Jason O’Mara’s turn as the Patriot was an incredible turn for the fourth season of the series. Jeffery Mace joined SHIELD in season 4 after Coulson stepped down as Director. Coulson, attempting to build some goodwill, asked for the President to name a powered person as director to try and encourage the public to trust SHIELD again after it became an official organization. While Mace initially posed as an inhuman and sowed discord among the team, he eventually had a heroic turn and sacrificed himself, acting as a distraction and allowing himself to be kidnapped by the Watchdogs. After Coulson and the team rescued Mace, it turned out they were taking care of an LMD and that Mace had entered the framework.
In the framework, Mace was a true inhuman, leader of the underground resistance that was working to stop Madame Hydra and HYDRA who had replaced SHIELD. Mace, along with Grant Ward, saved inhuman children and did their best to protect inhumans and save them from HYDRA. After joining with Daisy and Simmons, they worked to free Antoine Tripplett who was also an agent for the resistance. Together they worked together to save a collection of inhuman children who had been sent to be brainwashed unintentionally by Coulson. Mace ended up sacrificing himself to save the team, dying in the framework and causing his body to die in the real world. Ultimately he died the hero that he pretended to be.
Jason O’Mara’s previous superhero credits include voicing Batman in Justice League Dark, Batman vs Robin, and Son of Batman. His live action credits include Terra Nova, Life on Mars, and Band of Brothers. You can catch him on Man in the High Castle season 3 as Wyatt Price.
Another HYDRA villain who changed the show, Bill Paxton played John Garrett, friend of Phil Coulson who turned out to be HYDRA towards the end of season 1. Paxton brought a realistic portrayal of a character who was a bit of a joke (but still a sexist pig) in the comics to the MCU. Garrett was the main source of inspiration for Ward to join HYDRA after convincing him to go with him to the forest where he molded him into a child soldier and a perfect HYDRA recruit. Paxton and Gregg squaring off was the highlight of season one, paving the way for other potential friends turned enemies (and enemies turned friends) in characters like Rosalind Price and even the recent allies of season 5. Garrett’s minor character arc (and connection to daredevil) was forgotten, but he became a valuable player and another clue to the backstory of Phil Coulson in the MCU.
Bill Paxton was also known for his roles in Titanic, Weird science, and was the only actor to be killed by an alien, a predator, and a terminator. He also passed away in 2017, a beloved genre actor who was a key part of the MCU and the Marvel Television Universe.