With Melinda May's backstory, that was simply outstanding, and explains so much about why she is the way she is.
She and Coulson were part of the "Welcome Wagon" to bring in this gifted Russian defector, Eva Belyakov, without having to resort to the Cavalry (aka the SHIELD Strike Team), before the Bahraini Armed Forces put in an appearance, but, the girl had holed up in "the bad part of town". A little girl is taken hostage by a bunch of thugs with Eva fleeing with them into a building. The Cavalry is dispatched to recover them, and ... things go wrong. In light of SHIELD's organizational inertia, and the Bahraini (Bahrainian?) armed forces arriving on the scene, Coulson allows May to go in and attempt to extract the team and the girl.
This backstory is tied into Jaiying explaining why things are the way they are, after revealing that, yes, she is Skye's mother. It seems that the Eva Belyakov had been part of the Inhuman's community and had a daughter, Katya, but Jaiying sensed that the child had "a darkness" within her and felt it more prudent not to have Katya exposed to the terrigen mists. Eva disagreed, and stole some terrigen crystals so that her daughter could transform ... and ultimately fell under her Katya's disturbed influence, which would result in both her and her daughter's termination at the hands of Melinda May.
The kicker is, the SHIELD Strike Team who had fallen under Katya's influence have no memory of what had happened, and are looking around at the thirty or so bodies that are lying there, and at the battered, bruised, and wounded May, and thinking ... "Jeez, I thought WE were the Cavalry, but it looks like the Cavalry is HER!"
In the present day: It seems that Melinda has been recruited to bring in Coulson in exchange for her reassuming command at the base, and of course Simmons is thrilled. To help, Gonzales' gang provided May with the Intelligence they had gathered on Coulson; as May and Simmons delve into the apparent discrepencies between what they were told and was they found, Mack walks in and gives them the his interpretation ... all centered around Coulson's Theta Protocol, which raises doubts in May and Skye.
Of course, here, what I'm questioning is that May and Simmons seemingly accepting the Intelligence and Interpretation of Gonzales' Gang without reservation, whereas I'm thinking the Intelligence could well be fabricated, as misinformation is the common tool of the Intelligence world to get information and recruit reluctant assets (something that Agent May, at least, should be aware of).
In the meantime, Jaiying is helping Skye focus her powers ... ranging from causing avalanches to causing water filled glasses to sing. However, given that Skye had jumped the line without going through proper preparation and vetting, which is cause enough for envy amongst the others, along with the unprecedented personal attention and tutoring Jaiying is giving her; that she is Jaiying's daughter must remain a secret to avoid the appearance of favoritism, especially given what happened with Eva and Katya.
Meanwhile Gordon is talking Rayna through her bad-times and adjustments, and very much resents Lincoln's intrusions, since he doesn't share the same affliction that the two of them have, and therefore cannot know what Rayna is going through. Gordon assures Rayna that there is more to her transformation than simply her altered appearance, and that only time will tell what her other gifts are.
Obviously, there's some tension between the "freaks" and the merely "empowered" individuals within that community, as the empowered are free to roam the outside world without attracting attention, as long as they keep their gifts to themselves; whereas the "freaks" must forever remain hidden from public view.
However, Lincoln (who seemingly has unlimited access to everywhere and everyone in Afterlife) still visits with Rayna, and hears of her nightmares and gripes about her misfortune, especially when compared to Skye's good fortune.
In the close, Skye is talked into a family dinner by Jaiying, and Cal is simply over the moon about this prospect. Upon being informed that Skye doesn't know when her birthday was, he is overjoyed to tell her, and relate to her just what happened on that day (obviously, that day is one that he has long cherished). Unfortunately, Lincoln walks in on this tableau and realizes a number of things ... one of which is apparently Rayna possesses oracular powers. Whether he realizes that Jaiying was married to Cal, and consequently is Skye's mother, remains unclear.
Which leads me to ask, why didn't Jaiying lock the damn door behind her when she brought in Skye? I recognize that she might well have been distracted by the whole notion of having her family reunited, but she was also conscious of the need for secrecy, so this was one heck of a mental lapse on her part.
Finally, we're in a diner where a couple of gentlemen are wondering at how long someone is taking in the bathroom, and confirm that there wasn't a window in there. It seems Fitz is in there, fiddling with the Toolbox which he finally cracks and contacts Coulson. After the initial astonishment from Hunter and Coulson, they invite Fitz to join them. However, Fitz wants to first know if they can instruct him in how to lose a tail. After confirming that there is an electric hand-dryer in the bathroom, Hunter is more than pleased to do so.
Aside from my couple of quibbles, this was a solid episode that ought to be leading up to an eventual rapproachment of the SHIELD-Folk. Admittedly, Skye's still kinda left twisting in the wind, for all that she's been reunited with Mom and Dad.
the G-man Himself
Edited by G-man, 15 April 2015 - 07:13 PM.