SHIELD is aware Radcliffe is working with the Superior. Unfortunately Director Mace has been captured and is being used as bait to lure Coulson into his clutches. With Agent May still in Radcliffe's clutches, it's time for SHIELD to launch an assault to bring their own back home.
Warning: Spoilers for Season 4, Episode 14 of Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, "The Man Behind The Shield," will be discussed below.
Director Mace Is Tortured
Director Mace sacrificed himself to give Fitz and Simmons time to capture Shockley. He awoke, chained in a prison cell. He still had some super-strength left from the serum and found the door unlocked. In the hallway, he ran into the Superior. It turned out he used the last of his strength breaking his bonds. The Superior was able to easily knock him out. Later, the Superior tortured Mace, trying to get him to denounce SHIELD. He's figured out Mace had been using a serum for his strength. When Mace stated he believed in Coulson and SHIELD, the Superior cut him loose and allowed his men to come in and fight him. As he was nearly beaten to death, Coulson and the team arrived and saved him.
Coulson's Past With May And Connection To The Superior
SHIELD tracked Mace's armor to Alaska. There, Coulson discovered he was the focus of an investigation as photos and documents were taped to the wall. Daisy found out there an old mine owned by the Superior which was the site Coulson was sent to years ago to retrieve an 0-8-4. This was back when Coulson had Level 4 clearance. Agent May requested to follow him on the mission. In the present, the Superior called Coulson and blamed him for his comrades being tortured and killed for failing to retrieve the object. Coulson confessed to the Superior that he still didn't know who he was, or even remembered what object they retrieved.
When May and Coulson escaped the soldiers in the past, they continued their discussion of possibly trying to go on a date if things didn't work out with her current "civilian" boyfriend. She thought that relationship wasn't going to work out at the time but ended up marrying Dr. Andrew Garner (who became the Inhuman Lash last season).
Quake Vs. The Superior
When Mace was rescued, Daisy got the chance to face with the Superior. This was her chance to fight the man responsible for hunting Inhumans through the Watchdog group. She used her powers but he was still able to hit her with one of his knives. She decided to switch to hand-to-hand combat. With a combination of her fists and powers, she knocked him out as some rubble from the ceiling landed on him.
Is this the end of the Superior? See below.
Aida Gets (More) Creepy
Radcliffe started spending more time in the Framework, his huge virtual world. The Superior wasn't happy that Aida was meant to be Radcliffe's proxy while he was in there. Along with despising alien life, the Superior belittled Aida as being fake since she was an LMD (Life Model Decoy). After he spoke to her, she touched the necklace she took from Agnes, the woman she was modeled after. This showed she was affected by his words. When Mace was getting beaten, she watched through the cell door, seemingly fascinated. After the Superior was defeated and SHIELD was forced to make a quick getaway, she went the Superior's body and was pleased to see he was still alive. She mentioned their plan worked, most likely referring to Radcliffe. She coldly told him he still has not served his purpose and repeated the insults he used towards her.
You Get An LMD, And You Get An LMD...
The agents were forced to leave abruptly to get medical attention for Mace. Back in the lab, Simmons felt uneasy with timetable for the mission. There was a piece of time when she and Fitz didn't have contact with the others because the comms were down. She then discovered that the LMD detector at the base was disabled and a report was deleted from the records. With her SHIELD clearance, she was able to see it was Coulson that deleted the file. An image showed Daisy, Coulson, Mace, and Mack walking through the corridor when the alarm went off. Further investigation revealed four LMDs were detected. All four had been replaced at the base.
In the Director's office, the Coulson/LMD brings out the May LMD and said they've waited around long enough.
When the teaser for the LMD arc was released, it hinted at the idea of multiple agents/cast members being replaced. The show is taking an interesting approach with the LMD reveals. May being replaced and discovered by the others happened quickly. It seemed the show could have easily strung along viewers with the mystery of who else had been replaced. Even when it was shown another LMD was detected in the deleted file, they could have kept us guessing. We can assume the showrunners have this story arc plotted out. It's going to come down to Fitz and Simmons to save the others. They may know that those four were replaced, but there could be more LMDs, as far as they know. Next week they'll be scrambling to figure out who they can trust and how to save everyone.