The Agents of SHIELD discover a secret about Director Mace. Agent May fights to regain consciousness as her LMD discovers her own secret.
The episode begins with SHIELD Director Jeffrey Mace (Jason O’Mara) recognizing Daisy Johnson a.k.a Quake (Chloe Bennett) for being a hero. He is telling everyone that Daisy used her abilities to save many lives in difficult situations.
Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Agent Mack (Henry Simmons) observed the crowd and General Talbot (Adrian Pasdar). They see Talbot handcuff a briefcase to Agent Burrows (Patrick Cavanaugh). They are trying to be inconspicuous, but Mack and Coulson are very curious about what’s in that briefcase.
Coulson and Daisy notice that one of their agents is missing from the rooftops. Daisy sees a sniper emerge. The target is Director Mace. Mace uses the speaker podium as a shield. He has to throw it in the air to avoid the explosion from hurting anyone.
Daisy goes after the shooter. Coulson and Mack take the director to safety. Daisy catches the shooter as the quinjet takes off.
Back at HQ, Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) sees a lab tech working on Aida’s head, following Fitz’s orders.. She tells the tech to stay away from it. They don’t know how dangerous it is. Fitz should have know better than to study it.
Agent May (Ming-Na Wen) and Talbot pass by. They fill Simmons in on what happened at the press conference. Talbot orders Simmons to find out if Burrows made it on the quinjet with Mace. He tells May that she is the most intimidating woman he has ever met. He orders her to interrogate the sniper.
Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) is gathering his equipment from Dr. Radcliffe’s house. Radcliffe is ranting about the press conference. He says Aida was designed to protect people in those situations. He insists that he can pinpoint what went wrong with Aida. Fitz tells him that it’s best that Radcliffe stay away from HQ for a few days. People are uneasy about Aida and Radcliffe’s work.
After Fitz leaves, Radcliffe calls out to Aida. He is frustrated because he needs to get to HQ. The LMD May is operating fine, but Radcliffe needs to be sure. He cannot let the LMD discover that she is not the real Agent May. He needs the LMD to get close to Coulson. Only Coulson knows where the Darkhold is.
The sniper is ex KGB and Hydra and his not telling Daisy anything. She asks where he got the exploding bullets. He remains silent. She confers with May about what steps to take next. May tells her that the sniper is just a lackey. There was no extraction plan, so he is expendable. This is why the assassination attempt failed. The sniper speaks up saying that he did not fail. He says phase one had a 13% chance of success.
On the quinjet, Mack and Coulson are assessing the assassination attempt. There are some things that just don’t add up. Mace thinks the Watchdogs are responsible. Coulson says the plan was too sloppy to be the Watchdogs. Burrows stands up to try and get a signal on his phone. Something hits the quinjet and Burrows is sucked out of the jet with the briefcase. The quinjet crashes.
Mack, Coulson and Mace survive, but the pilot is dead. They don’t have any radio contact with HQ, and no signal on Coulson’s arm to call for help. Mace says they have to find Burrows first. Coulson and Mack disagree, but Mace says they never leave a man behind.
Radcliffe checks on the real Agent May. She is hooked up to a bunch of wires that keep her asleep. Radcliffe observes that May is not calm. The program is not working correctly. May should be calm. He instructs Aida to correct it. He also orders her not to kill anyone else. She insists that he only killed the SHIELD agent to project Radcliffe. He says that his why he programmed the LMD May to be unaware of what she is. She will use her humanity to get closer to Coulson so she can find out where the Darkhold is. Radcliffe says the new plan is less violent. Aida reminds him that the real Agent May is already prone to violence.
Back at HQ, Simmons fills in May and Daisy on the crash and how they are unable to locate the quinjet. May takes the lead on the search team. She says Coulson would want her to take the Zephyr, but she needs a higher clearance to do that. Talbot raises her security access. Simmons wants to analyze Mace’s file. Talbot instructs her to look for some “science-y” way to regain contact with Mace. They are interrupted by a phone call from the president. After the ladies leave, Talbot updates the president that they are searching for the quinjet. Burrows has the package they are hoping that Mace got it.
On the ground, Mace leads Coulson and Mack in their search for Burrows. Coulson reminds Mace that Burrows wouldn’t have survived that fall. Mace insists that they have to find his body anyway….or the briefcase. Coulson knows Mace is looking for the briefcase. All Mace can tell him is that it’s classified.
Mack hears a truck. They see one pass by with a communication device that is probably blocking their signal. Coulson mentions that the last time they saw something like that it belonged to Hydra. It looks like the Watchdogs have teamed up with Hydra. Mace says the need to find the case, so they go back to their search.
