“I never saw the romantic chemistry”: Marvel Might Have Missed the Mark With a Romantic Storyline For a Fan Favorite Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Character

Fans have always dreamt of seeing these two beloved characters forming a romantic chemistry!

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

SUMMARY

  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., a Marvel Cinematic Universe TV series, focuses on Phil Coulson, the leader of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents.
  • Despite seven seasons and 136 episodes, the series left fans hoping for a romantic storyline between Coulson and Melinda May.
  • However, as fans emphasize, Marvel appears to have overlooked this romantic storyline possibility.
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With the release of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in 2013, the Marvel Cinematic Universe made the move from the big screen to the small screen. Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), who portrays the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents’ team, serves as the focal point of Joss Whedon’s TV series.

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Despite the seven seasons and 136 episodes, culminating in a two-part series finale that aired in 2020, there were some things left untouched. Yes, Marvel fans have been shipping Coulson and Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen) for years now, hoping for a romantic storyline between the two fan-favorite Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. However, unfortunately, it appears that Marvel may have erred by ignoring this possible love tale.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. [Credit Marvel Television]
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. [Credit: Marvel]
Phil Coulson and Melinda May have a close relationship; they have been through thick and thin together, facing numerous dangers and challenges side by side. Their friendship and partnership have always been a key element of the show, but fans have always wondered if there could be something more between them.

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May & Coulson’s Potential Romantic Arc Failed to Resonate in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Given that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. explores the themes of artificial intelligence, time travel, and aliens, it makes sense that the main characters would long for a return to normalcy. Even though viewers can’t always relate to the situations the characters find themselves in, the relationships between the characters often help viewers relate to those on screen more.

Over the course of its seven seasons, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has developed some beloved relationships, but true love on the show rarely goes as planned. And when we say romance, one in particular between Coulson (Clark Gregg) and May (Ming-Na Wen) would have been appropriate for the show, but Marvel ignored it. Wen, who portrayed Melinda May, once expressed her opinions regarding this matter.

MING-NA WEN
Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. [Credit: Marvel]
As they transitioned from being good friends to having romantic interests, the actress told SYFY Fangrrls that she thought May and Coulson’s relationship was “one of the greatest aspects and continuity of all seven seasons.” In her words:

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“I think, like any relationship in S.H.I.E.L.D, it’s always got its ups and downs and there are always moments of it being unrequited. And right now we have a killer bot and a Chronicom trying to rekindle emotions. I don’t know. I mean, that’s what we always want. We always want them to find love in the end. But yeah, we’ll see. Right now, May’s not having it.”

May and Coulson have been friends since their earliest Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. days, when they would frequently go on field missions together. Even though it was obvious that the two had always been attracted to each other, their relationship was not really explored.

Coulson and May: A Potential Love Story that Fans Can’t Get Enough of

Coulson and May in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Coulson and May in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. [Credit: Marvel]
While some fans argue that keeping Coulson and May strictly “platonic” is a refreshing change from the typical TV show trope of coworkers turning into lovers, others believe that the chemistry between them is just too strong to ignore (see Reddit). The subtle glances, unspoken understanding, and loyal co-workers have all fueled the fire of fans’ desires to see them as more than just friends.

As one fan noted (via Reddit):

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“I love both characters separately, but I never saw the romantic chemistry between Coulson and May.”

Nonetheless, it is plausible that Marvel decided to concentrate on other aspects of the show by keeping Coulson and May’s relationship strictly professional. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is full of action, intrigue, and complex storylines, and the writers may have felt that including a romantic storyline between two main characters would detract from the overall plot.

Meanwhile, after assuming the role of Melinda May, Ming-Na Wen quickly won over fans. However, in an interview with Katee Sackhoff, the actress expressed how disgusted she was with the way the Marvel series was handled. She underlined that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. should have received more credit.

“It’s weird, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. sort of became a separate entity for whatever reason because it was on the network as opposed to streaming.

Wen remarked with a no when asked if Disney had contacted her about reprising her role as Agent Melinda May in the MCU. Also, it should be noted that Rotten Tomatoes gave the first season an 88% approval rating, with an average score of 7.8/10.

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Anyway, will Marvel give fans what they want by exploring a romantic storyline between Coulson and May in the future, or will their relationship remain strictly platonic? 

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is streaming on Disney+.

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Written by Siddhika Prajapati

Articles Published: 1541

Between everyday normalities and supernatural abnormalities, Siddhika Prajapati finds the story in everything. Literature Honors Graduate and Post-Graduated in Journalism (from Delhi University), her undying need to deduce the extraordinary out of simplicity makes her a vibrant storyteller.

Serving as a Senior Entertainment Writer at Fandom Wire and having written over 1500 pieces, Siddhika has also worked with multiple clients and projects over the years, including Indian Express, India Today, and Outlook Group.

Who knows, maybe your next favorite persona on the screen will be crafted by her.