Chan Ho Yin performs a series of illusions on the streets of Hong Kong. He gets very few tips for his efforts. Chan is obviously disappointed, but he cheers up when he sees a girl in flower dress smiling in his direction. He does another trick. This time he incredibly conjures up a fireball in his hand. Chan hurls it into the night. He accompanies the girl in the flower dress back to his apartment. Her name is Raina. She believes Chan has a gift. She says he’s been chosen. Men in fire-retardant gear storm the apartment. They take Chan away.
Ward and Skye are involved in a fierce game of Battleship just before an incoming alert comes in. It’s about Chan. Coulson briefs the team on his pyrokinetic abilities. Chan has been on S.H.I.E.L.D.’s “Index” for years. That’s a list of people and objects with different kinds of power. Chan’s handler, Agent Kwan, reveals that his charge was upset that he couldn’t show his power. He also says that the bad guys tracked him down thanks to a crack into S.H.I.E.LD.’s data stream. The group responsible is the Rising Tide. Skye swears she had nothing to do with it. She helps locate the real hacktivist. He’s Miles Lydon of Austin, Texas.
The team tracks down Miles in Austin. They give chase, but the guy has a gridlock protocol app that he activates to cause Coulson to get caught in an instant traffic jam. When Miles gets back to his apartment, Skye is waiting for him. These two know each other—intimately. After Skye reads him the riot act for his recent stupidity, she kisses him passionately. The two of them make love. Skye warns Miles to steer clear of S.H.I.E.L.D. as she looks for her shirt top. She’s stunned to see Melinda May holding it in the next room. Skye knows she’s busted.
Skye swears that all is not as it seems. She warned Miles because they are friends. She was also trying to find out what he knows about Chan. Miles claims he doesn’t know anything about the man they seek. He’s going with the team to Hong Kong. So is Skye, in handcuffs. She argues with Miles about S.H.I.E.L.D.’S intentions. Coulson now wonders about Skye’s intentions. He believes she’s still hiding something. Miles is hiding something, too. He was paid a million bucks for information he gave to a girl in a flower dress. It involved a lab that was doing a study involving centipedes.
Raina apologizes to Chan for how they brought him in. She promises a chance to get him recognition for his gift. He could become a household name like Captain America. Speaking of names, Raina already has one picked out for Chan. She believes he should be called “Scorch.” Chan gets an injection to help him fully realize his power. He creates a large fire ring and hurls it across a lab. He’s ecstatic that someone is finally allowing him to show the world his power.
Debbie, the doctor we first saw in the “Pilot,” watches as Chan is put through a series of tests. The platelets in the subject’s blood prevent the Extremis serum in his system from combusting. Debbie orders Raina to drain him of those very platelets. Chan has become a lab rat for Centipede. Coulson and May head out to rescue him via the roof with Agent Kwan. They blow the door. May takes down a few bad guys while Kwan frees Chan. The building is put on lockdown. Coulson turns to see Agent Kwan has been set ablaze. Chan has injected himself with his platelets to keep from burning. He strikes out violently.
Skye needs to be onsite to hack into the system that’s trapping Coulson and May in the lab. Chan continues to shoot fire at the agents. Ward is on his way. Skye manages to unlock the doors. Chan escapes. He finds Debbie in the hallway. Raina closes the elevator doors leaving her trapped. An angry Chan shoots fireballs at Debbie setting her ablaze. All that’s left of the doctor is ash and dust. Chan is immobilized when May injects him with syringes from behind. Extremis forms on his face. With some help from Miles, the agents escape as the fireball that used to be Chan rockets through the roof before dissipating in the air.
Coulson fits Miles with a bracelet that will assure that he won’t be able to use electronics for awhile. He lets him know that he’ll have to find his own ride back to Austin. As for Skye, she’s on her own as she faces Coulson in his office. He knows she still has something she’s keeping a secret. Skye finally comes clean. She produces a file that shows how a lifelong search for her parents has led her to a single document. It’s been redacted by S.H.I.E.L.D. Coulson says that maybe he can help. But for now, Skye will have to wear a bracelet just like the one given to Miles.
Raina meets with an imprisoned man. They are separated by a glass partition as they chat over the phone. Raina says they found a solution to the combustion problem. She believes they’ll soon have stable subjects. This means moving on to Phase 2. Rayna asks the man to touch base with someone known as the Clairvoyant. She wants to know if any insights can be given regarding Phase 3. The man warns that the Clairvoyant doesn’t like to be touched. Raina says they all have to do things that are uncomfortable if they are ever to get their toy soldiers off the shelf. She turns to leave. The man says he likes Raina’s flower dress. She responds, “I know.”