The conclusive events of Thor: The Dark World will likely spill out into the plots of the other Marvel films coming down the cinematic pipeline, but they will also leak into Marvel’s newest TV offering. The company has revealed that an upcoming episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D will tie in with the Thor sequel. According to Marvel, “In the aftermath of the events chronicled in the feature film Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World, Coulson and the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pick up the pieces — one of which threatens to destroy a member of the team.” The tie-in will occur in the Nov. 19 episode of S.H.I.E.L.D titled “The Well.”
Over the course of this first season, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D has slid into a comfortable, softly padded mediocrity. For a show about secret agents and superpowered foes, it lacks the sense of daring, adventure, and fun that makes Marvel’s film events such a joy to behold every season. Instead, S.H.I.E.L.D. feels more like an episode of NCIS in a jet. A dull procedural without any sense of urgency or interesting character developments. Those of us still watching are tuning in habitually to see what vaguely interesting danger the S.H.I.E.L.D. team will find itself wrapped up in this week.
And maybe this is because Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D also feels decidedly cut off from the rest of the Marvel universe that it is said to inhabit. The characters are sure to tell us repeatedly that the show takes place in the same universe as Iron Man, Thor, and The Avengers, but it fails to make it feel as such. Outside of the frequent name dropping of superheroes and references to events from the movies, the show almost feels like a piece of fan-fiction rather than a full-fledged part of Marvel’s ever growing world. Obviously, the films’ extra whiz bang special effects aren’t possible on a paltry TV budget, but there’s no reason that the quality of writing has to take such a nosedive as well.
Adding a plot continuation from the Thor sequel could toss in a dash of Marvel’s movie magic to a television series that has struggled to justify its existence in its early going. It could also give Marvel junkies who haven’t watched S.H.I.E.L.D. a reason to tune in if they want the full story of what happens after the credits of the film roll. If Marvel wants Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to be relevant, the show has to feel like a vital part of the universe, something that fans can’t miss, or risk losing key sections of the super hero mosaic that Marvel is painting with its films. The move might feel a tad desperate, but desperate times call for desperate measures.