The episode opens with Simmons giving a lovely mini narrative about gods, which leads to Asgard, which leads to the still fresh fallout from Thor: The Dark World. The agents are on Men in Black duty at Greenwich University, namely finding alien things, like pieces of a ship and locking them away in boxes with large red hazardous stickers on them. Even Fitz comments early on that, “this is work that a monkey could be doing.”
There’s a nice little scene involving Coulson, May and Skye, where Coulson says something akin to, “I don’t think was ever a time when something alien in the hands of humans ended well.” Nice foreshadowing, even if it is a bit obvious. Skye naturally replies, “I’d like to get my hands on Thor, he’s dreamy.”
We’re then shown a forest in Norway and a couple, one blonde, one guy with sunglasses and a large chainsaw. The guy then goes Axe Men on a presumably 9000 year old tree, climbs the fallen tree and finds an obviously Asgardian Staff. He and his lady friend then share a brief make out session in front of said staff. Awkward. The couple and the staff then share a passionate threesome, where they all hold hands and sing Kum Bi Ya. (Except the singing part.) There’s some dialogue about letting the rage flow through you as they both grope the staff. Thank goodness a couple officials happen by and stop them before ….oopsie, blondie just palmed one of the officials and he flew backwards about a hundred feet. That can’t be good.
And we have our case for the week! Cue title screen!
We end up back at the fallen tree, with Simmons awkwardly trying to climb up onto it, confessing her fear of heights early on. Ward, sympathetic as always, tells her not to focus on that part. “If you fall, I’ll catch you,” he says. That’s comforting. Coulson is nearby talking to the surviving official, who says that blondie had a silver stick, coulda been steel. This proves that no one actually saw Thor: The Dark World.
Back on the tree, Simmons is using her PKE Meter (Ghostbusters reference.) to analyze the spot where the staff was. Instantly the readings are sent to Fitz in the lab, who says that the readings match Thor’s hammer. Wow these guys are good. CSI could use these guys. Even better, Simmons performs a scan of the imprint left by the object, uploads it and they have a virtual 3D model, that looks way better than anything you could do with Maya. I’m impressed.
The news feed on TV confirms that our couple, now in Roid Rage Mode, are causing trouble on the streets of Oslo (also confirming Norway). Someone should stop them !
Research back at the lab shows the couple have names, faces and the fact that they are Norse Paganists. By Loki’s Beard !
Skye suggests that they call Thor, but Coulson says he’s off the grid. Damn.
Thank goodness that Coulson knows a professor who can shed more light on the situation. He must have one heck of an impressive rolodex. We then cut to the professor’s office and in a charming surprise, said professor turns out to be Peter MacNicol. It’s always a treat seeing him pop up, and he seems to be perfect playing academics.
Cutting to the chase, MacNichol explains to the agents that the staff is really the “Berserker Staff” which gives its bearer the strength of 20 grinches plus two, and also bestows an uncontrollable rage. Apparently the original owner broke the staff into three pieces and hid them all. Egad Watson, The Game is Afoot !
On the search for the next piece, Ward touches the staff (you’d think they would have been extra careful by this point) and is seemingly infected by the rage virus, before the staff piece is stolen …and then stolen again. Ward is taken back to the lab for a complete physical by Simmons, and insists he’s fine and snaps at the team. Good stuff.
We see some particularly rage fueled memories flooding Ward’s brain as he’s really giving a thrashing to a poor punching bag. After which he confesses to Coulson that his exposure to the staff may have affected him. Coulson reassures him, saying his expressing his thoughts shows that he can be trusted. This has suddenly turned into an episode of Sally Jessy Raphael.
There’s a small twist that isn’t terribly hard to see coming, but it gives more screen time to Peter MacNichol, so I don’t have an issue with it.
The rest of the episode comes down to a series of rage induced fights, and a nice semi emotional scene between Ward and Skye near the end, followed by an interesting night between two of the agents.
Overall, an entertaining and interesting episode.