Warning: this post contains spoilers from episode 1.08 of ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., “The Well”
Over the past couple of episodes, I have slowly started to like the character, Agent Grant Ward. I knew in the pilot, Ward could be an interesting character when they hinted about his past being tragic, but then the show started to show a no-nonsense agent. They finally addressed his personality a couple of episodes ago in “FZZT” with both Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons impersonating him. The beauty is when Ward impersonates himself to Simmons later in the episode. This was the episode where I finally started to gain interest in his character, and my interest grew even more when he was paired up with Fitz in the next episode, “The Hub.” This latest episode, “The Well,” finally started to address Grant’s past, and helped explain why he has appeared to be this stoic, I-work-alone agent most of the season.
This episode dealt with many of the characters facing fears and darker parts of their lives. For Simmons, she hasn’t been able to talk to her parents after she fell ill, and almost died from falling out of the plane. She also has to deal with the fear of falling when she has to walk up fifteen feet of a cut down tree. Ward is on site with her, and tries to deflect her thoughts. She knows what he is doing, but I think she finds comfort in him helping her deal with her fear of falling.
He assures her he will catch her again. In some ways, Ward is the person who helps her overcome some of her fears in this episode. She then finally gets the courage to talk to her parents, after both Ward and Melinda May fight the bad guys, and Coulson helps her save Professor Elliot Randolph’s life.
Then there is Ward facing some of his darkest memories. Thanks to the Ward coming into contact with Asgardian artifact, one of his darkest memories resurfaced. We learn Ward has buried his past in order to be able to do his job, but the artifact brings it back up in order to fill him with rage to give him super fighting strength. Fortunately he has May who understands the situation he is in to help him through it. May’s past is still a big mystery, but we have learned she has a dark past. It is one of the reasons why I believe Coulson constantly finds consolation with May because of all she has lived through. Later in the episode, Grant asks May how she was able to hold the entire scepter when it meant her darkest memories were hitting her stronger than his hit him. She replied she sees it every day. May doesn’t block it out like Ward, but keeps it as a constant reminder.
She has learned to live with it. It still hurts, and it is probably one of the reasons why May and Ward get drunk together at the end of the show.
Finally, there is Coulson. Coulson doesn’t remember what happened to him after he died, and it is slowly starting to bug him even more of not knowing what happened. He is tempted to touch the scepter and Randolph knows this. Randolph questions him on why he wants to know this because Coulson is alive and appears to be living a good, healthy life. It is still bugging Coulson, and will probably continue to bug him until he finally gets some answers. He knows something is wrong. I mean you shouldn’t think dreaming about Tahiti getting a massage would be a nightmare, but it is to him at the end of this episode. I’m with Coulson on this. If this show is doing a Dollhouse callback then something is wrong with Tahiti being this magical place.
The other thing I loved about this episode was the procedural part of the story. The thing with Marvel having so many movies and now this show is they now all exist in the same timeline. It is one of the things that ticked me off with Thor: The Dark World. There was only the slightest mention of S.H.I.E.L.D and nothing else. This episode made up for my frustration in some ways. It began with Simmon’s narration about other worlds and Asgard leading to the scene where the team is cleaning up after Thor and the Dark Elves. The show really didn’t spoil the movie unless someone would be ticked off to know part of Greenwich got destroyed in one of the battles.
The other part I enjoyed about this story is another Asgardian (Randolph) being involved. It was enjoyable to see someone else from Asgard not involved with Thor who has lived on Earth for quite a long time because he fell in love with our world. Who can blame him from falling in love with the planet and becoming a Pacifist, after being a mason all his life on Asgard? I also believe this explains Larry Fleinhardt so much better on Numb3rs.
Finally, I want to give this show kudos for showing different partnerships with this episode. I love that this show is exploring the members of the team partnering up with different people.