After last week’s disappointing crossover with ‘Thor: The Dark World’ (that was still a pretty good episode), ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ returns with their ninth episode titled ‘Repairs’. In the previous episode, we learned more about Agent Ward’s past, but this time around looks to be May day as we delve deeper into the backstory of Agent Melinda May. The ghosts of her past are somewhat exposed in the latest episode of the first television show to be set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but also we see the team deal with potentially literal ghosts as well.
For this episode, Agent Coulson and company are called in to investigate an apparent telekinetic, however, they learn quickly that their target is being “haunted by demons as a punishment”. At least, that’s what she has come to believe after a series of unfortunate events seem to be following her around.
The first thing that I have to address is that this episode takes place the morning after the last episode, which means that we see the “fallout” of Ward’s sleepover with May. I’m really digging this pairing because it was a total swerve. I thought that they would have had Skye pair up with Ward. I even thought for a minute that Simmons had a thing for Ward. But when it was revealed that the love interest was actually May, I might have actually said, “Hell yeah!” out loud. I like being pleasantly surprised with things like that and I wonder how this will get further explored down the line.
When it came to the actual bulk of the episode, I’ll talk about the revelation of May’s backstory first. Like Ward’s backstory in last week’s episode, things are still a mystery even though we were given various details about the character’s past. It’s like we saw flashes of the past, but not enough to really get a grasp on things. However, I felt as if things unfolded this week better than they did last week. We were already introduced to May’s nickname, “The Cavalry”, in previous episodes, so it wasn’t to hard to follow as opposed to that whole well thing with Ward. It’s a little frustrating to get these bits and pieces, but at least we’re getting the pieces now as opposed to some of the episodes in the beginning of the season where we just jumped right into things without really knowing these characters.
Regardless of how much backstory we got for May in this episode, we did get to see a few different facets of her character and her history with Coulson. We’re so used to seeing her walk in, kick ass, and walk out, but this time around we get to see more of her personality, especially in the post-credits scene.
As for the mission itself, I liked the twist with the telekinetic powers. It makes me wonder if the writing staff had originally wanted to use that in the episode, but then realized that they couldn’t use mutants thanks to Fox owning the X-Men. Either way, the explanation for the anomaly in this episode was quite interesting, especially when they linked it back to Thor’s most recent battle on Earth with Malekith as the reasoning behind it.
In general, I was pretty pleased with this episode. There were some cute moments like Coulson pining over the watch and FitzSimmons trying to be pranksters, but then there were things like Skye’s conversation about being in an orphanage and Ward’s look when Skye said that May needs to get laid. More often than not I enjoy what I’m seeing, but sometimes I wish that they’d pull out the TV trope of a flashback episode or even just a few scenes to show us the characters’ backstories instead of dragging them out over the course of the whole season (except with Coulson’s fate after the Battle of New York since that one kinda needs to get dragged out). That way, we wouldn’t have Coulson talking about things like “a gifted individual” with “worshippers” when telling the story of how Agent May got her nickname. Once in a while is cool, but doing this whole prolonged mysterious past shtick with every cast member can get tiresome, even if the show comes back to it somewhere down the line.
‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ starring Brett Dalton, Ming-Na Wen, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, Chloe Bennet, and Clark Gregg airs on Tuesdays at 8:00pm on ABC.