After almost two seasons of buildup, we finally get the Melinda May backstory that we’ve been promised since episode two. After such a long time, the story of what happened in Bahrain had a lot to live up to. And it did.
Specialist Melinda May is not the ice queen we’ve come to know and worship. She was lighter, brighter. She just seemed… happy. She had a loving husband who she was trying to start a family with, a work husband who was always early, and a job she was awesome at. Until Bahrain. The writers managed to assemble a story for May that was unbelievably tragic and yet amazingly free from cliché. Maybe it was the acting. Ming Na Wen did amazing work here.
The stuff between Skye and Jiaying was really sweet. But, having been a Whedon devotee for over a decade now, I have serious trust issues when things are that sweet. It may just be baseless paranoia, but I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop with Jiaying. And I don’t like the sound of the Inhuman elders one bit. Even with her high rank, Jiaying is obviously scared of them.
My focus this week really wasn’t on the current goings on at S.H.I.E.L.D. It seemed to be mostly set up for later episodes. On the yay! front, Fitz was able to open Fury’s toolbox and contact Coulson and Hunter, meaning their road trip just got the potential to be a lot more adorable. On the uh oh front, Coulson may have been lying. To everyone. For a long time.
Building a new base is a huge step and not one I’d think Coulson would take unilaterally. I see three possibilities. One: May (and/or Simmons) knew about Theta Protocol and was pretending not to for H.U.F.F.L.E.P.U.F.F.’s benefit. If this is the case, I think the time may have come for Melinda May to quit S.H.I.E.L.D. and become an actress. Two: H.U.F.F.L.E.P.U.F.F. is framing Coulson. I wouldn’t put anything past them at this point, but if they were going to frame Coulson for something, I think they’d probably make it worse. Unless they knew May wouldn’t believe anything worse. Three: Coulson isn’t the man I think he is.
Aside from the secrecy, I have to say, hiring powered people and using their skills for S.H.I.E.L.D.’s benefit absolutely seems like something Coulson would do. He knows the Avengers and he knows how something or someone others see as a problem can be hugely beneficial for his agency and for the world. He may not have the tragic past May has, but he has had negative experiences with powered people as well. Remember that whole thing where Loki killed him? Ringing any bells? But, unlike H.U.F.F.L.E.P.U.F.F. and Director Robert “Jan Brady” Gonzalez, Coulson isn’t willing to write off an entire group of people based on the despicable actions of one individual.
Intel and Assets
-- ‘Specialist’ seems to be S.H.I.E.L.D.ese for ‘muscle.’ That was Ward’s title when he joined the team back in season one.
-- Before her transfer, Coulson wanted May to join him on the Avengers Initiative.
-- If Theta Protocol was the main reason for H.U.F.F.L.E.P.U.F.F.’s invasion why are we just now hearing the words “Theta Protocol?” Gonzalez had a whole conversation with Coulson and did not once bring this up.
-- Raina’s psychic. Which doesn’t really have anything to do with whatever the heck is growing out of her head. But then, what does eyelessness have to do with teleportation?
May: “Sometimes that’s the price of doing the right thing. No one will understand, and it hurts like hell.”
Coulson: “Oh what are we saying this time? Nuclear? Bio? Yeah, bio always works.”
Coulson: “Let the girl go.”
four out of four avalanches
sunbunny, in this week for Mark Greig
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