AOS – Season IV – Ep. 10 – “The Patriot”

Posted: 01/22/2017 in Uncategorized

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Yet again, AOS contiues to surprise. That this episode garnered some of the show’s lowest ratings is sad as Marvel/ABC are offering some very good, well written fare, but ah well. Even if a fifth season should be in doubt, Season IV continues to deliver with a strong combination of story telling, the able juggling of multiple plot lines and solid performances. So, how did this Patriot/Jeffrey Mace (Jason O’Mara) origin story deliver? My review below provides my thoughts on the matter.

I’ll begin by saying the show runners really went for it with this run. The LMD story arc was pushed to a secondary plot line with an attempt being made on Mace’s life.  The first five minutes brought action, mystery and a fairly frantic pace that was maintained until an end sequence reveal and set up for next week’s run.  There is a constant reference to Mace being political and this ep bolsters this fact succinctly with his welcome ceremony for Daisy Johnson (Chloe Bennett) in full Quake regalia. He presents her to the public, giving her a hero’s entrance allowing for citizens she saved to give express their thanks in as open a forum as possible. The shine cast upon her of course covers him as well as he works toward rebuilding public trust in the agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D. An attempt on Director Mace’s life brings some very cool moments including the demonstration of his abilities along with Daisy’s. The capture of one of the assailants opens the field to return of General Glen Talbot (Adrian Pasdar).

Pasdar’s Talbot is a superb addition to the cast. He is used just enough to not grow tiresome. He is bull headed, tactless and yet at heart he has a predilection to the right thing. His part in the Patriot arc was pretty damn brilliant honestly as it could not be easily foreseen. Equally good is his pairing/squaring off with Jemma (Elisabeth Hentsridge). His calling her “Poppins” is rebuked to her calling  him on the short-sightedness as well as the stupidity of his deception and questionable plans. The two play well against one another. She represents the modern age of spy fare supported by tactical/scientific brilliance. He gamely laments the loss of the cold war, citing various ‘information gathering’ techniques with wistful and humorous nostalgia.

The main arc of Mace,Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Mac (Henry Simmons) being taken separated from their team via a secondary attack has huge payoffs, including the assertion that Phil is still the alpha and omega of Team S.H.I.E.L.D. Mace’s behavior while focused initially seems bizarre as he leads the two men the recovery mission of his assistant. The reality of the real ‘recovery’ becomes apparent quickly. The true reason for Mace’s fervor explains pretty much every thing about him. O’Mara does an able character portrayal,  presenting a man whose world is crumbling around him quickly as more and more light shines upon him.

May’s (Ming-Na Wen) dual role as both prisoner and enemy in the group’s midst also plays well in the sub plot as Radcliffe (John Hannah) attempts to keep Aida 2.0 (Mallory Jansen) in check revealing that faux May is the next version of the LMD, one lacking the awareness she isn’t human. His plan of getting her closer to Coulson to obtain the Darkhold pushes for the notion that Aida 2.0 is resentful and in moments can barely contain her fury. Radcliffe’s constant derision can only lead to a meltdown or showdown of epic proportions. His lacking  the foresight to see his ‘assistant’s” reactions demonstrates that Dr. Holden Radcliffe might know both mechanics and genetics, but grasps very little about human behavior. Aida 2.0 is evolving. Faux May’s relationship is at the heart of Radcliffe’s master plan. A battle sequence between her and one of the Watchdog mercenaries resolves the issue of her awareness and stands to completely alter the dynamics of both hero and villain contingent on her actions afterward.

The majority of the episode was a reassembly of Team Coulson. The full truth about Mace allows for a welcome end moment in which the terms of  Coulson and the director’s relationship is completely redefined. Fitz’s (Ian DeCaestecker) well-intentioned action with Aida 1.0 shows that all is not well in Fitz/Jemma’s relationship. Jemma’s brilliant use of Aida’s head to break a prisoner is nicely juxtaposed with Fitz’s covert attempt to repair her. Her “thank you” moment is duly troubling.

Again so much goes on. so much of it is good. Battle sequences including the use of Coulson’s “shield” were perfect. The return to normalcy of the group by small degrees allows for greater character development. The LMD arc plays side by side with the Watchdog arc with the understanding that everything will come together in the end as it has in all previous seasons.  AOS remains simply outstanding and well worth your time.

 

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