The episode opens on what looks like the alien planet Maveth. There lies a sole pod on the ground. Inside are Daisy and an injured Coulson. Daisy works on the wires in the pod when Coulson remarks that they are the only ones left. He says that they will survive since it’s in their blood while Daisy touches the cross necklace now on her neck. She states that she can rewire the system to hopefully pilot them back to Earth. Coulson however reveals that this is Earth.
Daisy then wakes from a dream, revealing her to be in a pod on the base. Elsewhere, Mack, Lincoln, Elena, and May are headed to a new location. Lincoln hands Mack the kill switches for his and Elena’s vests in case something goes wrong. Mack takes the devices while May struggles to fly under a new circumstance.
At the pod, Simmons arrives to update on Daisy’s condition just the same. Daisy remarks that the only reason Simmons is doing it is because Simmons was the only one she didn’t hurt directly. Simmons only wants to keep track of Daisy’s vitals as well as update any information she can remember about Hive. Daisy reiterates that Hive knew everything about his followers, but he did not share the same courtesy to them. Fortunately, the information Daisy has given them already has provided them with a baseline to track new activity at a U.S. military base where an alarm was just activated.
At the military facility, Hive, James, Giyera, and Radcliffe take over the base and captures the soldiers in attempt to activate the warhead. While the plan is in motion, Hive orders the others to keep an eye out for SHIELD. The quinjet then arrives from out of the ocean and lands clandestinely outside the facility.
Back at the base, Talbot attempts to negotiate the kill code for the missiles out of a superior. While the superior refuses to divulge the information, Fitz works around it by simply capturing his image before the superior leaves. Fitz then informs Coulson of the Defense Logistics Building location for Coulson to complete the next part of their plan. Mack, Elena, Lincoln, and May sneak into the building to place a trap and search for the hostages. Fitz then uses his technology to create a motion capture image of the military official to communicate with the undersecretary to get the kill codes. He and Talbot manage to convince the undersecretary to send them to a nearby ATCU agent: Coulson. Coulson quickly relays the codes back to Fitz merely seconds before the warhead launches, and they succeed in stopping the missile. Meanwhile, Simmons questions Daisy about the word absolution, something Hive mentioned, but Daisy says he simply believes he’s saving the world.
With the missile halted, Hive orders Radcliffe to override the system. Radcliffe states that he has no knowledge of how to work the systems but offers to try for fear of death. Hive decides to deal with any SHIELD agents.
May and Lincoln hack into the security feed to find Hive after their plan succeeds. Lincoln remarks that at least stopping the warhead assured that what happened to Daisy and Andrew wasn’t in vain, but May rebukes him for bringing it up now. Lincoln then spots a camera and believes they have been spotted. The two then split up to find a way out the base. At the same time, Mack and Elena work to set up electrical systems, though Elena criticizes Mack’s slow speed. She also reassures him on using the murder vest as she would rather die than become Hive’s slave. With that fear in mind, Mack offers to return her necklace, but she refuses since it was supposed to be a sign of faith for him.
In the lab, Coulson and Fitz remove the old memory machine from storage and plan to restructure it. Simmons informs Coulson that Daisy is awake but still is not aware of what Absolution could mean. Fitz remarks that perhaps the information is buried to deeply. Coulson responds that they should just keep waiting.
Radcliffe meanwhile attempts to work on the machine using only the primitives as help. Despite their lack of knowledge, they seem to retain some muscle memory in working on things.
Hive tracks Lincoln hidden in a back room. He states he understands his feelings for Daisy and how her betrayal must have hurt. At the base, Coulson finally talks to Coulson, updating her on their stopping of the missile. Daisy appreciates the update but states that she has told them everything she knows, just like she told Hive. Coulson reassures her that while she’s a prisoner now, the new security protocols should only be temporary. Daisy throws back that the protocols should remain permanent because she deserves every punishment for her crimes.
Hive reveals that Daisy did love Lincoln, but only Hive made her whole. He offers Lincoln a sense of peace, but Lincoln instead warns that Hive will never see Daisy again. Meanwhile, Coulson tries reassuring Daisy that she is only going through withdrawal, and vengeance against Hive will not bring her peace. Someday, she will feel better. Daisy instead argues that she only deserves to feel the pain of making others suffer. She then suggests using the memory machine to force the moments back into her head, helping the team and assuring she will never forget what she’s done. Coulson, however, reveals that the machine was not meant for her.
