Welcome back, true believers! Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s “Melinda” showed us the origin of May, and the reasoning behind why she’s the “Cavalry.” Unfortunately, this story is often pushed to the side to focus on May training with her mother, and May, in the future, being told that Coulson had been working on something called, “The Theta Project.” It’s another bombshell, and perhaps another nail in the coffin that is Coulson as director of S.H.I.E.L.D.; it’s another secret he deemed too important to tell his teammates.
Man, have we ever been down this road too many times in these past two seasons. Every time you think Coulson has taken a turn and realized that he may in fact be wrong about withholding secrets from his team, he brings out a big bag of new ones that dangle over their heads. The idea that Phil is creating additional bases to train and house folks with special powers is an interesting one, but what could possibly be the reasoning behind not telling anyone else? Wouldn’t he need to May and Co. to assist him with the project regardless in the future? Why not have them in on the ground floor? Aside from adding yet another bit of artificial drama, of course.
The meat of the episode, as just mentioned however, is the origin of May becoming “The Cavalry.” As I’ve said in past reviews, May and Blair Underwood’s Andrew work splendidly off one another, and you not only believe them as lovers, but also as partners. Andrew receiving a phone call before May goes on what is effectively a suicide mission, and needing to remain cool and collected to talk her through it, was a perfect example of this, and worked well to really hammer home the relationship the two had. Seven years in the past, May, along with Phil and the rest of S.H.I.E.L.D., are sent to Bahrain to capture a woman with seemingly super-human strength named Eva. The team then encounters Eva, and through a series of unfortunate events, is required to pull the rest of their team members out of a building where they are apparently being picked off one by one.
The fight scenes here are great, as May stealthily, and sometimes not so stealthily, makes her way into the building and has a knock-down drag-out fight with Eva. Managing to deliver the killing blow, May, battered and beaten, discovers that Eva was not responsible for the mind control that was being placed on her fellow agents; rather it was her young daughter, Katya. In a tragic moment, May is forced to kill Katya to save everyone under her sway. This scene had a great buildup, and made for an interesting twist to be sure, especially the fallout where you see May essentially break under the tragedy of what she was forced to do. The scene also had a nice dash of creepiness with Katya revealing herself, demanding for May’s “pain,” and turning off the folks she held under her sway. Ultimately, this was a fantastic flashback and gave us an in-depth look into what makes May tick … BUT….
This episode felt janky and disjointed. I know that ultimately they were able to link the past to the present with the idea that Eva was an Inhuman runaway, hoarding terrigen crystals, but this is a story that would have fit better into Season 1 to give us more insight into May. The timing, in terms of the season, wasn’t the only thing I took issue with here, as I think they cut back and forth a little too much between the present and the past, making it a tad confusing from time to time. I think the best way they could have presented this would have been to just have an entire episode dedicated to this story, leaving Skye’s training and the revelation of the “Theta Project” for a different time.
Back on the Inhuman front, Skye learns the true identity of her mother and the two have a heartfelt reunion after a day of training. To be sure, this scene pulled on some heartstrings when the truth was ultimately revealed, and Skye’s mother going into the story of how Skye was born really worked. Raina continues to mull in the dark, struggling with her new appearance, but she is also shown to have the ability to see the future in her dreams, revealed to viewers as the last beat of the episode. I think that sometimes the show needs to take stock of the plotlines they currently have running, and focus on more of those before jumping headfirst into entirely new drama. If we present too many details to work out, then we run the risk of not getting worthwhile resolutions, and I’d hate to see any of these dangling plots left unresolved.
This episode wasn’t as good as last week’s entry, and I thought what while it was a worthwhile outing, it could have been much better than it turned out to be, with only some slight alterations here and there. A middle-of-the-road episode to be sure.
Episode Rating: ★★★ Good
Agent of M.I.S.C.E.L.L.A.N.E.A.
– They were thinking of creating the Avengers Initiative seven years ago? That seems strange, considering I don’t believe any of the current roster had even shown up yet at that point (as I assume seven years haven’t passed chronologically from the events of the first Iron Man to Avengers: Age of Ultron). Who did they have in mind for the original roster I wonder.
– Come on Fitz, there must have been a better place to open up Fury’s Lockbox than in a public bathroom. Didn’t quite get why Hunter assured Fitz he would be all right because he was near an electric hand dryer, but I suppose that will be revealed next week.
– Man, Coulson sure changed his mind quickly about sending May into the building in Bahrain. Maybe they could have spent a little more time having him struggle with the decision?
– Skye’s mother: “Do you understand your gift?”
Skye: “I make things shake?”
– Skye: “I caused an avalanche.”
Lincoln: “Is that a good thing?”
– Raina: “My power is to be the scary monster under the bed.”
– Skye: “Mistrust of home is my other super power.”
– Coulson: “What do we say this time? Nuclear? Bio? Bio always works.”
– Coulson: “Let the girl go.”
– Skye: “I’m 26? That’s so messed up.”