Marvels-Agents-of-S.H.I.E.L.D.-Review-May-Takes-Center-Stage-in-Powerful-Melinda

There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

I really liked this episode! I shouldn’t sound surprised, because in general I’ve been enjoying all of this season. It’s a good solid show that managed to get far better in its second year than in its first, which is in a stark contrast to something like Sleepy Hollow that degraded significantly in my opinion. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (AoS from now on) may not be a must-watch for me, but I have fun each time I sit down to watch. That’s half the battle right there. This episode takes place immediately after the last one, when Skye is in Afterlife with the woman she wasn’t aware yet is her mother. Coulson and Hunter are at large with the other SHIELD team looking for them, and May has agreed for the time being to work with them to get their helicarrier and equipment back. Fitz was set free, but Simmons snuck him Fury’s black box, pretending to be a traitor. She’s actually getting good at that. And way way way way back, we knew that Melinda May was called the Cavalry and she was happily engaged. Something went horribly wrong on a mission, and she chose desk duty instead of being in the field from then on. This is finally the backstory on that, and it’s connected to the Inhumans, so that was interesting.

First let’s talk about Skye. Jiaying is one of the leaders of the Inhumans, and it doesn’t take a lot of time before she admits who she is. She does seem to have good success with teaching Skye how to control her powers. They reunite, but she says that they have very strict rules about parents and children when it comes to these things. She tells a story of a woman who gave her child powers before she was ready, and against the council’s suggestions, and bad things happened. She’s concerned showing favoritism to Skye will actually put her in more danger, and also put Jiaying’s power in danger. A very reasonable concern. She persuades Skye to have dinner with her father Cal, just one dinner since he did bring her to her mother like he promised. It’s disturbing to see how excited and almost sweet he can be, but not enough for you to forget he’s crazy pants. They tell Skye about the night she was born, and she realizes she’s actually 26 instead of 25. Things look good for her. Raina is very aware of this, out of the bitterness she feels that Skye got everything. Through a conversation with Lincoln, he realizes what one of her true powers is: vision. The future. She dreamed that Skye was having dinner with her parents and there were daisies, and lo and behold, it happened. She always was something of a visionary so it does seem like it fits!

shield-melinda002Meanwhile in the flashback, we see that little girl who got the Inhuman abilities, because she’s the shadow on May’s past. While on a mission, May and Coulson lose most of their team to a metahuman. She keeps saying she’s hungry and feeds on pain. They think it’s this woman, but instead it’s a little girl that May thought she needed to save. Her mother gave her powers, and she’s been controlling and feeding off people since. May is broken badly, but she is forced to murder the girl to stop all of it. It changes her forever, and it also led to the destruction of her relationship. All of them, really, since she withdraws from everyone in her life. This was pretty sad, although I find it hard to believe May never had to do anything that dark before. I guess only agents like Natasha and Clint really have to do the dark stuff. It was a great way to connect the Inhuman plot together with May’s past, and it also relates to how she feels about Skye.

It also relates to how she feels about Coulson. With more information at her disposal, she realizes there’s a lot of things he’s keeping from her. And she is not happy. Mike Peterson, for example, but also special files and plans that she had no idea about. Her trust in him is being seriously tested, as it should be. I’ve said before that I have a lot more sympathy for the other SHIELD group than I’m supposed to. I do think we’re supposed to question Coulson’s secret keeping, but that he’ll prove to have reasons for it and their trust will be well placed. I don’t know, though, I’m inclined to think that if he learned from Fury, he’d be more open with his people. Or he’d be doomed to fall into the same mistakes. So I’m still not taking his side over other SHIELD, I think they have good reason to suspect him. But Fitz has the black box and he’s escaped to go looking for them. It’s hard to know how to feel about the show until I know where this SHIELD storyline is going. I suspect they’ll be evil somehow to make it easier, but I hope it isn’t easier, I like having morally ambiguous decisions. As long as I know it’s intentionally that way, and not them wanting us to hate this team while simultaneously making them completely relatable. We’ll have to see what the bigger game plan is. Overall a great episode with great action and furthering of the plot. Can I just say I’m so glad to see Dichen Lachman? Marvel using both her and Enver Gjokaj tickles me pink since I really enjoyed Dollhouse.

 

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