|For May's Life-Model Decoy, see Melinda May.|
Melinda Qiaolian May is a former Level Red S.H.I.E.L.D. operative, nicknamed "The Cavalry". A veteran pilot and soldier with years of experience and a good friend of Agent Phil Coulson, she withdrew from field duty after an incident in Manama, Bahrain which left her mentally damaged. However, she returned to the field when S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury asked to her to secretly assemble a team for Agent Coulson and to monitor his recovery process. She worked with the team on all their missions. When the HYDRA Uprising began, her true role on the team, to be Fury's eyes and ears on Coulson, was discovered, leading to a rift between her and the team. Feeling unwanted, she left, searching to find out the truth behind Coulson's resurrection. She found the truth and brought it back to Coulson. She helped the team stop John Garrett and went with the team to the Playground to help restart S.H.I.E.L.D., under newly promoted Director Coulson.
As Coulson's unofficial deputy, May helped Coulson in fighting the forces of HYDRA led by Daniel Whitehall and dealing with Coulson's growing obsession with the alien writing. After the Battle for the Kree City in which HYDRA was dealt a heavy blow and resulted in Agent Skye gaining superhuman abilities, May helped them all to deal with the situation the best they could. When another S.H.I.E.L.D. faction led by Robert Gonzales emerged and occupied their base, May helped Coulson to escape, but later accepted a position on Gonzales' board. When the two factions united, May became a member of Coulson's council of advisors. Following the War against the Inhumans and the Kidnapping of Bobbi Morse, she retired from S.H.I.E.L.D. for a short time to be with her ex-husband, Andrew Garner.
However, she returned to the field to kill Grant Ward once and for all with Lance Hunter. May struggled with the revelation that the Inhuman killer Lash was actually her husband; she continued to work in S.H.I.E.L.D. as the agency attempted to bring down Gideon Malick and later Hive, losing Andrew in this battle.
Following the relegalization of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the appointment of a new Director, May was given the task of building and training a specialist strike team. During one of her missions, she was touched by Lucy Bauer, a person with ghost-like powers, causing her a mental breakdown. Jemma Simmons and Holden Radcliffe managed to save her life at the last moment. Prior to S.H.I.E.L.D. victory on Eli Morrow, May was incapacitated and kidnapped by the LMD Aida and was replaced by an LMD of herself. After several escape attempts, May's mind was trapped inside the Framework, a virtual reality where she lived as a HYDRA agent. With the help of Daisy Johnson and Simmons, May finally escaped the Framework, only to face the threat of the now living Aida. S.H.I.E.L.D. managed to kill her, but May and the others were sent to the year 2091 afterwards.
May and the others found themselves in the Lighthouse, a bunker used to contain the rest of humanity following Earth's destruction. May was captured by the Kree who ruled over the station and sent to Earth's surface. There she met Robin Hinton who apparently had been raised by May in her past. Discovering the way to return to the present, May and the others returned to the Lighthouse and managed to go back. They immediately worked to prevent the Destruction of Earth, came into a conflict with General Hale's HYDRA and later with the Confederacy. Following their victory over Glenn Talbot, thus saving Earth, May retired from S.H.I.E.L.D. and stayed with Coulson in his last few days.
Childhood and Early Career
- "May used to be different. She was always quiet, she was just... she was warm. Fearless in a different way. Getting in trouble, pulling pranks, thought rules were meant to be broken."
- ―Phil Coulson
Melinda May was born to William and to the intelligence operative, Lian May. At age 7 she became an ice skater and admired the famous ice skater Dorothy Hamill, winning many awards in competitions. However, she found the ice too hard when she fell on it, so at the age of 12, she switched to martial arts, where the floors were padded.
May eventually joined S.H.I.E.L.D., believing that the agency was the best defence of the United States of America and the world against any possible threat. During her career, she met and fell in love with Doctor Andrew Garner, and the two eventually eloped and married.
Trained by the best S.H.I.E.L.D. had to offer, May became an ace pilot and a weapons expert, a soldier who could perform above and beyond the call of duty. She was one of the few S.H.I.E.L.D. agents who had more black belts than the notorious Black Widow, whom she met and befriended.
May met Agent Phil Coulson, one of the highest-ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and the right-hand man of Director Nick Fury, during a mission in which the two were paired up together. During the mission, their commander sent them to a coffee shop in Sausalito on a retrieval operation without an exit strategy. May wound up in the bay for five hours until Coulson eventually fished her out.
Coulson would describe May as warm, fearless and not afraid to break rules. May was quiet, but not above pulling pranks on her fellow agents. She also met Alexander Pierce, one of the leaders of S.H.I.E.L.D.
May and Coulson would often talk of being able to pick their own operations and to call their own shots without the bureaucracy and red tape.
- "Forgot I was working with 'The Cavalry'."
"Don't ever call me that."
- ―Grant Ward and Melinda May
In 2008, May, Phil Coulson and a team of agents were dispatched on an "Index Asset Evaluation and Intake" (or "Welcome Wagon") mission, investigating Eva Belyakov, a newly discovered powered individual with superhuman strength. They tracked Belyakov to Manama, Bahrain, where things immediately spiraled out of control; Belyakov, aided by various Bahrainian gangsters that she seemed to be controlling, took a young civilian girl and every dispatched S.H.I.E.L.D. agent except for May and Coulson, hoarding them inside of a warehouse.
As she was unable to call in any backup, May took it upon herself to solve the problem. She went in by herself with only a knife, crossing off the controlled gangsters and Belyakov herself. However, she learned that the girl, revealed to be Belyakov's daughter Katya, was the one controlling people using a sensory manipulating ability. May witnessed the girl use her powers to kill the remaining gangsters, so she was forced to execute Katya to prevent her from doing the same to the captured S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. The incident scarred May mentally, and earned her the nickname "The Cavalry" within S.H.I.E.L.D., a designation she despised.
May never spoke of what happened during the incident, but it changed her. The warm, rule-bending nature of her personality seemed to be gone, despite Coulson's efforts to draw it back out. Her marriage with Garner also slowly fell apart as a result of her distance, eventually ending. Soon, May withdrew from combat duty, retreating to a desk-bound administrative position within the S.H.I.E.L.D. bureaucracy.
Back in the Field
- "You guys talk too much."
- ―Melinda May
May was approached by Nick Fury himself and ordered to be his eyes and ears on the newly resurrected Phil Coulson. May's orders were to report to him directly if Coulson showed any side-effects or dangerous behavior after his treatment with the alien GH.325 drug. Fury believed that given their shared history, Coulson would recruit her for his new team. To aid in her mission, she put together a team of agents that may be necessary to treat or act on Coulson. Coulson was then given specific mission parameters and was maneuvered into picking May's choices.
As expected, Phil Coulson came to the office where she worked and asked her to join his team. Still haunted by her past experiences in the field, she was genuinely reluctant to return to combat, but she agreed when Coulson told her that he just needs her to "drive the Bus." 
However, field work is not always a stable environment. May was angered after seeing inadvertent combat in Peru, but her skills helped save her team and re-take the Bus from Camilla Reyes's hijackers.
During the action in Malta, May initially assumed that she would be on the strike team to rescue Doctor Franklin Hall, to her dismay. When Coulson informed her that he was going in with Grant Ward instead, May expressed doubt, stating that field work and specialist work were two different things.
During the operation, May was frustrated at being stuck at the backend of the op, where she could not do anything to help her team. Upon Coulson's return, May informed him that she would report the next time combat duty came up.
- "You told me that you were ready for combat. That you had my back."
"Don't ever doubt it."
- ―Phil Coulson and Melinda May
May returned to combat duty without hesitation. She acted swiftly (and without authorization) to apprehend renegade S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and Coulson protégé, Akela Amador before she could complete her mission in Minsk, Belarus.
In Hong Kong, she participated in the attempted rescue of Index listed pyrokinetic Chan Ho Yin from his captors in the Centipede Project. When Chan started to use his powers against the S.H.I.E.L.D. team, killing Agent Quan Chen, May injected Chan with a dose the Centipede Serum, causing an explosive overdose.
She lived up to her nickname of "The Cavalry" when Agents Grant Ward and Leo Fitz were stranded in the middle of a hot operation without an extraction plan along the South Ossetian border. She piloted the Bus without authorization into an active hot spot where she and her team rescued their team-mates.
In Ireland, she took the strength-enhancing Berserker Staff in combat against the members of a Norse Paganist hate group. She was able to control the rage-inducing properties of the staff, and claimed it was because she lived with her rage every day. That night she slept with Grant Ward.
Hunt for Centipede
When Coulson decided to focus all of the team's efforts on bringing down the Centipede Project, he brought Mike Peterson, now in training to become a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent to assist in their fight against the Project's super-powered soldiers. She assisted Peterson, Coulson, and Ward in infiltrating the Centipede base in Oakland. Discovering Peterson was a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Raina and Edison Po kidnapped Peterson's son, Ace using him to convince his father to bring Coulson to a hostage exchange. When Centipede took Coulson, she called in backup, but the backup failed to arrive before Coulson was taken and Peterson was apparently killed. 
May knew Skye could assist better finding Coulson when she wouldn't be on the Bus, so she advised to Victoria Hand to let Skye be free during the investigation. Skye found Coulson's location, and his team went to rescue him. After they fought the Centipede Soldiers they saved Coulson and brought him back to the Bus.
In order to learn about Skye's history May and Phil Coulson traveled to Mexico City,Mexico, where they tracked down former S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Richard Lumley, who had been involved with Skye's case and fell off the grid soon after.
Lumley told them the story of that long-ago op. Soon after returning home, the other agents involved in the op began to be eliminated until only he and Linda Avery remained. Avery took steps to hide Skye in the foster care system, making sure she would never be in one place for too long, before being murdered herself. May, shocked from the story, urged Coulson not to tell it to Skye.
Phil Coulson decided to bring Skye to the Guest House, where he had been resurrected, to treat the near-fatal injury that she received from Ian Quinn. Despite their differences, May was genuinely concerned about Skye's well-being, and losing control of herself, May attacked Quinn just to make him suffer. With the help of Agents John Garrett and Antoine Triplett, they retrieved the GH.325 to save Skye's life. The formula worked, and Skye stabilized.
The team suddenly faced the arrival of a new visitant on Earth: Lady Sif whom was looking for Lorelei an Asgardian that escaped during the Sacking of Asgard. S.H.I.E.L.D. helped the warrior in the search for Lorelei. However, Lorelei used her powers to sway May's lover Grant Ward under her control. After a few days, May and the team confronted Lorelei and Ward. The relationship between they both was ended when Lorelei revealed that Ward was not honest with her. Sif captured Lorelei and returned to Asgard.
The Phone Line
- "He knows. I repeat Coulson knows."
- ―Melinda May to Nick Fury
Fitz discovered the phone line at a time when tensions were already high: The team was searching for the Clairvoyant; Felix Blake was critically injured by Deathlok; Jemma Simmons was transferred to the Hub to be a consultant; and Grant Ward had killed Thomas Nash. He told Skye, who told Coulson, while he was interrogating Ward to see if he worked for the Clairvoyant. May hunted for Fitz to shoot him with an I.C.E.R. when Coulson and Skye surrounded her at gunpoint demanding answers. Suddenly the plane was rerouted to the Hub by Victoria Hand.
During her interrogation, May explained that the line went to Nick Fury, who wanted constant updates on Coulson's progress after his resurrection. Coulson used the I.C.E.R. on her. Meantime The team found out that there were secret HYDRA agents inside S.H.I.E.L.D. all along. After they landed and May woke up, she called Fury, only to hear a voice telling her he was dead. With John Garrett, the team planned to attack Hand, who they suspected was the real Clairvoyant. However, Garret accidentally revealed himself to be the Clairvoyant and a member of HYDRA. After a brief fight, Garret was arrested. Coulson ultimately decided that for her secrets, she was an ally, no longer his friend, in their new battle against HYDRA.
Leaving the Team
After the team arrived to the Providence, May left her team and arranged to have her mother Lian pick her up in Canada, 500 miles from her mother's home. Her mother gave May contact information for Maria Hill, with whom she wanted to talk.
May found Hill under surveillance by various agencies after the downfall of S.H.I.E.L.D. After subduing Hill's tails, the two talked. May did not believe Hill's statement that Nick Fury was dead. She did obtain a clue concerning the leader of Project T.A.H.I.T.I. and dug up Phil Coulson's gravesite to find the answer. Hill told her that Grant Ward was an HYDRA member. May found the team in Los Angeles in a hotel, where Coulson forgave her for her secrets, and she revealed to him a report that Coulson himself had made to Fury where he resigned as leader of Project T.A.H.I.T.I., asking Fury not to use it.
A Woman Scorned
- "Watch out, HYDRA. Here we come."
- ―Melinda May
The next morning, Coulson's Team had a meeting on how to find John Garrett and retrieve the Bus. After the meeting, May and Skye talked candidly about Grant Ward and how to focus their emotional pain effectively. May offered to be Skye's new S.O. May and Coulson went undercover as unemployed S.H.I.E.L.D. scientists seeking work with Cybertek in Palo Alto to get files pertaining to Deathlok. Eventually, Coulson's team learned of the old S.H.I.E.L.D. base that became the Barbershop Headquarters of HYDRA in Havana, Cuba. When they arrived however, May and the others became surrounded by Centipede Soldiers and Kaminsky carrying the Berserker Staff.
May quickly relieved Kaminsky of the Berserker Staff as the others fought and Skye uploaded a computer program that allowed her to find Garrett. When Coulson ordered her to "bring the house down," May destroyed the support beams of the headquarters, causing the building to collapse and burying her opponents.
The team went to the Cybertek Manufacturing Facility in New Mexico and May and Skye entered through an opening created by Coulson and Antoine Triplett. Inside, May battled Grant Ward, enraged about his betrayal. The fight spilled over into the neighboring construction site, where she used a nail gun on Ward's foot and broke his larynx, winning the fight.
After the defeat of Garrett, she, Coulson, and Nick Fury had a meeting, discussing Project T.A.H.I.T.I., S.H.I.E.L.D.'s founding principles, and Fury's status. She witnessed Coulson become the new Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and went with the team to meet Billy Koenig in the Playground.
The New Beginning
A few months after Coulson officially became director, Coulson tasked Melinda May, Antoine Triplett, and Skye to act as back-up for Isabelle Hartley, Idaho, and Lance Hunter, who were attempting to buy information from a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent when they were attacked by Carl Creel, who stole the information on an 0-8-4 that they sought.
When May returned to the Playground and had a meeting with Coulson, she reminded him that she was to watch over him and keep him out of field missions, but he was making her job difficult by constantly being away.
May then fought Creel when he attacked Glenn Talbot and assisted in Talbot's kidnapping.
