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Skye is torn between her loyalty to S.H.I.E.L.D. and her connection to the Inhumans as tensions rise between the groups -- and Coulson reveals a secret he’s been hiding from even those closest to him.
This section needs a rewrite
One year ago, at his base, S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Sam Koenig receives a call from his brother and fellow agent Billy telling him that "American Flight 220" is arriving a few minutes early. Billy is referring to S.H.I.E.L.D. director Phil Coulson, who arrives shortly afterward at the base. Sam and Coulson talk about Agent Jemma Simmons working as a mole in HYDRA, Agent Skye's training under Agent Melinda May, and Agent Antoine Triplett working at S.H.I.E.L.D. full time. Sam, based on what he heard from Billy, expresses his doubts about the new recruits Agents Isabelle Hartley and Lance Hunter. Coulson asks if Sam has been able to find Agent Robert Gonzales, but Sam has not been able to, concluding that HYDRA has killed him. Coulson tells him to continue searching for him anyway. Sam then asks about Agent Leo Fitz, to which Coulson pessimistically replies that he has made "some" progress. It is revealed that Coulson had lied to May about his trip, telling her that he has gone on a recruiting trip to London. Sam then issues Coulson a lanyard to the newly named Theta Protocol, which is revealed to be a hidden helicarrier.
In the present, on the Iliad, Coulson, May, Agent Bobbi Morse, Gonzales, Agent Anne Weaver, and the rest of Gonzales's board watch news footage of the aftermath of the events in Sokovia. Gonzales realizes that Coulson has been working with former S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury. Coulson explains that Fury believed that after S.H.I.E.L.D. fell, they needed a fail-safe option that was off the records for emergency use only. Thus, Coulson provided Fury with the helicarrier to help the Avengers defeat Ultron. Coulson's deception angers Weaver, but Morse notes that Coulson saved lives by doing so. Coulson admits that he had failed as director by not knowing about the Iliad's survival from HYDRA despite the secret cargo on board, by not stopping spies from infiltrating his base, and by not being able to keep his agents safe. Coulson concludes that running S.H.I.E.L.D. by himself was a mistake, noting that even Fury had a world council watching over him and advising him. Therefore, Coulson suggests that he and Gonzales merge their two factions of S.H.I.E.L.D., with Coulson remaining director but with Gonzales and his board advising him. Gonzales agrees to this, as he is grateful to Coulson for helping save lives from Ultron. However, Gonzales notes that there are other battles to fight, and he believes that Coulson will not be able to objectively handle the situation, as it involves Skye.
Meanwhile, back at the Playground, Skye stays by her friend and fellow Inhuman Lincoln Campbell's side every day while he is still comatose, as Fitz and Simmons watch. Fitz wonders if Skye will stay after Lincoln awakens, but Simmons tells him that Skye said that she wants to take Lincoln home, but she does not know what Skye is referring to, as Skye is not saying anything else about it. Simmons then finishes conducting tests on Kara Palamas and tells Kara that although she will still suffer from some memory loss, all of the effects of HYDRA's brainwashing of her are now gone, and she can now make her own decisions again. Kara thanks Fitz and Simmons for their help and tells them that knowing Sunil Bakshi is dead has helped her the most, visibly distressing Simmons, as she was indirectly responsible for his death. Kara then asks Simmons about her and Morse working undercover at HYDRA together, but Simmons admits that she had not been aware of Morse's presence at HYDRA. At that moment, Lincoln awakens from his coma, his electrical powers causing the lights to turn on and off. A horrified Lincoln then sees that they are at a S.H.I.E.L.D base. Skye tries to reassure Lincoln that she can trust her friends at S.H.I.E.L.D., but Lincoln tells her that she never should have come to save him. Skye explains that she had to, as Jiaying would not, but Lincoln explains that Jiaying had acted that way to keep the Inhumans safe, as the only way that they had been able to remain safe was because their existence was a secret. He adds that since S.H.I.E.L.D. knows of their existence, the agents will search for Afterlife.
