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- "Today, we're launching Operation Spotlight. The objective... to peer into every shadowy corner of the ATCU."
- ―Phil Coulson
Following the capture of many Inhumans, including the Inhuman-killer Lash,S.H.I.E.L.D. started to doubt the Advanced Threat Containment Unit's trust and Director Phil Coulson initiated Operation Spotlight.
Coulson started putting his most trustworthy agents into pairs for the infiltration into Endotex Labs; Bobbi Morse and Lance Hunter were assigned to go undercover into Endotex to find out what the ATCU's purpose was for the Inhumans. Alphonso Mackenzie and Daisy Johnson would help with Hunter's mimicking and alarm them for any danger. Lincoln Campbell and Melinda May would be in a Quinjet to rescue Morse and Hunter if needed.
Infiltration at Endotex Labs
- "Aliens, I pine for the days when we didn't have to fight bloody aliens. It's just not a fair fight."
- ―Lance Hunter
Lance Hunter and Bobbi Morse arrived at Endotex Labs undercover as FBI computer expert Dane and Agent Phillips. They were allowed access into their servers by Steve Wilson with permission from Rosalind Price. Alphonso Mackenzie and Daisy Johnson helped with Hunter's cover, feeding him what to say to convince Wilson he was a hacker while Morse abruptly left to find out the secrets on the Inhumans.
When Luther Banks arrived, he and Wilson blew Hunter's cover, forcing Hunter to run away to Morse, who had found the remains of an Inhuman's chrysalis and Nature Max Supplements Fish Oil pills. Soon after, Endotex Labs' head of security Giyera retaliated and dueled against the two. The head of security revealed himself as an Inhuman with the ability of telekinesis. Ultimately, Giyera's two ATCU guards were killed and Hunter knocked out Giyera with a gas canister. Luther Banks was called in by Price to come to the aid of Morse and Hunter and Lincoln Campbell and Melinda May extracted them.
During the infiltration, Phil Coulson confronted Rosalind Price about the secrets she was hiding and her possible involvement with HYDRA. Although she denied that she was part of HYDRA, Price revealed that she took orders from Gideon Malick. To her surprise, she found out that Malick was behind all the events and that Giyera was a HYDRA operative.Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons had found that HYDRA had a secret ancient history and that NASA was partly under HYDRA's control with Project Distant Star Return in 2001. The logo for the project bore similarity with the very first logo of HYDRA, which had changed over time into the current logo of the terrorist organization. Malick shared the same information with Grant Ward, along with showing him a fragment of the Monolith. With the information, Malick revealed that before Red Skull created HYDRA as it is now, an Inhuman from centuries ago had been born and was banished from the Earth to Maveth. HYDRA was founded for the sole purpose of Hive's return, much to Ward's amazement.
S.H.I.E.L.D. and Rosalind Price knew that the Advanced Threat Containment Unit was a front for HYDRA; however, before Price could do anything about it, she was assassinated by Grant Ward, who killed her to torment Phil Coulson. Coulson then chased Ward to the HYDRA Castle and entered the Monolith portal after Ward did. S.H.I.E.L.D. followed behind Coulson, starting the Attack on the HYDRA Castle.