Here Comes The Cavalry – Recapping Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. 2.17: "Melinda"

By Amanda Gurall

Last week we got to see Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen) enjoying domestic bliss with her husband Andrew (Blair Underwood) before heading off on a mission with Coulson (Clark Gregg) to find a Russian powered person SHIELD wants to detain and index named Eva (Winter Ave Zoli).  She has super strength and is in Bahrain either selling her abilities or in hiding.  They corner her as she seems to be meeting with some local gangsters and when they attempt to recruit her to SHIELD goes south the gangsters grab a little girl as hostage and run into a building with Eva who says she "wants their pain".

The new SHIELD is still in charge and Agent Weaver (Christine Adams) is trying to convince May that Coulson needs to be brought in or brought down.  She and Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki) make some headway for their cause because Coulson has been running "Theta Protocol" without anyone knowing.  This mysterious program involves huge amounts of money and resources moving around the globe and has been used to deceive people like Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) into making devices that are then used for entirely different uses.  May knows Coulson would only do this if he had a good reason so she agrees to go over their intel and try to bring Coulson in if she is put in control of the base.

imageOver at the mysterious special persons ranch Skye (Chloe Bennet) being trained by Jiaying (Dichen Lachman) herself, something not ever done.  Jiaying trains Skye to concentrate her power which is the manipulation of the vibrations of everything on earth. Vibes are felt, she moves a mountain, she finds out Jiaying is her mom.  The latter is of course the most important and happens after Skye fails to control her powers over some glasses of water.  She talks about her inability to feel at home and how SHIELD was the first time she was able to feel secure but is heartbroken that it ended with them attacking her.  We know this was faux SHIELD and Bobbi coming to find her and not "her" SHIELD but this drives her further into the arms of her mom once she finds out.

This is as it should be, she has to go through this with her parents before becoming the grown up Inhuman we know she will become.  It is a sweet scene and we also find out that Cal (Kyle MacLaughlan) pieced Jaiying back together after Whitehall dismembered her and he went nuts because the two of them were searching the earth for Skye.  Also at the ranch we get to see Raina (Ruth Negga) and her great make-up being ornery and jealous as usual.  Seems she is having some dreams about Skye sitting with her loving parents, with flowers enjoying a meal and it is tormenting her. Gordon (Jamie Harris) tries to help her and they end up bonding a bit, Lincoln (Luke Mitchell) also tried to help and hears about her dreams.

image_1Back to our flashback it turns out that all of the agents and then the so called Cavalry (the armed soldiers that are used as backup) who went in after Eva and the hostage have gone radio silent and May decides to go in as their last hope before local government blows the building.  May calls Andrew for support and tells him one of the reasons she's is going in alone is for the little girl. Melinda and Andrew are trying to have a baby and she is feeling especially protective of children as one would.  She goes in and starts to take down men but finds the agents are all hypnotized, they turn on her and robotically say they want her pain before trying to kill her. Lots of action scenes with zombie SHIELD men and she find herself fighting Eve. Severely beaten and shot in the leg, May runs Eve through with a stick, killing her and the little girl comes out from hiding.  Turns out she was the one controlling everybody and looking to absorb their pain to increase her strength. How did this come to be?

image_2Jaiying shares a story of someone who went through the mist and turned out badly. Eve was part of their group because her daughter was a potential powered person but she was not going to be allowed to enter the mist as Jiaying saw something dark in the girl. Eve wanted her to be special so she stole crystals and they Terrigen misted her on their own which caused the girl to go insane.  The girl is named Katya (Ava Acres) and she has killed almost all do the men inside while rounding on May. She brings out most of the living agents and soldiers to surround May and asks her to be Katya's new mom.  May tries to get her to stop but in the end she has to shoot the girl and kill her to save them all. The surviving SHIELD agents start calling her the Calvary because they assume she took down dozens of men on her own even though it was mostly Katya who killed them.  Poor May pretty much loses her mind over this despite Coulson's efforts to help her. She pulls away from Andrew and requests a transfer so she can move away from him and sit at a desk stamping papers.

image_3Such a sad ending, however I liked that she did not earn the nickname as we expected, not exactly. She was brave and an excellent fighter but it was their misunderstanding that led of the name and I imagine she begrudgingly accepted and now completely deserves. We also saw Gordon and Jaiying watching the aftermath of this incident from the shadows.  They wanted to take responsibility for their accidental creation but SHIELD got in the way.

Present day May is definitely questioning Coulson as she found more and more deception as she talked to various agents.  She also found out that Coulson has been consulting with Andrew extensively which must feel like a betrayal.  She clearly still loves Andrew and might be in a position after this season to get back together with him. If Underwood is available I would love to see that happen I think he adds something great to the group.

image_4We see that Skye has agreed to have one dinner with Cal and after some awkward moments they end up sitting to enjoy the meal, flowers on the table.  They have a wonderful moment of being a family together.  I have a feeling Jaiying might be pulling an old yeller on Cal after the dinner so I hope he enjoys it while he can. Lincoln comes in with a tray and sees the tableaux, immediately remembering Raina's dream that now seems to have been a premonition.  Maybe spending all that time around the clairvoyant gave her some ideas?

image_5Luckily, we get to see what Fitz (Iain De Caestacker) is up to.  He has locked himself in a fast food joint's bathroom and opens the toolbox.  He opens Coulson's tablet and gets in touch with Hunter (Nick Blood) and Coulson at their Mexican hideout.  FItz wants to join them with the toolbox but needs to shake his tail who is knocking loudly on the door. Coulson is thrilled and Hunter says he can get Fitz out of there if there is an electric hand dryer.  I know it's probably going to be skipped over but I am dying to know how exactly they accomplish this? The previews for this week include Ward and lots of Age of Ultron references it can't wait to see how they will explain Coulson's true mission which I think we all assume is directly for Fury.

About Hannah Means Shannon

Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. Independent comics scholar and former English Professor. Writing books on magic in the works of Alan Moore and the early works of Neil Gaiman.

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