Meanwhile, back at Afterlife, Raina has finally embraced her new powers of precognition, which she has been using to provide guidance to other Inhumans. Gordon then arrives, and the two talk about how she has proved her worth to the Inhumans through her vision of the events in Sokovia. Raina then recounts another vision of a black rock, which Gordon recognizes. The two go to Jiaying, who explains that the rock is a weapon that comes from the Kree, the creators of the Inhumans, who wanted to use that weapon to destroy the Inhumans after considering the Inhumans to be a mistake. Jiaying asks if Gordon can confirm the weapon's existence and locate it, but Gordon says that he will only be able to know its vicinity. Raina suggests that she can help, which Gordon agrees will help, so Jiaying consents. Gordon and Raina then manage to trace the weapon to the Iliad, which is revealed to be the classified cargo that Gonzales has on the ship. The two then hide as May and Morse come in their direction. Morse seems satisfied with the way that things have turned out, believing things will return to normal, but May questions Morse's belief, suggesting that Morse thinks that by forgiving Coulson, Hunter will forgive her for her betrayal.
At Afterlife, Jiaying, while talking to Calvin Zabo, recalls that Zabo called Raina manipulative and asks if she is dangerous, noting that she was able to persuade Skye and Gordon to save Lincoln, despite the danger. Jiaying then asks Zabo about Raina's history. Zabo tells her that Raina was homeless and without family but was able to convince people to give her resources. Jiaying concludes that Raina was resourceful, but Zabo calls her selfish, explaining that she eventually got greedier and started demanding better resources from her benefactors. Zabo says that Raina always wants something, but when Jiaying asks what Zabo thinks that Raina wants now, he does not answer.
Back on the Iliad, Raina admits that she envies Gordon, as Jiaying needs him but believes her to be an inconvenience. Gordon assures that that is not the case and that her gift is amazing, but Raina notes that she was not chosen to go through the mist. As Raina asks Gordon why Jiaying brings so few people through the mist, Hunter discovers the two and points his gun at them. As Hunter recognizes Raina and Gordon, the two teleport away. Hunter then sets off an alarm. Coulson and Gonzales see Raina and Gordon through the security cameras, and Gonzales realizes that they are looking for the cargo. As Gordon insists that they need to leave due to their presence being known, Raina finds the location of the cargo. At that moment, May and Morse find them, and Raina and Gordon are forced to teleport back to Afterlife.
Later, Gonzales concludes that S.H.I.E.L.D. should have destroyed the cargo while they had the chance, but Morse notes that it was too risky, and Weaver points out that there were too many factors to consider. Gonzales explains that the cargo is alien and was recovered from a dig site 100 years ago and has unfamiliar energy signatures. Hunter, meanwhile, continues to express his resentment towards the new version of S.H.I.E.L.D. and refuses to make eye contact with Morse. Coulson tells Gonzales that the only information about the cargo in Fury's toolbox was that HYDRA had been searching for it. Gonzales wonders why others are now looking for it.
Coulson and May then ask Skye about the cargo, and she replies that neither she nor Lincoln have heard of anything like this. Coulson is skeptical about Skye trusting Lincoln, as he believes that he does not know him that well, but Skye says that she knows enough, telling Coulson and May that Lincoln and Jiaying are good people who helped her control her powers and never hurt her. Coulson wonders if they are really people and notes that Skye has not been telling anyone much about the and has been keeping to herself. Skye explains that she has been taking care of Lincoln, but Coulson notes that they do not know what to call Lincoln and Jiaying's people. Skye tells them that she and the others are called Inhumans, as named by their ancestors, who just want to be left alone. Coulson is surprised that Skye is referring to herself as one of them. May wonders why the Inhumans would infiltrate the Iliad if they just wanted to be left alone. Skye points out that the Inhumans are probably just afraid of the cargo and what Gonzales might do with it. Coulson says that they are not the enemy, and May notes that Gordon and his ability to teleport prove that the Inhumans are dangerous. Skye retorts that the same could be said about May, revealing that she knows about May killing the girl and her mother in Bahrain, telling her and Coulson that they were both Inhumans and that May should realize why the Inhumans want to keep their location a secret and why they are afraid. Meanwhile, Morse has the cargo guarded heavily and goes to see Gonzales and the board, who explain that they were able to replicate HYDRA's process of tracking Gordon and now know the location of the Inhumans. Gonzales then says that they need to pay the Inhumans a visit.
