A little bit. But it was still reluctant to reveal much. Like I said, even truly episodic shows reveal the history and motivations of characters in a way that builds on itself. A simple test is "if Law and Order does it, episodic shows do it." I'm not saying it's bad or good or anything else. I'm just saying, if the complaint is "90s style episodic," then Repairs fully fits that mold even if it builds on May's character. More accurately, it reminded me of Enterprise's early attempts at character building where it would be "now we have an episode to focus on Hoshi." Granted, LOST did character building through this method very well, but I think much of SHIELD's character building was done more subtly. Fitz and Simmons now seem like fully fleshed individuals and much of this was done through episodes besides the ones directly for them (FZZT, The Hub, Seeds) just through dialog and character interactions.
I'm not knocking it. The show is clearly no longer episodic and it's clear they were laying the foundation all along. Repairs's weakness isn't that it wasn't subtle in trying to explore May's backstory (while not actually revealing much), its weakness is just that it wasn't a good episode. I'm just disputing that every single episode so far has been serving to create the necessary foundation. Most were and I appreciate it (and I think they'll hold up better on repeat viewings), but some didn't work. That's all.