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Agents Of SHIELD: The Well

Agents Of SHIELD Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

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#1 DWF

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Posted 19 November 2013 - 08:05 PM

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The team picks up the pieces after the Asgardian invasion,

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#2 G-man

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 09:13 AM

This wasn't a bad one.  Simmons (that's the girl, right?) is still dealing with the aftershock of her experience with the alien virus, and it was rather nice to see Ward actively helping her cope in the midst of their investigation.  Additionally, it was nice to see Agents of SHIELD griping about having to clean up the mess that others had made.

The only thing that felt off was the time scale in the episode.  The berserkergangen seemed to be making their way around Europe as fast as the jet-transported SHIELD agents.  Which does beg the question of how they got around.  I mean, continental Europe has the Eurail which connects all but travel times would be on the order of maybe a day (or longer) to move from Norway to Spain, then how did they get to Ireland?  I mean, you moving more than just two people, and I'd think the sudden booking of a gang of a dozen (or more) on an airliner would definitely sound somekind of warning.  Yeah, it's a niggling little detail, but having travelled through Europe myself, it's something that really attracted my attention.

The berserker staff ... well, this is the Marvel Universe so I'll let that slide; but I did like the development of the professor as an Asgardian.  That Coulson deduced it just from witnessing the interrogation, and recognizing the value of the pen, was a nice touch.

We got to see a bit of what made Ward, Ward ... as well as getting a snippet into Coulson's conditioning viz. Tahiti.

Skye trying to reach out to/rein in Ward ... I dunno, I think the character might've been in earnest, but that development felt off to me.  I mean, considering their supposed estrangement and lack of rapproachment on Ward's part, it seemed forced.  OTOH, it made perfect sense for Ward to join May to decompress after that experience, if only because they shared the experience and therefore had an genuine understanding for what the other went through.

/s/

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#3 Christopher

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 10:21 AM

"Did I fall asleep?" "For a little while." That's it! Coulson is an Active! :lol:

I was a bit surprised that the artifact was something hidden in a tree in Norway rather than a leftover weapon from the Greenwich attack, but the tie to The Dark World turned out to be more sociopolitical -- the intrusion of real Asgardians inspiring a neo-pagan movement. Which is an interesting idea, just the sort of thing this show is meant to be about -- the consequences on ordinary people living in a comic-book world.


View PostG-man, on 20 November 2013 - 09:13 AM, said:

The only thing that felt off was the time scale in the episode.  The berserkergangen seemed to be making their way around Europe as fast as the jet-transported SHIELD agents.  Which does beg the question of how they got around.

Well, the SHIELD team had to figure out where to go before they could go there. The others seemed to know where to look already, so that gave them an edge.
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#4 G-man

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 11:04 AM

^^^ Even allowing for that, we're talking the difference between a 1-2 hour flight and a 24 hour (if not longer) train-ride.  Especially considering that they had live coverage of the riot in Oslo wherein they identified the perps, which meant the team and the berserkergang would've been leaving Norway within a couple of hours of each other, it's something of a stretch.  Of course this goes back to my complaint in the pilot about the artistic license they took in depicting the team's tracking down Skye in the first place.

I find myself wishing that the writers would bother to take travel times more into account in their plotting of the stories, than simply waving their hands to achieve the desired plot points.  And yes, I do recognize that ignoring travel times in drama is a common trope in TV shows and movies, but I still don't like it.

/s/

Gloriosus
the G-man Himself
Let me strive every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, so that all may profit by it.
Let me think of the right and lend my assistance to all who may need it, with no regard for anything but justice.
Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage.
Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens, and my associates in everything I say and do.
Let me do right to all, and wrong no man.
-- Doc Savage

Few people want to be moderated, most people see the need for everyone else to be moderated. -- Orpheus

#5 RJDiogenes

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 08:22 PM

Another great episode, possibly the strongest so far. The subtlety of the character dynamics, particularly between Skye, Ward and May almost demands a repeat viewing or two. Normally, I just enjoy this show for what it is and don't feel any special connection to Marvel, but this week's plot and style of characterization somehow had the feeling of old-school Marvel writers like Englehart or Moench. So many things to love: The neo-Pagan terrorists and the Joe Six-Pack Asgardian, the conversation between Skye and May at the beginning, Jemma seeing through Ward's ploy, Ward's flashbacks to childhood, Ward turning himself in to Coulson as compromised, Coulson figuring out the Asgardian and name-dropping Thor, May trying to help Ward multiple times, Ward finally getting what he was doing wrong and turning to May, Skye trying to help Ward but not understanding how, and, of course, Coulson's dream about Tahiti.

