Warning: Major spoilers for last night’s episode of Agents of SHIELD are below!
For Agents of SHIELD fans, last night saw plenty of viewers go into shock after the show’s latest episode aired. “The Patriot” continued to explore the series’ current storyline regarding the Framework, but no one saw the episode’s shocking death coming. By the episode’s end, fans watched as Director Mace use his Inhuman powers to save lives at the cost of his own. The Patriot risked his life after Hydra attacked a SHIELD holdout, and the hero did so to ensure a young boy wasn’t crushed to death. When the child escaped, the Patriot held up a collapsing roof so that the rest of the trapped SHIELD agents could escape. And, in the end, Mace succumbed to the weight and was crushed by the building.
Fans had hoped the death would only affect the Framework, but it seems like Jeffrey Mace did pass in the real world as well. A scene showed AIDA turning off the machine which kept him in the virtual world after his vital signs flatlined.
For those of you who are still reeling from the death, one of the show’s top producers is speaking out about the decision to kill of Mace. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Jed Whedon said the sudden death was one which brought gravitas to the dangers of Framework.
Here’s what Whedon had to say about Mace’s shocking death:
“This season is proof that death is, at times, fleeting on our show, but he is really dead. One of the things [we decided] from the very beginning in talking about doing some version of an alternate world was the stakes had to be real, so our decision to make it a virtual world came with great bonuses but also came with the challenge of, 'How do you still make the stakes high?' In order to make it life or death, we felt like we needed some death.”
Jeffrey Bell, an executive producer on the show, also had this to say about Patriot’s loss. “Jason came in and played this new version [of a character that] we've never seen, this slightly corny guy who had always wanted to be a hero, and the fact that in the Framework he got to be that hero was really fun, but there's also real consequences of being that hero; a real hero would sacrifice himself for the greater good.”
“As sad as it was for that character to end, for the character to go out in such a powerful way was super moving.”
You can read the synopsis for “All the Madame’s Men” here: “Daisy finds herself teamed up with an unlikely partner. Meanwhile, Aida prepares to put her ultimate end game into effect.”
Marvel's Agents of SHIELD airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.