'Agents of SHIELD' Recap: There Goes the Welcome Wagon
'Agents of SHIELD' Recap: There Goes the Welcome Wagon
Bill King
Bill King
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
The ninth episode of Agents of SHIELD stands out for two main reasons -- okay, three if you count that May and Ward are getting freaky (more on that later).

The first is that "Repairs" is to Agent Melinda May what last week's "The Well" was to Agent Grant Ward -- a brief glimpse into the character's backstory with a bit of development and exposition that lets them relate better moving forward.

But the second and perhaps more puzzling thing that's noteworthy is that the plot doesn't have a very Marvel-y feel to it. It is entertaining enough, yet I have a hard time buying into the idea that a man is trapped between our world and hell because of an awful act he committed that led to his own death and killed several others.

And he's apparently doing all the haunting for love? 

Agents of SHIELD Agent of the Week: The Lighter (and Darker) Side of Grant Ward >>>

SHIELD Gets Religious?

One week after telling us that one of the reasons humans believe in god(s) is because aliens came along and couldn't be classified, we are now to believe that God's forgiveness is a factor in explainable events? 

I understand the purpose of it all, that Agent May can't keep hoping for a resolution to her own transgressions and must move on, but I think they could've accomplished the same thing without getting all spiritual.  

A Quick Summary

The plot itself doesn't take much to explain. SHIELD is called in to investigate a deadly explosion at a Utah particle accelerator complex (aptly named the "particle accelerator complex," according to the sign outside) that the townsfolk are blaming on surviving safety inspector Hannah Hutchins, who is being plagued by telekinetic activity.

They lock Hannah in a safe room on The Bus, where she tells them she is being punished by God, who abandoned her, and is being haunted by a demon. Strange and potentially deadly things start happening, and the demon is revealed to be co-worker Tobias Ford, who is in love with Hannah and loosened bolts on important equipment so she would pay him a visit and write him up for safety violations.

It all sounds innocent, except that this is a particle accelerator. So a bunch of people die, and Tobias refuses to move on and instead bounces between dimensions trying to protect Hannah from those who think she is responsible for the explosion.

Simple enough.

May to the Rescue

Agent May is the focal point of the episode and more important than any of the plot details, so let's examine what we learn about her. Even though FitzSimmons tries to execute the worst prank ever by making up a story about how May became known as "The Cavalry" and Ward apparently has no idea of the moniker's mysterious origin, I think Coulson's account is probably the most believable.

He tells Skye that May was part of the "welcome wagon" that traveled to talk to an individual with newly-discovered abilities. Things quickly went south, and several agents and a civilian girl were lost. This is why May is so quick to tranquilize Hannah after things start to get out of control when the team first meets her.

May went inside and took care of the entire enemy threat on her own, but there were casualties, and she came out a changed person. She was always quiet, Coulson says, but she used to be a bit of a prankster and believed rules existed to be broken.

In the present situation, May uses Hannah as bait to lure Tobias away from the rest of the team. Then she echoes Coulson's words to her after her experience, telling Tobias that God will never forgive him (can she say that?), but he must accept what he can't change, let go and move on.

He listens and then vanishes, whereas she finally gets the message and pranks Fitz in his sleep.

A Little Less Conversation

They hinted at it last week, when May closed out the episode by walking into her hotel room with a bottle of Jack and left the door ajar in full view of Ward. It was my first thought at the time, but I didn't want to speculate. After all, maybe they both had demons to exercise after grasping the Berserker Staff and wanted to talk it out over a stiff drink.

But it turns out they wanted to channel their rage in a different way, and May wanted to grasp a different kind of Berserker st- ... nevermind, you get the picture.

So yeah, Ward and May having been sharing stiff drinks for quite some time. And while it does throw a kink into the perceived SkyeWard romance, I appreciate the idea that things aren't always going to progress like we imagine they will.

The Skye's the Limit

"Repairs" also serves as a small jumping-off point for Skye's future in the agency and the seemingly limitless potential Coulson sees in her. She provides the voice of comfort to Hannah and also does what she can to be there for May, and Papa Coulson expresses that he can see her being a very successful welcome wagon in the future.

What did you think of the episode? Did you also find it a bit out of the standard realm of subject matter? And if so, did that bother you at all? And does this mean no SkyeWard in our future? Or do you like the complex cardboard cutout that is MayWard?

You can watch Agents of SHIELD every Tuesday at 8pm on ABC.

(Image courtesy of ABC)