May told Skye to stay with her as they, Triplett, and the others went into a Government Storage Warehouse that had the Obelisk. When the operation went badly due to Creel's interference, May led Skye and Triplett to fulfill the second half of the mission: to obtain a Quinjet, so that the new S.H.I.E.L.D. could travel undetected. As Triplett and Skye escaped in the cloaked vehicle, May took a motorcycle for her escape. 
May saw the crashed SUV Lance Hunter was in and helped him escape it before pursuing Creel on the motorcycle. When she could have shot him from behind, Coulson told her to stand down because she was among civilian traffic. May yielded and followed Creel to a restaurant where he accidentally killed a waitress who had touched him before he escaped.
May returned to the Playground where she and the other field agents met with Phil Coulson and witnessed his conversation with Raina to learn that the Obelisk could be tracked. However, she was knocked unconscious by an I.C.E.R. fired by Lance Hunter.
Later, May confronted Coulson about going into the field to stop Creel and why, after eighteen days, he had not released his urge to write the Words of Creation. Upon her prompting, Coulson yielded and began to carve the symbols on a wall in his office. Meanwhile, May documented the incident. 
The Moroccan Mission
- "And for the record, experience doesn't make it any easier to cross someone off."
- ―Melinda May
May continued her training of Skye in firearms, but advised her that killing is not an easy task. They were then interrupted by Hunter and Mack, the former asking if Skye attended the S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy to settle their wager; May reminded Hunter that she had not, otherwise he would have known better than to shoot them. Hunter tried to apologize again but May refused to take it, telling him to wait.
She accompanied Skye and Hunter to Morocco in pursuit of Blizzard. While there, she and Hunter were told that HYDRA had brainwashed Gill, so no HYDRA agent should contact him. As Hunter was aiming to shoot the agent talking to Gill, May recognized the agent as Jemma Simmons, Coulson's mole in HYDRA. She shot Hunter with an I.C.E.R. to save Simmons, but this alerted Gill to their presence. May and Hunter were then trapped in the freighter when Blizzard froze the door.
When they returned to the Playground, May admitted to Skye that she had known Simmons was Coulson's mole. She also told Hunter that she and he were now even for when he shot her with an I.C.E.R.; however, she was only speaking for herself.
- "I will pay five hundred dollars right now for a pair of flats."
- ―Melinda May
Posing as Heidi Martin, May accompanied Coulson to a fundraiser for Santa Maria de las Flores in Miami, Florida to obtain a 500 year old painting with the Words of Creation inscribed on its back. Following Glenn Talbot, who was truly a disguised Sunil Bakshi, to his hotel room, May discovered the brainwashed Agent 33 working for HYDRA. As they fought, May was distracted by Bakshi and rendered unconscious.
Agent 33 then used the Photostatic Veil to copy May's face.
When May awakened, she was tied to a chair with Bakshi threatening to torture her for S.H.I.E.L.D.'s secrets. The commotion of Coulson's and Agent 33's struggle outside the room distracted Bakshi enough for May to escape. Then she challenged Agent 33 who continued to wear May's face. After a prolonged fight, May electrocuted the HYDRA operative and exited before backup soldiers could arrive.
After calling the real Glenn Talbot to inform him of HYDRA's latest scheme, May and Coulson talked about May's plan if Coulson went insane from the effects of GH.325. Though she told him that she would care for him, Coulson ordered her to put him down instead. May just nodded her head.
When S.H.I.E.L.D. learned of a massacre in which the U.S. Navy's anti-HYDRA task force was affected by a weapon resembling the effects of the Obelisk, May assumed it to be in HYDRA's possession. As she, Skye, Antoine Triplett and Lance Hunter went to Phil Coulson for information, Skye spotted Coulson scribbling the alien writing into his desk. When asked for his source on the writing, Coulson remained tight-lipped. As everyone else left, May advised Coulson that keeping Skye in the dark would not end well.
May later barged into Coulson's office in the middle of his argument with Skye, who had discovered Coulson's condition, announcing that Raina was calling them again and wanted to meet.
Coulson agreed to meet and brought May, Skye and Hunter along as his lookouts. While Hunter sat on restaurant floor, May and Skye watched through the kitchen window. After Raina entered the restaurant, she and Coulson had a debate about the Obelisk before the Director questioned what she had up her sleeve. Raina then revealed that she discovered Jemma Simmons working undercover at HYDRA and threatened to expose her if Coulson does not allow her take Skye. When questioned why, she revealed that she knows Skye's Father. Though May insisted that she was lying, Skye said that Grant Ward said Raina knew her father and it could not be a coincidence. Coulson then refused the bargain, prompting Skye to attempt to go out and surrender herself; May blocked her, ordering her to stand down. Though Skye insisted that Simmons' life was on the line, May claimed that Coulson had a plan and was forced to restrain her. Coulson allowed the situation with Raina to play it out, showing that he had a plan and was not going to be threatened by Raina.
With her leverage gone, Raina was forced to confess that she was trying to reclaim the Obelisk from Skye's father to spare herself from Daniel Whitehall's wrath. After injecting a tracker into Raina's leg and getting Skye's father's location, Coulson sent her off. May then took note that the address Raina gave was only a few blocks away. She then signaled Coulson to switch off their earpieces to privately discuss what Richard Lumley told them about Skye, suggesting that her father was the one whom the ex-agent feared. They then noticed that Skye had gone ahead and managed to catch up with her. They found the condemned building deserted, save for two corpses, one killed by a scalpel and the other by brute force. This causes Skye to label her father a monster.
Attack on the United Nations
- "It's always a shame when a good soldier falls."
- ―Glenn Talbot to Melinda May
Melinda May led Bobbi Morse and Lance Hunter to Okinawa, Japan when they discovered that the Splinter Bombs used in an attack by HYDRA hired mercenaries on the United Nations were created there. During the flight, Morse asked May whether she still spoke to her ex-husband; May did not say a word.
May's team though arrived too late to save Noelle Walters' team from being killed by those same mercenaries. Their leader, Marcus Scarlotti, killed Walters personally. When the team did arrive, May fought Scarlotti unarmed as he used his personal weapon, the Rope Dart Knife. She eventually knocked him unconscious for Glenn Talbot to take him into custody as Talbot gave his condolences to May on losing six agents. 
The Hunt for Ward
May was field commander of the mission to capture Grant Ward after he escaped federal custody. She told Skye that if Coulson began carving the symbols while she was away to monitor him. While she was flying the Quinjet, Antoine Triplett and Bobbi Morse both answered to her when he failed to capture Ward in Philadelphia and her cover was blown in Atlanta.
In Boston, May gathered her field agents, including Lance Hunter, to raid the Goldbrix Tavern to capture Ward. There she found three dead HYDRA agents and Sunil Bakshi in a back room, tied to a chair and unconscious.
Returning to the Playground with Bakshi, May witnessed Coulson ask Hank Thompson to join the organization. She then assembled with the other senior agents when Director Coulson gave them a new mission: find the city that matched the Words of Creation before HYDRA can.
Interrogation of Sunil Bakshi
May was in charge of the Playground while Coulson, Antoine Triplett, and Skye went to find the city. She told Coulson that Christian Ward wanted his own people to find his brother because S.H.I.E.L.D. was politically toxic.
Attention was given to Sunil Bakshi and Bobbi Morse's interrogation of him in Vault D. During the session, Morse wondered how Daniel Whitehall was connected to the Red Skull, so May revealed the keys to Vault B, where the Strategic Scientific Reserve kept its files. During their research, the agents learned that Whitehall was around during World War II as Werner Reinhardt, but they could not discern how he kept his youth.
When the Bus returned from Australia after finding the location of the city that matched the Words of Creation, May was among the assembled agents that Phil Coulson prepped to enter the city. However, Coulson learned from Billy Koenig that Agent 33 was assigned by HYDRA to retrieve Raina in Vancouver. So May became the mission commander of a team to protect her. Sam Koenig was looking forward to see her.
In Canada, May shot two HYDRA agents in a van, then used that van to hit two more operatives as they approached Raina when she attempted to surrender.
Aboard the cloaked Bus, everyone was wondering how May felt about Agent 33 having May's face. Skye came to her in a panic, talking that Coulson needed to be warned before he entered the city, but communications went down as four HYDRA Quinjets surrounded the plane.
Grant Ward traced Raina through the signal emitted by her tracker. May led the agents, guns drawn, in surrounding Ward as he entered the Bus. Ward promised that the quinjets would not fire, killing everyone, if Raina and Skye came willingly. Skye convinced May to allow her to leave.
- "Know what we could use?"
"Another 50 men?"
"I was gonna say a dozen. But I like your idea better."
- ―Phil Coulson and Melinda May
May managed to save the rest of agents from an attack by the HYDRA Quinjets with a smart maneuver to cloak the Bus and eject the pods inside the plane to make HYDRA pilots believe they managed to destroy them. Arriving at San Juan, May told Phil Coulson what happened. In the Bus May blamed herself for letting Ward take Skye, but Coulson told her that her actions saved the others and that Skye would be fine as she had trained her into a fully capable field agent.
When Coulson learned that HYDRA was in the Ponce de León Theater, May, Morse, Hunter, and Coulson prepared for the Battle for the Kree City. May landed the S.H.I.E.L.D. Quinjet upon the roof, and she and the agents went down firing as HYDRA operatives came up. When she reached the Plasma Drill at the bottom, she attempted to stop Coulson from going into the Kree City, but Coulson was determined to save Skye and to see what all of the writing meant. When Morse and Hunter came, May told them to flee before the bombs that Antoine Triplett set could explode. She was over the hole as an earthquake shook the area.
Director Phil Coulson called a meeting of the senior agents to discuss what he wanted done with Sunil Bakshi and how he planned to make HYDRA pay for Triplett's death. During the meeting, Alphonso Mackenzie and Coulson began to argue; May told Mackenzie to remember his rank when speaking to the Director. This statement was not liked by Lance Hunter who began arguing with May. Ultimately, Coulson pulled rank and dismissed the squabble.
May and Coulson began transferring Bakshi to Glenn Talbot's custody when the S.H.I.E.L.D. SUV she was driving was hit by a truck filled with mercenaries. After a firefight where May proved her marksmanship and acrobatic superiority, she was shot by a mercenary who escaped with Bakshi. However, all of this was planned to lead S.H.I.E.L.D. to HYDRA's new superior since Daniel Whitehall was dead.
May returned to the Playground and visited Skye in her quarantine. She saw Skye bleeding and asked what happened; before she could answer, Leo Fitz assured May that everything was fine. May went to call Coulson, who was visiting Mrs. Triplett.
May attended the vigil the senior agents had for Triplett.
Phil Coulson and she went to Portugal to retrieve Sif, who had lost her memories but was seeking something called "Kava". Skye found on YouTube a video of Sif fighting a man; May showed the video to Sif but it did not help her. While talking to Sif, May complemented the Asgardian on her skills as a warrior.
Eventually, the man was apprehended and revealed himself to be a Kree named Vin-Tak. He came to Earth because a Diviner had been activated and he wanted to destroy the Inhuman who had transformed. Vin-Tak told them that he caused Sif to lose her memory using his Truncheon. He used the device on Sif again, curing her amnesia.
May continued to listen as Vin-Tak further explained the origin of the Inhumans. When Skye was questioned about what she saw in Kree City as Raina transformed, she became nervous and caused the Playground to shake. May, Coulson, Sif, and Vin-Tak all realized Skye was an Inhuman. Sif and Vin-Tak both decided that Skye needed to be destroyed; May and Skye ran with them in pursuit.
May took Skye to Vault D and activated the Inertial Confinement Laser Barrier to be alone with her. May tried to talk Skye into using the calming techniques that they had practiced; however, Skye could not stop herself from causing the quakes. When Sif used her sword to break the barrier, Skye used May's I.C.E.R. to knock herself unconscious to keep from harming anyone. May used that act to get Sif to stand down, showing that Skye was not harmful to those she considered her friends.
May and Coulson escorted Sif and Vin-Tak away from the Playground so that the Bifrost Bridge could take them to Asgard. After they were gone, she and Coulson remembered how the first mission of Coulson's Team involved Skye and wondered if it was fate that brought everyone together. 
Reunion with Garner
With it known that Skye was an Inhuman, Phil Coulson and May put her on the Index. A psychological assessment was a requirement for Index candidates, so May went to Culver University to request the assistance of ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. consultant and her ex-husband Andrew Garner. He told May that he would assist Skye, not her, not S.H.I.E.L.D. While in his office, she noticed a picture frame, but did not ask about it.
She brought Garner to the Playground, but asked him to allow her to speak to Skye first before his interview. May revealed to Skye that Garner was her ex-husband; this made Skye want to meet him to try to learn of May's past. After the interview, May and Garner had an amicable talk that Leo Fitz, who had not previously known that she was married, noticed made her smile and laugh. The conversation was interrupted by the Bus shaking; May awakened the sleeping Skye to stop the tremors.
Meanwhile, Coulson and Bobbi Morse were dealing with a prison break orchestrated by Calvin Zabo to release David Angar. When Zabo and his Slicing Talons were located in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, May quickly took the Bus to that location to backup Coulson, despite Garner and Skye being on-board. May told them to remain as non-combatants, but Skye insisted on helping; May decided to use Skye's relationship with Zabo to her advantage.
May brought Skye at gunpoint to the location of Zabo's and Coulson's confrontation; this caused Zabo to hesitate and explain his motives. Before David Angar could attack, Zabo was teleported away. May told Garner to take Skye off the battlefield as she ran to fight Francis Noche. She kept the super-strong villain from making contact as best as possible, but all fighting stopped when an earthquake started.
Back at the Playground, May told Skye that she would do everything she could to help her. Garner decided not to rejoin S.H.I.E.L.D.; as May escorted him off the grounds, he decided not to rejoin with her as well, because of the person in the picture frame.
May gave Garner's recommendation that Skye be relieved from field assignments to Coulson. They discussed that May was having difficulty working with Skye because May did not want to repeat what happened in Bahrain. Coulson assured her that she could adapt.
Alphonso Mackenzie returned to the Playground without Lance Hunter; when May asked why and if he saw Bobbi Morse while he was out, Mackenzie lied, telling May that he had not. May then called Phil Coulson and asked him to return from a S.H.I.E.L.D. Safe House where he had taken Skye.
Turning their attention to more immediate matters, Coulson asked May if she believed Mackenzie's alibi; they did not and decided they would confront him.
Deputy Commander Duties
May found Bobbi Morse in Phil Coulson's office with the Toolbox in her hand, and she drew her gun on the intruder. Morse said that she could give an explanation, but then jumped through the window, hoping to escape. May pursued Morse and the two fought viciously; Morse activated an EMP to escape May in the resulting blackout.
May found Leo Fitz in the blackout of the Playground and the two found Coulson. The three compared notes; Alphonso Mackenzie was on the run and Morse had used a Vibranium tracking device to find the Toolbox. May remembered that Mackenzie was given the blueprints of the Playground earlier, but Coulson assured her that no one knew the facility better than they did.
