SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for “No Regrets,” the most recent episode of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”
The Framework has claimed another victim. In “No Regrets,” the most recent episode of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”, Jeffrey “The Patriot” Mace gave his life in order to save an Inhuman boy.
Though Simmons filled Mace and Grant Ward in on the Framework, both S.H.I.E.L.D. agents didn’t quite buy it. Mace in particular didn’t seem thrilled at the prospect. In the Framework, he had spent years leading the Resistance against Hydra and suffered major losses in the meantime. In describing the Framework as a virtual world, Simmons inadvertently insulted Mace by suggesting that all the work he had done was “worthless.” What’s worse, Simmons couldn’t prove that she knew him outside the Framework; she failed to answer basic questions about his personal life, like where he grew up and if he had a wife or children. As such, Mace didn’t change his plans to fight Hydra on the ground level.
Shortly thereafter, a rescue mission at a Hydra base went terribly wrong. Mace, Coulson and Agent Burrows infiltrated a Hydra base in order to rescue Agent Antoine “Trip” Triplett from a reeducation center. However, after freeing Trip, Coulson saw one of his former students being led into quarantine. He immediately broke from the others and attempted to rescue this student along with all of the other children that he discovered in “reconditioning.” Mace and Trip followed, and the three attempted to free the children.
However, their activity didn’t go unnoticed. When Madame Hydra discovered them, she had Fitz send a strike team after them. This led to a hand-to-hand battle between Mace and a juiced up Agent May, but May’s physical confrontation failed. In lieu of a fight, May ordered the quinjet to blow up the reconditioning building with Mace, Coulson and Trip inside.
Half of the building collapsed as a result of the explosion. Nevertheless, S.H.I.E.L.D. was able to get most of the children out of the building — except one. Coulson’s student got trapped under the rubble, and Mace dove over him to protect him as the ceiling collapsed. Using his super strength, Mace lifted a steel support beam off of them, allowing the student to escape. As strong as he was, Mace wasn’t powerful enough to support the building and ordered his agents to leave. As soon as they were a safe distance away, he collapsed under the weight of the building and was crushed to death.
The episode then cut to the real world, where Aida examined her comatose S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. She walked along the row of bodies and stopped at Mace, whose vitals went dead as she watched. As such, Simmons’ dire prediction about the Framework — that dying inside means dying on the outside — came true. Upon Mace’s death, Aida disengaged him from the Framework, and the episode drew to a tragic close.
Airing Tuesdays at 10 pm ET/PT on ABC, “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” stars Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson, Chloe Bennet as Daisy “Quake” Johnson, Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May, Iain De Caestecker as Leo Fitz, Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmons, Henry Simmons as Alphonso “Mack” Mackenzie and more.