Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The Well

Episode Report Card
Couch Baron: C+ | 161 USERS: B+
YOU GRADE IT
We're Sending Our Love Down The Well

As they wait in an SUV in front of the church, Fitz marvels at how nice "mandatory nap time" must be, but Coulson tells him the siesta isn't mandatory, just very pleasant. He then checks in with Ward and Skye, who are inside the crypt in different spots scanning the place for anything that pings as alien. Fitz then tells Ward something on his spectrograph is reading alien, and even though Ward says he can't see anything, Fitz tells him it's right in front of him. This setup reminds me of a fateful scene involving Tom Skerritt in Alien, so you'll forgive me if I take a break to get a blanket. Fitz then redirects Ward, and Ward sees the tail end of someone rushing away from him and gives chase. Just like that, he's got the professor up against the wall, staff in hand. Randolph says that he has a wonderful explanation for this, but Ward's like, "Yeah, I'm sure you do" and then he grabs the staff with his bare hands. I mean, this is preposterous. There's no way he would even have gone in without gloves, much less have neglected to put them on now. This is the guy who made a big show of being super careful earlier in this episode around dead bits of alien metal, and they already have an idea of what the staff can do. This is twice now that agents have acted completely incompetently just to advance the story. This show has enough problems without writer laziness. Anyway, Ward falls to the ground and sees some disjointed, disturbing images of a couple kids struggling to stay afloat in a deep well. He then seems to lose consciousness for a moment, and by the time Skye reaches him and he comes to with a terrified start, Randolph is gone. Ward shakily informs her that "he" took the staff.

"He" is also out on the street carrying a leather bag…out of which the staff is protruding significantly. Like, AGAIN, this guy would know better than anyone how big a case he'd need to conceal it. It may again seem like a minor thing, but it's completely illogical for him not to have taken steps to make sure the staff wouldn't be observed. Literally the only reason is so that Nystrom and co. will be able to see it when they pass by, as they do now. This is a story obstacle; finding a way to credibly achieve the story goal is a basic tenet of scriptwriting. When you take the time to do it well, you get Breaking Bad and Justified; when you ignore it completely, you get Dexter. This is in-between, to be sure, but a Whedon/Marvel audience is at least going to notice these details even if they like the show enough ultimately to forgive them. In other contrivances, Randolph has to fiddle with his car keys. Haven't remote unlocks been standard since, like, the '90s? This is the car equivalent of a TV character still using an answering machine so the audience can conveniently hear a message. By the time he gets it open the NPHG is upon him, and then from down the street, Coulson sees what I suppose is the professor's car come flipping into view from the right. By the time Coulson gets there, though, there's only the professor, who sits on the ground and says he screwed up. That's…a send-off to the act break? The episode is really odd, and not in a good way. And Commander Riker directed it!

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Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

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