Searching Morse's locker for where Morse would go if she left the base, May found a gas mask in a hidden compartment; she immediately realized that Morse was not leaving, but inviting an invasion.
- "What's the catch?"
"No catch. We're gonna bring Coulson in with or without your help. And when we do, he should have a strong advocate on the board."
- ―Melinda May and Robert Gonzales
Two days later, May sat silently as Robert Gonzales attempted to interrogate her about the whereabouts of Phil Coulson or Skye, both of whom having escaped capture. He attempted to break down her loyalty to Coulson, reminding her of her previous directive to monitor Coulson for Fury and her subsequent order to terminate Coulson if he went insane, all because he could not trust himself. When he questioned if she was loyal to Coulson or to S.H.I.E.L.D., May responded that they are one and the same. Gonzales countered that Skye injured seven agents with her powers. May defended her protege, insisting that the Diviner, not Coulson, was responsible for Skye's powers. Gonzales deconstructed that fact by reminding her of how GH.325 drove Coulson to the Kree City, but May defended that they went to stop HYDRA because it was their job, and argued that it is what S.H.I.E.L.D. should be doing instead of wasting their time on a witch-hunt. Gonzales held up the file of May's actions in Bahrain to remind her of the dangers of individuals with superpowers; this still did not make her talk. She promised Gonzales that Coulson would eventually face him on his terms.
Later, Gonzales took May aboard the Bus to the Iliad. He passed her his gun and told her to shoot him if she believed he was a traitor to S.H.I.E.L.D., if not, to hear his proposal. He asked May to join the leadership of his faction of S.H.I.E.L.D. as an advocate for Coulson, so that when he was captured, someone could understand and defend Coulson's motives against the other leaders. May gave Gonzales back his gun, saying that it was just for show; Gonzales emptied the clip and chamber of the loaded gun to show that he was deadly serious. May began to contemplate.
Return to the Playground
Aboard the Iliad, May was asked by Bobbi Morse and Anne Weaver if she could tell them about Deathlok and about Theta Protocol, but May gave only a little information about it. Morse and Weaver explained to her the massive investment of Phil Coulson on Theta Protocol and that the reason why they wanted to open the Toolbox was answers. May asked them if she could become the person in charge of the Playground and investigate those accusations. On a Quinjet back to the Playground, Morse realized that May had no idea about Theta Protocol. As May returned to the Playground, she was greeted warmly by Jemma Simmons, whom May asked to assist her. They discovered that Coulson was commissioning Simmons to upgrade Deathlok without her knowledge, was having clandestine meetings with Andrew Garner, and was spending a lot of money. With growing concern, May ordered Simmons to open the Toolbox.
- "I can't believe what I'm hearing. You're on their side."
"It's not about sides. It's about the truth."
- ―Jemma Simmons and Melinda May
In Coulson's office, Simmons revealed to May that she worked on a fake Toolbox and the real one was with Leo Fitz. May told Simmons that she would handle it, and she told Bobbi Morse about Simmons' action. When she told Simmons what she had done, May asked Simmons if she could hack into Mike Peterson's hard-drive and see, through him, where Phil Coulson was. Simmons agreed to the question but with disappointment over May's actions. May tried to convince her that her actions were the right thing to do in order to reveal Coulson's secrets. May, Simmons, Morse and Alphonso Mackenzie were in Coulson's office when Skye called. May asked her where she was and Skye told her she was with Calvin Zabo. May signaled to Simmons to locate Skye's location. Skye told May that she would not stay with Zabo much longer and S.H.I.E.L.D. needed to retrieve him before he hurt someone. Morse suggested that she take a team and retrieve Skye and her father.
Phil Coulson returned to the Playground with Grant Ward and Agent 33. Later, May, Coulson, Ward, Robert Gonzales, Bobbi Morse, Anne Weaver and Oliver had a meeting about Coulson's plan to infiltrate the Arctic HYDRA Research Facility, destroy it and rescue Deathlok with the help of Sunil Bakshi, a spy in the facility. Gonzales' board voted on whether or not to approve Coulson's plan. Before May made her vote, she spoke with Coulson about his previous lies and his meetings with Andrew Garner, but Coulson told her that the meetings with Garner were only for counseling on his alien writing compulsions. He assured May he would apologize to her at length after they had saved Peterson and the other powered people. May agreed to Coulson's plan and joined his infiltration team.
When Coulson, May, Jemma Simmons, Leo Fitz and Ward boarded the Bus, they heard a loud noise. May immediately pointed her gun toward Ward, but he said it had not been him. Skye appeared; teleported from Afterlife to assist their mission. On the way to the base, Coulson asked Ward to give the team the information about the base sent by Bakshi. As Ward was speaking, he quickly stopped and tried to explain his actions as an undercover HYDRA agent, but none of the team members were convinced of his choice. Near the base, HYDRA spotted the Bus' location and sent missiles to shoot it out of the sky, but the team escaped with a Quinjet and entered the base. Once they were inside the base, the team regrouped with Sunil Bakshi and were split into two groups: Skye, Simmons, Ward and Bakshi went to save Mike Peterson; and May, Coulson and Fitz went to take down the defense system, so Robert Gonzales' men could destroy the base. May defended Fitz while he hacked HYDRA's system. When he succeeded, she looked for Coulson and found him hacking into another computer. She ordered him to leave, and once he had finished, he did. When the team saved Peterson and Lincoln Campbell, May informed Gonzales that they had succeeded in their mission.
During a meeting with Phil Coulson, Robert Gonzales, Bobbi Morse, Anne Weaver and Oliver on the Iliad, Coulson revealed that Theta Protocol was a hidden Helicarrier which, during the events in Sokovia, was activated and used against the threat of Ultron. Coulson suggested that the two factions unite into one S.H.I.E.L.D. where he would be the Director and Gonzales' council would act as his advisors.
A New Threat
Later, May and Bobbi Morse spoke about how things had gone back to normal, but May did not believe that. May asked Morse if she thought that if she forgave Coulson, Lance Hunter would forgive her. Soon after, the ship's alarm was triggered and May and Morse found the invaders, Gordon and Raina in the cargo hold, where the Monolith was. However, Gordon teleported himself and Raina before they could be captured.
May was present in a meeting with Phil Coulson and his council, who discussed the new parties and the Monolith. Coulson and May returned to the Playground and asked Skye if she knew what the Monolith was, but she said neither she nor Lincoln Campbell knew what that was. May watched as Coulson asked more about the new group, but Skye only said they wanted to be left alone. Coulson asked how they should call them; Skye said they called themselves Inhumans. May claimed that the Inhumans were very dangerous, but Skye retorted that the same thing could be said about May. Skye told May that Jiaying had told her the story of what happened to the little girl and her mother in Bahrain, and revealed that the two were Inhumans.
May and Coulson were in the hangar, and she told him she missed the Bus. Coulson told May that Jiaying was Skye's mother, but May did not respond. Coulson wanted to apologize to May, as he had promised, but May did not want to talk about it. She revealed what really happened to the little girl in Bahrain and the choice May had to make to save the agents' lives. May also claimed that Coulson had lost control when he carved the Words of Creation. Coulson said he had control, but May said that Skye was a living proof that he had not.
The next day, after S.H.I.E.L.D. found the Inhumans' settlement, Coulson and the council planned Coulson's meeting with the Inhumans' leader, Jiaying, and finding a solution to their conflict, but Robert Gonzales claimed that he should go to meet her because Coulson was too close to Skye. He gave the example of the Ultron's creation by Tony Stark, and how the Avengers had let one man do whatever he wanted. Coulson asked for May's opinion, and she said that Gonzales should go.
- "What about you? Why can't you be in there right now?"
"I told you. We needed someone objective."
- ―Skye and Melinda May
May flew Gonzales and Anne Weaver to the Inhumans' base with a Quinjet. She walked with Gonzales until he entered to meet Jiaying. She saw then Calvin Zabo arrested by S.H.I.E.L.D.. Skye asked her where Coulson was, but May told her there had to be someone objective to meet her mother. Skye said that Gonzales sent people to kill her a few weeks ago, but May said that he was a much better person than she thought. May told Skye she hoped her mother was everything Skye had wanted her to be.
As a seeming peace-keeping gesture, Jiaying handed over Calvin Zabo to S.H.I.E.L.D. to be punished for his many crimes before beginning with discussions with Robert Gonzales. Once Skye had dropped off her father and as Zabo was being handcuffed and searched by Anne Weaver and her team, May informed Phil Coulson that the Inhumans had turned over Zabo. Not quite understanding what this could mean, Coulson told her that they would deal with that later.
May informed Phil Coulson that Bobbi Morse had not arrived yet nor answered her. Coulson asked how Skye was, and May replied she was disappointed that he did not meet Jiaying. Jemma Simmons came and said that Robert Gonzales had allegedly shot Jiaying. Coulson asked her where Gonzales was now, but Simmons did not know. He ordered the agents to find Gonzales and rescue him, so May ordered the agents to be prepared to take off when she returned and warned them about Calvin Zabo, who might be somehow involved.
May found Skye fighting against an agent, so she ordered her to stand down; Skye claimed that May needed to stand down, after Gonzales shot her mother. May asked where he was so they could fix this, but Skye said it was too late for fixing; May needed to take her people and get away from there. May said she would leave after she found Gonzales, but Skye did not let her keep going and eventually, the two fought each other. Skye used her Inhuman powers to knock May out.
May awoke in a Quinjet to the singing of Calvin Zabo. She joined the argument of Coulson, Simmons and Anne Weaver about whether or not Gonzales attacked Jiaying. After Weaver cut off, Coulson said he could not believe Skye turned against them; May said he did not see Skye attack her. Coulson understood Skye's confusion and Simmons asked why Jiaying had invited S.H.I.E.L.D. only to attack them. Coulson said that he did not know why but maybe Zabo did.
- "There is a piece that Ward doesn't understand. When I find him, I'm going to kill him."
- ―Melinda May
After they returned to the Playground, Coulson discovered that the attack of S.H.I.E.L.D. on Afterlife was actually an order of Jiaying to her men to attack their home, so her people would think that they declared war on them. Lance Hunter and Leo Fitz then entered and said that Bobbi Morse was taken by Agent 33, disguised as May, on a Quinjet which landed in Spain. Hunter asked for a pilot, and May volunteered to join him. Coulson followed with them and their team and realized that Grant Ward left Agent 33 for this reason. May said that she was planning to kill Ward once and for all. Hunter and May found where Morse's Quinjet landed and they saw signs of a struggle in the plane. May comforted Hunter by saying that Morse could handle herself against Ward. While they flew there in their Quinjet, Hunter discovered that Morse's phone was back in service and it should not be a problem to find her location. May said that it could be a trap, so Hunter asked if she was ready. May said she had an opportunity to kill Ward, so she was all in.
- "Hunter is the only agent left."
"She doesn't know that."
- ―S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent and Melinda May
May, Lance Hunter and their team raided the building where Bobbi Morse was held. May took two agents to search for Morse while Hunter took only one. During her search, she came across Agent 33 and started shooting at her, but Agent 33 avoided her shots. May noticed that Agent 33 had stolen a radio from a knocked out agent, so she had an idea how she could make Grant Ward kill Agent 33. She then issued a call on the radio for all agents to move to the south side of the building and only lower their guard once they saw her face, knowing that Agent 33 listened to this call. An agent near to her said that only Hunter was left and May responded that Agent 33 didn't know that. Eventually, her plan worked and Ward killed Agent 33 as she had disguised herself as May.
Before they landed in the Playground, Bobbi Morse stopped breathing, so May resuscitated her. Once they landed, she and Lance Hunter brought Morse to a room for surgery by Jemma Simmons. As she saw Morse recovering but still in a coma, May made a phone call to Andrew Garner. As soon as he answered the call, May said that he just wanted to hear his voice. Garner knew that something was wrong, saying that May had not made a call like this since Bahrain. He asked her how bad the situation was, and she responded that there was no way it was ending well. She also said that there was a lot she had not said that she wished she had. Garner said that he had too. He asked her to do good and to get home safe.
The Inhumans hijacked the Iliad and captured most of the crew, and a distress signal was sent from the ship to all of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s channels around the world. Phil Coulson organized a squadron of Quinjets to fly to the ship and shut down the Inhuman threat. May was with Coulson and Leo Fitz in one of the Quinjets along with Calvin Zabo, although May told Coulson she had doubts of bringing Zabo on the mission. Coulson responded that Zabo had lived among the Inhumans so he knew what they were going into and he could be useful for them. Fitz recognized a code being included in the distress beacon, which Coulson knew was a message from Skye warning them they were going into a trap. Coulson ordered the other Quinjets to fall back while his own continued on.
As they landed on the ship, Fitz said that another message from Skye had came saying there were synthetic Terrigen Crystals and they must go to the room which controls the ventilation of the ship. Zabo said that Jiaying's plan was to gas the ship with the Terrigen Mist and kill all of the agents. Coulson and Fitz went to find the Crystals while Zabo went to find Jiaying. May went to the ventilation control room. On her way, May came across with Lincoln Campbell and they teamed up to save Skye from Alisha Whitley's duplicates. Once they saved her, Skye went to find Jiaying while May and Campbell continued fighting Alisha and her duplicates, until they succeeded in knocking her out. Skye and S.H.I.E.L.D. were able to stop Jiaying's plans, leading to the deaths of Jiaying and the teleporter Gordon.
Time Off from S.H.I.E.L.D.
With the War against the Inhumans finished, Andrew Garner spent a few days in the Playground for Phil Coulson's evaluations. They agreed that May should take time off from her duty as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.; Garner revealed that they will travel together. May then asked Coulson, for the first time in her life, for a confirmation for timeout from S.H.I.E.L.D.; Garner and Coulson discussed this and Garner said that was time for her to rediscover the world outside S.H.I.E.L.D.. May then emptied her locker and took her gun with her, just in case.
Phil Coulson felt that he lost his right hand as well as his left, when May did not return from vacation after a few months of absence.
Vacation with Andrew Garner
May and Andrew Garner did their vacation in Maui. On the last scheduled day, Garner took an impromptu picture of May as she watched the sun set. They began talking and she decided that she wanted to continue to be on vacation in order to continue the rekindled spark between her and Garner. Garner agreed and asked May if they could exclusively date again. May could not believe the happiness she was feeling.
May heard that her father, William May, had broken his hip in a car accident. May was afraid that Grant Ward was involved in the accident, so she went to guard him in his house in Sun City, Arizona. She covered her motive from her father by saying she was with him to help him recover his hip, although her father knew she was hiding something.
They played golf and William commented on her hits. May said that he needed to work his hip. William revealed to her that he did not believe that she was with him only to help him recover. He knew something was not right because she returned from her vacation with Andrew Garner to spend time with him. May kept her silence, so he said that he would figure out by himself what was the reason.
