Beware the Spoiler Kitten! If you haven’t seen Thor: The Dark World you may not want to read this review. Although it is highly likely you've all guessed some of the stuff I mention from the trailers.
For a while now this episode has been hyped up as a crossover with Thor: The Dark World. All the promo trailers promised that the story that started in The Dark World would continue in this episode. Which was true, in a sense. The episode opened with the team in Greenwich, helping with the clean-up from Thor’s climatic battle with the Dark Elves, which had left Greenwich University and other parts of London in less than pristine condition.
And that was about it.
The rest of the episode had absolutely nothing to do with the film at all. Yes, the case of the week involved some rogue Asgard tech, but it was completely unconnected with anything that happened in The Dark World. The entire opening scene was clearly shoved in just to generate some buzz for this episode. You could easily cut it out completely and it would have no effect on the remainder of the episode.
I didn't really have a problem with the scene itself because it's something I expected the series would do. I loved seeing Simmons grumble about having to pick up the pieces after these careless superheroes. But it was a serious mistake to hype up this episode as much as they did. A lot of people would've come to this episode expecting more than what was delivered. An established show, with a loyal and stable audience, could get away with that. But a new show, one that is seriously struggling holding onto its audience, should not be promising that audience something and then fail to deliver on it. Many will feel disappointed, maybe even slightly cheated.
The episode itself was alright, but in order for me to enjoy it I had to ignore some pretty big, let’s not say contrivances, let’s be kind and say incidents of people being very lucky. I mean, it was a rather very lucky that out of the thousands of experts in Norse myths all around the world, Coulson would just so happen to consult the one who happened to be an undercover Asgardian, who may or may not have worked at a Boston law firm in the late 90s. And how lucky was it that he was also currently living in one of the cities where he stashed one third of his rage staff?
This episode’s bad guys were also incredibly lucky. Despite their leaders being wanted by S.H.I.E.L.D., they were able to get from Norway to Spain to Ireland in record time with no obvious bother from border control. And they must’ve had one hell of a research team. Using just a single vague clue, they were not only able to work out exactly where the final piece of the rage staff was located, but were also able to get there before the team did, despite lacking a private jet of their own or info from the guy who actually put it there in the first place. They were also lucky that Coulson didn’t call ahead and ask the Ireland office to secure the location.
The unwritten laws of television drama dictate that when a mystical device that affects people by touch is discovered, one or more of the main characters will inevitably touch it. Sometimes this will happen by accident. In this case it happened because Ward was really dumb. You’d think an experienced agent like him wouldn’t just grab the dangerous alien weapon like that. His stupidity gave us an opportunity to scratch under the surface and find out what makes Ward tick. Except I don’t really care about what makes Ward tick, especially if it is going to be a bog standard abusive childhood backstory. All through those traumatic flashbacks all I could think was “that well looks a lot like the one Batman fell down as a kid".
Intel and Assets
--Looks like Coulson’s programming is starting to break. But that’s not important right now, what is important is that he doesn’t actually wear Captain America pyjamas!
--Why were all the Norwegians speaking English?
--Ming Na Wen celebrated her 50th birthday this week. Yes, she's 50. Someone please explain to me how this is possible? Did she make the same demonic pact as Bianca Lawson?
--Is it just me or do Peter MacNicol and Iain De Caestecker look like they could be father and son?
--In my mind May and Ward just sat in her room getting drunk and making fun of Irish TV. Anything else is not worth thinking about.
--In the Marvel Cinematic Universe everyone thinks Thor is dreamy, unlike the actual universe where everyone thinks Loki is the dreamy one.
--I love the idea that Norse mythology has now become a history subject in this universe.
--Berserkers do come from Norse Mythology. They were warriors who fought in a nearly uncontrollable, trance-like fury. In the comics Thor could invoke the berserker rage to increase his strength.
Coulson: "Lots of bones. Let's see what we can dig up. See what I did there?"
Coulson: “Did I fall asleep?”
Masseuse: “For a little while.”
--Nice Dollhouse reference there.
Two and a half out of four magic brooms.
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