Coulson is dragged into an underground bunker by some soldiers who warn that he’s about to meet the interrogator, who is actually an undercover S.H.I.E.L.D. agent named Shaw. The time has come for the end of his assignment. Ward and May storm the area. They take out the bad guys and lead everyone to an escape route from the Siberian prison. Once aboard the bus, Simmons removes the intel Shaw accumulated by pulling a small vile from his nose. The team is bringing the information to a classified location known as the Hub.
The mission that evolves from the intelligence gathered by Shaw is classified Level 8. Agent Victoria Hand lets Coulson know that a separatist group has built a weapon known as the overkill device. They plan to use it to declare their independence from Russia and Georgia. It produces sonic vibrations that could trigger weapons from a great distance. Skye and Simmons are not part of the briefing. Neither is Fitz, but he is part of the mission. His expertise is needed in the field to disable the weapon. Coulson orders Ward to take care of his partner.
Ward has a contact that can get them across the border, but the guy turns out to be dead. He and Fitz are about to be blown away by locals when the lights go out. This puts the execution on hold. Fitz endears himself to his captors by fixing the fuse box that he shorted out in the first place. Ward is impressed, as his partner’s actions have them headed across the border. Patrol soldiers try to capture the agents, but Ward is able to neutralize them. He and Fitz go on the run and into hiding. Ward tosses a sandwich Simmons made away. Fitz is furious, and hungry. But search dogs would have picked up the scent. This is just Ward following Coulson’s orders.
Skye is frustrated that she’s in the dark regarding the mission. She ropes Simmons into helping her get some details. As it turns out, Coulson is having a hard time keeping secrets from his team. A talk with May (where he does all the talking) has him realizing he needs to trust the system. As for his still-in-the-dark agents, they are trying to get info from a restricted hallway. Simmons is stopped by Agent Sitwell. Her attempts to sweet talk her way out of this mess go nowhere fast. So she shoots the guy with a stun gun. Skye tells her to get May as she tries to hack her way into finding out the status of Ward and Fitz.
Skye comes across a series of redacted documents. She finds the file she needs to learn that there’s no extraction scheduled. She tells Coulson that Ward and Fitz were sent in there to die. She wants to know if he knew there was no extraction plan. Coulson says that information is classified. He then confronts Agent Hand, who had told him there was an extraction team in place. It was a lie. It was told so an unproven agent like Fitz wouldn’t lose focus on the mission. Hand tells Coulson he needs to trust the system.
Out in the field, Ward and Fitz are able to hitch a ride into the compound containing the device through some clever camouflage maneuvers. They go to work. Fitz dives into the tech end while Ward signals for extraction. He gets an uneasy look on his face after doing so. Fitz takes apart the weapon but disabling it will take time. He has 10 minutes. Ward tells Fitz the extraction team is a bust. He wants him to vacate the area. Fitz isn’t going anywhere. Not until the mission is complete.
May, Skye and Simmons make plans to become an instant extraction team. It’ll be just the three of them until Coulson lets them know that four would be better. At the compound, Fitz disables the device. They need to get out of there before the bad guys realize this. Too late. Alarms sound. S.H.I.E.L.D. has begun their attack on the compound. Ward takes out several soldiers while Fitz immobiles the rest thanks to modifications he made on the weapon he swiped. However, they are surrounded once they step outside. It doesn’t look good until Agent May pulls up in the bus. The cavalry has arrived.
Back at the Hub, Agent Sitwell says that the field agents are in the clear. He thought there wasn’t an extraction team. Agent Hand says, “It’s Agent Coulson’s team. They didn’t need one.” On the bus, Fitz lets Simmons know that the sandwich she made for him was delicious. His partner lets him know she shot a superior officer in the chest. It’s been a full day.
Coulson lets Skye know that he did some digging in regards to the redacted file on her past. He says the person who dropped her off at the orphanage when she was young was a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. It may have been her mother or someone who just found her on a doorstep. Skye gives him a big hug for finding out this much. Coulson is still holding something back because some secrets are meant to stay secret. He asks May to help him find out what really happened as they both gaze down at a photo of what looks to be a dead body.
Coulson tries to use his Level 8 clearance to access a restricted file. He’s looking for a death and recovery report on a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. He’s mostly interested in the recovery part. It took place in Tahiti. Coulson is denied access to that particular file. The agent he speaks with on the phone asks if he’d like to make a formal request to Agent Fury. Coulson pauses for a moment before letting him know that won’t be necessary. It seems some secrets truly are meant to stay secret.