Gonzales is intent on invading Afterlife, but Coulson is against this. Gonzales says that the Inhumans are a threat, although Morse notes that they do not know that for sure. Gonzales replies that they know nothing about the Inhumans. The other members of the board believe that the Inhumans are dangerous, due to what they have seen Skye and Lincoln do. Coulson is reluctant to start a war, having just finished one, but Gonzales says that they need to take action, so Coulson suggests that he meet with Jiaying. Weaver notes that they would need the Inhumans to agree to the meeting, so Morse suggests that they use Skye as a liason, as she is a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. Gonzales wonders if that is still the case, and Coulson says that it is, while May notes that they can now discover whom Skye really supports.
After returning to Afterlife, Raina and Gordon let Jiaying and Zabo know of the weapon's existence. Gordon is upset that Zabo is present at their meeting, but Zabo says that it concerns him as Gordon took Skye to S.H.I.E.L.D. Raina tries to calm Zabo down, but Zabo expresses his skepticism over Raina's new powers and her desire to help her fellow Inhumans, believing that she is making up her visions, but Gordon defends her, pointing out that all her visions have come true. Zabo claims that Raina is using her powers to control others and create chaos, because she thrives on it. Gordon then proceeds to mock Zabo, noting that without the drugs that he takes, he is powerless. Jiaying manages to stop the argument from escalating, telling them that S.H.I.E.L.D. wants to scare and tear them apart, which she will not let happen.
Meanwhile, Skye tries to persuade Coulson not to visit the Inhumans, telling him that they value their secrecy. Coulson says that S.H.I.E.L.D. cannot ignore the Inhumans' existence and that they are not ignoring theirs. Coulson says that they need to know how many Inhumans there are, assess what their powers are, and index them. Coulson points out that Skye knows the process, as she is a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. To Coulson's surprise, Skye expresses ambivalence about her status as an agent. Realizing that she cannot stop S.H.I.E.L.D., Skye asks Coulson to let Lincoln and her return to Afterlife first so that she can talk to Jiaying and let her know why S.H.I.E.L.D. is coming and that S.H.I.E.L.D. just wants to help. Skye assures Coulson that Jiaying will listen to her. When Coulson asks why she can be sure about that, Skye reveals that Jiaying is her mother.
Morse discovers that May is having Kara locked up, despite her having been brainwashed. May is surprised that Morse empathizies with Kara, but Morse notes that Kara was once a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, but May points out that Agent Grant Ward used to be one, too. She believes Kara to still be dangerous and is also angry that Kara had taken her identity with a Photostatic Veil to disguise herself.
Morse then talks to Agent Alphonso Mackenzie to try and convince him not to do something. Morse points out that a rebellion sometimes results in stability. Mack asks Morse if she has talked to Hunter yet, but Morse tells him that Hunter still refuses to make eye contact with her, so she concludes that Hunter will be willing to talk to her in about three days. Morse notes that Hunter forgave Mack for his betrayal rather quickly, despite Mack putting Hunter in a chokehold and holding him captive. Mack tells Morse that Hunter is using him to get back at Morse.
Coulson meets with May to let her know that he talked to Skye and that Jiaying is Skye's mother. May says that she will let the board know. Coulson then tries to apologize about talking to Dr. Andrew Garner behind her back and not letting her know about the Theta Protocol, but May says that she and Coulson do not owe each other anything. In response, Coulson says that that is not true and says that he does not care about what Skye said about Bahrain, although May points out that by mentioning this, he proves that he indeed does. May reveals to Coulson that she had to kill the girl to protect everyone and had told everyone else that the girl had died in the crossfire. May had only told Andrew the truth about what had actually happened, as at the time, she felt that her relationships with Andrew and Coulson were clearly defined. Andrew was her husband, and Coulson was her colleague. May recalls that when Coulson had started carving the Words of Creation, he had asked her to kill him if he lost control. She tells Coulson that while she never would have killed him, she should have stopped him. Coulson claims that he never lost control, but May says that Skye is proof that he did.