Later, May and her father looked at an old picture of her, at the time she was an ice-skater, and they talked about her childhood. Suddenly, May saw a man coming to the door. May picked up a knife, surprised the man and neutralized him, but she saw that it was Lance Hunter.
- "My daughter always got back up."
- ―William May
May and Hunter sat in the yard. After Hunter explained how he found her and the rumors of May's departure from S.H.I.E.L.D., he said that he needed her help to find and kill Grant Ward. But May immediately refused, saying that her father needed her. Hunter was aware of the accident, and he knew that May was concerned that maybe Ward was behind it and that is why she was with him. May asked how he was going to kill him and he responded that he will climb the ranks of HYDRA until he was close enough to Ward to put a bullet in his head. He told her where he was going to be if she changed her mind to join him.
May then returned to the house where her father asked if Hunter's visit was an unfinished business. May remained silent, so he knew she meant yes. May said that she wanted to know if she could have a normal life without S.H.I.E.L.D., but her father said that it was not possible if she always expected an attack.
Revenge on Ward
Joining Hunter's Mission
May took a phone call from Andrew Garner, where he informed her that Jemma Simmons had been rescued and was safely returned to Earth. May relayed the information to Hunter, who praised how smart Leo Fitz was and insisted that he and May celebrate over a beer.
- "How 'bout I do you a favor and not tell anyone that a tiny little Asian woman kicked your ass."
- ―Melinda May
May accompanied Lance Hunter, under the alias "Gina", to a bar to meet Spud, an associate of Hunter who worked with HYDRA in the United Kingdom; their cover was selling weapons to HYDRA and wanting to meet its leader. Upon meeting her, Spud felt that "Gina" looked too good for the likes of Hunter.
May wanted to talk business, but the men insisted on drinking first. Eventually, after they were so drunk they could hardly enunciate, May was allowed to tell Spud that she and Hunter had powerful weapons that they wanted to sell. Spud informed them that to get an audience with the leader, they needed to win in the fight club that was established for new members to prove themselves.
Waiting for the established time, May offered to fight instead of Hunter; Hunter noted that a small Asian woman with remarkable fighting skills would get the attention of Grant Ward too soon. May then offered to train Hunter; he planned to tire out his opponent, but he took the brass knuckles May had. Discussing her relationship with Andrew Garner, May revealed that she was not the one who left him in Maui.
Entering the warehouse where the fights occurred, May and Hunter noted that the fights were to the death. When Hunter entered the fighting circle, Spud was his opponent; he began beating Hunter mercilessly.
May found herself surrounded by three huge men led by Tat, who insisted on buying her drink. Though she refused, they made their desires clear. May took the three to an adjacent room, then proceeded to demonstrate her superior fighting skills on them. She, needing to keep her cover, told them that they would be embarrassed if they let it be known that a little Asian woman beat them.
May returned to the fight circle in time to see Hunter use the brass knuckles to kill Spud and gain entrance to its higher levels.
- "Hunter needs back-up."
"More than I can provide."
"That's saying a lot!"
- ―Phil Coulson and Melinda May
A week later, Lance Hunter got an assignment from Kebo. He had no idea what the assignment was or where it would be; May berated Hunter for going to a mission ignorant. The two agreed that they both wanted Grant Ward dead; however, Hunter was going to have his revenge, no matter the cost.
May went to the Playground and alerted Phil Coulson that Hunter was in a situation too deep for her to handle alone. Coulson assured her that he would assist when needed; he also wanted to know if his working with Andrew Garner was what caused her not to return. May was not considered about that, only that Hunter was in danger. May noted that Coulson was not wearing a tie; showing her his prosthetic hand, Coulson said he was stilling learning.
Garner caught May as she was leaving; he wanted to talk, but May had few words. Garner told her that he had a good time with her in Hawaii. Garner explained that it was his fault that things did not go well, but May insisted he just did not love her. He told her he was to blame for why they separated again; May agreed, citing that it was payback for when she had left him herself years ago. Garner asked her to dinner, but she refused and left.
May followed Hunter to his rendezvous with Kebo and killed five of the eleven HYDRA operatives surrounding Hunter as he attacked Grant Ward. During the assault, May called Coulson, but he said he was twenty minutes away and recommended that they escape; Hunter refused and pressed the attack. Ward revealed that he had Andrew Garner surrounded, but he would release him if Hunter allowed Ward to escape. Once again, Hunter refused, despite May's concern for her ex-husband. Ultimately, Ward escaped, leaving May angry.
Return to S.H.I.E.L.D.
- "Are you back?"
"Yeah, I'm back."
- ―Phil Coulson and Melinda May
May and Lance Hunter returned to the Playground, timely enough to see Andrew Garner in a gurney and being helped by S.H.I.E.L.D. medics. May asked Garner how he survived the assassination attempt; he revealed that Phil Coulson had sent an agent to tail him, who engaged the HYDRA operatives who pursued him. Garner then told a tale of how he escaped. Deciding to allow the medics to care for him, May left Garner and ran into Hunter who had wished to see Garner; May adamantly refused to allow that. Coulson exited the room and saw the conversation; he took Hunter off the assignment for his failure and emotional issues.
May went to where Bobbi Morse was doing her rehabilitation routine and attacked her. Morse and May fought until Morse pinned her. May congratulated her on passing her test for combat readiness; Morse said that she was not medically cleared, but May dismissed her excuse. When the women saw Coulson, he asked May had she returned to the agency; May declared that she was back.
Search for Strucker
May revealed to Bobbi Morse that she had researched the Attack on Andrew Garner and had learned that Werner von Strucker was one of its participants. She also had learned that Strucker had activated a bank account in the Cayman Islands. After assuring that Morse knew how to speak Mandarin Chinese and that Leo Fitz had made appropriate aliases for them, May and Morse went to Grand Cayman Island.
There, May pretended to be a socialite who only spoke Mandarin and had Morse as a translator; in reality, May and Morse were communicating secretly. The two met Jerome Deschamps who left them alone in the bank vault. As they were going through Strucker's lock box, an alarm was activated and Deschamps returned with security. May, in Chinese, told Morse to prepare for battle, but Morse tried to talk her way out of the situation. One of the guards was not fooled and a fight to escape the bank happened anyway. Later, May chided Morse for hesitating in battle and told her that she was better now than when she was in S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy because Morse now has the "experience" from the Grant Ward incident on her side.
May and Morse discovered that Strucker was in a penthouse in Lisbon, Portugal. The two kicked in the door and saw Kebo torturing the young man. Kebo remembered May from the Attack on Grant Ward she performed earlier, stabbed Strucker, then attempted to escape. Morse gave pursuit while May fought and defeated the other HYDRA operatives.
Finding Out About Lash
- "That's not true."
- ―Melinda May
May removed the restraints that were holding the gravely injured Werner von Strucker and demanded that he reveal the location of Grant Ward. Strucker started to breathe heavily and, upon hearing Ward's name, told May that he was trying to follow directions and feared Ward because he failed in his Attack on Andrew Garner. May requested to know the truth about the incident and Strucker slowly told her of how Andrew Garner transformed and killed his HYDRA teammate before Strucker barely escaped; May was in disbelief. When asked what Garner was, May answered that she did not know.
- "Go on. Might as well. I've thought about my death enough times. The different ways that I could go. I just never thought it'd be you. I never knew why you married me. I was never as kind and empathetic as you. That's why it was so easy for me to walk away, why I gave up on you. I lost something when I left you. I won't do it again. But you have to stop this."
- ―Melinda May attempting to talk down Lash
Returning from Lisbon, May struggled to believe that her husband was Lash. She realized that she could check Werner von Strucker's story, immediately searching for Garner's flight records. She learned that Garner had been within thirty miles of several Inhuman deaths. May went to the lab and found Garner's medical file, but could not find his blood samples, all but confirming von Strucker's story. Asking where Garner was, she learned that he was in a different S.H.I.E.L.D. facility reassessing Joey Gutierrez. May immediately left to find him.
At the Cocoon, May pushed her way past several guards and interrupted Garner as he was interviewing Gutierrez. She ordered the others from the room, and told Garner that von Strucker was alive, and that he had told her that Garner was Lash. She also informed him of her search into his records. As May confronted him, Garner grew unstable, drew an I.C.E.R., and shot May unconscious.
May awoke in an old building at Culver University, chained to a water tank. Immediately, Andrew Garner ran to her side and apologized for her treatment, saying that he had needed to get away from S.H.I.E.L.D. to explain. May listened as Garner explained when and how he had undergone Terrigenesis, and his first transformation into Lash. She asked if Garner would have killed Joey Gutierrez; he assured her he would not have. May and Garner reminisced about their relationship, and the two shared a kiss, only to be interrupted by Phil Coulson. May assured Coulson she was all right, then watched as Coulson informed Garner that he wished to bring him in safely. Garner explained to Coulson that he had only done what he needed to do; suddenly, the lights flickered and burned out. May watched as Lincoln Campbell entered, angrily claiming Garner had torn his friends apart and had no right to do so. Garner, in a rage, transformed into Lash as May watched, sadly accepting what her former husband had become. As Garner and Campbell fought through the building, Coulson gave May a file, which she used to escape her chains.
Following the battle, May blocked Garner's path just as he was about to kill Campbell. May begged Garner to stop and asked that he kill her, noting that she never would have thought he would be the reason she died. May told Garner that she had never known why he had married her, and assured him that she would not walk out on him again. Her words caused Garner to revert to human form, and as he stood before her, May shot him in the chest, knocking him back into the Containment Module and closing the door just as he transformed back into Lash. May watched as gas from the chamber sedated Garner.
With Garner sedated and safe, Rosalind Price offered May the chance to have Garner put in a medical coma to slow his transformation. May asked Daisy Johnson what she would do; Johnson replied that she would take the chance. May told Price to do it, then walked away.
May returned to the Playground saddened and angry. She attended a meeting and listened as Phil Coulson described Operation Spotlight. Learning she was in charge of extracting Lance Hunter and Bobbi Morse, she requested Lincoln Campbell as her partner in the mission.
On the Zephyr One, May listened as Hunter and Morse infiltrated Endotex Labs, and left to extract them in a Quinjet with a reluctant Campbell following. In the Quinjet, she tried to find words to apologize for Lash's killing Campbell's friends, only to have Campbell confront her over her silence. May told Campbell that she was sorry for Lash's killings and that she should have known. Campbell told her that he should be thanking her for shooting Lash; he was interrupted by a warning that the extraction needed to be sped up. May increased the Quinjet's speed.
Back to the Field
After Rosalind Price was assassinated by Grant Ward, Phil Coulson interrogated his original team members in order to find a weakness in Ward. May expressed her condolences to Coulson and was asked about her intimate moment with him. May told him that the had not talked so much.
As Coulson went to find and kill Ward, he appointed Alphonso Mackenzie to the acting Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. by the time he was missing. Mackenzie asked about May opinion about Andrew Garner's evaluation on Lincoln Campbell, but she replied that she was not sure whether Garner had written that or Lash. She saw satellite photo of the HYDRA Castle, where Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons were hold by Ward and Gideon Malick. Mackenzie, knowing he was outmanned and outgunned, did not know what to do, so May told him that she thought he knew what to do, implying to activate Caterpillars project.
On their way to the castle, Daisy Johnson discovered that HYDRA brought to the compound dozen Inhumans inside Suspension Gels. May thought that Garner might be there as well. Mackenzie suggested that two teams would enter the castle, one for finding Fitz or Simmons and the second to secure the portal chamber. Johnson also discovered an aqueduct which led straight to the castle.
As they entered the aqueduct, May went with the Secret Warriors to find Fitz or Simmons. They hided in the castle's field and May managed to take one soldier down. Johnson warned them from Giyera and Campbell and Gutierrez revealed their fears. Johnson tried to calm them down by saying they all feared, but May said she was not. Campbell used his powers to turn off the lights. The Secret Warriors entered the castle and May stayed outside. When a soldier found Simmons, May threw at him a knife. May asked about Fitz and Simmons said that Grant Ward had taken him through the portal. She also told May that Garner was there and he had saved her life. May said to Simmons that she did not want to look for him and she informed Johnson she found Simmons.
However, May did searched for Garner, and she found out that he had killed all the Inhumans that were in the castle. She entered the portal chamber and informed the team what she had found and also that she could not find a difference between Garner and Lash. As HYDRA tried to entered the chamber, Mackenzie ordered May to take the team to Zephyr One, and blast the castle in case Hive would return to Earth or HYDRA would enter the room. He also told them that May would be the Director if he died. Mackenzie and Johnson stayed in the chamber and waited Phil Coulson and Fitz, while the team returned to Zephyr One. May readied the rockets to be fired, and Mackenzie ordered her to shoot them at the castle, as he returned in the Containment Module to the plane with Johnson, Coulson and Fitz. While the group were reunited with each other and celebrated their victory over HYDRA, May embraced Coulson, knowing he had killed Grant Ward for good.
Phil Coulson and President Matthew Ellis had a meeting in Rosalind Price' apartment. May said to him that it was probably not easy for him and asked him why the meeting was there. Coulson responded that he wanted the President would see where Price had been killed and that he did not want to give the location of the Playground. The President entered and the two were talking about the Advanced Threat Containment Unit would serve as S.H.I.E.L.D.'s public face. As Coulson asked him if he could help him finding Gideon Malick, the President said he could not. May then said she was sorry for that, but Coulson responded that the President might helped him.
She then helped carrying Werner von Strucker to the Theta Brain-Wave Frequency Machine, so he could help them find Malick. After Coulson found a way to communicate with Malick, May found out where the phone was connected. Later, May and Coulson were in his office and May felt his new robotic hand. May saw that he was upset, so she said to him that maybe he could not overcome this feeling. Coulson said he did not know what had happened to him on Maveth, and May said that he joined the Calvary. The two watched as the stocks of Malick's company dropped. May said that sometimes you get hurt and sometimes you wound.
Infiltrating the Taiwan Symposium
Under the guidance of May, Lincoln Campbell protected Phil Coulson during his meeting with Glenn Talbot, the new head of the Advanced Threat Containment Unit. May advised Campbell to blend in the best he could while she watched him through CCTV, when Campbell caught sight of General Talbot, he joked about his terrible haircut until he spotted someone seemingly following the pair, warning May that it was not a joke this time. Campbell then suspected someone who followed Coulson. May discovered it was Carl Creel. She warned Coulson about it and ran to defend the director. She tricked him into turning into metal. Campbell's powers almost killed Creel until Coulson ordered him to stop. When Talbot was freed, he revealed that Creel was not attacking them but was now Talbot's personal bodyguard.
