So, at long last, Jeffrey Mace’s secret is out. The official leader of SHIELD is not an inhuman at all. He is, in fact, a manufactured hero set up by General Talbot as part of a PR exercise. The move was made to help rekindle the public’s faith in the spy organization.
Mace, a man that media made a hero based on one photograph, was tasked by his country to serve and he did, as he tells Phil Coulson later. Agent Coulson was surprisingly forgiving of the new leader’s lie. He does, however, explain that while Mace can continue to be the figurehead of SHIELD Phil will now resume operational control of the organization again.
The Aida/Darkhold/Agent May, storyline continues with the real May waking up due to the disturbing nature of the scenario being run by Aida. This violent reaction was caused by repeated trips, in May’s mind, to a relaxing spa.
Radcliffe tells the second Aida, or Aida 2.0, that she needs to reschedule the program running in May’s brain to include some sort of conflict. The scientist also realizes that with his new Aida, he needs to reprogram her responses to threats and make them less lethal.
The LMD May, still has no idea that she is an android. The robot’s responses, memories and instincts mirror that of the real Agent May. Later, when saving Mace, Mack and Coulson from the Watchdog soldiers, android May is injured.
Back at the base, the android discovers a lot of metal underneath her skin. Interestingly, LMD May does not mention this disturbing new development to Daisy. The android keeps the news a secret.
Someone else who has a secret is Fitz. Rather than leaving the severed head of Aida 1.0 alone, as directed by Simmons, he lies to her and continues trying to fix whatever went wrong in her programming.
There was less levity in this week’s episode; no Yo-Yo and Mack double act bemoaning the stupidity of Radcliffe’s venturing into Terminator territory. This week’s episode of Agents of SHIELD was full of death, close to home deceit and a slow move forward in the Agent May storyline.
The very start of the episode saw an unseen agent killed by sniper Yuri Zaikin who then tries to kill Jeffrey Mace with an exploding bullet. (Recently seen as the projectile sent to kill Luke Cage over on Netflix.)
Phil Coulson, Mack, the soon-to-be-dead Agent Burrows and Mace are made to retreat to the omnijet and make good their escape. The aircraft has been compromised, however, and Burrows, along with that special case that Mace is never far away from, are sucked out of the jet.
The jet then crashes and as Talbot, Simmons and May question Zaikin and look for the downed craft, Mack and Phil learn Mace’s secret. His “superpowers” are from an injection which are part of the Project Patriot program.
By the end of the credits, May, the real one, has broken loose twice and almost had her neck snapped by Aida once. May also manages to smack Radcliffe into a desk before being subdued the second time. Mace is revealed to be a phony, Fitz is secretly working on Aida’s head and Phil Coulson is now back in charge of SHIELD.
All in all a pretty busy little episode. It did take a long time to put Coulson where he belongs and it looks like the May storyline will be taking precedence over everything else, running parallel with the Aida plot line.
One this is certain, however, Simmons is going to have a few things to say to Fitz about his dalliance with Aida’s severed head. None of which will be “happy birthday.”
Agents of SHIELD airs Tuesdays on ABC.
- Clark Gregg – Phil Coulson
- Ming-Na Wen – Melinda May
- Chloe Bennet – Daisy ‘Skye’ Johnson, aka Quake
- Elizabeth Henstridge – Jemma Simmons
- Iain De Caestecker – Leo Fitz
- Henry Simmons – Alphonso ‘Mack’ Mackenzie
- Natalia Cordova-Buckley – Elena ‘Yo-Yo’ Rodriguez
- John Hannah – Holden Radcliffe
- Jason O’Mara – Jeffery Mace
- Mallory Jansen – Aida
- Adrian Pasdar – General Glenn Talbot