The mystery behind The Cavalry on “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” will finally be revealed. Season 2, episode 17 will show how Agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen) earned the nickname of The Cavalry in Bahrain, something for which fans have been waiting since the show started. The producers have been teasing this episode since September, but they’ve been hinting at May’s history for even longer.
Last year, fans got to know bits and pieces of May’s past. May didn’t want to be a huge part of Coulson’s (Clark Gregg) team in Season 1. She was on desk duty when Coulson recruited her to pilot a plane, and she wasn’t happy she was faced with combat early on. Coulson explained to the younger agents she used to be more playful. In Season 1, episode 9 he described May as "fearless in a different way," and explained old pranks she played. That’s a pretty far cry from what May is like now. The strict agent is good at her job, but is often cold and seemingly emotionless.
Coulson also revealed May single-handedly took out a team of people following someone with powers in Bahrain. She took out everyone and saved several S.H.I.E.L.D. agents who were being held hostage. Obviously, it was a win for the organization, but it changed May.
With May’s confidence and skill, it’s easy to forget that she was adjusting to coming back to work and apparently, fresh off of a divorce. It seems she was married to Dr. Andrew Garner (Blair Underwood) when the Bahrain incident happened, Entertainment Weekly reported, and that’ll be explored in this episode. “We’ve already met Andrew (Blair Underwood), but to sort of see what May was like back at that time is a different color, and I think Ming does that beautifully,” executive producer Jeff Bell said. Bahrain may very well be the reason she divorced her husband.
Last week, Bahrain was briefly brought up when Gonzales (Edward James Olmos) showed May a S.H.I.E.L.D. file from the mission. He said she knew how destructive individuals with powers like Skye (Chloe Bennet) could be. It seems Gonzales approves of May’s violent approach while Coulson’s preferences differ for each gifted individual. May might notice this difference more than ever in episode 17.
“The story of Melinda May’s transformation into ‘The Cavalry’ is revealed as she finds herself at a crossroads in the war between Coulson and Gonzales,” the synopsis teases. It looks like she’ll have to choose a side, and that’ll involve thinking about her past in Bahrain. If May hates what she had to do on that mission enough to never talk about it, she’ll probably choose the side of whichever man will prevent that situation from happening again.
These flashbacks will just be the latest glimpse into the past for “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Season 2. The Marvel drama has utilized flashbacks quite a bit this year, showing the organization in the 1940s, exploring Cal’s (Kyle MacLachlan) past and even portraying Bobbi’s (Adrianne Palicki) past with Gonzales. If May’s scenes are anything like these, they’ll be pretty shocking and will definitely affect the present.
“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Season 2, episode 17 airs Tuesday at 9 p.m. EDT on ABC. Do you think her past will lead her to Coulson or Gonzales? Sound off in the comments section below!