In Coulson's office, his agents disagreed with him that Creel should join the mission to the Symposium on Alien Contagion. May noted that Creel had a criminal record long before he joined HYDRA. Eventually, Coulson accepted Creel to the mission. He asked May to accompanied Talbot to Creel. On Zephyr One, she informed Lance Hunter that the briefing was about to start. She saw him watching Creel and he said that he still did not trust him after he had killed Isabelle Hartley and Idaho. She said to him that the mission was more important, but he said that he was tired to hear that, since it was not valid when it had come to Andrew Garner. She stated that the only reason he called himself an agent was because of Bobbi Morse. He said that he was a friend who tried to keep her save, but May said that they weren't friends.
In symposium, May, Hunter and Morse disguised as waiter and entered the delegates' room to find a clue that one of them was Gideon Malick' inside man. May entered Haruto Yakimura's room. She heard as the delegate Ellen King said harsh things on the Inhumans. May tracked a message to King. She decrypted it and the words "MOVE HIM OUT" appeared. Morse informed him that Hunter had gone after Creel and went to her room. May was informed by Morse that King had an Inhuman for military experiments. As Hunter was threatened in guns by HYDRA operatives, May and Morse knocked them out. Hunter informed her that Talbot's son was there, inside a Suspension Gel. May realized that Malick blackmailed Talbot. Hunter gave them their weapons he had managed to smuggle. May said he hated him less now. She took a motorcycle and drove to find Talbot's son. She found him inside a truck, so she drove to take Coulson, Talbot and Creel.
On Zephyr One, Coulson told May that he suspected Malick answered to someone else. May asked if he was someone more powerful, so he answered that he was someone or something.
Mission in Siberia
Bobbi Morse and Lance Hunter managed to follow Gideon Malick to Siberia, with the team follow them on Zephyr One. After a few hours, May, Daisy Johnson and Alphonso Mackenzie landed with a Quinjet to assist Morse and Hunter. Morse informed them that a group of Russian ministers had a meeting with Malick to see an Inhuman. May ordered Johnson, Morse and Mackenzie to find Malick while she would be with Hunter. Hunter and May hided from the soldiers in outside the compound. Hunter discovered a body and May told him that it was the Russian Prime Minister's Attaché. They delivered his biological condition to Jemma Simmons. With the help of Morse, the team learned that Malick planned to use the Inhuman, General Androvich to kill the Prime Minister, as he did with his Attaché.
As Hunter and May were still hiding, he said she could work with Mackenzie, but she replied that she trusted him. Hunter remained her that she said they weren't friends, so she said that friends don't put other people's life in danger for selfish reason, like he did during Attack on Grant Ward. Hunter explained that he would risk his life for everyone at S.H.I.E.L.D. only because they were he cared for them. May said that he was willing to kill Andrew Garner to revenge Grant Ward, something that S.H.I.E.L.D. did not stand for the greater good, and sometimes they had to sacrificed the people you care for that. Hunter said he felt sad for her but also admired her and apologized for everything he had made to her.
The Prime Minister arrived to the compound and Phil Coulson ordered the agents to go to protract him from Androvich. The team converted to the meeting. Mackenzie asked for a distraction, so Hunter said the had an idea that included May hitting people, to which she smiled. With a smoke bomb, Hunter took the Prime Minister and ran while May fought the guards. Morse managed to kill Androvich, but she and Hunter were arrested.
Coulson went to free them, but he returned to Zephyr One alone. He informed that the team and they were disavowed from S.H.I.E.L.D. in order to keep it a secret. Later, the team visited a bar where Morse and Hunter were. Without directly contacting them, May and the others all ordered shots for the two, saying goodbye in the only way they could
May encountered Jemma Simmons practicing shooting range and gave her an advice. May asked her why she was doing it, and Simmons said that since she could not defend herself so she had let Lash kill innocent people, she needed to know how to use a gun. May told her that it was not her fault and left. In order to find Garner, May assigned some of S.H.I.E.L.D. services. She asked for Simmons' help, and Simmons told her she used them wrong, since Lash was driven by basic instincts. Simmons asked her what she was planning to do with him, so she answered that she would kill him. Simmons told her about the vaccine for pre-Terrigenesis Inhumans she was working at that could help Lash, but May refused.
Preparing for the Future
- "I have an advantage."
"I can't cause earthquakes, but I'm faster than you."
"Foresight. I know what's coming."
"Then get off your ass and show me."
- ―Daisy Johnson and Melinda May
While riding in Zephyr One a call came through in which Edwin Abbott desperately called for Daisy Johnson's help. his team went to investigate as Abbott desperately tried to explain that he had seen these events already happening in a vision of his own death given to him by Charles Hinton. An HYDRA QuadCopter suddenly arrived and May shouted that they were HYDRA and pulled her gun at them. They killed Abbott and used the Extraction Claw to kidnap Hinton just as he gave Johnson her own vision.
The team returned to the Playground where Johnson explained her vision, telling that she had seen her fighting to save Hinton from HYDRA. They began discussing how they could try and get ahead of the vision and change the future, but Leo Fitz insisted that it was a fixed point in time which could not be altered no matter what they did. Phil Coulson suggested that they ensure that Johnson would not leave the Playground in order to change the course of the future. Instead, Coulson suggested May would go to save Hinton, since she had not appeared in Johnson's vision.
May found Johnson, Fitz and Jemma Simmons trying to find the building where the fight would accord. Fitz told her that he was using every S.H.I.E.L.D. services for it. May, knowing she had to find Andrew Garner with them, said angrily to Johnson to leave them. Simmons asked her if she believed they could change the future, to which May answered that every move they made changed the future, and the real feat was changing the past.
May asked Johnson to help her prepare for the battle she had seen. With the help of Fitz, Simmons and Lincoln Campbell, they began training May undergo her mission as fast as possible in order to change the vision's outcome. Johnson made sure the room was laid out as accurately as possible to the vision she had had the agents acted as the guards who needed to be taken out. Eventually May managed to beat the time limit. They eventually found the building where Hinton was held. Coulson gave May his last orders when suddenly the alarms in the base went off, telling them that there was an intruder. Garner was brought into the base and explained that Lash was taking over and he wanted to say goodbye to May.
- "Every terrible thing that has happened to you could have been avoided, if you'd never met me."
"I wouldn't change a thing."
"Well, you're still the center of the best moments of my life."
- ―Melinda May and Andrew Garner
Phil Coulson said that May could not go to the mission since Andrew Garner was going for good. May refused by saying he was a murderer. Coulson said that if she did not go to him, she would regret this for her all life. Daisy Johnson said she would go instead of May. Garner was hooked onto an I.V. which May explained was filled with a potential cure that Jemma Simmons had been working on through Carl Creel's DNA, although it was likely that it would not work. Garner explained that he felt that Lash was fighting for a cause that they may not yet understand. May asked Garner if he would change anything in regards to having met her, as she felt that everything bad that had happened was down to them meeting, but Garner assured her that he would not change a thing still viewed his time with May as the centre of the best moments of his life. May told Garner about a mission that Johnson was preparing for when Garner felt himself changing once again.
Knowing that these were his final moments in human form, Garner rushed into the Containment Module to ensure that May was safe as he felt himself being transformed into the monster inside him. As she watched from the other side of the Module, May pressed her hand against the glass and Garner did the same, sharing one final moment of intimacy together. Garner slowly fell to the ground as his body and May saw in Lash form and she took a step back, knowing the man she loved had gone forever.
Duel against Giyera
- "Plus side, maybe I'll get a chance to kill him too."
- ―Melinda May to Phil Coulson
May entered Phil Coulson while he was staring at a screenshot of Hive inside Grant Ward. She asked him what they were looking at, and Coulson responded that the lab was working for an answer. He gave his condolences on Andrew Garner, but May said she did not want to talk about it. She then remained him he did not have a lot of kills like in Ward's case, especially those he enjoyed. May however found a bright side which was she could also kill Ward. The team then had a meeting in Coulson's office. They discussed how the being they had encountered was not Ward, and set up a plan to defeat their enemy.
They used Zephyr One to go to GT Agrochemical facility where HYDRA had raided the facility. On their way, they saw through the cameras of the facility, that Giyera was peasant in there. May asked Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons about a room in the facility where she could defeat Giyera. After they landed, May, Coulson and Alphonso Mackenzie entered the facility and May told them that HYDRA had taken equipment and files and the rest had been destroyed. May then prepared for Giyera inside the empty room. After Coulson led him into it, May closed the door mocking him for being now unable to use his powers to gain the advantage.
May then proceeded to attack Giyera, with the pair of highly skilled warriors engaging in a fierce fight to the death. The pair proved to be equally matched with both managing to gain hits on each other. Eventually Giyera was able to grab May by the throat and pin her against the wall, telling her that although he preferred not to get his hands dirty he was happy to if it meant killing her. May however told him not to bother and kicked him in the crotch before knocking him to the ground, and before he was able to get back up May slammed his head on the floor and knocked him unconscious.
Battle on Zephyr One
- "May! You can't even walk!"
"But I can still fly."
- ―Jemma Simmons and Melinda May
Giyera was put inside the Containment Module inside Zephyr One. As Mackenzie was questioning him, May told him they were close to Gideon Malick's base. Later, The alarm of the plane was set as Giyera escaped the Module. Giyera came to the the control room and managed to control the plane, with May ready to fight him again. Giyera used his power to take control on the plane, causing May flip through a glass. After the plane was in Malick's base, May checked on Simmons, but she did not respond. May then crawled to the communication system and called Daisy Johnson. She explained the situation but was knocked out by Giyera.
The plane was brought to Malick's base. Due to May's injury, she had to be carried to a safe room in Zephyr One where the team could be protected. Jemma Simmons checked on her and said that May was bleeding really bad. However, the Secret Warriors came to rescue them and saved the team. Johnson asked who could fly the plane, so May, although her injuries, managed to fly Zephyr One back to the Playground.
Monitoring the Inhumans
Back to the Playground, May was treated by Lincoln Campbell, although she refused pain medications as she used to faint when using it. When Daisy Johnson came to her, May complimented her leadership with the Secret Warriors. Johnson asked if it would be easier, but May said it would only become harder. Johnson then told her she felt Phil Coulson had made her lie to her team about the base's lockdown but May said that Coulson was doing it for a good reason.
May later got out of her bed and asked Alphonso Mackenzie what was going on, stating that the Inhumans were wondering about it. Mackenzie told her about Coulson's suspicion that Hive may had brainwashed one of the Secret Warriors. Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons confirmed that the Inhuman Lucio had been infected in the brain by Hive. May and Mackenzie told Coulson about it. May suggested to isolate the Inhumans and warned Coulson that Johnson knew he had lied to her. Suddenly the power in the base was turned off. May and other agents surrounded the Inhumans. As they argued with Coulson, he ordered May to use her I.C.E.R. on Elena Rodriguez, but she took her gun.
When the Inhumans locked themselves inside a room, May suggested to Coulson to use sleeping gas against them, but Coulson ordered her to check their lockers. Campbell was suspected to be under Hive's control and the Inhumans were all isolated. May was with Coulson when the base started shaking, revealing that Johnson had actually been swayed by Hive.
Looking for Daisy Johnson
After Daisy Johnson escaped from the Playground, May joined Phil Coulson's briefing aboard the Zephyr One. Although the Playground's doors were damaged, May managed to fly the place out of it. Once in the air, Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons told the team that they could enlist Holden Radcliffe's assistance to help them find a cure to Hive's sway, and May gave Simmons a gun to defend herself, telling her to use it if she felt it right. Later, Coulson told May that he intended to look for Alisha Whitley before Hive could get to her. As Lincoln Campbell had to join, Coulson trusted May with a detonator for a bomb vest that May would have to use if Campbell was infected by Hive.
May had an angry conversation with Coulson about whether they should be ready to sacrifice Johnson or Campbell to arrest Hive. After that, the interview with Whitley went wrong as she was already under Hive's influence. May joined the fight and fought her clones, but was knocked out before being saved by Coulson. Coulson later apologized to May for being abrupt with her. When they heard about a minor earthquake caused by Johnson in South Dakota, where JT James was living, May flied the Zephyr One to the location. On site, May and Coulson discovered that something had been dug up and that the area had been set to explode, though Coulson managed to save May and himself with his new Energy Shield.
A Kree Interference
- "Like alien footprints? Right? That's what we're talking about here?"
"Great. Now we have more players to contend with."
- ―Piper and Melinda May
When Lincoln Campbell confronted May because they did not let him helping with the search of Daisy Johnson, May abruptly rebuffed him. When they finally located Johnson in Union City, Wyoming, May was sent there with Alphonso Mackenzie and some other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents with the objective of killing Hive. On site, May recognized Hellfire and infiltrated the city by posing as a HYDRA operative and took advantage of Hellfire hitting on her to get some intel about Hive's plans and location before knocking him down.
It soon turned out that Hive was luring the Kree Reapers into Union City, making the place highly dangerous for the S.H.I.E.L.D. team. May joined the rest of the team and watched the Kree slaughtering the Inhumans. When they felt a quake, May could not keep Mackenzie from trying to save Johnson. May followed a Kree Reaper who went to fight Hive. When the Kree was killed, Phil Coulson ordered May and her team to shoot Hive, but the ancient Inhuman survived the assault. May fled, only to see Mackenzie being attacked by Johnson. They rescued him and flied back to the Playground, their operation having failed.
Coulson ordered May to use any means necessary to stop Hive. May visited Lincoln Campbell while he was still locked in a Containment Module and told him to be patient as General Glenn Talbot was present at the Playground. She then ordered Jemma Simmons to help S.H.I.E.L.D. understand Hive's psychology as she had spent time with both Grant Ward and Will Daniels, whose memories belonged to Hive. Afterwards, May visited her former husband, who had turned to Lash, before he was presented to Talbot.
Later, Campbell escaped with Daisy Johnson's help. However, Phil Coulson revealed to General Talbot that this was all part of a plan: May had been secretly communicating with Campbell all along and had given him instructions to win Johnson's trust and make her believe that Campbell would join her. Instead, S.H.I.E.L.D. sent the highly dangerous Lash to Hive in an attempt to kill him, even if it put Johnson's life at risk. With Lash's help, Johnson was successfully returned to S.H.I.E.L.D. However, Lash died in the attempt, deeply saddening May who definitely lost her former husband.
- "I don't give a damn about your powers. They're not what made you an agent. I did."
"May, you... you have no idea what I did. I have nothing left."
"Then why did Andrew save you? Yeah, you did a lot of bad things. All you can do now is balance the scales, do some good. You want to give up, live in a box? Go ahead. But that hurt stays in there with you. Believe me."
