I'm really not going to focus on Skye this time. I'm not. I think it's pretty obvious how she undermines and questions those around her even though she doesn't know what she's talking about, and how she and Lone Wolf are supposed to have chemistry but don't, and how her stubborn inability to admit when she's wrong makes it difficult to be sympathetic to her plight representing the every man. I'm not going to go there. I'm not going to take the time to pick apart how she's a heavy-handed and obvious spy, both in Quinn's compound and on the S.H.I.E.L.D. team (I think Coulson knows, btw). I'm letting it go. For now.
I want to focus instead on Melinda May, ninja in disguise. A Facebook follower pointed out that May comes off as a humanized weapon who doesn't speak for herself. That's an interesting point, especially considering how vocal every member of the team is. FitzSimmons are always chiming in, lending their experience where they can, and Lone Wolf shoots down everything with his stoic frown. In a show where everyone gets a say and from writers who consistently provide feminist characters, why does Melinda May remain quietly in the background?
Throughout this episode, May has an understated struggle with her role on the team. We don't know much about her yet, but we do know that May has a violent history in some sort of special ops agent (likely similar to Lone Wolf's career, but with more ninja) code named The Cavalry. For some reason (probably her own choice), she walked away from that life and created a safe bubble for herself in administration. It's possible she tired of the mental and physical demands placed on her, or perhaps a traumatic experience benched her. Maybe she just wanted to extract herself from the morally grey quicksand that S.H.I.E.L.D. thrives on. I'm sure we'll find out soon.
Coulson (becoming more interesting with each passing episode) blatantly manipulated her into her position on the team, but I'm of the school that it's not really manipulation if you know what's happening and you make your own choice. If there is one thing I believe about May's character, it's that she makes her own damn choices.
She chose to go back in the field, and she chose to reactivate herself for missions at the end of this week's episode. Her pronouncement hints at a lot of attributes of May's character. She is driven to help and can't stand by and watch missions be compromised when she has the skills to see them through. She and Coulson also have a friendship that he lacks with the rest of the team, setting May up as a possible confidant and adviser if she feels Coulson needs it. For example, when Coulson decides to go into the field and dismisses her objections with a cool, "I saw plenty of action with the Avengers." May responds dryly, "And you died."
Ultimately, I feel like May has depth and strength that is missing in some of the team members, fond of (most of) them as I am. I believe May as a covert agent who doesn't bond with her team partially out of habit (a solitary soldier, doing the work of a cavalry by herself) and partially out of a tragic past we have yet to know.
Trucker Agent Mack got robbed! Yes, literally, but also because this character was delightful, and we only got a few minutes with him. There are internet naysayers who find the idea of an asset being moved by semi-truck unbelievable, but that's actually pretty true to life. The government uses trucks to move the majority of their military assets (mostly missiles, true), and it's not surprising that a person would be moved on surface roads from location to location. The S.H.I.E.L.D. vault was a little much, but I think the effect was worth the suspended belief.
There is no truth serum. My favorite part of the episode was the look on Skye's face as Lone Wolf revealed that he and Coulson had conned her. Coulson, of course, refused to confirm or deny anything, in true S.H.I.E.L.D. fashion.
Can we please not make "hacktivist" a thing? Please, Internet?
Can we please make "mega capitalist" a thing? Because it's the only term I can think of that can do Quinn's shareholder speech justice.
I still can't get over how beautiful this show is.
Lone Wolf's stubborn lack of faith in Skye makes me like him more. I'm okay with how petty that is.
"She probably just used her . . . ah . . . ah . . . hah . . . boobs."