During Wondercon weekend, the forthcoming episode of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” was screened for convention attendees. Following the screening, the cast and producers of the Marvel and ABC series took the stage. When Ming-Na Wen, the fearless actress who plays Agent Melinda May, was brought onto the stage in a wheelchair, fans were concerned if she was OK and whether the injury would affect her ability to finish Season 4.
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“You can’t keep the Cavalry down,” Wen told the press on Saturday, in good spirits despite having her leg elevated in a brace. “It was a freak accident that happened last Thursday… We are on a show that’s very high energy — from stunts, to explosions, to running — you’re reminded sometimes that accidents can happen. Unfortunately, it did, so you just go with it. The show must go on.”
Asked if the injury would affect her role in the season finale, Wen was confident it wouldn’t be a major issue. “The wonderful thing about the magic of working on a TV show in front of a camera with special effects — and no, I can’t tell you what happens in the finale — is that we will be able to work around this. The fact that even though this was a fairly severe injury… I was really happy that it wasn’t something that was going to delay production.”
For much of the current season of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” Melina May has been plugged into Dr. Radcliffe’s Framework. May was Radcliffe’s first test subject, and as such her responses to the Framework actually helped him perfect the system for Coulson, Fitz, Mack and Mace, who were plugged in during the last two episodes of “S.H.I.E.L.D.” With May and her colleagues now trapped inside this Matrix-like world, they are living their “what if” lives.
While it looked like May’s “what if” was not killing the small Inhuman child in Bahrain, it appears now that her mission as a Hydra Agent is to eradicate Inhumans from the planet. “The difference between Hydra May is that she is all about revenge against the Inhumans,” Wen told us. “She’s all about taking them down. No questions asked.”
Wen was surprised to discover that this version of May is even colder, even more emotionally cut off that the May we know who works for S.H.I.E.L.D. “You would think that there is no way for Agent May to become less emotional and more threatening, and I had to find a way to make that happen. As opposed to Agent May of S.H.I.E.L.D., where she’s trying to protect her family, where she believes in the good of S.H.I.E.L.D… she’s showing even less emotion and becoming even more callous about how she views the world after the Cambridge Incident.”
The Cambridge Incident is something that is being teased on this new poster, written on a folder situated behind Coulson:
Extrapolating from Wen’s comments, it sounds like the Cambridge Incident is what put the world of the Framework (and Hydra) at odds with the Inhumans in a dramatic way. If May is bent on seeking revenge against Inhumans for what happened at Cambridge, perhaps a lot of good S.H.I.E.L.D. or Hydra agents died.
Lastly, Wen was asked if her fighting style would change inside the Framework. “The weird thing about the Framework, and that’s what’s confusing sometimes, is that it’s still us, but not us. The history has changed in some way, and therefore the perspective of these people have changed, but their skill sets, their level of intelligence remains the same.” In short, when we see May, she’ll still be May, even if she no longer has the code of loyalty she did when she was with S.H.I.E.L.D.
Returning Tuesday, April 4 at 10 pm ET/PT on ABC, “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” stars Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson, Chloe Bennet as Daisy “Quake” Johnson, Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May, Iain De Caestecker as Leo Fitz, Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmons, Henry Simmons as Alphonso “Mack” Mackenzie and more.