TV show: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Characters: Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen)
First Kiss: 4x12 "Hot Potato Soup" w/ LMD May
First real Kiss: 5x21 "The Force of Gravity"
After meeting at the S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy, they became partners in their early careers. Their first mission was in Sausalito on a retrieval operation in a coffee shop without extraction (May was in the bay for five hours until Phil fished her out). Later, they were even on a mission in Russia to retrieve a 0-8-4 (item of unknown origin).
Unfortunately, during a mission in Bahrain things went terribly wrong and May changed for the worse. She retired from combat and worked in administrative within Shield until Phil Coulson, who had recently died but was then resurrected, asked Melinda May to drive the “bus” as he was getting his own team and wanted her as the pilot.
Melinda was asked to watch over Coulson by Director Fury due to the resurrection from the GH-325 formula. Fury also asked her to create the parameters of the team for Coulson to choose from. As time went on in season 1, Coulson became weary of May’s involvement during a Hydra invasion.
"One of the things that goes on in television and in our universe now is our fans are very active. They make it known which romances they're interested in, which they're less interested in. Certainly, there have been very vocal supporters of what you call the Philinda relationship. I think in different moments, it's certainly something that has to have popped into the head of both Phil and Melinda.
I love the difficulty of it. I love how dangerous it is because this is a job where family relationships really are not possible in the normal sense. These people become family. She is so much more to him than a coworker. I think there's a reason that they've been working together for more than 20 years, off and on, without crossing that line, because it's a dangerous line to cross as everyone knows. Certainly, with the passing of Andrew Garner, her ex, and some of the business she did about that, something is different now, and that possibility is being explored."
Jan 4, 2017, MovieFone.com
Most fans have stated that they saw the chemistry right away between May and Coulson, but some have said that it was when Coulson was stitching her up during the episode “T.R.A.C.K.S.”, or even after Coulson shot May for thinking she had betrayed him (when she looked him in the eyes and said, “You mean a lot to me, a lot…”).
It is undoubtedly a relationship the majority of fans wanted once “Face Your Enemy” came out in season 2 in which they danced together undercover as a married couple at an auction. Later in that same episode, Coulson asks May if she has a plan for him if he were to ever go insane like John Garrett, in which she replies with a plan of taking him to an isolated location where she would take care of him.
Throughout the rest of seasons 2 and 3, there were many moments that pulled at fans’ heartstrings when it came to Philinda. Like when Coulson came back from the planet Maveth and May was right there to embrace him. Despite everything he had been through, she was always there when he needed her most.
In season 4, their relationship took an unexpectant turn as Coulson was taken to another dimension and, once he returned, Melinda was there to help pull him out of it. Their hug signaled their fear of losing one another. May and Coulson vowed that they would finally open the bottle of Haig they promised each other many years ago. However, Melinda May was taken by Holden Radcliffe, swapped for an LMD, and pulled into the Framework. Unfortunately, Phil was not aware that it was an LMD imposter of May as he not only had that bottle of Haig, but he also kissed her...
"I think it’s really lovely that the writers pay attention to what the fans are interested in. I remember in Season 1 when this whole shipping name started and I was like, “What are they talking about?!” That was never something that I envisioned, and it’s really grown a lot. I think what’s great is that because they have such a close relationship with each other, with such loyalty and devotion, there have been moments where you’ve seen that they have affection for each other, but they don’t allow themselves to go there because they’re professionals. So, it will be interesting to explore that path.”
Jan 6, 2017, MCUExchange.com
Season 5 was the season of Philinda. Even though Phil was dying, Melinda finally admitted her true feelings to Coulson with an angry love confession of “I love you” that left him standing alone in a hallway unsure of how to respond. Phil struggled with his words, but when it came to finally letting her know how he felt, he ended up pulling her behind his Holo-shield and kissing her during a battle with aliens.
Coulson was dying but Melinda tried everything for it not to happen. In the end though, she went with him to Tahiti so they could spend the remainder of their days together.
“Anything else on your bucket list? Parasailing?"
“Yeah. Parasailing. Always wanted to try that.”
Melinda May & Phil Coulson
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 - Episode 22
"Maybe I'm reckless. But if this is the end, better to go out doing something that matters."
"No. You don't get to make that decision alone. That decision is made with the people who love you."
"And that's me. I love you. I thought that would shut you up."
Melinda May & Phil Coulson
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 - Episode 17
“Point is, no matter what happens, I'll take care of you that's my plan.”
“That is, without question, the sweetest, most selfless thing anyone has ever wanted to do for me.” – Phil Coulson
Melinda May & Phil Coulson
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 - Episode 4
“Her name is Melinda May and she means everything to me.”
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 - Episode 13
Clark and Ming-Na’s on-screen chemistry has always been noticed. However, off-screen they like to joke around and flirt on social media. Philinda is a driving force on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. but they keep the “Love” alive for the fans behind the camera. Below is some of their social media interactions.
Fan-fiction has always been around with fandoms. However, Philinda fan-fic began because it was not canon. Fans wanted Philinda since the beginning and for 5 years they were teased with the possibility, so some fans turned to writing their own stories due to the lack of their on-screen relationship
#Philinda tag on Archive of Our Own
(a fan-fiction website)
If you would like more specific fics from the more well known writers in this fandom, click on the links below. Be forewarned that some fan-fiction can and will be rated M for Mature or above. Viewers discretion is advised. The Main Tag will have a mixture as well.
Clark Gregg & Ming-Na Wen Panel at C2E2.
March 23, 2019, Chicago.
Clark Gregg & Ming-Na Wen, pick up lines.
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