SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for "Collision Course (Part II)," the latest episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
As "Collision Course (Part II)" -- the latest Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode -- drew to a close, the team's circumstances seemed too good to be true. They demolished the Shrike's tower while preventing an atom bomb from going off. Jaco heroically sacrificed his life to destroy Izel, the Shrike's creator. They successfully overthrew Coulson's doppelganger Sarge before his lethal tactics could cause more causalities. But of course, such peace was never going to last.
In the episode's stinger, Agent Melinda May appeared to kill Sarge in cold blood. As he languished in his cell, she burst into the room without a word. He filled the silence for her. "You? Really?" he scoffed. When she didn't respond, he added, "I know you're not much of a talker, so get to it."
Without so much as a sound, she pulled her gun and shot him three times in the chest. He collapsed against the wall and slid down it, looking up at her in shock. She approached, leveled the gun at his head and then pulled the trigger. However, the episode cut to credits before revealing the aftermath of that final shot.
First, let's consider one of the unwritten rules of television: a character isn't dead unless you see a body. As such, it's entirely feasible that May didn't strike the killing blow and the episode simply made it look that way to hook viewers. After taking three shots to the chest and one possibly to the head, though, his chances of survival seem slim. Notably, this rule should also apply to Izel.
Regardless, May's actions are shocking. She is perhaps the team's most rational and level-headed agent. Even when it came to Sarge, she was angry and hurt, but precise. So, what drove her to suddenly kill Sarge, with no inciting incident?
We have to consider that she did it on her own, though that seems unlikely. After all, she floated the suggestion at S.H.I.E.L.D.'s celebration. "I should have killed him the moment I saw him," May confessed to Elena "Yo-Yo" Rodriguez. "I knew it wasn't Coulson. Kept falling for it anyway."
However, it's also possible she got possessed by the Shrike. Earlier in the episode, May got stuck on Sarge's truck with Daisy and Snowflake. After the Shrike's tower was destroyed, they descended on the truck, slamming themselves against it in an effort to get it. It's feasible, then, that one managed to slip in and get May amidst the chaos. If that's the case, she would take orders from Izel, who definitely wants to see Sarge put out of commission.
Notably, May said a line similar Izel's diatribe earlier in the episode. "To Jaco, for seeing Sarge for what he really is," she toasted. Though Izel didn't say those exact words, she certainly alluded to knowing what Sarge "really is." So, she could be possessed by Izel's Shrike and acting on her orders -- perhaps without even knowing it.
Further, it is unclear what kind of powers Izel possesses. Perhaps, in addition to creating and controlling the Shrike, she can create projections or illusions. Indeed, if she comes from the Fear Dimension, she could have any number of abilities foreign to Earth. Sarge could simply be seeing his own worst fear.
Whatever the case may be, May likely wasn't the cause of her own actions. However, we'll have to wait for the next episode to know for sure.
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Fridays at 8 pm ET/PT on ABC. The series stars Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Henry Simmons, Iain De Caestecker, Natalia Cordova-Buckley, Elizabeth Henstridge and Clark Gregg.