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- "Please... take me back."
- ―Daisy Johnson
Jemma Simmons notices that Johnson has awakened and approaches her Containment Module, hoping that Johnson has new information that she can divulge about Hive and his plans. Glenn Talbot attempts to get the necessary kill codes to stop the missile's launch sequence through General Andaz, but Andaz believes in proper protocol; Leo Fitz creates a green screen background to impersonate the General so that Undersecretary Walter Thomas releases the codes to Coulson who approaches him from the S.H.I.E.L.D. SUV with the proper ATCU credentials.
Meanwhile, Giyera assures Hive that if a S.H.I.E.L.D. aircraft approaches their location, even cloaked, it will be detected. However, Melinda May proves him wrong by using the Quinjet as a submarine. Aboard the Quinjet also are Alphonso Mackenzie, Lincoln Campbell, and Elena Rodriguez; all with a solemn mood, such that Campbell gives Mackenzie the kill-switch to their Nanothermite Vests if the Inhumans lose control of themselves. Infiltrating Hive's location, May and Campbell electronically patch themselves into Hive's computers, and, as Coulson reads the kill codes to Fitz, with only seconds to spare, stop the missile's launch. Hive swears to show S.H.I.E.L.D. his rage as he commands Holden Radcliffe to take two Primitives with him to reset the launch.
Rodriguez and Mackenzie grow closer as she tells him to hurry with his work; Campbell and May bond over the fact that their lovers were affected by Hive. Everyone knows that Hive seeks them for thwarting his plans.
In the Playground, Coulson stares at the Theta Brain-Wave Frequency Machine as he wonders how he can get Johnson to remember what "Absolution" means. He gives her an update on their progress, but Johnson has a harder view on herself than Coulson does, citing that she, like Grant Ward, is nothing more than a brainwashed criminal. Coulson dismisses her as having withdrawal from her addiction.
Hive is lured by Campbell into Mackenzie's trap, a giant Theta Brain-Wave Frequency Machine, to pull forward all of the different personalities in the dark Inhuman that he has absorbed over the millennia. Hive is freed from the torture when Mackenzie, Rodriguez, and Campbell flee, but the memories of his past hosts still flood his consciousness. Giyera and Hellfire arrive to help, but Hive's speech is an incoherent mess of quotes from hosts past and present. Hellfire realizes that something is seriously wrong when Hive nonsensically addresses Jemma Simmons as if he were Will Daniels telling to her to run, and Giyera attempts to get the dark Inhuman to focus. Fixating on Ward's memories, Hive finally manages to get his mind under enough control to give Giyera and Hellfire a coherent order: disconnect the warhead, since there is no hope of launching the missile now.
May, seeking the warhead, frees Radcliffe from the Primitives while Rodriguez frees the hostages from the conquered missile silo. However, as Giyera takes the warhead and flees, Hive confronts the agents; he is captured in a Containment Module full of Suspension Gel.
Upon return to base, Mackenzie defies the security protocols and tells Johnson that Hive is their prisoner as he forgives and hugs her; this allows Johnson her emotional release as she cries. The two talk about how unsafe it is to have Hive at the Playground.
After Simmons and Fitz plan a romantic vacation, Fitz goes to assure that the base is sealed against Hive loyalists. Fitz realizes what "Absolution" is - the releasing of the Absolution Virus in the Playground - and Agent O'Brien is among those changed when Hellfire activates the trap; they turn into Primitives.
Johnson escapes her Containment Module and goes to confront Hive. She begs him to sway her again.
- Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson
- Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May
- Brett Dalton as Hive
- Chloe Bennet as Daisy Johnson
- Iain De Caestecker as Leo Fitz
- Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmons
- Henry Simmons as Alphonso Mackenzie
- Luke Mitchell as Lincoln Campbell
- John Hannah as Holden Radcliffe
- Axle Whitehead as JT James/Hellfire
- Mark Dacascos as Giyera
- Natalia Cordova-Buckley as Elena Rodriguez
- Derek Phillips as Agent O'Brien
- Adrian Pasdar as Glenn Talbot
- Patrick John Hurley as General Andaz and Leo Fitz
- Dorian Gregory as Undersecretary Walter Thomas
- Alan Heitz as Bookish Man Graham
- Hart Turner as Hudson (uncredited)
- Shahaub Roudbari as Primitive O'Brien (uncredited)
- Noelle Mabry as S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent (uncredited)
- Frank Moran as S.H.I.E.L.D. Tactical Agent (uncredited)
- Ralph Lammie, Jr. as S.H.I.E.L.D. Tactical Agent (uncredited)
- Defense Logistics Building
- Maveth (dream sequence)
- Seychelles (mentioned)
- Montana (mentioned)
- Phil Coulson's Prosthetic Hand
- Nanothermite Vest
- Theta Brain-Wave Frequency Machine
- Suspension Gel
- Absolution Virus
- Advanced Threat Containment Unit
- United States Armed Forces
- Strategic Scientific Reserve (logo)
- Werner von Strucker
- Nathaniel Malick
- Gideon Malick
- Will Daniels
- Grant Ward
- Thomas Ward
- This episode was originally believed to be titled Forgiven.
- Noelle Mabry, Frank Moran and Ralph Lammie, Jr., the contestants from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Academy, appear in the scene where Coulson and the rest of agents return to the Playground after capturing Hive.