YOUR FACE! YOUR BEAUTIFUL FACE!
Rin says: Do we know this actor from previous things? No. Is she here solely for her wonderful expression-filled face that is also framed beautifully? Yes.
Was she seeing Horizon Sophias? We’ll never know.
Sophy says: Definitely Horizon Sophias. I know that look.
But yeah, this category was originally for people whose faces we’ve loved in other things but, you know, since Skye muscled her way in there in the last recap for no good reason except SKYE-FACE, we figure it’s fair game. This actress is really lovely and I hope she does more things so we can YOUR FACE YOUR BEAUTIFUL FACE her in them legitimately.
“Did she lose someone in there?”
Rin says: MAY/SILHOUETTE/ORANGE/MAY
See I would never say this show was uniquely beautiful in the way that Skins or something like Hannibal/Utopia, but it definitely has its moments. Especially for something so ~primetime/commercial. Marvel is always about big epic million dollar shots, but obviously with a TV show they don’t have that luxury, they have to be more subtle and find ways to make the inside of a plane beautiful. WHICH THEY DO SO WELL.
Sophy says: There’s nothing like a silhouette. And orange. And May. And you know, you’re right, it’s like maybe their priority is story, because with Joss shows the priority is always story, but then occasionally you can see that they’ve pushed the boat out to create a really gorgeous moment and it kind of makes it all the more special that it’s rare or even a little homely in comparison to the great pants-dropping shows of our time.
IT’S LIKE IF MAYBE SOMEONE’S NOT DIANNA AGRON BUT YOU FELL IN LOVE WITH THEM ANYWAY AND SO NOW THEY ARE DIANNA AGRON TO YOU BUT ALSO THEY WILL NEVER BE DIANNA AGRON HOW DARE YOU SHHH SHHHHHH
Rin says: After reading this comment we immediately discussed how this would actually be a major issue for me if I ever get married.
Sophy says: We actually did. Legitimately.
Best Reminder that Joss is back :’)
“She said, “God is love.” It’s simple and it’s a little sappy, but that’s the version I like. God is love… the thing that holds us together.”
Rin says: BUT THAT THIRD CAP. DO YOU WANT TO BUILD A SNOWMAN??????????
I thought how they handled the themes of religion throughout this episode and also the way they wove it in with the mythology of this universe was really clever. It wasn’t so over the top that it becomes preachy, and it was clear that everyone has the right to their own beliefs. “God is love” is simple and a little sappy, but it’s a very soothing thought isn’t it? And I love that Skye is upfront about not really believing in God, yet she manages to comfort Hannah with her own experience with God and what she likes to believe — even if it’s not something she would ever really give much thought to otherwise. Skye is a really good person, the type of person who will sit and listen to a stranger and reassure them that they are good and don’t deserve to be punished. Skye will always believe the best in people until proven guilty. She hasn’t even met this girl and she’s breathing life and hope into her with a few simple words. Skye is a badass and someone you want in your corner.
Which is why I love that May showed up at the right time because May, as much as I love and think highly of her, constantly underestimates Skye’s abilities. Okay yeah, Skye is kind of a liability at times in the field, but I also feel like May sees Skye as someone who isn’t mature enough to handle the pressures of their work. She sees Skye’s strengths, her kindness, her desire to always want to be honest and truthful, as weaknesses when they’re not. So May hears Skye and you can SEE IT IN HER MAY-FACE that she understands what Skye is saying, and in a way is taking it to heart too. We still don’t know what kind of grief May experienced in the past, but we keep getting these snippets of moments that kind of allude to the kind of terror she had to endure, or even caused. So I enjoy the idea that even for a moment May understands Skye better and what she’s able to achieve just by being the person she is.
Skye gained some respect from May without knowing it, especially with the way May treated Skye face to face Which makes me laugh because Oh May Soon enough your walls will come down
Sophy says: What I got from this episode was basically that May and Skye are more alike than either of them believes. May underestimates Skye because Skye tends to wear her naivete on her sleeve – she may have been damaged and done over by life, but she’s still hopeful – relentlessly hopeful, like a happy song that’s on the radio all summer – and what May doesn’t realize is that whilst that may cause her to be a liability it can also cause her to be an asset. Maybe Skye doesn’t know how to make tough decisions. Maybe she doesn’t know what it’s like to have to make them, even if you don’t know how. Maybe she couldn’t pull the trigger back in 103 and maybe she still can’t now. But she’s a good person and that matters. She values the things people feel and that matters too.
