In last week’s episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC, titled "Afterlife", Skye began learning of Inhuman culture and her gifts through Lincoln (Luke Mitchell) at a secluded Inhuman mountain village. Raina (Ruth Negga) also resides here and is still coming to terms with her transformation, while Cal (Kyle MacLachlan) is being held prisoner, kept alive by Skye's mom Jiaying (Dichen Lachman) who is revealed to still be alive after being tortured by Hydra in the past.
Meanwhile, back at S.H.I.E.L.D., the new leadership is attempting to recruit Melinda May to have her assistance in tracking down Coulson - still on the run with the help of Deathlok and Hunter - while they desperately try to unlock the secrets of the Toolbox data device. This week’s Agents of SHIELD episode, "Melinda", picks up where we left off with the Inhumans and delves into May's past to explore how she earned the nickname "The Cavalry" and how it may lead to her changing sides.
1. The Cavalry
The episode primarily focuses on Melinda May's history and how she earned the nickname "The Cavalry." More importantly, we learned why she despises it and how it ended her marriage with Andrew Garner (Blair Underwood), who we also learn has been secretly working with Coulson (more on this below).
During an operation seven years ago, May had to kill two Inhumans, a mother and daughter, in order to stop them from mind-controlling people (in this case, a legion of SHIELD operatives) into hurting themselves and others. She's a legend, but for the worst possible reasons. This is why when we meet May a the beginning of the series, she wants to fly and stay out of the field, but Coulson knows she can be so much more.
Bobbi and Mack have seemingly got through to May, as she learns that Coulson really was hiding a lot from them - more than expected even for a director of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Even Simmons - who previously helped Fitz get away with the Toolbox - is shocked by the revelations.
More importantly, what Coulson is hiding seems to primarily be focused around gifted individuals (100 bunk beds worth) - something Hydra is also after. It's making Coulson look bad but remember, he's doing it for Nick Fury who returns in a big way shortly in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
3. Secret Warriors
What Coulson is up to, what his secret missions his team doesn't know about relate to, and what's inside Fury's Toolbox could be drawing inspiration from Marvel's Secret Warriors - a large group of special, powered, but relatively unknown agents he recruited by Fury while he was underground to prepare for an alien attack. Fury began that group in the comics with Quake (Skye!) and we believe that could be the basis for the just-announced Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spinoff.
4. Skye's Birthday
May's flashbacks about the mother-daughter Inhuman skirmish from seven years ago mirrors the present day happenings of Skye, still living it up in the mysterious mountains, training with her mom.
There are lots of explanations in these sequences about the strict code and culture of the Inhumans, building upon the talk of eugenics among their people last episode.
A very select few Inhumans are selected for the Terrigenesis process after screening, and Skye went through it outside of this system, the old fashioned way with direct exposure to a crystal earlier this season. Because of that, it cannot be seen that her mother is breaking any rules out of favoritism so Skye must keep that relationship secret.
5. Raina's Real Power
On the surface, Raina's appearance resembles a spiky animal-esque hybrid, but as Gordon's dialogue hinted at throughout the episode, there are layers to these gifts and being Inhuman. As it turns out, Raina's dreams are actually visions of the future. She's a clairvoyant.
Share your thoughts and theories in the comments below!
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns next Tuesday with "The Frenemy of My Enemy" @9pm on ABC.
“The Frenemy of My Enemy” – A dangerous new alliance is formed as Coulson and Hunter turn to the last person anyone would expect – Grant Ward! As the war between S.H.I.E.L.D. factions continues, Skye and Lincoln will find themselves drawn into this conflict, on “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” TUESDAY, APRIL 21 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” stars Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson, Ming-Na Wen as Agent Melinda May, Brett Dalton as Grant Ward, Chloe Bennet as Skye, Iain De Caestecker as Agent Leo Fitz, Elizabeth Henstridge as Agent Jemma Simmons, Nick Blood as Lance Hunter, and Adrianne Palicki as Bobbi Morse.
Guest starring are Henry Simmons as Alphonso “Mack” Mackenzie, Henry Goodman as Dr. List, Kyle MacLachlan as Cal, Jamie Harris as Gordon, Maya Stojan as Kara, Dichen Lachman as Jiaying, Luke Mitchell as Lincoln Campbell, Kris Lemche as Ethan, Staci Roberts as Paula, and Trenton Rostedt as Hoodie Guy.
”The Frenemy of My Enemy” was written by Monica Owusu-Breen and directed by Karen Gaviola.