I always get irritated when people try to disminish May’s character arc by arguing she never had any deep feelings for GW, when as late as “Providence” we have canonical proof that May still had romantic feelings for GW and cared a lot about him. I mean, personally I think Ming-na is great actress and she sells the heck out of this little moment. And the editing choice is obvious.
GW/May was not a real relationship because the person May had feelings for didn’t exist, he was a fake, and the whole relationship was part of a manipulation on GW’s part. But just because the relationship wasn’t real it doesn’t mean that May’s feelings weren’t real. They were. And people who say the relationship didn’t matter to May or that what she felt was purely physical or that she was compartimentalizing are full of shit in my opinion. We’ve seen over and over it was a relationship full of emotion for May: when she and GW had a fight May snaps at Skye afterwards because she was frustrated at herself, when she’s all sad when she tells him “you don’t have to assume the worst of me”, or in “TRACKS”, how she regrets not letting GW in when he wanted to help with her wounds and she tries to make it better, and at the end she hold his hand and tries to comfort him, and look at how heartbroken she is during the whole of “Yes Men”, and in “Turn Turn Turn” when May bitterly tells him that he killed Thomas Nash for Skye…
But that face right there when she thinks GW might have been in danger because HYDRA took The Fridge? Look at that face and tell me May didn’t have any deep romantic feelings for GW.
The GW/May ship was never real but it was hitting a lot of romantic tropes, specifically tropes about pairings who start as just a sexual relationship and end up developing romantic feelings for each other. There are many examples of this kind of ship in fiction so I don’t know how people can overlook that May/GW was framed as a romance, not as only-comfort, only-physical relationship, or why they would erase such an important part of May’s character development over the season.
I mean in hindsight (specially with the gross sexual comments GW made when he was trying to kill May in the finale) May/GW is really awful and icky and it was dubcon, but that doesn’t mean we need to brush a part of May’s emotional journey off. For better or worse May had those feelings, and they don’t make her any less of a badass character or a heroine. It’s not her fault that the person she was opening herself to turned out to be a HYDRA traitor, her feelings were not a mistake in themselves.