But we discovered in the last episode that trauma is something May has learned to contain – not repress – there is a difference between keeping something inside you and trying to pretend it’s not there. And this is how Skye underestimates May.
Because maybe empathizing doesn’t come as easy to her as it does to Skye. Maybe the feelings tap is screwed tight. But that doesn’t mean May isn’t going to turn it on.
For Skye, connecting her pain to another human being’s pain is easy – inevitable, actually. For May, connecting her pain to another human being’s is the tough call she will always make when it comes down to it.
At the start of the episode May shot this girl with the tranq gun and Skye disapproved all over the place and you know what? In a way Skye turned out to be right. Using violence against Hannah only antagonized Tobias, thereby creating more violence. It didn’t stop what was happening to the people around Hannah so much as it made our guys the people she was around for it to happen to.
But what Skye doesn’t understand is that not everybody wants to understand everybody else. Sure, she could have held Hannah’s hand and made a rousing speech to the community about mistakes and forgiveness and violence not solving anything, but who the hell was going to listen at that point?
And this is why I wish Skye could have been a fly on the wall in the scene where Coulson and May interrogate Hannah on the ship, precisely because ‘interrogation’ is the wrong word for it. I wish she could have seen May’s face and found her own in it – as she listened to Hannah, gently, quietly and with deep engagement. When Hannah told them they wouldn’t believe her? May was the one to lean in and say “Try me.”
If Skye had seen that I don’t think she would have been quite so gruff toward May as the end of this scene with her “Try not to hurt her any more than you already have, Agent May!”
But then again, there’s no denying that May is gruff toward her as well. There is a definite ambivalence in her attitude to Skye, which I think was beautifully demonstrated here. There was no reason for May to listen in on this conversation – no reason that is not personal, that is. There was something about what Skye was saying that she connected with – that mattered to her or meant something, at least. And then it’s as though she has to swagger up and dispense some orders to her right away to make sure that nobody wonders whether she was lingering round the corner feeling feelings?
Another interesting thing to note: Skye says God forgives a mistake. Skye says Hannah doesn’t deserve to be punished because “nobody does.”
Ha. Hahahah. Hah. Haaaaaah.
Best Reminder that Joss is LOL
Any and all pranking.
Rin says: Firstly let’s all take a moment to appreciate Simmons’ outfit in this episode. Because god damn it’s adorable. And now that I think about it it has been way too long since she has donned a shirt and tie and maybe she should fix that immediately, hmmm??!
Secondly, will there ever be a time when Fitzsimmons aren’t the cutest? (HAVEN’T SEEN THE FINALE YET NO SPOILERS OMAFARGO) They are probably the best pair of lame-o’s to ever lame in lameville and I love them the most for it. Trying to pull pranks the entire episode to give Skye a proper academy experience is the cutest thing, because they want to make Skye feel like she didn’t miss out on anything, but also because they think they’re awesome enough to be able to pull off pranks. Also any time Simmons tries to lie is the best ever.
AND CAN WE TALK ABOUT HOW LAME, I can’t think of another word, IT IS WHEN FITZ THINKS IT IS AN AWESOME PRANK TO STUFF A MOP IN THE CLOSET. And then it scares the shit out of them later and they both have the stupidest scared faces on their faces??? Oh man.
I love them.
Please don’t be dead.
AND THEN IT ENDS WITH MAY BEING THE ONE WHO PRANKED FITZ. Can I say a-MAY-zing?!?!!
p.s. Stop it Ward. Stop enjoying it. Stop being cute. STOP.
Sophy says: HAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH WE HAVE SEEN THE FINALE NOW. IT HAPPENED IN BETWEEN RIN WRITING THAT AND ME WRITING THIS. HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAH SHHHHHHHHHHHH.
BUT OH MY GOD CAN WE JUST? First of all, I have to agree with Rin that Simmons’ outfit may be one of the best things anybody has ever worn and I love that Fitzsimmons’ style is distinctive enough that we will one day be able to dress up as them for Halloween because I have just now thought of doing that and it has become my life’s ambition.
BUT SERIOUSLY HOW CAN YOU BE ANYTHING BUT ADORABLE WHEN YOUR TIE MATCHES YOUR SHIRT THAT AGGRESSIVELY?
