Thursday, April 16, 2015

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Melinda

Let's get this out of the way first, "Melinda" is a great episode for actress Ming-Na Wen but not for her character Melinda May. For two years the show has teased us about the legendary status of Coulson's (Clark Gregg) most bad-ass agent. And, even when the writing has struggled, May has continued to be one of the best parts of the show. Not learning the lesson of X-Men Origins: Wolverine (or the famous quote from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance), the latest episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. chooses to show us not only how May earned the nickname The Cavalry but how her career and personal life both took a nosedive after a single traumatic event.

On the plus side the storyline involving an out-of-control Inhuman in Bahrain offers Wen a wide cavass to explore the character of May from the happily married woman at the beginning of the episode to the traumaized agent near its end. That said, the episode undoes the work of the series up to this point by offering us facts when the legend (and mystery) of May was a better story. Is it heartbreaking what happened to young Katya (Ava Acres)? Of course, but wrapping up all of May's scars into such a sequence is overly simplistic doing the character no favors in the long run.

Tied into the storyline of women and children, Skye (Chloe Bennet) continues to train with Jiaying (Dichen Lachman) who reveals herself to by Skye's mother. Some of the dialogue of B-story is a little on-the-nose, particularly when the episode gets around to heavily foreshadowing Skye's likely imminent departure of her new home. Skye continues to grow more confident in her powers, even if mastery seems a far ways off at this point (but I'm sure she'll be expertly skilled when the script requires it). The dinner party near the end of the episode also confirms one of Raina's (Ruth Negga) gifts which could easily become the catalyst for Skye running from her new family.

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