ABC's "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" stars Ming-Na Wen as Agent Melinda May. (Photo : ABC/Bob D'Amico)
"Agents of SHIELD" premiered on ABC on Tuesday in an hour-long pilot directed by Joss Whedon. The show featured a new team of agents compiled by Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg). Among those new agents was the mysterious Melinda May, played by Ming-Na Wen. The actress recently elaborated about her character and provided some hints about the past trauma that she is hiding.
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When May is first introduced, she is resistant to the idea of joining Coulson's gang. In fact she tells him that she wants no part of being "in the field." He tells her that she would not be in the field but would simply be "driving the bus (which turns out to be a massive ship)." She seemingly has no choice in the matter and goes along with the first mission.
A few scenes later it becomes apparent that she is no ordinary agent. New agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) is quite surprised to see agent May aboard the ship and questions Coulson when he tells her that she is simply there to be a pilot. During the final half of the show May is forced into action. First she's thrown around by a superhuman. Later on, she saves the day when she takes out a hired gun without breaking a sweat.
The episode leaves viewers with a plethora of questions regarding the character. Why does Ward know who she is? Was she a big shot agent that had some problems with Coulson in the past?
Wen was not particularly open about revealing any spoilers during a conversation she had with TVLine.
When asked how soon audiences would find out about her trauma, she said, "Gosh, I can't say, 'Hey, in Episode 10....' I will say that it will be a slow reveal, but that's going to be true for all the characters, which is what I love. It's back to the kind of television I grew up with, where you don't know everything all in the first two episodes of a series. For me, this is an amazing novel that unfolds little by little, chapter by chapter, maybe even goes into a second book and a third book, but it's definitely a story that reveals the characters slowly, so that you really get to know who they are. That's the luxury of doing a television show with the Marvel title as opposed to a Marvel movie."
She also noted that the character has a unique relationship with Coulson throughout the series.
"In a way. She can be his bulldog, but at the same time, there is true camaraderie," Wen revealed. "He pulled her out of the field, he's the one that gives her that second chance. He believes that he was saved from 'the great white light' [after the events of The Avengers] and everyone deserves a second chance, so there's great friendship and history between the characters."
"Agents of SHIELD" airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.