The entirety of the pranking plot was the sweetest and the funniest and all round best. The way they both kind of moved on Skye like a pack of Fitzsimmons’ when they realized what they were going to do was glorious. The serious faces and the high-fiving. The fact that Fitz literally slapped Skye’s peasant hand away from the holograph and told her she needed two years of training before she could touch. AND THEN SHE GOT ALL SNOTTY AND SAID THE FOLLOWING BEFORE STOMPING OFF:
“I get it. I didn’t go to your fancy SHIELD Hogwarts or whatever. I’m gonna go upstairs.”
WOW. I MEAN WOW, SHOW. YOU ARE SPECIAL. And then there’s Fitz and his gas mask and the fact that Simmons wasn’t “even a wee bit scared,” she was “more disappointed, really.” AND FITZ TERRIFYING HIMSELF WITH THE MOP HOW EVEN IS THIS SHOW SO GENIUS?
AND THEN MAY PRANKED FITZ AND NOBODY KNOWS AND THEY ARE ALL GIGGLING AND SHE IS IN THE COCKPIT SMILING TO HERSELF LIKE YOU NEVER SEE MAY SMILE AND THEY HAVE NEVER BEEN SUCH A LITTLE FAMILY AND WARD’S FACE NEEDS TO GO AWAY BECAUSE IT HURTS SHHHH SHHHHHHHH.
And they would play Scrabble, by the way. And Simmons would win. With words like ‘Aglet’.
(Back in the day I used to force people around me to play Hangman just so I could watch them not get the word ‘Halibut’. At least now we know I’ll never be able to do that to you, gentle readers, if we should ever have a game.)
Rin says: You have serious issues.
Sophy says: _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Rin says: F A B E R R Y.
I can’t be wrong because the answer is always Faberry and you know I’m right.
Sophy says: It’s like you’ve spun ‘Lamprey’ into gold.
Cutest of the Scoobies
“We don’t believe that people have telekinetic powers, do we?”
Rin says: Besides lying Simmons, I also really enjoy when Simmons is highly logical which allows her to look past extraneous details i.e. when she’s being Hermione.
Again I find it adorable that for all of their ‘Fitzsimmons’ being referred to as one person, how much they are actually one person and share a brain — or at least when they don’t they check in with the other to make sure they do.
It’s very Rophy actually.
Sophy says: It is quite Rophy. Hence the Halloween outfits. Maybe you can be the girl, since I have a lot of cardigans.
BUT SERIOUSLY, THEY ASK EACH OTHER WHETHER THEY BELIEVE SOMETHING? Like. Totally deadpan. It’s not meant to be cute or anything which is why it so totally is.
I guess from their perspective it’s like how Rin and I are just two people being perfectly normal on the internet and some people point and laugh and bookmark the site.
YOU SCREAMED LIKE A GIRL. I AM A GIRL.
Rin says: MAYBE I CAN BE THE GIRL? I AM A GIRL.
Sophy says: FINE YOU’RE SIMMONS. But you’re still not the girl.
Please sir, we’d like some more
“Let the girl go.”
Rin says: And here is maybe where May learnt a little bit from listening in on Hannah/Skye earlier? In what world does May ever talk through a situation to solve the problem? Usually she just lets her opponents meet her fists and call it a day, but obviously that won’t work in this instance so she takes a leaf out of Skye’s book. And again we’re getting some more insight into May and her past, and I love that almost everything that ever comes out of May’s mouth is kind of loaded. She’s not really someone who says whatever comes to mind, she’s calculated and intelligent with her words — so you kind of know that when she’s talking about holding onto things being hell and letting go being the only way to find some peace, you know that it’s coming from a place of personal experience.
The truth about Tobias is such a sad story, he was just a guy who came up with a way to see a girl who he liked. In most cases it would be sweet and romantic and I completely believe in the innocence of it and how he never would have done so if he had known what would happen. Of course he went kind of beserk and crazy and that’s not really cool, BUT YOU KNOW. HE JUST WANTED SOMEONE TO NOTICE HIM. MAYBE HE SHOULD HAVE SENT CHOCOLATES LIKE A NORMAL PERSON?
