This article contains spoilers for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4, Episode 10
One AIDA died, but the “evolved” AIDA still lives. May is still locked in a closet while FakeMay is parading around S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ with our beloved agents. Radcliffe was in on all of AIDA’s actions, including her attempt to steal the Darkhold. Senator Nadeer’s brother Vijay was shot and thrown into a lake presumably dead…only to be entombed in another terrigenesis cocoon.
Daisy is being presented to the world as a hero by Director Mace. General Talbot is on hand with Agent Burrows who mysteriously exchanges a briefcase that is handcuffed to their wrist. A sniper takes a shot at Mace but both Daisy and Mace prevent any harm. On the flight to take Mace to a safe house, the quinjet is attacked and Burrows (with handcuffed briefcase) is sucked out of the plane.
The pilot of the crashed quinjet dies in a very Wash from Serenity style. Mace, Coulson and Mack are unable to reach HQ as the communications are down. Coulson wants to reach high ground to get a signal; however, Mace eagerly wants to go in search of Burrows’ body.
Fitz wants to reprogram the dead AIDA head to diagnose what went wrong with Simmons together, but Simmons stresses that they need to move on from the LMD program and focus on finding their friends. Simmons takes a turn at interrogation with the help of AIDA’s severed head (dressed up with blood and put on ice for dramatics) to intimidate the sniper (ex-KGB, ex-HYDRA agent) into giving up the info they needed to find the team.
The Patriot Revealed
A squad of mercenaries (former HYDRA) responsible for taking out the quinjet has found Burrows’ body along with the briefcase that’s cuffed to his wrist. Coulson and Mack split off from Mace who is sent to retrieve the briefcase. Coulson and Mack back him up as Mace runs away with the briefcase, seemingly quite afraid. The briefcase is opened and inside is syringes. One of the soldiers shoots a vial labeled Project Patriot, and also shoots Mace in the leg. Turns out, he doesn’t have powers at all. Mace says it’s a drug cocktail that is calibrated for his own DNA by Talbot. Talbot explains to Fitz and Simmons that they needed the next Director to be an enhanced.
The merc squad shows up as the team hole themselves up in a Ranger’s station. Mace suits up and tells the soldiers that Senator Nadeer wanted the case because it holds the cure for Inhumans. While Mace acts as a distraction, Mack and Coulson are able to take out the truck with a transmitter that’s blocking all communications. Daisy and FakeMay (using the info from the sniper) arrive just in time to save the team from the rest of the mercenaries.
Fitz locks away the AIDA head but first downloads all of her data into his phone, promising to find out what happened to her and hiding it from Simmons.
Talbot’s excuse for Project Patriot is the same as Amanda Waller’s excuse for the Suicide Squad. The next war will be won by whoever has the most enhanced soldiers on their sides. Mace reveals that his whole hero story was manufactured from the beginning. Though Mace believes that Inhumans deserve the same rights as everyone else in the country, he knows he was wrong to lie and will step down. Coulson tells him he’s going to remain the face of S.H.I.E.L.D. and play the hero while handling the politics. Coulson will be the one in charge though, calling all the shots.
Fitz has advised Radcliffe to steer clear of HQ for the time being until things cool down. Radcliff worries that if he’s away from HQ for too long, he won’t be able to keep an eye on FakeMay. Radcliffe checks on May who’s in some sort of relaxed mental simulation where she can remain calm (a day spa getting a hot stone massage). He reveals to AIDA that FakeMay has no idea of who or what she is, but she is programmed to retrieve the Darkhold. She’s programmed to get close to Coulson and find its whereabouts.
May somehow wakes up from her relaxing simulation and removes all the tech and medical equipment she’s been hooked up to but AIDA stops her and very nearly kills her. May expresses that she knew AIDA wasn’t real as she’s being choked by AIDA. Before AIDA could kill her, Radcliffe brings a syringe into the situation and AIDA’s able to sedate May. AIDA seems to be getting upset when Radcliffe keeps questioning her actions as she sees herself as just following his orders.
She’s Self Aware!
In the fight, FakeMay was injured and when she examines the cut she finds her android skin beneath her human skin. She hides this from Quake who walks into the locker room. Now she knows!
We got the reference to the comics that we all wanted. The reveal that Mace was meant to be the “next Captain America” was a great nod to the books. Also we got a reference within the series itself, as the cocktail used by Mace was the one created by Mr. Hyde (Daisy’s father), only modified to remove the risky side effects. Gotta love a good call back. While this episode was focused on Mace, Nadeer and her Watch Dogs and their former HYDRA errand boys, we got much more LMD action as well. The fight scenes, the pacing, the character building…this was another great and fun episode in what may be the best season of AoS yet!