In the clip above, Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) is shown working on her gun skills when May (Ming-Na Wen) walks in to give her pointers. The conversation quickly becomes more serious when Simmons expresses how she feels about being so helpless and the lives that have been lost and put at risk to save her.
Both actresses spoke to Hypable about the scene as well as the upcoming episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Simmons blames herself for a lot of stuff that has happened over the past year and does not want to be put in a position where she cannot handle it herself.
Henstridge: Selfishly, in hindsight, she sacrificed all of those Inhuman lives to save her own. [She’s] just done with not being able to look after herself in that way… she’s going to try to better arm herself against those situations happening again.
I also think she’s beating up on herself that she allowed herself to make an emotional decision. Making emotional decisions, she’s still kind of new at it. She doesn’t trust that instinct in her as much as she trusts the scientific side, and it came around to bite her in the bum a little bit.
All this blame is understandable, but Simmons is using it as a chance to better herself and not harp on what has already past. Training to be more equipped in the field is another way to make her valuable and keep evolving as an agent.
Yes, she’s going to try to arm herself, but also it’s a period of growth for her to realize you make mistakes and you make decisions in an instant. It’s another thing she’s got to carry on her back. It’s another motivating factor to keep being a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and keep trying.
May is one of if not the most qualified agents in S.H.I.E.L.D. Throughout her stint, we have not seen much of a vulnerable side to her except when she was with Andrew briefly. This often results in conversations with May turning into confrontations rather than a friendly chat, something that was evident in the aforementioned clip.
Wen: May’s just not very comfortable [with Simmons]. She’s not comfortable with anyone when it comes to sentimentality or talking about things. She’s more like, “Just give me a gun. Let me show you how to work a gun.”
This exchange could however lead to more of a mentoring role for May in relation to Simmons. We’ve seen May do this in the past with Daisy and it’s turned out pretty well, and seeing what she could do with Simmons would be exciting to see. Either way, May feels like it is her duty to protect the likes of Simmons and others.
She still wants to protect her family. I think one of the bonds with [Simmons] will change. She has a maternal role in wanting to protect [her] because as things get more dangerous and heightened, she feels [she needs] to learn some new skills.
Episode 3×14, “Watchdogs”, of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will air Tuesday at 9 p.m. EST on ABC.