MAY/COULSON. I don’t know how to deal with these two sometimes because all of their history is still kind of a mystery, and I want to know all of it immediately because my shippy heart needs to know?! But at the same time I am loving trying to put the puzzle together piece by piece. I just hope it isn’t one of those fucking 25000 piece puzzles because I have never finished one of those and I DO NOT HAVE THE TIME NOR THE PATIENCE. I’ve done my waiting. 12 Years of it. In Azkaban. Etc. I could cry over how much May values Coulson as a person and the things he has said to her, so much so that years have probably gone by and she still finds comfort in things that’s he’s said to her. Values them so much that she knows it will help someone else the way it has helped her.
May isn’t the easiest of people to get through to, but Coulson has a hold over her that I don’t think he’s even aware of. At this point I think it’s safe to say that Coulson is the most important person to May — she’s made it clear time and time again that he is the reason that she’s here, that she agreed to join the team in the first place. Okay sure, a few other reasons may pop up in the future, but her primary reason is Coulson. She would go to the end of the earth and back for him, and all because of whatever it is that he did for her in the past. Which again, they better tell us soon and not make us wait too long. I love Coulson, I love May, and I love them together and think they have the potential to be the most heartbreaking ship on the show. MAYBE OF ALL THE SHOWS?! WHO KNOWS?!
In Whedon we trust.
Sophy says: Tobias’s story was very sad, but you know what I love so much about it? That it didn’t become Tobias’s Story just because he’s the one who’s dying or just because he’s the one who’s in love.
The narrative doesn’t ask Hannah to repair this situation. It doesn’t ask the woman to be moved or flattered by the idea that all this tragedy is about her. It doesn’t ask her to dispense compassion and save the day whether literally or figuratively. It does not require her to surrender her beliefs or her right to resent the suffering and humiliation this man’s love has caused her.
I’m not saying that Tobias doesn’t deserve compassion, even if his actions were incredibly stupid and selfish and caused so much pain to so many. I think he deserves compassion – saving, even. But I love that this woman is not here to give this man what he deserves.
I was actually dazzled by the fact that when Tobias pleaded with Hannah to forgive him she didn’t. She told him only God could do that, which is consistent with her actual characterization and the history they have had together as she has experienced it, regardless of his crush.
And then May told him god wouldn’t. Not to be cruel. To make him see that there is no way out of this. That all he has left now is a chance to make a choice to do the right thing. May gave him that chance. She put her fists away and saved the day with words – with her own particularly stoical brand of kindness. There was no way that Tobias could escape his fate, but he could insist on his integrity by not even trying to. He could prove that the things he felt for Hannah were not shallow and useless – that he was not a shallow and useless man. May gave him the opportunity to let the girl go instead of being forced from her and in doing so she gave him some dignity and some peace, perhaps, wherever he goes.
And see I love so much that this isn’t a black and white dichotomy between how Skye and May get things done. It’s not as though one of them feels and intuits and the other is a badass hard-ass and that’s all there is to it. Skye may be young and relatively untrained – unscarred in the way battle scars you – but she has her own kind of courage when it counts and you can bet she’ll be doing a lot of learning this season about tough calls and maybe wearing her heart under her sleeve rather than on it. And meanwhile, May’s priority is protecting her people, to the point where she’ll take the mission to ground – to the point where she would have been ready, if necessary, to kill this man whatever way she could. But she’s not heartless. And she recognizes that sometimes the hard and fast way isn’t the best way to get things done, even if sometimes it is.
It’s worth noting that the two people who uncovered the truth of this situation in time were May and Skye. Proof that there are multiple, equally efficient ways of solving the same problem. But maybe proof also that the two of them are not as different as they think.
BUT OKAY. LET THE GIRL GO. WHAT IS GOING ON THERE YOU GUYS? BECAUSE THOSE WORDS ARE AWFULLY SPECIFIC AND I NEED TO KNOW MORE.
The fact that Coulson said these words to May – these exact words – tends to suggest to me that there is a story there beyond that May went into battle and lost herself. There’s a specificity to ‘the girl’ that has me thinking it wasn’t just some random she was holding onto. So given that we have now seen the rest of the season and have no answers I WANT ANSWERS GIVE THEM TO ME NOW WHEN IS THE SECOND SEASON AIRING HAVE THEY EVEN STARTED FILMING YET UGH SELFISH.
