One of the mysteries leading into Agents of SHIELD was the identity of the new Director of SHIELD, played by Jason O’Mara, who replaced Phil Coulson in the position.
That mystery was solved in the episodes second episode when the new director was revealed to be Jeffrey Mace, the cinematic universe version of the Golden Age hero known on the Patriot, who also went on to become the third Captain America of the Marvel Comics Universe.
However, the circumstances that led to Mace’s installation as Director of SHIELD are still unclear. We know that he is an Inhuman, as he does the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe following the “Lockup” episode of Agents of SHIELD, and that was one of the reasons Coulson suggested him as the new director of SHIELD after Captain America himself was made unavailable after going rogue in Captain America: Civil War.
It turns out Director Mace has more connections to the events of Captain America: Civil War than we knew.
SPOILER WARNING for Agents of SHIELD Season 4, Episode 5, “Lockup.”
In “Lockup,” Director Mace was tasked with playing the face of SHIELD and openly debating anti-Inhuman Senator Roto Nadeer on ABC News. He sought out the assistance of Jemma Simmons to feed him data and facts through an earpiece during the interview.
Mace was introduced by George Stephanopoulos as a “patriot” - a clear reference to Mace’s superhero persona from the comics – and noted that Mace was present at the United Nations bombing in Vienna – as seen in Captain America: Civil War – and saved lives during the attack.
All was going pretty well until Nadeer started attacking Mace personally. Despite Simmons’ warnings, Mace shut off his earpiece and left the facts behind. Mace instead launched into a spirited defense of his own qualifications, including saving the life of a woman in Vienna.
Simmons watched all this keenly. Having been worried about having lie to lie in her upcoming lie detector test in order to cover up for Coulson, Quake, Fitz, and Radcliffe, Simmons had been studying all of the little ways that a person’s body language can show that they are lying. With all of this fresh in her mind, Simmons could tell that Mace wasn’t being entirely honest in his story about the Vienna. She later leveraged this knowledge to avoid taking any further lie detector tests for Mace.
Now fans are left to wonder what parts of Mace’s story are true, and which ones are false. Was he even really at Vienna? Did he save a woman’s life? How much did Coulson know about Mace’s story when he agreed to have Mace installed as the new Director of SHIELD? These are questions we will presumably learn the answers to as Agents of SHIELD Season 4 continues.
Agents of SHIELD airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.