The episode “Melinda” has two prominent story arcs that converge into one. The first features as the title suggests, a look into Agent Melinda May’s back-story with insight into how she adopted the attitude she has today as well as events that led her to the very first episode of the show. The second features Skye’s continued journey into her Inhuman heritage. Along the way she discovers new revelations and is forced to keep new secrets to keep the peace in her community.
From Season 1, we’ve always known there was this huge event that took place in May’s past that has shaped this character into the “Cavalry” she acts today. We finally see the events of Bahrain. Melinda and Coulson in the year 2008 (probably just before the events of the first Iron Man movie) embark on a mission to capture a person with superpowers. Here we find her tangling with a woman with enhanced strength by the name of Eva Belyakov (Winter Ave Zoli), in addition to her, S.H.I.E.L.D. agents on themselves facing off against her daughter Katya (Ava Acres), who has the power to leech emotions off others as well as controlling people. I really like how the odds were well and truly stacked against May in this episode. We see a strong female character that is placed in a difficult position and a rather humanising outcome of the situation. Ming Na Wen well portrayed a character that has a huge character spectrum and could show different sides. Meanwhile in real time, it was interesting to see May start to see doubts regarding Coulson’s actions, especially when it came to “Theta Protocol”. It’ll be interesting to see where this goes.
On the other side of things, we see Skye getting along in her Inhuman community. We see her deal with the revelation that Jiyang (Dichen Lachman) is her mother. It’s great that they decided to get things moving with this being revealed. They could have kept this an over-arching secret, but they didn’t take that route thank goodness. The dynamic they portray is rather nice and natural to watch on screen. It would be interesting to see how this relationship could play out in the long term especially seeing that there was some semblance of a strange family moment with Cal, Jiyang and Skye all eating dinner like it’s nobody’s business. Jiyang also mentions the dangers of revealing the mother-daughter relationship, as family love is the reason that the woman Eva Belyakov who was revealed to be Inhuman eventually got herself hunted and killed on the outside.
Speaking of, this dinner was also seen in a vision by Raina, where her arc still moves forward with both Lincoln and Gordon continuing to help her deal with her bitterness over her transformation into a human porcupine. There seems to be an inevitable clash between both Skye and Raina, especially considering that the latter is continually jealous and resentful to the former. The new revelation of her new power would hopefully add something new to the mix that would give us something interesting the show could work towards, other than a catfight.
I also liked that just like Raina and Skye there was that small moment where Gordon lashed out at Lincoln asking him about “What do you know about changes?” highlighting that the latter is still a handsome, normal looking human while the former isn’t.
The Frenemy of My Enemy
The episode “The Frenemy of My Enemy” like “Melinda” has two overarching arcs that converge into one. The first involves Skye’s return to the outside world with Cal, they then have a Daddy-Daughter outing on the streets of Milwaukee. The next involves events that continue on from “Afterlife” which has Coulson recruiting Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) and Agent 33 (Maya Stojan) to infiltrate HYDRA to find out their latest plans, some of which involve some minor tie-in to Avengers: Age of Ultron.
After banishment from the Afterlife compound for the Inhumans, Cal finds himself back in the outside world with Skye. The prominent theme and message of the episode was the fact that you can’t go back to the past. The fact that everything that Cal knew was gone really sent that message. Every shop and landmark is gone and Cal can’t relive that time that they were a family unit so the only thing they can do is move on. Kyle MacLachlan effectively communicates this through to audiences. He also showed some fun moments with delivery of lines like “Big overdoer!” On the other side of this we had Skye also showing some interest in what could have been with her life, especially the moment where “Daisy Johnson” rolled off the tongue.
The alliance between Coulson and Ward was fun to watch as well. It was great seeing Brett Dalton slip back into the cocky behaviour he’s portrayed before. It was especially true in the scene where he provoked Fitz. It’s nice having him as a wild card presence without feeling the need for a redemption story at the moment. It was also interesting seeing the reactions of the S.H.I.E.L.D. crew back at home base when the footage feed of Ward and Coulson were seen working together. One thing that would be great for the script to improve itself would be to include more tension in the uneasy alliance that they’ve forced themselves into. There could have been more moments where Coulson repeatedly doubts Ward’s sincerity in the episode especially in the. The final battle between HYDRA agents and our ragtag team was the point where both of the story arcs finally converge. Caught in the fray was none other than Inhuman Lincoln (sent to spy on Skye) with himself going up against Deathlok as well as a few HYDRA agents. It was cool seeing Lincoln use his powers in an offensive way.
This episode also featured tie-in references to Avengers: Age of Ultron. We hear about Baron Von Strucker as well as experimentations on people with powers and their hunt for the one who teleports around aka Gordon. Considering that now Lincoln is now caught up in all that, it’ll be interesting to see where this all goes for him. Now that Coulson has surrendered himself to the “real S.H.I.E.L.D.”, it might also force them to finally devote time and resources to hunting down the real enemy. Luckily Skye and Cal avoid capture and are returned to Afterlife. So maybe Skye might organize a rescue and perhaps give the audience a real chance to see her showcase her powers and make her into the comic character Quake.