It's kind of ironic to see something so tight and intricate in the era of "decompressed" storytelling in the comics; this is how comics and TV shows should be.
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#6 DWF

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 09:02 PM

It was rather predictable and we didn't get to see all of Ward's memory and why he felt his rage as child. We also didn't learn what effect the staff has on May. And what's worse is that dispite learing that Ward will have to deal his rage for years it'll be more than likely forgotten about next week. It was nice seeing Peter MacNichol again but he wasn't too believable as an Asgardian.
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#7 sierraleone

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 09:58 PM

View PostDWF, on 20 November 2013 - 09:02 PM, said:

It was rather predictable and we didn't get to see all of Ward's memory and why he felt his rage as child. We also didn't learn what effect the staff has on May. And what's worse is that dispite learing that Ward will have to deal his rage for years it'll be more than likely forgotten about next week. It was nice seeing Peter MacNichol again but he wasn't too believable as an Asgardian.

I am guessing whatever she saw is what made her stop field work in the first place.
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#8 NeuralClone

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 01:44 AM

I thought this was pretty dreadful, to be honest. And very, very dull. Lots of Agent May goodness as usual and the "Did I fall asleep?"/"For a little while." exchange was hilarious. But other than that, this was pretty predictable and generic. I'm really wanting to continue liking this show but it isn't doing a very good job keeping my interest. I'm a big fan of comics and especially the Marvel universe. But the show is just treading water. Meanwhile, Arrow just seems to be getting better every week. It's making it even harder for me to justify continuing with this. *sigh*

Edited by NeuralClone, 21 November 2013 - 01:48 AM.

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#9 G-man

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 08:01 AM

^^^ I think part of the problem is that it kinda feels like NCIS:MCU.

Yes, there's the whole globe-hopping aspect, as well as the occasional otherworldly tech, superpowered individual, etc., buy so far it's core is centered around the eclectic team that are loyal to each other, doing SHIELD's bidding without question.  It really should be so much more.

(shrug)

Oh well.

/s/

Gloriosus
the G-man Himself
Let me strive every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, so that all may profit by it.
Let me think of the right and lend my assistance to all who may need it, with no regard for anything but justice.
Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage.
Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens, and my associates in everything I say and do.
Let me do right to all, and wrong no man.
-- Doc Savage

Few people want to be moderated, most people see the need for everyone else to be moderated. -- Orpheus

#10 Christopher

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 10:51 AM

"Doing SHIELD's bidding without question?" I think "The Hub" proved that's not the case. Questions have been raised, and I'm sure they'll continue to be.
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#11 G-man

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 11:39 AM

^^^ Well, when the writers remember that Skye isn't a true believer, and would be challenging the teams' assumptions about SHIELD.

In "The Hub," had Skye not been there, Ward and Fitz would've been needlessly sacrificed because they demonstrated that the rest of the team did "trust the system" and would not have pried beyond their security clearance (IOW, behaving as they should, instead of how SHIELD hoped they would).

But, by and large, Skye is being presented as the supposedly self-absorbed outsider who desperately wants in and to prove herself (like a "probie"), and is so terribly repentant when she "disappoints" the team :rolleyes:  Hardly the rebellious figure that we heard speaking as the Voice of the Rising Tide.

/s/

Gloriosus
the G-man Himself
Let me strive every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, so that all may profit by it.
Let me think of the right and lend my assistance to all who may need it, with no regard for anything but justice.
Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage.
Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens, and my associates in everything I say and do.
Let me do right to all, and wrong no man.
-- Doc Savage

Few people want to be moderated, most people see the need for everyone else to be moderated. -- Orpheus

#12 NeuralClone

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 12:04 PM

Questions have been raised so slowly that this show is starting to make Lost look like a fast paced action movie. It's great that they're raising questions and setting up...something but the pacing is absolutely terrible. If the cases of the week were more interesting I'd probably be more forgiving. But they're generic and predictable.

So until something actually happens with the main story that relies on knowledge of Iron Man 3 (at least explain what Extremis IS for people that haven't seen that movie), the show is just treading water. I realize this is the show's first season and that it's still trying to find itself. But despite that it has massive problems that are weighing it down. A lot. Poor pacing, inconsistent characters, and uninteresting cases of the week that have been done before elsewhere and done a lot better.

It's frustrating to me because I've really wanted to like the show. I love the Marvel universe and I've been fairly patient with the series. In theory I should be the target audience. But nothing of note is really happening and the show is boring me to death. The questions about Coulson are interesting but there has been almost no movement on that front since we found out he was brought back from the dead. It's just so generic and poorly paced. The main story seems to have potential if it ever gets off the ground and becomes more than a few references to Iron Man 3. So far, though, there isn't really anything to it.