- ―Melinda May and Daisy Johnson
May led a team comprised of Alphonso Mackenzie, Yo-Yo Rodriguez and Lincoln Campbell to a missile silo in the Pacific Ocean who had been overrun by Hive and his Inhumans. They infiltrated the island by flying a Quinjet beneath the surface of the ocean and stormed the facility, May teaming up with Campbell. With the rest of the S.H.I.E.L.D. team, they were able to establish an uplink and used a kill code, preventing Hive to launch a missile with the Absolution Virus which would have turned everyone on Earth into Primitives. May then proceeded to the silo, where she fought two Primitives and released Holden Radcliffe. Although May failed to keep Giyera from stealing the warhead Hive needed, they successfully captured Hive himself and brought him back to the Playground. There, May delivered Radcliffe to General Glenn Talbot. However, Hive's Inhumans managed to infiltrate the Playground and released him.
After fighting Daisy Johnson, Hive captured her, stole the Zephyr One and left the Playground sieged by numerous Primitives. However, May and Leo Fitz managed to hide on the plane before it took off. They found Johnson but she refused to be released. May tried to convince her to get out of her Containment Module and fix the wrongs she had done, but before she could convince Johnson, May was knocked down by Giyera. Fortunately, Fitz killed Giyera and Johnson was released and the three S.H.I.E.L.D. agents went to a safe place, waiting for reinforcements: Phil Coulson and the rest of the team. They all gathered in the plane's cargo bay and prepared for the final battle. They fought several Primitives before realizing that Hive was chasing Daisy. They found her and discovered that Campbell has chosen to sacrifice himself, flying a Quinjet with Hive and the warhead into space where it exploded, thus putting an end to Hive's threat. Like everyone else, May could not do anything but attend Campbell's sacrifice.
After Hive’s defeat, Glenn Talbot revealed the Playground’s location to the president, forcing S.H.I.E.L.D. to accept the Sokovia Accords and becoming legal again, however, Daisy Johnson left S.H.I.E.L.D. and became the vigilante known as Quake, also Phil Coulson resigned as S.H.I.E.L.D.’s director and replaced by Jeffrey Mace. Mace assigned May to take charge of a special strike team.
- "I expected more from you, Elena. An enhanced person, a chance to do some good, a whole team rooting for you. But turns out... you're a terrible spy."
- ―Melinda May to Yo-Yo Rodriguez
When Jeffrey Mace's credentials were stolen, May quickly figured out that Yo-Yo Rodriguez was the one behind it. She took her in a Quinjet and interrogated her. However, May was not against Rodriguez's personal vendetta against Victor Ramon but simply wanted to warn her that she had been careless and left tracks. May then left the Quinjet, enabling Rodriguez to fly to Baltimore instead of Los Angeles.
Haunted by a Ghost
As May and her team trained in the Playground, Coulson and Mack suddenly arrived in the Zephyr One, after the landing, May revealed that she called the with the intention of reporting them that Quake was seen by a Aryan Brotherhood member when the Brotherhood was attacked. She also informed them that the officials are looking for Quake with the intention of kill her.
Jemma Simmons, who became Jeffrey Mace’s special advisor in science, confronted May and revealed that she know what May did and, despite saying that either both didn’t trust in Mace, Simmons sent May to get back Coulson and Mack.
May and her team later arrived in Los Angeles just as Coulson and Mack discovered that Quake was tracking a weapon transaction, May later fighted the Chinatown Crew with her team, however, she was infected with a mystical infection by a ghost, later May and her team put Chen and the Crew members into custody. That morning, Coulson and May discovered that the Chinatown Crew was working for the Watchdogs, as they discussed what Mace would do to them, May knowed that Mace would talk to them directly, before seeing Coulson’s face becoming monstrous.
Losing her Sanity
- "Get away from me. Get away from me! GET AWAY FROM ME! GET AWAY FROM ME! GET. AWAY!"
- ―Melinda May in her delusion
May and Phil Coulson were summoned by Jeffrey Mace who was worried about Quake and her illegal actions since she had left S.H.I.E.L.D.. When Mace finally dismissed May to have a word with Coulson alone, she looked at him an also saw Mace with a monstrous face, but said nothing and left the office. She later met a delegation of Congressmen led by Mace and Coulson and once again, she saw horrifying faces. Troubled, she went to the Containment Module where Chen was locked in to know what was happening, but Chen went crazy and hit his head on the door, forcing Jemma Simmons to spread sleeping gas in the module.
May soon fell into craziness as well. As she believed everyone was infected and she was the only one who could see it, she feverishly looked for an explanation. Coulson found her in the locker room and suggested to go to the lab, but on their way, they crossed the training room where May's Team was gathered for training. Terrified by the several monstrous faces she saw, May started to fight everyone before being stopped and knocked out by Mace and his superhuman strength. Afterwards, May was transferred into a CDC facility.
Long Live, Short Dead
The CDC team turned out to be incapable of treating May. When Chen died of his madness, Jeffrey Mace agreed to let Jemma Simmons handle May's case. Simmons ordered May to be brought to the Radcliffe Residence as Holden Radcliffe was S.H.I.E.L.D.'s best hope for curing May. Radcliffe sedated May and used some Framework equipment to map May's brain. Simmons and Radcliffe thus understood that May was experiencing something similar to awaken nightmares, overrunning her organism with fear and panic. Radcliffe suggested to stop May's heart to sort of reboot her brain. However, just as Simmons had to reanimate her, the power was shut down due to the Watchdogs' Blackout Attack. Simmons managed to perform CPR while Radcliffe retrieved Aida's power source and use it to power their equipment. Thus, May was successfully brought back to life, although she was not fully aware of what her organism just experienced.
May remained at the Radcliffe Residence to recover, with Aida taking care of her, even if May was unaware that Aida was an android. She was also visited by Leo Fitz who insisted on carrying further tests before being allowed to leave the residence and return on the field.
Return to Duty
- "I know what you're doing. Trying to distance yourself from everyone else so they don't drown in your wake? I invented that move. It doesn't work, for one simple reason: Phil Coulson. He found me in that cubicle and dragged me out. He didn't give up on me, and he won't give up on you."
- ―Melinda May to Daisy Johnson
May caught up with what she missed during her recovering: Phil Coulson and Alphonso Mackenzie were intending to retrieve the ancient Darkhold and had enlisted the help of Ghost Rider. Coulson took May to South Ridge Penitentiary as they also needed assistance from Eli Morrow, who was imprisoned there. They met the director of the prison, but it soon turned out that Lucy Bauer and her fellow ghosts had already infected the whole prison staff, who assaulted them, believing them to be some kind of demons. May and Coulson barricaded themselves in the director's office, waiting for reinforcements.
Quake eventually rescued May and Coulson and the three of them proceeded through the penitentiary. A riot erupted among the prisoners when Bauer unlocked all the cells. As they were outnumbered, Quake decided to remain behind and stop the prisoners and locked the door behind May and Coulson, prompting them to search another access to help Quake, which they eventually did. On the way, May admitted that during her near-death experience, all she saw was Coulson himself.
The S.H.I.E.L.D. team finally exited the penitentiary only to find that Bauer had kidnapped Morrow. Back to the Playground, May went to find Quake and told her to stop trying to distance herself from the others, as Coulson would never give up on her, just like he did for May.
May led a S.H.I.E.L.D. team to the Momentum Labs facility only to find that the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents who where guarding the place had been killed by Lucy Bauer. May and Leo Fitz then tried to determine Bauer's plans and whereabouts. Thanks to the clues found by May at Momentum Labs, Fitz guided the team to an abandoned Roxxon Oil Corporation power plant. May joined Phil Coulson, Alphonso Mackenzie, Ghost Rider and Fitz at the power plant in an effort to stop Bauer. May and Coulson found some sophisticated equipment as well as the Darkhold. Coulson trusted May with the Book of Spells and ordered her to bring it back to the Quinjet. May then tried to go back to the facility and attended a massive energy outburst due to Eli Morrow performing his experiment to gain matter creation powers.
Friends Gone Missing
May and Alphonso Mackenzie returned to the Roxxon Oil Corporation power plant after the outburst and discovered that Phil Coulson, Leo Fitz and Ghost Rider were missing. They also found out that Eli Morrow had killed four S.H.I.E.L.D. agents before escaping. May returned to the Zephyr One, where she watched the video feed showing the complete disappearance of Coulson, Fitz and Reyes. After discussing with Jeffrey Mace, the team decided to call for Jemma Simmons' help. In the meantime, May reclaimed the Darkhold and told Mackenzie that she had a feeling that their friends were not dead and that she intended to use the Darkhold to find them. However, Mackenzie advised her against it and Mace ordered all the equipment seized at the power plant to be brought back to the Playground, where Holden Radcliffe awaited.
May told Radcliffe that the Darkhold might contain answers to their problem. However, Radcliffe, after reading just a little bit, refused to go further, stating that it was way too dangerous, despite May's insisting. May then decided to read it herself, but Radcliffe advised her against it and Aida offered to read the Darkhold, prompting Radcliffe to admit that Aida was actually a android. With the newly acquired knowledge and despite May's doubts, Aida built an Inter-Dimensional Gate. When it opened, May saw that Coulson and Fitz were in danger, on the verge of being aspired into Hell. They eventually managed to escape through the gateway, much to May's relief.
Later, Coulson and May discussed what happened and decided that they would open Nick Fury's bottle of Haig when Morrow's threat would have been dealt with. They also attended Quake's departure from the Playground.
Kidnapped by Aida
- "My apologies, agent May. I'll have you cleaned up in no time."
- ―Aida to a sedated Melinda May
While S.H.I.E.L.D. was preparing for a final assault on Eli Morrow, Jeffrey Mace ordered May to go to the Radcliffe Residence and to enlist Aida's assistance as she had proven herself to be a valuable asset. May never returned since she was kidnapped by Aida and replaced by a Life-Model Decoy, in an attempt to reclaim the Darkhold for Holden Radcliffe. May was kept sedated in the Radcliffe Residence, where agent Nathanson found her before being killed by Aida. Later, May was connected to the Framework.
- "We may have misjudged what it takes to make Agent May comfortable."
- ―Holden Radcliffe
To sedate May, Aida hooked her up to a version of the Framework, where she experienced a spa treatment. However, the tranquil environment was completely unsuitable for a warrior like May, and any attempt to leave caused the program to awkwardly reset itself, raising May's suspicions and eventually causing her to wake up. Aida intercepted and, with her superior strength, quickly overpowered May, and only Holden Radcliffe's intervention prevented Aida from snapping May's neck. Radcliffe realized that a stereotypical calm environment was unsuitable for May, and so decided to place her in an environment where she would have "a dragon to fight".
Caught in a Loop
- "This is the program's end. We're coding more, but we can't keep up with you. You keep getting through it faster. I'll wipe your memory and send you through again."
"You wipe my memory, but I get better every time?"
"Yes. Memory traces."
"So I'm beating it. And I'll get out. Eventually beat you."
- ―Aida and Melinda May
Aida and Holden Radcliffe set up a new Framework simulation for May. In this version, May believed that she woke up and took advantage of Aida's distraction to unstrap her and try to leave the Radcliffe Residence. She would then fight Aida and escape the Residence. During one simulation, Aida informed May that each time the simulation reset, she would go further into the simulation due to memory traces, making it hard for Aida's programming to keep up. May smiled and assumed she would eventually go far enough to fully wake up, but she never reached that point and Aida kept resetting the simulation, coding it further to its next step.
As May kept going further in the Framework simulations, Aida and Holden Radcliffe finally reached the final step in creating an efficient way to keep May sedated. Indeed, thanks to the Darkhold, Aida recreated the entire world inside the Framework and removed May's biggest regret in her life: having killed Katya Belyakov.
Thus, in the new version of the Rescue in Bahrain, May would not kill the girl. Instead, she would succeed in saving her. However, this would lead to the infamous Cambridge Incident, which would in turn catalyze HYDRA rise in power in the world of the Framework. As May was the one who enabled Katya to go to the United States, she felt responsible and was soon influenced by HYDRA anti-Inhumans propaganda: thus, May, one of the best S.H.I.E.L.D. agents in the real world, became a fierce HYDRA agent in the Framework.
After Daisy Johnson plugged herself into the Framework to rescue her friends, including May, who were trapped in it, May found her at the Triskelion and, mistaking her for her colleague Skye, summoned her to a briefing. During this briefing, May informed her team that HYDRA had captured an Inhuman named Jason Rajan and ordered Johnson and Grant Ward, who was also a HYDRA agent, to interrogate him. May attended the interrogation and pressured Johnson into getting answers. She then joined the interrogation and got angered when Rajan, actually Vijay Nadeer, mentioned the Cambridge Incident. After considering killing Nadeer, May ordered him to be delivered to The Doctor.
Later, May went to see The Doctor himself to inform him that Phil Coulson, a teacher in the Framework, had reported a subversive. The Doctor ordered May to chase her, but she failed and informed The Doctor about it, suspecting the presence of a mole within HYDRA. May assured The Doctor that she would find the traitor, although he doubted May's capabilities.
May took Johnson to another briefing during which The Doctor explained that they were chasing Jemma Simmons. Afterwards, May led a team, including Johnson, to a house in order to arrest its inhabitants, who turned out to be Alphonso Mackenzie and his daughter Hope. They were taken to the Triskelion, where May interrogated Mackenzie and threatened to hurt his daughter so that he would be willing to do anything to prove his innocence. May subsequently used Mackenzie to lure Johnson into admitting that she was a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. May arrested Johnson and locked her in a cell before releasing Mackenzie and Hope.
Defecting from HYDRA
As she was staring at a memorial for the Cambridge Incident, May was found by Madame Hydra: after a brief conversation, May volunteered to test a new weapon designed to enforce HYDRA's reign of terror. She headed to the lab where Kenneth Turgeon disclosed his latest design: a super-serum which would give her enough strength to go toe-to-toe with the Patriot, the leader of the S.H.I.E.L.D. resistance, and May grinned at this perspective.
May got an opportunity to test the super-serum when S.H.I.E.L.D. assaulted a HYDRA Enlightenment Cultivation Center. After being injected the super-serum by The Doctor, she flied to the facility and faced the Patriot. After a violent fight, May was defeated. She informed her superiors, who ordered her to destroy the quarantine building where the Patriot had fled. Once the missile hit its target, May activated her Body Cam and entered the building to confirm the Patriot's demise. On her way, she encountered several children and teenagers, making her wondering why they were here. She eventually found the Patriot, along with Phil Coulson, Jemma Simmons, Grant Ward and Antoine Triplett. They managed to convince May not to shoot the Patriot as he was trying to save Chris Adler, another child. As the building was on the verge of fully collapsing, May got out, but not before exchanging a look with the Patriot, who was sacrificing himself to ensure everyone's escape.
Seeing her enemy giving his life for her deeply affected May. This, combined with the discovery that HYDRA had been forcefully indoctrinating children, caused her to defect from HYDRA. She went to Johnson's cell and shattered a Terrigen Crystal, triggering Johnson's Terrigenesis so that she would gain her powers and escape the Triskelion.
- "Getting this footage out isn't enough to make up for what I did in HYDRA, but it's a start."
