After the Captain America: The Winter Soldier trailer premiered, Phil Coulson's gang from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. looked a bit like a poorly funded taxi squad by comparison. Though many fans believe that S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn't hold a candle to Marvel's film projects, the producers have plans to tie the two together once again in an upcoming episode that will deal with the aftermath of Thor: The Dark World.
So, Loki cameo? Probably not something quite so eventful, but while Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. mooching off of Thor's buzz isn't at all surprising, the fact that Marvel is letting us know about it in advance of Thor's debut next week sort of is.
Here's a bit from Marvel on the episode, which is called "The Well".
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, on Tuesday, November 19 (8:00-9:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
Marvel also announced that the episode had been written by Monica Owusu-Breen and directed by Star Trek: Next Generation actor and frequent TV director Jonathan Frakes. Guest stars include: Peter MacNicol (Ghostbusters 2, Ally McBeal) as Professor Elliot Randolph, Michael Graziadei as Jakob Nystrom, Erin Way as Petra Larsen, Toby Wilson as Neils, Alex Neustaedter as Maynard and Sylvia Brindis as Elena.
Again, this isn't a terribly surprising development as cross-promotional opportunities like this are one of the reasons people were so eager to see Joss Whedon bring Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to life. But while the Thor connection (and the hope that someone that resembles an actual superhero will make even the briefest appearance at the end of S.H.I.E.L.D.) will almost certainly lead to an uptick in ratings, the real challenge will be in keeping new viewers that fall into this trap.
Since Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s debut, the show has been trending downward, shedding viewers in the 18-49 demo, moving all the way from 4.7 to 2.6. One could use the term "hemorrhaging viewers" and not be accused of being bombastic or inaccurate, but while the show is still in the safe zone (and who are we kidding, that Marvel badge and all that comes with it is the real shield, likely keeping this show afloat unless things get abysmal), a number of fans seem to be watching out of obligation or hope that things will get better, not because the show has gripped them tightly.
Could a big Thor surprise change that? We'll see, but if not, a possible Captain America bump is only five short months away.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs on Tuesdays @8pm on ABC. Thor: The Dark World premieres in theaters on November 8th and Captain America: The Winter Soldier bows on April 4th, 2014.