Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S4 Ep10 – The Patriot

This is another big episode for major revelations.

SHIELD podium as shield

You’re right, Burrows (RIP) – this is a pretty cool image. Nicely done, Mace.

We open with Director Mace giving a speech at a ceremony honoring Agent Johnson for her heroism while undercover. Daisy is … not enjoying the attention, at all. Heh. As the ceremony is wrapping up, an assassin attempts to take out Mace – with one of those Judas bullets from Luke Cage! It’s got to be the same thing, right? Regardless, Mace dodges – heroically – and escapes safely.

Except not really. See, the bad guys also sabotaged the Quinjet. Not only does that crash the plane and kill Mace’s agent lackey Burrows, but it also puts the “package” that Burrows always had with him at risk. But what’s inside the briefcase?

Well, it turns out that it contains a version of the supersoldier serum used to create Captain America, but tailored specifically for Mace’s DNA. The Director is not actually an Inhuman, after all. Using the serum is the only thing that makes him super-strong. General Talbot & co. had this Patriot idea for Mace after the call went out for a new SHIELD director who was powered. Mace agreed because he genuinely wants to help his country and Inhumans. Still, the upshot is that Coulson, Mack, & Mace are now all at the mercy of the Watchdog hired guns who want the briefcase – and they don’t have a superpowered hero with them.

Meanwhile, the real Agent May has been giving Radcliffe and Aida trouble (go, May!) as they try to keep her sedated and comfortable-ish. Fitz has told Radcliffe not to bother showing his face around the base for a while, until things calm down. Radcliffe’s worried about this, since it means he can’t keep an eye on LMD May. He’s concerned something will reveal her true nature. This whole time, he’s been unfavorably comparing Aida with LMD May, to Aida’s face. You can see that these comparisons bother Aida – though how much, and to what result, we don’t yet know for sure. Although let’s be honest: we’re still pretty sure she’s going to rebel either against Radcliffe or humanity in general, aren’t we?

Bad idea, Fitz

Yeah, ‘cuz that’s not creepy or ominous at all.

And speaking of Aida’s face, Fitz still doesn’t want to give up on the purpose that Radcliffe (said) he wanted for Aida originally. He wants to use her to save lives. To that end, he secretly goes to Aida’s decapitated head, to download her program and find the error. Oh, Fitz. Your optimism is sweet, but I don’t think that was a great idea. Even if you find out that Radcliffe programmed the “error” into her, are the huge risks worth it?

So, Mace helps our team escape even after being shot, and even though he’s a fraud. Coulson (whose one-liners were amaaaazing this episode, by the way!) decides he doesn’t want to take the directorship back from Mace, though he could. Instead, he’ll let Jeffrey continue to be the face of SHIELD, because he’s so good and public relations and politics – which Coulson admits he never liked. But Coulson will be back in charge of operations. Yay!

Finally, LMD May discovers something is seriously wrong after she’s injured in the climactic fight. She can now see her own inner robotic workings through the cut on her back. Uh oh. What’s a sort of self-aware May going to do next? Who will she turn to? Will she still follow her programming to get closer to Coulson and thereby the Darkhold, or will she start to fight against it? I can’t wait to find out.