- ―Melinda May
Once Daisy Johnson's Terrigenesis completed, May and Johnson made their way through the Triskelion, getting rid of many HYDRA operatives in the process. They stumbled on Madame Hydra who tried to stop them, but Johnson used her newly recovered powers on her, severely injuring her, and the two managed to escape the Triskelion. They hid in the streets, trying to get to safety, and May informed Johnson about the Patriot's death. They finally reached a rendezvous point to go to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s base but were found by a HYDRA squad. However, with help from Phil Coulson, Alphonso Mackenzie and Burrows, they managed to get out and finally reached the Playground.
May offered to hand over the footage of her Body Cam to S.H.I.E.L.D. to make up for her actions while she was a HYDRA agent: the images of the Patriot saving the lives of children and teenagers would weaken HYDRA's influence. S.H.I.E.L.D. then put in place an operation to attack the HYDRA Broadcasting Center. May helped Coulson to prepare for making a live statement, calling for an open rebellion: while doing so, they both had a feeling of déjà vu, without being able to know where it came from. Once the broadcasting began, May and the others left the building, having dealt a crippling blow to HYDRA.
May returned to the Playground where she looked after some refugees. She was approached by Phil Coulson, who chose to disclose the whole story about the fallacy of the Framework. Evidently, May did not believe him and demanded evidence for Coulson's theory as she was done blindly following other people. Later, Jemma Simmons came to May as well and told her the same thing than Coulson. Simmons mentioned the fact that in the real world, Leo Fitz was a colleague of theirs, which May greatly doubted due to Fitz's position in the Framework. May also mentioned Fitz's father, Alistair Fitz and gave his address to Simmons.
While May was chatting with Coulson, Daisy Johnson asked them whether they knew about Simmons' whereabouts, to which May replied that she had gone to Alistair's place. May also told Johnson that she knew about the whole "fake world" theory. Nevertheless, she agreed to join a mission involving Coulson, Johnson, Antoine Triplett, Alphonso Mackenzie and Simmons, who finally got back. The team flied to a steel mill where the Framework backdoor built by Holden Radcliffe was supposed to be. They found the place, but it was hidden beneath a pool of molten steel. An argument erupted as Mackenzie did not know anything about the real world and May was still doubtful about it.
The situation went worse when a HYDRA squad stormed the steel mill. Despite the fight, Johnson managed to reveal the backdoor. When Coulson was shot on his way to the backdoor, May reached him and was convinced that the only chance of saving him was pushing him through the portal. After hesitating for a few moments, May jumped as well and finally woke up in the real world. May and Coulson woke up at Anton Ivanov's submarine base, and they were soon joined by Fitz, who woke up as well although he was terribly distressed because of his behaviour in the Framework. Soon after, Aida came to the room, having achieved her goal of acquiring a real human body. May tried to shoot her, but Fitz got in her aim and was too shocked to move away. Before May could take the shot, Aida teleported away.
Back to the Real World
- "You missed a fair amount."
- ―Phil Coulson to Melinda May
May and Coulson quickly figured out that they were trapped in a submarine base full of multiple mechanical bodies of Anton Ivanov. They destroyed one and locked themselves in the room to resist the others. As they were looking for another way out, May took advantage of the moment to catch up with all the events she had missed since she had been kidnapped by Aida before the confrontation with Eli Morrow. She was also told about Ivanov and the fact that she had been replaced by a Life-Model Decoy. May found some epinephrine and decided to use it to strengthen herself to fight the androids. This proved to be successful, however, it left May in a weakened state afterwards.
When Ivanov triggered the base's destruction, Coulson managed to take May to the surface, where they were rescued by the Zephyr One. Thanks to Aida's unexpected help, the whole S.H.I.E.L.D. team was fully reunited aboard the plane and flied back to the completely destroyed Playground. May joined the others while they were trying to figure out what to do with Aida: May was not willing to kill her as she had saved Alphonso Mackenzie and there had been enough deaths already. The conversation was interrupted when Jemma Simmons broke down due to her fear of having losing Leo Fitz and his love. However, Aida, who did not remain long on S.H.I.E.L.D.'s side, was not the only threat. General Glenn Talbot arrived to the Playground and intended to arrest everyone, but due to Aida having gone mad, he agreed to let them go and May flied the Zephyr One away.
When Ghost Rider made his unexpected return, May reclaimed the severed head of Sergei Mishkin's Life-Model Decoy. They discovered that Mishkin was supposed to attend an International Inquiry Committee and flied there, only to find that Aida and her LMDs were ahead of S.H.I.E.L.D. and had tried to kill Talbot. Nevertheless, May and Coulson reclaimed the Darkhold. Back on the place, May and the others figured out Aida's plan: recreating the dictatorship she ruled over in the Framework but this time in the real world by growing hatred towards S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Inhumans.
May flied the Zephyr One back to the Playground and S.H.I.E.L.D. lured Aida into a trap which eventually led to her death. After Ghost Rider returned to Hell and Fitz apologized for what had happened, offering to take the blame for all the team, May joined the others into forgiving him and claiming that they had to remain together. May and the others then went to Rae's Restaurant for a nice a quiet dinner. Calm did not last long, however, as the whole team but Fitz was kidnapped by Enoch.
Trapped in Space
- "'Cause this wasn't fun enough..."
- ―Melinda May upon arriving at the Lighthouse
Through the White Monolith, May was sent to a mysterious destination. Unfortunately, her teleportation ended with a pipe planted in her leg. May painfully extracted the pipe and hid in the room as Deke Shaw, a man wearing a mask, entered. May saw Shaw searching dead bodies in the room and extracting devices out of their wrist. Shaw eventually found May and the two brutally fought one another until Shaw used an anti-gravity device to pin May against a wall. Shaw gagged May and tied her up before forcefully implanting her with one of the devices he had previously reclaimed, calling them Metrics. He then took May away.
Shaw and May later found Phil Coulson, Daisy Johnson and Jemma Simmons who had been locked in a cell by the Kree ruling the Lighthouse. Shaw convinced the Kree to let them go and explained that he had been paid by Virgil, another inhabitant of the Lighthouse (which May and the others thought to be a space station) to hide them, but since Virgil was dead, he considered the deal cancelled. May and the others disagreed and May used Deke's anti-gravity device to pin him to a wall. Shaw reluctantly disclosed the location of a spaceship, the Trawler, that May and Simmons were to use to send a signal to Earth and call for backup. On their way, May and Simmons hypothesized that the Lighthouse was a Kree base designed for an invasion of Earth.
However, it turned out that the truth was much more disturbing. Indeed, after successfully flying the Trawler into space, May and Simmons discovered that they had not been through space but through time, to a future in which Earth had been completely destroyed.
Discovering the Truth
May and Jemma Simmons returned the Trawler to the Lighthouse and reunited with Phil Coulson, who had made the same discovery than them by talking with Deke. They later met Tess, Virgil's friend, who was told about the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents coming from the past. Tess guided them throughout the Lighthouse to the Exchange, telling them about the life in the Lighthouse and how the Kree were ruling the place. May and Simmons remained at the Exchange while Coulson and Tess left. They attended a food distribution during which Reese, a human servant to the Kree, was wounded. May helped Simmons tend to his wounds, which drew the attention of Sinara, a high-ranking Kree who took Simmons away without May being able to interfere.
May reported the event to the rest of the team and they decided to further investigate the place in order to get Simmons back. May asked Tess if she could help her change her bandage, leaving with her while the rest of the team stole a Kree tablet. A Renewal then took place in the Lighthouse: Tess explained to May that some survivors would have to fight to the death. Worried about her friends, May went to the Salvage and found Holt, one of the designated survivors, who was threatening the lives of Coulson, Alphonso Mackenzie and Yo-Yo Rodriguez. May fought him until he was eventually killed by Tess.
A Mysterious Signal
Like some of her teammates, May was hired by Grill, the manager of the Salvag], and teamed up with Tess to bring supplies with the Trawler. Phil Coulson and Alphonso Mackenzie managed to join one of May's missions so that they could fly the Trawler to coordinates left by Virgil. However, they had to deal with the fact that Zev, Grill's right-hand man, was also on the mission. During the flight, May and Coulson had a tender conversation and held hands, and May expressed her desire to go home and rest after her long experience in the Framework. She flied the Trawler to Virgil's coordinates and they found some radio equipment aboard the spaceship. However, Zev interfered and tried to stop them, but May managed to stall until Mackenzie knocked Zev inconscious.
Finally, the team managed to receive a radio transmission which appeared to come from the destroyed surface of the Earth. However, May had to quickly return the Trawler to the Lighthouse as Zev sabotaged the fuel line. Once back, Zev told Grill about what had happened, threatening the lives of May and the others, but Yo-Yo Rodriguez managed to distract Grill and successfully made him believe that Zev was stealing from him, prompting Grill to spare their lives and doom Zev instead. Later, May was with the others when they decrypted the transmission which seemed to indicate that there were people on the surface on the Earth who knew about S.H.I.E.L.D. coming from the past.
Deke Shaw's Betrayal
As all the Trawler flights were cancelled for an unknown reason, May joined her teammates at the Salvage and they discussed their best options to find Jemma Simmons and Daisy Johnson, who were both missing. May and Phil Coulson went to find Deke Shaw in order to enlist his help to access a high security Kree level of the Lighthouse. Shaw told them that he had met Johnson and that she had decided to go dark to save Simmons. In the end, he reluctantly agreed to help them.
May, Coulson and Shaw accessed level 35 and discovered that it was a Kree lab in which the Kree were artificially breeding human babies with Inhuman powers. By searching into the lab's files, May discovered that Johnson was a captive of the Kree and deduced that Shaw was involved in her capture. May punched Shaw and she and Coulson confronted him, but before he could explain himself, two Kree guards arrived in the lab. They fought and killed them but Shaw was wounded in the process. When Sinara arrived as well in the lab, May remained while Coulson and Shaw ran away. May and Sinara fiercely fought but May's wound still weakened her and she was ultimately defeated by Sinara, who got on the verge of killing her.
In the Arena
- "Didn't think. Just did."
- ―Melinda May to Ben
Sinara ultimately spared May's life and brought her back to Kasius, who decided to employ her as a fighter in his arena, where she would fight Inhumans. May was brought to the arena to fight Ben and was surprised to see that Leo Fitz was attending the dual. Wielding a battle staff, May had trouble fighting Ben due to her still painful wound and the fight that Ben could read her mind and thus predict her moves. Ben knew that May was a friend of Daisy Johnson and Jemma Simmons but had no choice but fight her. Although May managed to best Ben's ability on several occasions, she was defeated by the Inhuman. Fitz intervened in the fight, claiming it was boring and advising Kasius to send May to the surface of the Earth, to which Kasius complied. May thanked Fitz for that.
The Future Earth
Upon being sent to the surface of the Earth, May was chased by Vrellnexians. While hiding from one of them, she saw the creature being killed by Enoch. Enoch introduced himself and explained that he had been sent by Leo Fitz to help May and the others. Enoch also warned May that a gravity storm was coming and May noticed that the Vrellnexians seemed to be afraid of something and were running away. The storm came upon them but May and Enoch were anchored on the ground my mysterious individuals.
May fainted and woke up in some secret base, where she identified the S.H.I.E.L.D. symbol and quickly figured out that she was in the remnants of the Zephyr One. Then, two masked individuals came to her room, accompanying an elderly woman carrying a wooden robin: the future Robin Hinton.
Mother in Another Time
May asked Robin Hinton about the reason of her presence, but Samuel Voss explained that it was hard for Hinton to give clear answers as her mind mixed past, present and future together. Voss also informed May that her friends were on the way to the Zephyr One, something he knew for a decade thanks to a vision from Hinton. Indeed, May got the chance to welcome her friends into the plane some time later.
May informed Phil Coulson about the presence of Hinton. They went to see her as she was talking with Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons, who were not more successful than May. Still, May and Coulson tried to get some answers, but could not really progress other than the fact that what had happened at Rae's Restaurant was the last time the S.H.I.E.L.D. was seen together. Before they left, Hinton also voiced an ominous warning, stating this was the day things were supposed to end.
May and Coulson gave Hinton a break before asking her again. They asked Enoch for help, but the Chronicom could not assist them much as he had always needed days before getting answers from Hinton. May began to doubt their chances to sort things out and as she was arguing with Coulson, Hinton came and gave them another drawing picturing the Zephyr One flying across space debris. May and Coulson then went to see Voss in the armory, where they discovered a shard of the White Monolith. They brought the shard to Fitz and Simmons, who figured out they could use it to return in their time provided they could find other fragments.
However, the True Believers turned on the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, intending to keep them from returning to their time to prevent the Destruction of Earth. May and Coulson defeated their opponents and rushed at Johnson and Hinton, only to find out that the latter had been stabbed by Voss. May held Hinton in her arms and the elderly woman subtly revealed that in her timeline, May had adopted and raised her following Polly Hinton's death. Before dying, Hinton disclosed the key to the return of the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents in their time: the Inhuman Flint.
Upgraded Zephyr One
May worked with the rest of the S.H.I.E.L.D. team to repair the Zephyr One so it could fly again, although the task proved to be difficult. Upon finding drawings from Robin Hinton, May admitted to Phil Coulson that she found it hard to believe that she had adopted and raised Hinton, although both Coulson and Daisy Johnson were convinced that May would have been a good mother. May also asked about what they should do with Samuel Voss who was their prisoner.
As the gravity storm approached and the plane was ready to go, May prepared to pilot the Zephyr One through the storm. However, the engines were heavily damaged, forcing the agents to consider seeking refuge in the Earth's caves. However, Jemma Simmons revealed that the Zephyr One had been upgraded with Gravitonium powered thrusters, which they could use along with the gravity storm to flight despite not having engines. May and the others agreed to follow this plan.
Expressing annoyance at Enoch's repeated comments about their impending death, May reached the piloting station and moved to release the ground anchors, but some of them remained stuck in the ground, blocking the Zephyr One. However, the gravity storm finally reached the plane, taking it to the sky. May waited to reach a high enough altitude to activate the thrusters, which stabilized the plane in outer space, enabling S.H.I.E.L.D. to safely return to the Lighthouse. Once in space, the team contacted Alphonso Mackenzie to prepare their arrival.
Back to the Lighthouse
- "You're Flint?"
"You're gonna get us home."
"Yes. I am."
"Good. What are you waiting for?"
- ―Melinda May and Flint
May successfully took the Zephyr One near the Lighthouse and left the plane along with the other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents in the Containment Module, leaving only Enoch to guard the plane and prepare the machine for the White Monolith. The team split up and May remained with Phil Coulson, Daisy Johnson and Deke Shaw. They attacked a group of Kree guardians escorting Inhumans, killing the guards and sending the prisoners to the Trawler, where they found a revived Tess, who took the survivors with her.
