Capitalizing on a tie-in with the #1 movie at the global box office (Thor: The Dark World), Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. rose in the ratings for the first time since the series launched.
Each of the series' first seven episodes had been lower-rated than the last, until last night, when the latest episode drew 6.85 million viewers for a 2.2 rating and a 7 share.
That's up about a tenth from last week's season low, but still down from the 7 million that the series had drawn on November 5, which represented a series low at the time but a high among men, who are apparently watching it while women watch NCIS. The long-running procedural was once again the top-rated scripted series of the night.
“The Well” was arguably the most-anticipated episode since the pilot, helped along not only by the Thor connection but also by Star Trek: The Next Generation actor Jonathan Frakes directing and guest star Peter MacNicol. Whether "Repairs" can keep up that level of enthusiasm without these elements...? It's a tough sell. Word of mouth might help, though.
Reviews have generally been kind to last night's episode, one of only a few times this year that the show could say that, but it's drawn some criticism for so aggressively promoting its fairly tenuous connection to Thor: The Dark World. Whether enthusiasm for Thor played a role in the ratings uptick or whether the series has finally found its level won't be clear until next week.