Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. held a recent press junket on set, where Collider was able to secure an interview with star Ming-Na Wen regarding her role on the show. During the mid-season cliffhanger, Agent Melinda May (Wen) was kidnapped and replaced with a life-model decoy by the android AIDA (Mallory Jensen), a shock to viewers. Ming-Na Wen spoke with the outlet about the changes taking place in the relationship between Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and the imposter May in the second half of the season.
I think it’s really lovely that the writers pay attention to what the fans are interested in. I remember in Season 1 when this whole shipping name started and I was like, “What are they talking about?!” That was never something that I envisioned, and it’s really grown a lot. I think what’s great is that because they have such a close relationship with each other, with such loyalty and devotion, there have been moments where you’ve seen that they have affection for each other, but they don’t allow themselves to go there because they’re professionals. So, it will be interesting to explore that path.”
Wen’s comments are especially intriguing due to the fact that it will be the LMD Agent May that deepens her relationship with Coulson. The LMD has May’s memories, however,t it remains unclear at this moment how she will differentiate herself from the original. Ming-Na Wen implied that the imposter may not be an entirely complete version of May.
I think that discovery will add a new level of interest, in how this character is going to be part of the storyline and what purpose she serves. But as far as how I’m playing it, Radcliffe downloaded information about May when she was dead or dying, so there’s a lot of May in the L.M.D. That’s all I can say.
In regards to whether or not the life model decoy knows she is not the original, she was purposely vague in her answer.
Good question. If I answer that question, I’ll give away certain things about the storyline, and it’s such an interesting twist and interesting situation that this particular new May adds. I don’t want to spoil it for our fans, but I can say it’ll be fun for the audience to try to figure out, “Wait, is this the real May, or is this the L.M.D. May?” I know we broached that storyline in Season 2 with the nano-mask, but what was interesting about playing that character was that it was actually another character trying to be May without really knowing who May is. It was just somebody in disguise. But with the L.M.D. May, it’s May.
It appears that the life model decoy will be substantially different from Agent May while retaining most of her personality traits. The original Agent Melinda May restrained herself from embarking on a relationship with Coulson due to a sense of professionalism, but a copy of her without that sense of restraint may make the mistake of believing that a relationship with Coulson would be a good idea for maintaining her cover. It remains to be seen yet how the LMD May will react, and whether she is a sleeper agent, or is a fully willing participant in AIDA’s scheme.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns on Tuesday, January 10 in its 9:00pm Eastern timeslot on ABC. The synopsis and the promo for the next episode may be viewed here.