The team was contacted by Enoch, who informed them that he had been located by the Kree Watch and could not hold them off for a long time. May suggested to go and help them, but Shaw decided to go himself as the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents needed to be ready for the activation of the White Monolith.
May went to an elevator to join the rendezvous point with Johnson and Coulson. However, Johnson revealed that she would not come with them as she could not risk to go back and trigger the Destruction of Earth. May tried to convince her to go anyway and that they would change the future once they are home, but to no avail, forcing Coulson to incapacitate Johnson to force her to come with them.
May reached Kasius' Suites where she encountered Flint, who was supposed to build the White Monolith. May watched as the Monolith was being built. She then waited for the Monolith to be activated by using Enoch's internal battery. Before they were sent back in their time, May warned Coulson that Johnson would never forgive him for forcing her back into the past.
- "No one knows what's in May's head except May."
- ―Grant Ward
Melinda May is a quiet person who was once described as "warm", "fearless" and unafraid to break rules. May was a veteran pilot and soldier until she was 'damaged' from an incident in Bahrain, where she had to kill an Inhuman child unable to control her powers; as May wanted children, this broke her. May was married to Dr. Andrew Garner, but she doesn't discuss her past with her teammates. As part of Coulson's Team, May showed her joker side by using the classic "whip cream" gag on Fitz, who thought it was one of the other four because May seemed less likely.
May has an unwavering respect for Phil Coulson and follows his orders even when it conflicts with her desires, as when she yielded in her pursuit of Carl Creel. She was deeply hurt when she heard he had died. As her LMD later confirms, May holds affection for Coulson.
May is fiercely protective of her teammates, going back into the field to protect Coulson despite having retired from field missions, taking up the Berserker Staff instead of Grant Ward, and going so far as attacking Ian Quinn after he shot Skye. She is very secretive and will often answer questions with a look, using few words or none at all. Despite her protectiveness of them, it took May a long time to bond with her team. Skye even claimed that she acted like a robot, as everything for her was just "Target- acquired. Threat- eliminated." Melinda May puts up a cold and stoic front but inside she is kind and selfless. She uses her own experiences to connect with other people.
- "The only word for that kind of flying is "fancy"."
- ―Antoine Triplett
- Master Pilot: May is an accomplished pilot, able to perform such feats as flying through the eye of a storm with a plane as large as the Bus, or deceiving a series of HYDRA Quinjets into believing the plane had been destroyed using a clever cloaking maneuver. She, as mission commander, is usually in charge of piloting the Quinjet as well. After being ambushed and sent into the future May was able to use her knowledge and skill to effectively fly and dock the Trawler through the debris field of what was once Earth despite having never flown a spaceship. Since then she has received training from Tess and is now a competent spacecraft pilot even able to efficiently return to the Lighthouse from the Earth fragment 616 on a cut off and depleting fuel supply.
- "I know all of your moves. I was once S.H.I.E.L.D."
"Not all of them."
- ―Agent 33 and May
- Master Martial Artist: May is one of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s best martial artists, possessing more black belts than the notorious Black Widow. She was able to take down a Centipede assassin and beat Grant Ward in a sparring match and twice again, once when he was under the influence of Lorelei and the other time when they fought at Cybertek. Agent 33 underestimated May in their fight because both were trained by S.H.I.E.L.D. Even after being tortured she was able to defeat Agent 33. She has been overcome in physical combat on very few occasions, especially by opponents with superhuman strength, such as Michael Peterson when he took her by surprise in an alley in Los Angeles, or the Asgardian Lorelei. May's sense of fighting is so instinctive that she was able to circumvent Ben's mind-reading ability. Even while not at peak health, she has displayed the ability to defeat a group of HYDRA soldiers in hand to hand combat.
- Master Acrobat: May is seen using her acrobatic skills to her advantage. She was able to surpass the speed of a running Cybertek security guard doing multiple handsprings to take him out.
- Expert Marksman: May prefers not to use firearms during her missions, unless strictly necessary. If forced to use them, May usually chooses handguns as her weapon, even when the agents that accompany her choose assault weapons. She has displayed high accuracy, being able to kill most of her enemies with a single shot, or being able to shoot Lance Hunter in the shoulder to avoid compromising Jemma Simmons' mission cover within HYDRA.
- Multilingualism: May is fluent in English, Cantonese, Mandarin and Spanish. She used this skill in missions in Hong Kong, the Cayman Islands, and Miami, respectively. She stated to know Russian, but claims she makes incorrect pronunciations.
Despite being well-trained in the use of all kind of firearms, Melinda May prefers the use of her martial arts skill and unarmed combat unless the situation requires it. In case she needs a weapon, she prefers to use small handguns even while her teammates are using high caliber weapons.
- Smith & Wesson M&P: The Smith & Wesson M&P pistol is the standard sidearm carried by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, and, as such, May has used it to threaten or shoot most of her enemies. She used it during the assault on the Maribel del Mar, to kill HYDRA operatives, stop Donnie Gill and even to shoot at Lance Hunter to prevent him from unawarely killing Jemma Simmons. She also used it to threaten Grant Ward when he kidnapped Skye on the Bus, to shoot at Bobbi Morse when it was revealed that she had infiltrated the Playground as a member of the S.H.I.E.L.D. faction led by Robert Gonzales, and to kill many HYDRA operatives in a mission to rescue Deathlok and Lincoln Campbell in a HYDRA base in the Arctic. She continued to use it to rescue Hunter when they raided Grant Ward's warehouse, and was forced to take one by Alphonso Mackenzie when S.H.I.E.L.D. made an attempt to kill Hive in Union City.
- Smith & Wesson M&P Compact: May has used the compact version of the Smith & Wesson M&P during mission that required high mobility, such as the assault on an abandoned facility to apprehend Deathlok and hopefully tracking down the Clairvoyant, finding Thomas Nash inside the building.
- Glock 19: May took a Glock 19 from a disarmed soldier from the Policia Militar de Perú in Llactapata when the soldiers began to surround them, and used to aim at the rest of soldiers before Phil Coulson cleared up the situation.
- Auto-Ordnance M1911A1: May took an Auto-Ordnance M1911A1 from a disarmed soldier from the Policia Militar de Perú in Llactapata when the soldiers began to surround them, and used to aim at the rest of soldiers before Phil Coulson cleared up the situation.
- Tokyo Marui Strike Warrior: May took one of the guns discarded by an ATCU operative when she was kidnapped by her husband Andrew Garner. She convinced Lash to revert back to his human form, only to shoot at him with the gun and place him inside a Containment Module. May was not sure if the shots would kill Garner, though they only triggered his transformation into Lash.
- Ruger GP100: May infiltrated along the building in Bahrain where Eva Belyakov had retreated, in hopes of rescuing a young girl that was kidnapped and the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents that went before her. However, May did not know that the girl, Belyakov's daughter Katya Belyakov, was responsible for controlling her mother, some Bahraini local mobsters and even the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, so she was forced to kill Katya, using a Ruger GP100 revolver carried by one of the Bahraini criminals.
- Heckler & Koch MP5K-PDW: May was given one of these weapons by Lance Hunter and Joey Gutierrez, who took many of them from the HYDRA operatives they had already knocked unconscious in order to barricade themselves inside the portal chamber of the HYDRA Castle. and used it to escape from the castle following Alphonso Mackenzie's orders.
- Night-Night Gun: May coldly used a Night-Night Gun to incapacitate Hannah Hutchins when she believed that she was a telekinetic whose powers were going out of control.
- I.C.E.R.: May tested the I.C.E.R.s as Leo Fitz showed them to his teammates during their mission to capture the rogue Asgardian Lorelei. She has used it during missions that required the use of non-lethal force, such as her attempts to prevent her teammates from discovering her direct line to Director Nick Fury, the attack against the Cybertek Manufacturing Facility, the infiltration into the Government Storage Warehouse or the extraction of Raina in Vancouver.
- Berserker Staff: Melinda May grabbed the Berserker Staff from Grant Ward while confronting a group of Norse Paganists, gaining superhuman strength to defeat Petra Larsen and the last remaining paganists. She also took it from Kaminsky in Cuba, using it to demolish the Barbershop Headquarters over a group of Centipede Soldiers.
- Kree Battle Axe: May reclaimed a Kree Battle Axe when fighting against two members of the Kree Watch. She wielded the axe during her fight against Sinara, but due to her wound she was overpowered and defeated nonetheless.
- Knife: May used a knife to fight against the Kree Watch when S.H.I.E.L.D. returned to the Lighthouse and released a group of Inhumans.
- Metal Rod: During the Siege of the Lighthouse, May was given a metal rod to fight against the Remorath as they were resistant to bullets.
- Remorath Claws: While trying to escape from Qovas' Ship, May extracted the metal claws of a deceased Remorath in prevision for a fight. She used them against Qovas and managed to withstand his assaults with these claws despite the fact that they were shorter than Qovas'
- Heat Signature Detector: In order to track pyrokinetic Chan Ho Yin, May used a Heat Signature Detector device inside a Centipede Project laboratory in Hong Kong, easily finding his location within the building.
- Infrared Goggles: A pair of goggles able to see the infrared spectrum, that May used to locate a package delivered by Cybertek to Ian Quinn in Italy.
- Tactical Parachute: May wore a Tactical Parachute while walking over the train sporting the Cybertek package, as a safety measure in case of need. She ended up using it when a member of the security team started to shoot her, and she was forced to jump of the train.
- UHF Pin: May wore this pin during her undercover mission at Cybertek Corporate Headquarters, allowing Skye to scan the UHF signals to access information. However, as she found nothing, May and Phil Coulson had to examine the building, finding that all Cybertek files were hard copies.
- S.H.I.E.L.D. Uniforms: May wore two S.H.I.E.L.D. uniforms during her time as a member of Coulson's Team, prior to the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Her primary uniform consisted of a skintight blue shirt with finger hooks and the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo on both shoulders, a leather vest that extended past her waist, black pants, and tall, black boots. She wore a variation of this during her first mission with Coulson's Team, which consisted of a black version of her blue shirt, a blue leather vest with a large belt, black combat pants, and low, black boots. May wore a black catsuit while on a mission to apprehend Ian Quinn in Italy. During her work with Coulson's S.H.I.E.L.D., May mostly abandoned her primary uniform and during missions often wore simply a blue and black leather jacket.
- Metrics: In order to blend in among humans on the Lighthouse, May had a Metric implanted in her wrist.
- Due to her popularity, Melinda May was introduced into the mainstream Marvel Comics universe.
- The only people to call May by her first name are Andrew, her mother, Coulson, Mack and Yo-Yo Rodriguez.
- In the comics, The Cavalry is the name of a Georgia-based superhero team.
- Melinda May is the title of a song written by Stephen Foster and published in 1851.
- May hates coffee and high heels.
- According to her ex-husband Andrew Garner, May loves Las Vegas.
Behind the Scenes
- This character was originally listed with the name Agent Althea Rice (a.k.a. The Cavalry) on casting sheets. However, the name was changed once Ming-Na Wen was chosen for the part, to avoid the controversy of calling an Asian woman "Agent Rice".
- Ming Qiu, Samantha Jo, Lauren Mary Kim, Natalie Padilla, Kristina Baskett, Cassie Lee Minick and Tara Macken were stunt doubles for Ming-Na Wen in the role of Melinda May.
- Alice Chen was a stand-in for Ming-Na Wen in the role of Melinda May.
- ↑ S.H.I.E.L.D. ID Cards
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.02: Purpose in the Machine
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.13: One of Us
- ↑ Agent Coulson's Team
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.04: Face My Enemy
- ↑ CHARACTER PROFILE: AGENT MELINDA MAY
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.14: The Man Behind the Shield
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.09: Repairs
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.19: The Only Light in the Darkness
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.01: Pilot
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.17: Melinda
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.17: Turn, Turn, Turn
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.02: 0-8-4
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.03: The Asset
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.04: Eye-Spy
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.05: Girl in the Flower Dress
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.07: The Hub
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.08: The Well
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.09: Repairs
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.10: The Bridge
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.11: The Magical Place
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.12: Seeds
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.14: T.A.H.I.T.I.
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.15: Yes Men
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.16: End of the Beginning
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.18: Providence
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.20: Nothing Personal
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.21: Ragtag
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.22: Beginning of the End
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.01: Shadows
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.02: Heavy is the Head
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.03: Making Friends and Influencing People
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.05: A Hen in the Wolf House
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.06: A Fractured House
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.07: The Writing on the Wall
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.08: The Things We Bury
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.09: Ye Who Enter Here
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.10: What They Become
- ↑ 39.0 39.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.11: Aftershocks
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.12: Who You Really Are
- ↑ 41.0 41.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.14: Love in the Time of HYDRA
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.15: One Door Closes
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.16: Afterlife
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.18: The Frenemy of My Enemy
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.19: The Dirty Half Dozen
- ↑ 46.0 46.1 46.2 46.3 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.20: Scars
- ↑ Avengers: Age of Ultron
- ↑ 48.0 48.1 48.2 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.21: S.O.S. Part One
- ↑ 49.0 49.1 49.2 49.3 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.22: S.O.S. Part Two
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.01: Laws of Nature
- ↑ 51.0 51.1 51.2 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.07: Chaos Theory
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.03: A Wanted (Inhu)man
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.04: Devils You Know
- ↑ 54.0 54.1 54.2 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.06: Among Us Hide…
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.08: Many Heads, One Tale
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.09: Closure
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.10: Maveth
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.11: Bouncing Back
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.12: The Inside Man
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.13: Parting Shot
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.14: Watchdogs
- ↑ 62.0 62.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: 3.15: Spacetime
- ↑ 63.0 63.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: 3.16: Paradise Lost
- ↑ 64.0 64.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: 3.17: The Team
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.18: The Singulaarity
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: 3.19: Failed Experiments
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.20: Emancipation
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.21: Absolution
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 3.22: Ascension
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Slingshot: 1.04: Reunion
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.01: The Ghost
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.02: Meet the New Boss
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: 4.03: Uprising
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.04: Let Me Stand Next to Your Fire
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.05: Lockup
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.06: The Good Samaritan
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.07: Deals With Our Devils
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.08: The Laws of Inferno Dynamics
- ↑ 79.0 79.1 79.2 79.3 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.11: Wake Up
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.10: The Patriot
- ↑ 81.0 81.1 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.16: What If
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.17: Identity and Change
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.18: No Regrets
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.19: All the Madame's Men
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.20: Farewell, Cruel World!
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.22: The Return
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4.22: World's End
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 5.01: Orientation Part One
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 5.02: Orientation Part Two
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 5.03: A Life Spent
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 5.04: A Life Earned
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 5.06: Fun & Games
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 5.07: Together or Not at All
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 5.08: Past Life
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 5.09: Best Laid Plans
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 5.10: Past Life
- ↑ S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 coming in December
- ↑ S.H.I.E.L.D. Casting