Season 4 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. got off to a very rough start for Agent Melinda May. After being exposed to a mysterious entity, May lost her mind. She had to be restrained, and the physical stress of her madness took such a toll on her body that she was going to die a horrible death unless Simmons and Radcliffe got creative. They managed to reset her system by temporarily killing her and bringing her back to life. According to co-executive producer Jed Whedon, Melinda May won't be able to shake off dying too easily. He had this to tease about how May deals with her death:
As inarguably the most badass agent that S.H.I.E.L.D. has to offer, May would naturally try to just power through the trauma of dying and coming back to life. She's gotten through all kinds of craziness in the past. If she is still able to function as an agent despite the relatively recent death of her Inhuman ex-husband who had been murdering other Inhumans, of course she would figure that she could shake off her own death. They don't call her the Cavalry because she's a quitter.
That said, Jed Whedon's mention of common ground with Coulson indicates that May might feel her death more deeply that she'd have everybody believe. Coulson had a lot of trouble dealing with the fact that he died and was brought back by science that had been previously unheard of; May was just brought back thanks to a power source that had never been used before. Even she has cracks in her emotional walls that show from time to time. Hopefully, she'll be able to rely on Coulson to know when to talk to her about it and when to shut the hell up about it.
We might not want to start coming up with too many theories about the fallout of May's death, however. Co-executive producer Maurissa Tancharoen went on in the chat with EW to say this:
All in all, we may want to count on the enigmatic May being more enigmatic than ever until she finally boils over at some point in Season 4. This is one problem that she can't pummel into submission with her fists or shoot down with her sidearms. It's possible that we'll see a whole new side of Melinda May in the coming episodes. She may not have gotten the role of new director of S.H.I.E.L.D., but her storyline seems pretty meaty now that she has her own death to deal with.
Tune in to ABC on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET to see what's next for Melinda May on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.