Lincoln races down the hall to Mack and Elena with Hive on his trail. Mack warns for Lincoln and Elena to run to avoid having to use the vests. Elena, however, quickly rewires the system, a larger version of the memory machine. Lincoln powers the device, forcing Hive to go through all of his victims’ memories. When Lincoln runs out of power, the team escapes to rescue the hostages. James and Giyera come to Hive’s aid, but he begins losing his grasps between his memories of Ward, Will, and Nathaniel.
May finds Radcliffe and orders him to take down the warhead. The primitives fight against her while Elena rescues the military hostages. Hive eventually regains control of himself and orders Giyera to disconnect the warhead from the missile. May succeeds in fighting the primitives before being stopped by Radcliffe at gunpoint. He demands to know if she’s from SHIELD. When she responds that she is, he agrees to come with her. At that moment, the warhead is taken, forcing the team to evacuate. Before they leave, Hive stumbles out, demanding to know what they did to him. Elena activates and plants a device to capture Hive in a containment gel, effectively stopping the villain.
Hive is brought back to the base, much to Talbot’s surprise after sending Inhumans to fight him. Coulson warns that the warhead is still on the loose with a pathogen that can alter humanity. With Radcliffe on the base, Talbot demands the doctor find a cure for the primitives. Radcliffe apologizes for his work but reveals that the process is irreversible. Nevertheless, they put him to work with Fitz and Simmons to counter the effects. Meanwhile, Coulson orders Mack and Lincoln to work on securing the base before Hive’s followers come back for their leader. He also congratulates Lincoln on his work in the field and offers him an agent status following these events. Lincoln declines the offer, believing that an agent life is not for him, though he is unsure about what he wants to do. Mack then asks about letting Daisy know about the situation. Against Coulson’s orders, he visits his partner.
Radcliffe: I can tell from your moustache that you are a man not to be trifled with!
Mack informs Daisy that they’ve captured Hive safe and sound. Daisy appreciates the news but warns him about security protocols forcing him out of her room. Mack states he doesn’t care despite Daisy reminding him what happened the last time she saw him. Nevertheless, Mack forgives her for everything she’s done. Daisy responds that she didn’t ask for his forgiveness and asks him to leave for his own good. Mack instead fights back, insisting that he forgives her and taking her in a hug. She breaks down into tears, believing that she doesn’t deserve her friend’s forgiveness.
Fitz works fruitlessly on trying to crack a cure but achieves no solution. He asks Simmons for some assistance only to find her browsing a traveling site. She reveals that she was planning a trip for the two of them to the Seychelles Islands after everything is secured. Despite Fitz’s remarks about her not being romantic, Simmons promises an event that will take his breath away: snorkeling. Fitz then leaves to supervise the transporting of Hive’s unit onto the base, taking a SHIELD jacket and Elena’s necklace as he leaves.
Mack and Daisy continue to discuss Hive and Mack’s faith. Daisy responds that since Hive steals people’s memories and forces people to kill for him, he’s the closest thing to a devil that either of them will see. Mack reassures her that Hive will not get out but also states that instead of fighting darkness they must let the light shine. The entire base goes to lockdown.
Fitz and many agents explore the supplies in the hangar before Fitz spots packages labelled from Absolution, Montana. The supplies from the jet are revealed to be a pathogen bomb that turns many of the agents into primitive at first blow. The rest drag the others to become new victims. Coulson and Simmons work to unseal Fitz from the hangar as Fitz tries to save the remaining agents. Simmons recalls an old theory from the academy, allowing her to work through the system. Fitz and one agent escape, but the remaining primitives break Hive free from his containment unit.
Mack and Daisy watch the events unfold. Daisy reveals that she told Hive about the Zephyr One’s systems, more importantly its altitude capabilities. Instead of a missile, Hive could use the Zephyr One to spread the pathogen. Mack quickly leaves to inform the team, but they are unsure how to deal with it. Any human will be turned by the gas, but any Inhuman could be swayed by Hive. With no option, Daisy programs her pod to rise to the Zephyr, facing Hive herself.
She confronts the Inhuman on what he did to her. Though his memory is still foggy, he recalls that she was in pain. Surprisingly, she begs him to take her back. However, Hive finds herself unable to sway her after her contact with Lash. Furious at the creature, Daisy unleashes a quake that short-circuits the ship and tosses Hive against a wall.
