Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Deep Trouble for Mace

Photo Credit: ABC/Jennifer Clasen

‘The Patriot’ Plot Summary:

Ex-Hydra operatives down a S.H.I.E.L.D. aircraft, stranding Coulson (Clark Gregg), Mace (Jason O’Mara), and Mack (Henry Simmons) in the forest. What the other two don’t know is that Mace is harboring a secret that puts all their lives in danger.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been teasing that Mace is not what he seems for a while now. It was only a matter of time before it would reveal the truth, but this episode’s storyline comes unexpectedly. So, given the months of waiting, did it live up to the hype?

The secret that Mace is not an Inhuman but has been using a drug cocktail is simple, yes, but it adds a layer of depth to Director Mace. It’s also a nice nod to Season 2. We all knew that Coulson would take back the reigns at some point, but I thought it would go down differently. Instead, we’re given a good reason to feel sympathy for Mace. After all, he wanted to help Inhumans and serve his country. How long he’ll stay on the show remains to be seen, but he’s growing on me, especially after this episode.

The faceoff against Hydra excites more than you would think. Any time Coulson whips out his hard-light shield is a win. Coulson dismantled Hydra’s command structure, but it makes sense that there would be some holdouts. As long as someone subscribes to the Hydra ideology, it will never be truly dead. Props to Marvel for still bringing it in terms of the choreography. Mack and Robo-May’s (Ming-Na Wen) fight with the ex-Hydra agent is thrilling.

Speaking of May’s Life Model Decoy, she’s proving to be more than just Radcliffe’s (John Hannah) ace in the hole. She believes she’s the real May and clearly has feelings for Coulson, meaning the actual May has feelings for Coulson. Whatever way her story ends, get ready for it to be tragic.

Radcliffe probably could have chosen a better person to replace, given May’s tough nature, but then again, she is closer to Coulson than the others and she outranks most of the team. I still hold a bit of grudge against Radcliffe, but at least he didn’t mean for Aida (Mallory Jansen) to kill that agent. It’s a long shot, but maybe there’s a place for them in S.H.I.E.L.D.

Two episodes in and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is rebounding from a lackluster mid-season finale with a new arc full of surprises and character growth. Hopefully the best is yet to come.


Aaron Sarnecky is The Pop Break’s Television Editor and covers Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., among other things. He is a TV/Film grad of Rowan University and the fraternal twin of staff writer Josh Sarnecky. He probably remembers that show you forgot existed.