In the meantime I'll continue watching for the Ming-Na Wen goodness every week. She's easily the strongest cast member and any scene with her is guaranteed to be awesome. The rest of the cast and characters are extremely hit or miss. That's probably more of an issue with the writing than their acting ability, though.

Edited by NeuralClone, 21 November 2013 - 12:08 PM.

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#13 NeuralClone

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 12:04 PM

Freaking double post.

Edited by NeuralClone, 21 November 2013 - 12:04 PM.

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#14 Christopher

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 12:07 PM

View PostG-man, on 21 November 2013 - 11:39 AM, said:

^^^ Well, when the writers remember that Skye isn't a true believer, and would be challenging the teams' assumptions about SHIELD.
No, it's not just Skye. Coulson questioned and ultimately defied his orders. Although, granted, it was implied that Hand may have wanted him to.

And seriously, good grief, there's hardly been an episode of the series that hasn't raised questions about SHIELD's use of its power. It's been a clear recurring theme throughout the season so far. Just because it hasn't become front-and-center yet doesn't mean it isn't there; it just means it's a slowly building thread that will almost certainly become more prominent as the season progresses. Not only is that likely based on what we're seeing in the trailer for the SHIELD-centric Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but Whedon's body of work for the past decade or more has been consistently about questioning the ethics of those in power and the potential of power to be abused. So there's no way that won't be a theme in this series, even if it has to be played subtly at first so as not to scare off the various executives who have so much riding on the show and the MCU.

Edited by Christopher, 21 November 2013 - 12:07 PM.

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#15 NeuralClone

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 12:12 PM

You just nailed one of the biggest problems with the show. It's setting up plot threads for movies. As a TV series, it should be dealing with these things itself instead of acting as a tease for upcoming big budget movies. It's scaring off viewers.

Edited by NeuralClone, 21 November 2013 - 12:13 PM.

"My sexuality's not the most interesting thing about me."
— Cosima Niehaus, Orphan Black, "Governed By Sound Reason and True Religion"

#16 DWF

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 12:30 PM

View PostNeuralClone, on 21 November 2013 - 12:04 PM, said:

Questions have been raised so slowly that this show is starting to make Lost look like a fast paced action movie. It's great that they're raising questions and setting up...something but the pacing is absolutely terrible. If the cases of the week were more interesting I'd probably be more forgiving. But they're generic and predictable.

So until something actually happens with the main story that relies on knowledge of Iron Man 3 (at least explain what Extremis IS for people that haven't seen that movie), the show is just treading water. I realize this is the show's first season and that it's still trying to find itself. But despite that it has massive problems that are weighing it down. A lot. Poor pacing, inconsistent characters, and uninteresting cases of the week that have been done before elsewhere and done a lot better.

It's frustrating to me because I've really wanted to like the show. I love the Marvel universe and I've been fairly patient with the series. In theory I should be the target audience. But nothing of note is really happening and the show is boring me to death. The questions about Coulson are interesting but there has been almost no movement on that front since we found out he was brought back from the dead. It's just so generic and poorly paced. The main story seems to have potential if it ever gets off the ground and becomes more than a few references to Iron Man 3. So far, though, there isn't really anything to it.

In the meantime I'll continue watching for the Ming-Na Wen goodness every week. She's easily the strongest cast member and any scene with her is guaranteed to be awesome. The rest of the cast and characters are extremely hit or miss. That's probably more of an issue with the writing than their acting ability, though.


The pilot IMO should've been two hours long to explain the audience members who hadn't seen Iron Man 3 and to generally help set up the series. And as G-Man has stated above and I've said in a previous thread, the show does seem like a CSI or NCIS series. The non stop actionand adventure from the old Nick Fury comic book certainly isn't a part of the series. Now does SHIELD seem to have an overall mission state as an oragnization.
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#17 enTranced

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 12:39 PM

Well, I enjoyed it. I agree this was a pretty good outing. My only issue this week is our Asgardian wasn't very Asgardian. Yes, he was suposed to be some kind of blue collar Asgardian but still everything we have seen so far is that Asgardians are a very flashy folk and our Professor well, wasn't.

And as someone who loved Thor 2 and stayed until the very end I was hoping for a mention of the Jottenheim puppy that was last seen chasing down birds in London and was a litle annoyed that we never got even a mention.

But as others have said I love the way they are mixing up the team. I love the way they are progressing the mystery of Coulson. I was a little, ok VERY surprised by May and Ward sleeping together as neither of them have been shown to have any interest in the other. So am am in wait and see mode there....

