a large margin. The Thor 2 insertions, while unnecessary, didn’t stick out like a sore thumb, and actually worked with the main story of Dr. Elliot Randolph’s (MacNicol) Asgardian identity. The B-story of Ward’s Tragic Past was more of a promise than the fulfillment of one, but it also led to the nice surprise of him taking up Melinda’s invitation for some sexual healing. (Please don’t let this be a fake-out.) All in all, “The Well” fired on all cylinders: character development, plot, humor, and illustrating the ways crazy people become even crazier once they discover the existence of supernatural beings. Coulson, too, returned from the naive robot version of himself in last week’s “The Hub” to reclaim his role as every white-bread middle-aged dude’s slightly more badass version of himself. Through his wits, his famous friends (he’s such a name-dropper), and his apparent obsession with expensive pens, Coulson saved the day by performing some improvisational heart surgery.

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The-Avengers-Thor-and-Agent-Coulson

In this day and age, it’s hard to tell if a movie/TV series crossover is more beneficial to theatrical attendance for the former or ratings for the latter. Perhaps it’s to work both ways in the Marvel Cinematic Universe announcement that Thor: The Dark World is going to connect pretty directly with events in NBC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. This isn’t a surprise nor is it that new for the series to feature references to the Marvel movies. Agent Coulson’s story arc has been connected to what happened to him in The Avengers since the start and will continue until we’re given more details of how the character was resurrected following “The Battle of New York.” And a couple episodes have involved the Extremis serum first seen in Iron Man 3. I haven’t seen the new Thor sequel yet, so I have no speculation to offer regarding the plot connection, but I can’t imagine it being too significant. The movie won’t be ending with a “To be continued on television in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” that’s for sure. We’re being given two weeks from the opening of The Dark World to the airing of the episode in question (“The Well”), but will the show actually depend on us seeing the movie in that time? That could potentially alienate some viewers who might want or need to wait for the movie to hit video to see it. And with ratings for the show continuing to decline in both the U.S. and UK, […]

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