Later, Skye talks to Fitz and Simmons, who has just finished indexing Lincoln. Simmons presents Skye with a gift that she managed to get off the Bus before it was destroyed: a figurine. Fitz notes that the figurine shakes, like Skye used to. Coulson then arrives with Lincoln to let Skye know that it is time to leave. As they are leaving, Skye asks Lincoln about his indexing, and Lincoln tells her that he was asked questions and correctly assumes that he had blood samples taken from him while unconscious. Coulson explains that it is protocol, but Lincoln notes that HYDRA had said the same thing. Coulson tells Lincoln that he can trust S.H.I.E.L.D. Coulson asks about Gordon's teleportation process. Skye starts to explain it but stops herself after realizing that she will be giving too much information about the Inhumans away. Instead, she tells Coulson that Gordon will be able to find and take them as long as they are no longer near S.H.I.E.L.D. Skye and Lincoln then depart.
At Afterlife, a frantic Raina rushes to Gordon to let him know of her latest vision. She tells him that S.H.I.E.L.D. will be coming to Afterlife, with Quinjets firing at the Inhumans and Afterlife in flames. Gordon says that they need to warn Jiaying, but Raina claims that in order to prevent Afterlife's destruction, Jiaying must not meet with S.H.I.E.L.D. When Gordon asks who should meet with S.H.I.E.L.D., Raina suggests that she should be the one who meets with S.H.I.E.L.D.
Meanwhile, Jiaying is having the Terrigen Crystals packed up and hidden as a precaution. At that moment, Gordon teleports back to Afterlife with Skye and Lincoln. After Jiaying embraces Skye, Skye reveals that doctors at S.H.I.E.L.D. treated Lincoln, visibly disturbing Jiaying. Jiaying tells Lincoln to get looked at by their own doctors while she asks Skye to tell her about everything that happened. As Skye and Jiaying head to Jiaying's home, Gordon looks at Raina standing nearby and nods to her.
Skye tells Jiaying that S.H.I.E.L.D. does not want the Inhumans to have to leave Afterlife and that nothing has to change, but Jiaying is not convinced and thinks that Skye's trust in S.H.I.E.L.D. is due to youthful innocence. Skye asks Jiaying to speak with Coulson, explaining that he is a good person, the only person who ever tried to take care of her, and the closest thing that she had to family before her arrival at Afterlife. Skye pleads with her, calling her "Mom" for the first time, and Jiaying agrees.
Back at the Playground, Coulson explains the strategics to the board for their visit and that he will go in by himself first, unarmed, but Gonzales says that Coulson should not be the one to talk to Jiaying, stating that this is too personal for him, as Skye is like a daughter to him and Jiaying is the Inhumans' leader. Coulson replies that he is relying on that personal connection to make the meeting successful. Gonzales says that the Inhumans are one of the greatest threats that S.H.I.E.L.D. has ever faced, with Weaver agreeing, and that Coulson is not objective in matters related to Skye, although Morse disagrees. Gonzales then notes that Ultron was a result of people not looking into Tony Stark's work due to their personal feelings for him and that the Avengers let one person do what he wanted, almost resulting in the world's destruction. Gonzales claims that S.H.I.E.L.D. has to try to be above that. Coulson asks for May's opinion, and she says that Gonzales should talk to Jiaying. Coulson accepts this decision and decides to oversee the mission from the Playground.
In the laboratory, Fitz watches as Simmons prepares to head to Afterlife to aid in the indexing of the Inhumans and asks if she needs any help with it, as he is concerned for her safety, due to her near-death experience with HYDRA and Ward. Fitz tells Simmons that she should not feel bad for being unable to kill Ward, revealing to her that he had wanted to kill him as well but could not, which made him realize that they were better than Ward. Upon hearing this, Simmons admits that she did try to kill Ward and regrets that she failed, stating that whatever Ward does next will be her fault.
May goes to Morse to let her know that Coulson wants them to scout ahead, so the two take off in a quinjet.
Back at the Playground, Mack visits Coulson in his office to inform him of his resignation from S.H.I.E.L.D. Mack explains that the fact that the Theta Protocol turned out to be a helicarrier does not change things for him, as Fury had revived Coulson using alien blood. Although Mack does not blame Coulson for this, he feels that Coulson cannot be trusted. Coulson claims to be in full control of his actions, but Mack says that based on his own experiences in the Kree City, he realizes that it is better not to mess with things that he does not understand but feels that Coulson has not learned this lesson. Coulson offers to place Mack under Gonzales's command at the helicarrier away from him, but Mack still refuses. Even though he likes and respects Coulson, Mack says that he does not want to work for S.H.I.E.L.D. if Coulson is still director. He then gives Coulson his badge and tells him that he will go to the helicarrier to collect his things before leaving. After noting that Mack has been with S.H.I.E.L.D. for 13 years, Coulson expresses his regret about Mack's departure, and the two shake hands. After Mack leaves, Coulson orders the quinjets to take off.