The team recollect their data after losing more than twenty agents to the gas. Before the earthquake fried the security feed, the team caught a malfunction in Daisy’s containment unit, realizing that Daisy went to fight Hive. Coulson demands Radcliffe to find a weakness to fight the primitives. Radcliffe deduces that the creatures are strong but have weak memories and poor eyesight. Unfortunately, they have no time to figure out more details as the primitives sneak through the vents. May and Fitz explore Daisy’s unit to confirm that she escaped through the pod. They leave to help find Daisy and face Hive.
Daisy attempts to fight Hive using her skills and her powers. While she puts up a strong fight, he remains strong. She tries stabbing him and breaking his body, but he simply heals from her blows. An escape helicopter then arrives for him as a primitive knocks out Daisy. The group loads the Zephyr One with the warhead and some of the primitives to complete the plan. To ensure that SHIELD does not attack the ship, Hive takes Daisy aboard the pod. With the knowledge of Will and Ward, he believes he can pilot the ship.
The team plan to fight against the primitives. Mack and Elena check the weapons facility only to be confronted by a primitive with a gun. It fires at the agent, but Mack survives unscathed. He looks behind him to see that Elena has taken the blow of the bullets using her speed.
Coulson, Lincoln, Radcliffe, Mack, and Elena gather in the workshop to barricade themselves from the primitives. Mack reveals Elena’s bullet wounds, but the team realize that some of their members are missing. Simmons secretly hides in a boiler room while the Zephyr One leaves the base.
Hive programs the ship to ascend to 100,000 feet. Once it reaches the optimal altitude, they will activate the warhead while they escape through the pod, infecting most of Europe. Secretly, May and Fitz hear the plan after they have snuck to the ship.
Radcliffe and Lincoln attempt work on Elena, but the lack of tools leaves few options. Radcliffe then theorizes that using a blowtorch could to cauterize her wounds, effectively stopping the bleeding. Lincoln works to try, but Elena orders him to give the tool to Mack since she trusts him. While Simmons hides, a primitive barges into the room. Before it can find her, however, it then leaves unexpectedly. Simmons then realizes that the heat in the boiler room must affect the creatures and turns up the fire.
Mack succeeds in sealing Elena’s wounds as she jokes that she was only trying to catch the bullets. She was just too slow. Radcliffe meanwhile notices Fitz’s notes on decoy models, mostly for Coulson’s hand. He’s fascinated by Fitz’s work and even more impressed seeing it on Coulson’s body. The team then become suspicious when they no longer hear the primitives pounding against the door.
May and Fitz take out the guards and meet up with Daisy. When Fitz tries to release Daisy, however, she demands to be kept inside the pod. Fitz lets her stay inside while he inspects the ship for further weaponry. At the base, the team begin to notice the increased heat. Radcliffe then deduces that Simmons increased the heat, effectively blinding the primitives with their limited eyesight. With that assistance, the group can sneak through the base without being detected.
Daisy then confides in May her anger at being defeated by Hive even with her powers. May assures her that she was made an agent by her not by having powers. Daisy doesn’t believe that she deserves the effort, but May remarks that Andrew saved her for a reason. She tells Daisy that even if she chooses to stay in the pod her hurt feelings won’t go away. The only way to fight feelings is to do something good every day to balance the scales. May almost reveals her feelings regarding Daisy but is quickly knocked out by Giyera who wields a large weapon against the returning Fitz. Fitz quickly warns Giyera that he has a weapon that will destroy him. If he is dead, Giyera will never find it. Giyera lowers his weapon only for Fitz to shoot him with an invisible gun. Fitz frees Daisy and helps May into a lab. He has disabled the pod, preventing Hive from leaving. However, they have no other plan to escape. Daisy shivers under her symptoms and the thin air, leading Fitz to give her his SHIELD jacket.
May: I don't give a damn about your powers. They're not what made you an agent. I did.
The team sneak to Coulson’s office where they find Simmons. She informs them that May and Fitz likely snuck onto the Zephyr. With Elena still suffering from her wounds, they become even more desperate to find an escape. Simmons has found a way but only after a large drop. Fortunately, Coulson reveals that he has control over a remote quinjet through his hand, inspired by Radcliffe’s technology. He orders the team to take Elena to medical and inform Talbot for military authorization to take back the base. In the meantime, he will go after Hive on his own, against the protest of the team.
