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Why Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Ming-Na Wen Thinks May And Coulson's Relationship Is So Popular

agents of shield may coulson
(Image credit: Image courtesy of ABC)

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is as wild as ever in its current fifth season, which has taken the characters into both the future and outer space. The unexpected circumstances have put pressure on all the dynamics of the series, including Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen) and Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg). The two were split apart early in the season and only recently reunited, but fans seems to be as invested in their relationship as ever. Ming-Na Wen has played May since the very first episode, and she recently revealed why she thinks the May/Coulson relationship is so popular:

It's kind of fascinating to both of us. And we love it because when we first started out, it was just that they were coworkers and they had a good history together. And I think because they've been through so much: life and death and loss and recovery and having this family that they had to really nurture and protect and train. They're discovering these feelings for each other, and yet at the same time they're more reluctant then let's say Fitzsimmons, because they don't want to destroy that friendship.

Ming-Na Wen revealed her thoughts on the popularity of May and Coulson during a chat with CinemaBlend's own Adam Holmes at the recent Heroes and Villains Fan Fest, and her comments indicate that both she and Clark Gregg have enjoyed developing the May/Coulson -- or "Philinda," as fans have dubbed them -- relationship over the years. Unlike most of the other characters on the team (Fitzsimmons aside), May and Coulson had a history together back in the pilot. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has filled in some of the blanks of their time together, and Season 5 has made it pretty clear that their story isn't nearly done.

There's certainly no denying that May/Coulson is different from Fitzsimmons in some key ways, as Ming-Na Wen said. As much as Fitzsimmons started out the series as longtime BFFs, they didn't have the same kind of history that May and Coulson did, and May and Coulson have always had larger responsibilities to the team. In the little Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. family, May and Coulson are definitely the parents, and their kids can be pretty troublesome. Whether they're developing superpowers, being whisked through a monolith to another planet, or engineering killer robots, the kids keep May and Coulson plenty busy. If anything upsets the May/Coulson dynamic, the whole family unit could be shaken up.

For their sake, we can only hope that May and Coulson get some time to themselves, assuming neither dies and/or is left behind in space when the rest of the characters return to 2017. They've earned a break from their responsibilities to the rest of the agents. Who knows? Maybe news of Fitzsimmons' engagement will be enough to push them into actively pursuing a relationship. If Fitz and Simmons can overcome that curse of theirs, surely May and Coulson can get together!

We'll have to wait and see. New episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. air on Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC. For your other viewing options now and in the coming weeks, be sure to swing by our midseason TV premiere guide.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.