The Frenemy of My Enemy ~ Agents of SHIELD:
The Art of Evolution

4/17/2015

The Frenemy of My Enemy
I'm not going down without a fight.
~ Phil Coulson

Looks like there will be a lot going on in "The Frenemy of My Enemy" and that Deathlok will play a big part in it. Unlike the last episode, which was all about May and the reason she got herself a desk job, next week seems chock-full of action, especially since it's so close to the release of Age of Ultron. I'm not saying nothing happened in "Melinda." There was a lot of kicking ass - both in the normal and Cougar Town meaning - but it gave the characters a bit of breathing room in this whirlwind ride they've been on by reaching into the past. Even Skye got a break and only had to deal with finding out Jiaying is her mother and that her father used to be a good man...and the details of May's story through Jiaying. Yeah, "only." The episode may be titled "Melinda," but it was an emotional filling-in-the-blanks for both Skye and May.

I love backstory that deepens understanding of characters, and I think that was a bit overdue for May. Although, it really couldn't have come any sooner. There have been a lot of other things that had to happen. The first season was out of the question, because the Inhumans storyline hadn't begun yet; the pieces had to be set up. They would've had to ramp up to Terrigenesis much sooner, while also dealing with the lead up to Hydra in the final episodes. The reason I'm mentioning this is I just stumbled upon an article about the episode where Coulson told Skye that May had become a completely different person after Bahrain. It said the series only answered a question with another question and would have been better if May had told us everything herself. Would it? Would she have been willing to share? It was too traumatic for her. That should have been enough for anyone to understand that May wouldn't just volunteer details about the worst moment of her life. It should have been enough to realize that this defining event would be explored again eventually, but some people are impatient and don't think too far ahead.

Great writers write to a character's established personality. If May suddenly opened up then critics would have had a problem with that, too. Those who don't know the full story need to realize that sometimes things are held back for good reason. It wasn't a crutch. It had nothing to do with not knowing where they were going, just filling in some vague details to placate the audience, and everything to do with being a necessity for the storytelling. Now with "Melinda" we have the rest of the story, that what May was forced to do destroyed her marriage, that she was looking forward to being a mother. Killing a child, even though that child had been crazy out of control and superpowered dangerous, ruined that for her, haunted her. This reveal wouldn't have been right last season. This was the time it could make the most impact, after getting to love May for who she is now, the hardened operative who knows the job comes at a high price. Seeing her fall apart in Coulson's arms, being so vulnerable and broken was a moment that will stick with me, and I assume all of us.

And there I go again getting a bit off topic and annoyed with a year-old article. You came here to see that pretty picture. Maybe you're interested in purchasing it. Well, that can be done at the Marvel Shop. It's a wonderful place full of Marvely goodness. And if you missed the previous seven limited edition prints, they all seem to still be available. That's good for me, because I'm still waiting to see all of them before I make up my mind since there are twice as many to choose from as last year.

If you're interested in learning more about this artwork by Nathan Fox then read "It's All Connected..." at Entertainment Weekly. But before you go, here's the preview for "The Frenemy of My Enemy." Actual show clips are a bit lacking because they squeezed Age of Ultron in there, too. What a ridiculous yet wonderful title. I kind of hope there will be "The Enemy of My Frenemy" in tribute to last year's "End of the Beginning" and "Beginning of the End."


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