When MayWard first came onto the scene (a suggestive open hotel room door in the very last moments of the Thor: The Dark World tie-in episode, “The Well,” was our first introduction to the relationship), SHIELD fans were shocked. What about SkyeWard? SHIELD’s been nudging them together since their first meeting (and subsequent flirtatious banter) way back in the pilot, after all.
I have to admit, I was worried. Agents Ward and May share similar shortcomings: both are the strong and silent type, and as follows, both tend towards stoic to a fault. What could a relationship between the two of them yield but more stone-faced silence?
But instead of being the least communicative couple ever (though they may be high up on the list), their relationship has only sought to bring May and Ward out of their respective comfort zones. In the mid season finale, we saw their first argument – May reprimanded Ward for protecting her during battle. He replied that the move was tactical, not emotional. This brief exchange gave us a little window into their respective psyches – and it showed us that they might be becoming more than the casual fling that that first open hotel room door seemed to hint at.
And in the most recent episode, we got a couple more touches of insight (in the midst of an episode largely featuring Skye finally being a badass and Coulson finding answers surrounding his resurrection). At one point, Ward tells Skye, “No one knows what’s in May’s head except May.” (Dare we call that a touch exasperated?). In a later exchange, May ruefully tells Ward, “You don’t have to assume the worst of me” – again, very telling in regards to their relationship: I’m excited to see where it goes.
And hey, it’s always a pleasure to see a May-December relationship flipped from the young-lady-older-man norm (though Ming Na could pass for 35, at least).