Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Episode 2.17 Recap, Melinda

Tonight, we finally get the answer to the Bahrain question. But first, let’s get some of the other stuff out of the way.

Jiaying starts working with Skye, teaching her to “hear” the frequency in things around her, get in tune with them, learn how to manipulate them, etc. She creates an avalanche on a distant mountain, and is quite excited by this, and the two bond. Later, when practicing with wine glasses filled with water, Skye opens up about how she has never lived anywhere for more than two years, and how SHIELD was the closest thing to home she ever had. Jiaying finally breaks down and reveals that she is Skye’s mother. Deep down, she knew, but was afraid to believe it. They have to keep their relationship a secret. There are rules and protocols in place and favoritism undermines trust. Jiaying is in charge, she decides who goes through the mist, and there are reasons those rules are in place.

May is cautiously working with Bobbi on tracking down Coulson. Bobbi reveals to her Theta Protocol, something that Coulson has been working on under the radar, spending vast amounts of money, and secretly working with Andrew. Bobbi entrusts May to take over base operations, which allows her to reunite with Simmons. It turns out that a project Simmons was working on, what she thought was a harmless battery device or something, was actually part of Deathlok’s armor. They are concerned, and Mack comes in. He believes that Coulson is building a new base for “power people,” essentially expanding on the Avengers Initiative. Why else would he need hundreds of bunks? May wants Simmons to get into the toolkit now. Of course, Simmons has to admit that she doesn’t have the toolkit.

Fitz has it, and he is locked in a fast-food bathroom trying to unlock it. He does so, and uses it to call Hunter and Coulson. Undercovers are following him, so Hunter helps him lose his tail so he can come meet them.

Meanwhile, Raina is still bitching about her change, about how unfair it is that Skye goes through the mist and she gets perfection. Raina has nightmares about how perfect Skye’s life is, with her mom and dad happily having dinner together. It’s quite annoying and a bit pathetic. Gordon promises to work with her, discover what her talents are (besides being able to impale anyone who gets too close) and Lincoln comes in to listen to her vent. At the episode’s end, to make her mother happy, Skye agrees to one family dinner with Cal (who has cleaned himself up and takes great joy in telling her about her birth). It is a perfect Norman Rockwell moment (where Skye learns she is actually a year older than she thinks she is) and Lincoln comes in to drop off dinner. This is where he figures out that Raina’s “nightmares” are not dreams – she can see into the future. And now Skye’s lineage is out of the bag.

Okay, onto Melinda. Seven years ago, Melinda May was a normal woman. She was with SHIELD, but she was also in a happy marriage and trying to get pregnant. She and Coulson went on a mission to bring in a Russian woman named Eva, who was rated high on the gifted individual’s index. She is believed to have “enhanced strength” which is a nice way of saying she is like the Hulk without the skin condition. Eva fled to Bahrain, and the plan is to go talk to Eva and try to bring her in, calmly and quietly. They have “the cavalry” with them, but only plan to send them in as a last resort.

Coulson meets with Eva in a bad neighborhood (which seems a little redundant to say about Bahrain), but she has no interest in going anywhere with Coulson. May, the lookout, is concerned when she sees a couple of street toughs coming forward with guns. Eva tells Coulson she wants his pain, then the whole thing goes crazy. Eva throws the table, more men with guns come out, they take a little girl hostage and hide out with Eva in a nearby building. The cavalry moves in, with Coulson and May monitoring from the van, but after only a few minutes, they lose all contact with the team. May is eager to go in, but Coulson wants to play it by the book. When they hear sirens, Coulson throws out the book and sends May in.

May makes it into the stronghold easily, and kills a few guys with ease. She finds one of the agents and urges him that they need to leave. He has been brainwashed; he wants to feel her pain too. May disarms him and gets him into a neutralizing hold. But then the rest of her team advance on her. They have all been brainwashed, and all want to feel her pain. She locks them in a room then goes looking for Eva, figuring if she can kill her, it will release whatever grip she has on her people.

Lots and lots of fighting ensues, as May stabs, chokes, and bludgeons her way through a variety of gangsters. She finally comes face to face with Eva, and after a fair amount of abuse, May impales her on a pipe. The little girl is hiding in a corner, unharmed, and May urges her to come out of hiding.

Jiaying has been tellings this story to Skye, and it all merges. Eva is the reason the rules are put into place, why Jiaying chooses who goes through the mist. Eva thought she knew better, and she ran off with a bunch of crystals so she could make her daughter, Katya, go through the mist. Jiaying had seen a darkness in the girl, and didn’t think she should transform. If you haven’t guessed by now, Katya is the girl who was “taken hostage.” Clearly, she was the one in charge, and she had brainwashed her mother. She leached off emotions like a parasite. After May killed Eva, it quickly became obvious to her that the girl was the one in charge, and she should not take her hand. But Katya couldn’t be negotiated with, and May had no choice but to shoot her. Jiaying and Gordon were there in time to see the aftermath, and Jiaying admits that Katya needed to be taken down – but it shouldn’t have been SHIELD doing it. After that, May was never the same. She put in for a transfer, became cold and aloof, and clearly no longer wanted a baby.

You can check out the promo for Episode 2.18 of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” in the player below. Titled “The Frenemy of My Enemy,” the episode is officially described as follows:

“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.”

“The Frenemy of My Enemy” was written by Monica Owusu-Breen and directed by Karen Gaviola, it’s set to air April 21. “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” airs Tuesdays at  9 P.M. EST on ABC.