Late last week, word broke that Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was already looking to set up its own spinoff, the comic bent of which would become clear by the Season 2 finale. Tonight’s May-centric “Melinda” finally gave us the titular agent’s backstory, but may also have broken the spinoff wide open with Coulson forming a super-team of his very own.

You’re warned of all the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spoilers from tonight’s “Melinda,” as per usual, though Robert Gonzales and his so-called “Real S.H.I.E.L.D.” may have done the impossible in pivoting May against Coulson. The erstwhile director and Bobbi brought to May’s attention that not only had Coulson been meeting with her psychiatrist ex Andrew (Blair Underwood) in secret, but so too had the S.H.I.E.L.D. 2.0 leader been burning through cash for a mysterious “Theta Protocol.”

And what would this mysterious protocol be, you ask? Well, the exact reason Bobbi and Gonzales have been looking to unlock Nick Fury’s toolbox lies in Coulson apparently building another secret base, as well as meeting contacts all around the world. To May’s shock, Gonzales theorizes that Coulson wants to assemble an army of “gifted” individuals with superpowers, Deathlok included, for an agenda all his own.

Thus far, it seems only Coulson knows for sure what the new base would service, though we can’t help noticing a few similarities to Marvel’s “Secret Warriors” storyline, which would make a great deal of sense as a potential Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spinoff. Oh, and did we mention that Daisy “Quake” Johnson was an integral part of that effort in the comics? You know, the same Daisy we learned to be Skye’s real name, and who seemed to get a handle on her quaking powers tonight? Just sayin’.

Agents of SHIELD Melinda Review Skye Quake

Of course, it wouldn’t be the first time Coulson and May participated in an effort to get super-powered individuals into S.H.I.E.L.D.’s employ, as we finally learned the history of the mysterious Bahrain mission that earned May her “Cavalry” nickname, and seemingly haunted her for years. Tonight’s hour highlighted flashbacks to the pair seven years earlier (around the time Tony Stark started fiddling with repulsor technology), as a super-strong “gifted” Eva Belyakov (Sons of Anarchy star Winter Ave Zoli) attempted to seek refuge from shadowy forces.

May and Coulson soon discovered that the woman had no intention of coming quietly, and managed to take May and Coulson’s entire team hostage in a building, along with a little girl caught in the fray. Determined to rescue the little one (and hoping to have her own with Andrew one day), May pulled her best Spider-Man to enter the facility and take down any enemy combatants, only to discover a horrifying truth. Not only were all the agents under mind control, but Eva only used her super-strength to cause pain that subsequently “fed” her daughter, the very girl May had gone in to save.

Agents of SHIELD Melinda Review May Bahrain

Beaten, bloody and shot through the leg after taking down Eva, May faced an even worse fate than death, finding herself with no choice but to shoot the Inhuman girl dead in order to stop her reign of terror. Suddenly free of their hypnosis, the surviving S.H.I.E.L.D. agents all presumed that May had taken down upwards of 30 guards in order to save their lives, thus earning her own legendary nickname as “The Cavalry.” Super sad-face, guys.

So, what other shocking blows did tonight’s “Melinda” land? Well, Skye spent the hour quaking through Inhuman education with reclusive leader Jiayang (Dichen Lachman), only to learn the truth that the seemingly-ageless woman had given birth to Skye with the evil Cal. Acknowledging that despite his evil, Cal had gotten their family back together, Skye and Jiayang agreed to a pleasant dinner with the man, a shocking sight for that dreamy Lincoln. You see, not hours earlier Raina had fumed over her apparently-useless powers, simultaneously relaying her “nightmares” of Skye having dinner with her father. New pre-cognitive abilities unlocked, quill-lady!

Agents of SHIELD Melinda Review Raina
"Apparently, they get good reception."

So where do we go from here? Fitz finally joined back up with Coulson and Hunter, while J. August Richards’ Deathlok will put in a return next week, but will Coulson come clean about his new super-team? What might the “Theta Protocol” truly represent, and how could it tie into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s proposed spinoff? Will the Inhumans come out to play as well, or at least finally get an official name? Has anyone gotten Lincoln his deep-dish pizza yet?

Stay tuned for the latest from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., spinoffs, Age of Ultron, Deathlok’s return and more, and check back next week to meet “The Frenemy of My Enemy”!