On board the Zephyr One, Hive finds Giyera’s dead body, realizing that SHIELD agents are on the ship. He orders them to be find. Fitz, Daisy, and May prepare as they notice that a quinjet has landed. At this moment, Daisy finds the cross necklace in her pocket, recognizing the same situation from her vision.
Coulson finally confronts Hive. He acknowledges that this situation began when he let his desire for revenge kill Ward, leading Hive to escape. Now, they can face each other hand to hand with no other casualties. Hive remarks that he could just kill Coulson and take his body, revealing his own true tentacle form. From that, he could control SHIELD from the inside. Coulson retorts that, unlike Hive’s followers, Coulson’s team don’t always obey his orders such as now. Simmons, Mack, and Lincoln have snuck onto the ship and plan to disrupt the ship. Coulson is simply the distraction as he is revealed to be only a hologram.
Coulson: Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only-
The team reunite as they escape the guards, though Lincoln is dangerously wounded by James and a fiery chain. Simmons tends to him when Daisy notices that she, Mack, and Lincoln are now all wearing the SHIELD jacket from her vision. She reconciles with Lincoln and apologizes for everything that happened. She also remarks that he never came to see her, but he responds that he knew she needed her space to heal as he understands what it’s like to be addicted and shameful at what he has done. Coulson reveals to the team that he has set the quinjet to fly to space. If they can somehow load the warhead onto the quinjet, they can set it off harmlessly in space. Daisy reveals this plan to Lincoln, believing her to be destined to be on the jet with the warhead. Lincoln recognizes her vision and pleads with her not to go. He makes her promise not to try to atone for her sins with a sacrifice. The rest of the team prepare to face Hive and his minions with the help of Mack’s new shotgun-axe while Daisy defies Lincoln and loads the warhead onto the jet.
Daisy then faces Hive, stating that she plans to lead him and the warhead off in the quinjet to head to space. Hive reminds Daisy that Ward would be able to reprogram the coordinate, but, to the two’s surprise, they are stopped by Lincoln who limped onboard earlier. He blasts Daisy off and seals the jet just as it takes off, claiming that he short-circuited the board to prevent Hive from changing the coordinates.
Daisy rushes to the controls to order Lincoln back since she believes it was her fate to be on the jet. Lincoln, however, believes it was his destiny since he would have been the only one to be able to short-circuit the system and prevent Hive from escaping. He further proves it by revealing the cross necklace he stole from Daisy. She begs him to come back, pleading that she can’t have him die. Lincoln reassures her that he has found a purpose: to die for the world and the woman he loves. The communication is then cut off as the ship leaves the atmosphere. Lincoln confronts Hive and warns him that even if he was swayed, the ship cannot be stopped. Hive accepts his fate to death.
Daisy begs Coulson to try and find a way to save Lincoln, but Coulson explains that there is no way, especially since the quinjet was not designed for space travel. Daisy mourns that Lincoln has to die for her mistakes. Coulson disagrees, saying that Lincoln died for all of their mistakes. Lincoln and Hive watch the world from above before the warhead explosion. Hive remarks that all he wanted was connection with the human race, something that Lincoln experienced in his desire to sacrifice his life for the world. Lincoln responds that the people are only human after all. The warhead explodes as the team watches. They wonder what to do next.
Six months later, Coulson and Mack are endlessly searching a new lead for a super-powered vigilante known as Quake. They watch for a remote location at a meeting between Charles Hinton’s wife Polly and Daisy, who is in disguise. Polly thanks Daisy for the financial aid as she was considered a pariah where she previously lived. Daisy states that she was keeping a promise to Charles and further proves it by giving his daughter the carved robin and hoping to introduce Polly to a nearby clinic for work. Coulson spots Daisy, and he and Mack move in to catch her. However, she takes off in an alley and, using her powers, propels over a building to escape. Coulson tells Mack to inform the director that Daisy has eluded them once again.
In the meantime, Radcliffe returns to his office after the last day of his hearings. He calls on Fitz to celebrate, but his A.I. informs him that Fitz has already left to prepare a surprise for Simmons. Despite this, Radcliffe still plans to celebrate his newest project: the creation of a Life Model Decoy.
- The Life Model Decoys or LMD's were a notable feature for SHIELD from the comics. Even Nick Fury himself had a model!
- Daisy Johnson is finally referred to as Quake, her codename from the Secret Warriors.
- The voice behind AIDA, Radcliffe's A.I. computer is actually the voice of Maurissa Tancheron, the co-creator of the show!
- Apparently, there's a new director in town, but who could it be?