And yeah, Rin is right. May/Coulson has the potential to be the ship that devastates us, although there is a certain person who will be showing up to be shipped all the way to the Arctic circle with Coulson in due course… wait what’s with the ‘although’? That should probably be a because. Nothing says devastation like being able to ship both sides of a triangle.
Wait that should be all sides. In which case I am shipping SPOILY SPACKER with Ming-Na Wen. Which works.
Rin says: But then what happens when you throw Agent Hill into the mix?
Sophy says: We make a new triangle. With Rophy. And Agent Hill. Works.
Head In Hands
“Mind if I keep you company?”
Rin says: This is probably the relationship that I want explored the most on the show. I mean, I have my ships and stuff, but frankly this is the type of relationship that is a gold mine and will only ever produce…well, gold, for the entirety of this show. May and Skye could not be any different, yet in a lot of ways they feel like they’re the same. Or at least there are parts they see in each other that they would feel like would make them whole. (WOW DID I JUST COMPLETELY GO INTO THE SHIPPY PLACE WITH THEM?) Okay no, they’re really not a romantic ship because let’s be honest, if Coulson is Skye’s dad then May is Skye’s mum. METAPHORICALLY OF COURSE. Unless all of my hopes and dreams come true and MAY ACTUALLY IS A VERY YOUNG LOOKING MOTHER FOR SKYE.
One of my favourite things on the show is easily just May feeling feelings. Whenever there are moments when she shows them I kind of melt and think about all the ways the world would be a better place if it was full of Melinda May’s? She’s a bit of a Quinn that way, CONCEAL DON’T FEEL, DON’T LET IT SHOW. You’d think that would mean I meant to say she’s a bit of an Elsa, but no, I said what I said no take backs.
And Skye is full emotions, heart on sleeve, always wanting to do the right thing for all things good and holy and OH THE HUMANITY. She would never hurt a fly, even if she had given her heart and soul to that fly and it had betrayed her in every single way and it turns out the fly is kind of the worst most messed up fly that ever existed?
She wouldn’t hurt it.
Um. Tangent. Back to May/Skye.
These two balance each other out so beautifully and I feel like we’ve only ever touched the tip of the iceberg, if that. This is exactly why I was OVER THE MOON excited to hear Shield got a second season. May/Skye alone was reason enough to warrant more. And look at Skye’s face! She’s like a little kid getting the front seat to the world’s greatest adventure
with her distanced mum who she never knew growing up but is making up for lost time.
Sophy says: ACTUAL GREATEST?
There are a lot of reasons why I love this scene not the least of which is how incredibly lame Skye is in it. I mean it’s just so fucking typically Skye isn’t it? Coulson tells her something about May that hurts and she has to immediately try to make it better. Oh Skye. Always wanting to ~understand and ~connect and ~heal. YOU HUMAN BAND-AID YOU.
But seriously, it’s like a two year old standing there with their eyes closed behind a tree that is significantly narrower than they are smiling and feeling accomplished while their mum creeps around ostentatiously three feet away saying come out come out wherever you are!!!!!!
May knows what you’re doing, Skye. The viewers know what you’re doing, Skye. People without televisions, eyes or ears? Know what you’re doing, Skye.
But you know, that’s what makes this adorable and relateable and real. Skye is good with people and she has a knack for insight, but she doesn’t have a Midas touch with it. When May just barely smiles at her attempts to bond, when she knows exactly why these attempts are being made and is silent about it and just lets it happen like maybe she never noticed at all? That’s when she is a wily fox and Skye is a foolish puppy and I adore them both.
And yes, as Rin hinted in an unsubtle Skyesque way above………… we kind of love the idea of May being Skye’s mum. Or her Aunt. Or like… her cousin? Possibly her grandma. It’s difficult to tell with these Asian people and their no-surgery-needed agelessness.
Rin says: BUT WHAT IF SHE REALLY IS SKYE’S MUM IN A WAY THAT DOESN’T REALLY MAKE SENSE. I WOULD JUST DIE EVEN THOUGH I’VE DREAMT ABOUT IT EVERY NIGHT SINCE THE SHOW HAS BEEN OFF THE AIR.
Sophy says: I DON’T EVEN CARE I JUST WANT MAY TO LOVE SKYE MORE THAN ANYTHING? THESE DAYS I’M ALL PFFFFF SKYE/COULSON BONDING SCENES PFFFFF I WANT MAY TO TAKE SKYE SHOPPING FOR GUNS AND CAKE.