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#18 enTranced

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 12:41 PM

View Postsierraleone, on 20 November 2013 - 09:58 PM, said:

View PostDWF, on 20 November 2013 - 09:02 PM, said:

It was rather predictable and we didn't get to see all of Ward's memory and why he felt his rage as child. We also didn't learn what effect the staff has on May. And what's worse is that dispite learing that Ward will have to deal his rage for years it'll be more than likely forgotten about next week. It was nice seeing Peter MacNichol again but he wasn't too believable as an Asgardian.

I am guessing whatever she saw is what made her stop field work in the first place.

Ditto. We know exactly what May saw from when May and Coulson compared their scars.

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#19 Christopher

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 02:27 PM

View PostenTranced, on 21 November 2013 - 12:39 PM, said:

Well, I enjoyed it. I agree this was a pretty good outing. My only issue this week is our Asgardian wasn't very Asgardian. Yes, he was suposed to be some kind of blue collar Asgardian but still everything we have seen so far is that Asgardians are a very flashy folk and our Professor well, wasn't.

That's because he's been living incognito among humans for a thousand years. Naturally he learned how to avoid drawing attention.


Quote

And as someone who loved Thor 2 and stayed until the very end I was hoping for a mention of the Jottenheim puppy that was last seen chasing down birds in London and was a litle annoyed that we never got even a mention.

But that would've spoiled it for people who haven't seen the movie yet. It's only been out two weeks.

Quote

I was a little, ok VERY surprised by May and Ward sleeping together as neither of them have been shown to have any interest in the other.

Makes perfect sense to me. They're the two who have the most in common, and I'm sure it's not unusual for people in an intense line of work like theirs to have casual hookups. It's not the beginning of some soap-opera love affair, it's just two adult professionals relieving stress.


View PostenTranced, on 21 November 2013 - 12:41 PM, said:

We know exactly what May saw from when May and Coulson compared their scars.

We know nothing of the kind. All we know is what we suspected already, that she's been through some intense trauma and suffered PTSD and thus can identify with Coulson's PTSD. That certainly does not mean that they both experienced the exact same trauma. I mean, clearly she can identify with Ward's trauma too, and that's what drew them together.
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#20 G-man

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 02:34 PM

View PostChristopher, on 21 November 2013 - 12:07 PM, said:

View PostG-man, on 21 November 2013 - 11:39 AM, said:

^^^ Well, when the writers remember that Skye isn't a true believer, and would be challenging the teams' assumptions about SHIELD.
No, it's not just Skye. Coulson questioned and ultimately defied his orders. Although, granted, it was implied that Hand may have wanted him to.

AFTER Skye gave Coulson reason to question what he was told.  Before that, he was inclined to go along with whatever Hand had in mind, trusting that she'd have his team-mates extracted.

Quote

And seriously, good grief, there's hardly been an episode of the series that hasn't raised questions about SHIELD's use of its power. It's been a clear recurring theme throughout the season so far. Just because it hasn't become front-and-center yet doesn't mean it isn't there; it just means it's a slowly building thread that will almost certainly become more prominent as the season progresses.

Really?  Because I have not been seeing that, at all.

It was questioned in the first episode when they brought Skye on board; I saw it touched on in the Malta episode which concluded with this utterly dangerous device must not be destroyed and is only safe in SHIELD's custody, and the "Skye betrayed us" episode - which concluded by stating Skye was absolutely totally in the wrong and she should be ashamed of herself for failing to betray her principles and a longtime friend and lover to her new team-mates, and how dare form any loyalties to others before she met the team.  That's, what, 3 episodes out of how many?

Basically, I'm feeling that this issue should be front and center instead of relegated to the background.

The writers have given us this team into which they introduced an anti-establishment crusader (oh, sorry, she's the poor little orphan seeking to discover her roots) who was shang-hai'd and impressed into service*; and expect that such issues wouldn't be an actively running debate between her and Coulson?  Instead they depict her as the willing volunteer eager to please and remorseful when she disappoints.

*Honestly, in the Pilot I thought her options were a) join the team; b) be locked away to never again see the light of day for the rest of her life; or c) be completely mindwiped and dumped back out on the street.  IOW, she had no choice in the matter, and should have been depicted as making the best of a bad situation with the hopes of improving it, while still not completely trusting her "team mates".  

/s/

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Edited by G-man, 21 November 2013 - 02:36 PM.

Let me strive every moment of my life to make myself better and better, to the best of my ability, so that all may profit by it.
Let me think of the right and lend my assistance to all who may need it, with no regard for anything but justice.
Let me take what comes with a smile, without loss of courage.
Let me be considerate of my country, of my fellow citizens, and my associates in everything I say and do.
Let me do right to all, and wrong no man.
-- Doc Savage

Few people want to be moderated, most people see the need for everyone else to be moderated. -- Orpheus



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