Melina has spent years doing testing on hogs in order to develop a mind-control serum that she hasn’t realized has been used by her boss to control his Black Widows; it forces them to be obedient and follow orders, while still allowing them to have an inner sense of themselves and unable to stop themselves from doing things. She’s quite proud to show off this to her daughters, not realizing that her research has made their lives miserable, and somewhat callously, in Nat’s mind, shows them how it works – she can just tell a hog to stop breathing and he will. She goes on explaining it, while the hog starts suffocating to death, and then when Nat demands she stop torturing it, she says he would have lived another 5 seconds anyway and gives him his air back. She’s been heavily involved in developmental research, without really thinking about its broader implications in her fascination with it. Alexei calls her the “strategist” part of their team, and it’s true, she’s good at coming up with contingencies at the last minute, such as when she and her daughter pretend to be each other. She also gives Nat all the information she needs to know, to break their boss, get him to reveal the data they need, and then destroy him, because she’s been made to understand the humanitarian implications of his actions (low Fe). She pretends not to be sentimental, and insists Nat as a child leave behind a photo album, but then grabbed it herself and has kept it. She asks her daughters’ forgiveness for some of her actions, saying that being raised inside an institution, she never “knew anything else” existed. Melina is completely oblivious to how her talking about their life in suburbia is hurtful to Yelena until she has an outburst related to it; it just never occurred to her that these impersonal statistics could be painful to anyone, since it’s just data. Information. Something to work with.

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Melina is a research and academic, who enjoys spending decades of her life squirreled away in the deep countryside with nobody to talk to except her pigs. She reacts with fear when they first arrive, and then gradually welcomes them and puts away her guns. She enjoys telling them about her research, and doesn’t mind making impersonal decisions. It was just a job to her, she thinks, taking care of the girls; it wasn’t her fault they were taken away and put into training, that’s what happens! She even turned them in, although she immediately changes her mind having heard their story and tries to protect them. Her 6 wing kicks in and makes her defensive of them, and willing to at last turn against the organization that had her loyalty, until she found out how truly awful it is.