Fitz returns to HQ to find Simmons waiting for him. He asks about the search. Simmons says there’s nothing new to report. The talk turns to Aida. Simmons says she was a mistake. Fitz thinks the mistake was keeping Aida a secret from Simmons. He says that with Simmons on board, they could analyze Aida’s head together and find the problem with her programming. Simmons tells him to let it go. Their friends are missing and might be dead. Fitz agrees to focus on finding Coulson and Mack.
At Radcliffe’s, May’s condition is getting worse and she wakes up. She takes all of the tubes out and attempts to leave. Aida stops her and holds May up to the wall, choking her. Radcliffe comes in and stops Aida from hurting May. May fights back. Aida is able to contain May and sedate her. Radcliffe is very frustrated with the whole situation.
On the Zephyr, Daisy finds May sitting in Lola. May says she has a feeling that something is off. Daisy asks if she means with the mission or between May and Coulson. They are interrupted with news that they found the crash site..
On the ground, Mace, Coulson, and Mack find Burrows’ body and the briefcase. The Watchdogs have it. Mace still won’t tell Coulson what’s in the case. They know they have to fight to get the case back anyway.
At HQ, Talbot speaks to the sniper. He asks how the sniper knew that the director would get on the quinjet. He says the hammer shatters glass but hardens steel…Talbot is glass. Talbot leaves the room. He asks Fitz if they found the quinjet. Fitz says there is a transponder signal being sent. It is jamming SHIELD’s signal. Simmons tells Talbot that she needs to review Mace’s file to find out who is behind this attack on the director. Talbot won’t allow it.
Simmons pulls up Mace’s file and a new file appears titled Project Patriot. The only people with access are Mace, Talbot, Burrows and Simmons.
Coulson and Mack cause a distraction so Mace can get the briefcase. One of the watchdogs sees Mace and chases him into the woods. Mace opens the case. There is a serum and syringes in the case. The watchdog stops Mace from using the serum by shooting the viles and Mace. Coulson stops the Watchdog from killing Mace. Coulson and Mack discover that Mace is not an Inhuman.
The serum is calculated for Mace’s DNA only, giving him super strength. Talbot and his team needed the face of SHIELD to be enhanced. So they created the serum for Mace. Mace only went along with it because he was ordered to do so. Mack and Coulson carry Mace to the truck and another truck appears. Mack prepares to fight
Meanwhile back at HQ, the team needs to find another way to make the sniper talk. Talbot takes Simmons to visit him. Simmons tells him that she was undercover in Hydra and she knows about their interrogation tactics. The sniper isn’t convinced until Simmons shows him a severed head…Aida’s head.
Fitz and Simmons tell May and Daisy what the sniper said. He was hired by the Watchdogs. The quinjet was supposed to crash in Virginia. Daisy mentions that Mace should be able to hold them off until they can find their location. Fitz and Simmons tell them about Mace.
In West Virginia, the second truck of Watchdogs start to unload. Coulson comes up with a plan to knock out their communication transponder. Mace is still hurt. Coulson tells him to suit up. The Watchdogs don’t know that he has no powers.
Mace distracts the Watchdogs telling them that he as the cure for Inhumans in the briefcase. He attempts to negotiate selling the cure. Mack blows up the second truck, reestablishing communications for SHIELD. A gunfight starts. Mace and Coulson are in one cabin and Mack is in another. Just as they run out of ammo, Daisy comes through. May helps Mack fight off the Watchdog leader. And the fight ends.
Radcliffe discovers that the fight with Aida stabilized May when she woke up. Meaning that May is not used to tranquility; she is used to struggle. They have to design a program to give May an opponent. She should remain stable and calm in that environment.
Fitz downloads Aida’s program from her head. He tells her that he is going to figure out what broke her. Aida thanks him for helping her. Simmons arrives and is ready to go to dinner. He tells Simmons that he has locked up Aida’s head for good.
Coulson is angry with Talbot for the charade with Mace. Talbot says World War 3 will be fought with enhanced soldiers. He needed the Inhumans to trust SHIELD to bring them to their side. Coulson scolds him for lying about Mace.
Mace asks to talk to Coulson alone. He tells him that the photo in Vienna was taken when he was running from the explosion. He tripped over a survivor and it looked like he was saving her. Shortly afterward, Talbot approached him with the idea to make him a hero. Mace offers to resign and reinstate Coulson as the director.
Coulson tells Mace that SHIELD still needs a face. He wants Mace to continue playing the part. He hated the politics anyway. The operations side of things will be led by Coulson.
May is hurt. She goes to her locker to put away her things and finds her wound. She also finds metal beneath her skin. Daisy finds her and tells her that Coulson has called for everyone to meet. Daisy knows something is wrong, but May insists that she is okay.
Check out the preview of next week’s episode of Agents of SHIELD.
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