A man named Kyle Zeller shows a new employee around the New Mexico Cybertek office. The worker admits he signed on for the company’s “incentives program.” Zeller sees video showing Coulson’s team surrounded by super soldiers in the Havana barbershop which doubles as a secret HYDRA base. One of the bad guys has an Asgardian berserker staff. May takes care of him once he makes the mistake of calling her the Cavalry. She uses the staff to bring the house down as Skye gets what she needs from the hideout’s computer. Coulson assists a wounded Triplett as the team makes its escape.
Garrett flexes his newfound muscle by ripping a door off its hinges. He has what Ian Quinn calls their “miracle drug” flowing through his veins. Garrett begins to make etchings on the door with a nail. He knows Raina has plans for the gravitonium. She was only ever interested in evolution. She has a question for Garrett. She wants to know what she will become.
Coulson fears the worst when Fitz and Simmons aren’t answering his calls. They managed to tag the plane which is now in New Mexico. The team’s only shot at finding their colleagues is to capture Garrett. They have no idea that Fitz and Simmons are trapped in a pod at the bottom of the ocean. There’s no way out. All indications are that Fitz and Simmons are going to die down there. Fitz looks as if he’s about to make a declaration just moments before Simmons comes up with an escape plan.
Coulson has a solid plan to take on Garrett even though they’ll be outmanned and outgunned. He and Triplett hijack an armored vehicle. They use it to blast a way into the New Mexico compound where Ian Quinn is doing his super soldier pitch to military brass. Garrett interrupts the meeting with Ward and Deathlok by his side. He promptly kills a U.S. army general by ripping out his insides. Garrett declares that this is the beginning of the end. Ward believes his mentor has gone mad, but Raina feels he’s simply connected now. Skye will be an important part of the evolution. Ward can be with her in the new world that’s coming.
May and Skye break into the Cybertek office. Zeller assures them that their hijacking attempt will end in failure. He switches the super soldiers to a “default directive.” That’s just what the team was hoping would happen. The super soldiers stand down. They are off to follow their directive which is to protect John Garrett. In doing so, the team will be led right to him.
Ward lets Garrett know that Quinn and Raina have skipped out of the compound. Their conversation is cut short when Skye calls him from the super soldier command center. Ward gets his orders. He’s to bring in Skye, who says she won’t kill him with the bomb she’s been using as a threat to Zeller. No, she has something even more lethal in mind for Ward. It’s a woman he slept with, and she’s pretty ticked about how all that worked out. After an epic battle, May ultimately takes down Ward.
Fitz rigs an oxygen mask that will allow Simmons to get one burst of air into her lungs once they blow the window inside the pod. It should be enough to get her to the surface. Simmons is onboard with the plan until she realizes she’s the only one going. She’s not about to leave her best friend behind. Fitz finally admits that she’s more than a friend to him. He couldn’t find the courage to tell her, so he wants to show her.
Fitz blows the glass. Water rushes inside. Simmons grabs her unconscious friend by the collar. She drags him up to the surface where she screams for help. Amazingly, help arrives in the form of hand reaching out from a hovering chopper. It’s a familiar face belonging to someone who was thought to be dead. Agents Jemma Simmons and Leo Fitz are pulled to safety by S.H.I.E.L.D.:’s top agent: Director Nick Fury.
Director Fury lets Simmons know she needs to remain in a decompression chamber. He says that an oxygen-deprived Fitz is being treated by a top med team. He wants to find Coulson, who is leading his time in that uphill battle at Cybertek. Coulson learns the hard way that Garrett has super soldier strength. Director Fury arrives just in time to assist with this new wrinkle. The Asgardian gun he provides certainly helps, but it’s not enough to stop Garrett. Or Deathlok.
Skye enters a detention area, or the “incentives program” hallway, while holding Zeller at gunpoint. She opens a door where Zeller is reunited with his wife. Being kept captive in the room next to her is Mike Peterson’s son, Ace. Skye asks him to tell her something his dad would know could only come from him. In another part of the compound, Garrett is about to sick Deathlok on his enemies. Skye sends Mike a message that reads “Dad, what are we?” It can only be from Ace. This has Mike unleashing his attack on Garrett. He doesn’t have to follow orders anymore. Mike is free to do whatever he wants including eliminating John Garrett.
A subdued Ward is brought before Coulson. He has nothing to say primarily because May fractured his larynx. Coulson lets him know that his attempt to kill Fitz-Simmons failed, though Fitz may never be the same. He assures his former fellow agent that his impending torture will be internal. May adds it’ll be external, too. Mike Peterson lets Skye know that he’s heading out into the world to make amends for his actions. Just like everything else he’s ever done, he’ll be doing this for Ace.
John Garrett awakens to enact an application robot to replace his damaged lower body. He believes he will now be unstoppa…ZAP! Coulson neutralizes Garrett with a 0-8-4 laser before he can complete his power-hungry thought. Then he heads up to vent about how he was brought back to life. He calms down when he hears that the truth behind S.H.I.E.L.D. lies within his heart. That’s why he’s being asked to rebuild the entire organization from scratch as its new director. Coulson is given a “toolbox” help him get started.
Simmons is reunited with the team. She lets them know that Fitz is alive. There a familiar face at the secret base where they’ve gathered. He introduces himself as Agent Billy Koenig. He looks and acts exactly like the deceased Agent Eric Koenig who was killed at Providence base. This new place is called the Playground. It’s where the team will be getting back up to speed to fight the good fight. Elsewhere, Raina visits an unidentifiable figure bearing a scarred, oozing hand that holds the picture that’s been delivered. It’s a shot of Skye. Raina declares, “I found your daughter.”
Coulson is having trouble sleeping. He enters a storage room where he finds the lab door Garrett had etched on earlier. Coulson finds a pocketknife. He etches a line on the wall just as Garrett had done. He keeps writing. It’s like he’s doing a continuation of Garrett’s work. Time passes. By the time Coulson is done, the entire wall is filled with what looks to be strange, alien patterns. What does all this mean?