Zabo learns from Jiaying that S.H.I.E.L.D. is coming to Afterlife, angering him. Jiaying asks for Zabo's opinion, based on his own experiences, on whether they can trust S.H.I.E.L.D. Zabo says that he has disliked all the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents that he has met, especially Phil Coulson. However, he admits that Coulson genuinely cares about Skye. Jiaying then recalls to Zabo that Skye mentioned the Index, horrifying him. He says that the Inhumans will face discrimination if they get indexed. Zabo suggests that Jiaying use her power at Afterlife to attack S.H.I.E.L.D., but Jiaying points out that Skye would not want that and that the rest of the Inhumans would not follow her into a war without hesitation, but Zabo says that he would. Jiaying observes that even though Zabo has aged, he is still the same bold person with whom she fell in love, and the two share a tender moment. She then admits that she is the one who has changed. She adds that she and Zabo cannot lose Skye to S.H.I.E.L.D. again. Realizing that the agents are scared of the Inhumans and their powers, Jiaying asks Zabo what she can do to convince S.H.I.E.L.D. that they mean no harm. Zabo suggests that she turn him over into S.H.I.E.L.D.'s custody, as he is "technically" a murderer, and S.H.I.E.L.D. loves to take prisoners. Jiaying does not want to turn Zabo over, but he asks for the chance to protect his family the way that he could not before.
On the quinjet, Morse tells May that Mack resigned. She then asks if May has ever considered what she would be if she did not work for S.H.I.E.L.D., to which May admits that she has been thinking about that often recently. When May asks Morse the same question, Morse recalls that Hunter once asked her to leave so that they could be together, and that was the only time that she ever thought about leaving.
Back at the Playground, Coulson, Fitz, and Hunter talk. Hunter is amazed that Coulson would allow Gonzales to be the one to talk to Jiaying. Fitz wonders if the counsel is making a mistake, but Coulson points out that they are no longer working against the counsel and acknowledges that he has not always made the right decisions, especially those related to Skye. He states that if he does not trust the board, S.H.I.E.L.D. will collapse again. Hunter points that that might happen anyway if S.H.I.E.L.D. angers the Inhumans into fighting S.H.I.E.L.D. Coulson says that the three of them have probably been spending too much time together.
Meanwhile, Gordon approaches Jiaying to apparently prevent her from meeting with S.H.I.E.L.D.
On one of the other quinjets, Gonzales asks Weaver if she was able to locate their "insurance policy." Weaver has and hands a box to him, which he puts in his jacket, revealing a concealed gun in his pocket. It is then revealed that May, or someone who looks like her, is piloting Gonzales's quinjet.
Back on Morse's quinjet, Morse notices that the quinjet's autopilot is descending into an unknown area. When Morse approaches May about this, May pulls out a gun on her and notes that it is strange that Morse feels guilty about betraying Hunter even though she does not seem to care about what she did to her. Morse then realizes that the person talking is really a disguised Kara, who deactivates her photostatic veil. Kara says that she realized that Morse was only showing kindness to Kara after her arrival at S.H.I.E.L.D. to see if she remembered an unspoken incident in their past, which Kara now does. The two then get into a brief fight, and Morse manages to knock Kara unconscious. The quinjet then lands, and a bruised Morse gets out to find herself in an abandoned area. She is then shot in the head by an I.C.E.R., knocking her unconscious. The shooter is then revealed to be Ward.
Meanwhile, as the other quinjets approach Afterlife, Simmons tells Gonzales that there are a lot more Inhumans than they have anticipated, but Gonzales says that he can handle everything if Skye has been able to get Jiaying to meet with him.
Raina is preparing to meet with S.H.I.E.L.D. when Gordon enters her room. She tells him that she always knew that her life was leading up to something with a purpose and that she is glad to see what it now is. She then asks where Gordon took Jiaying, claiming to not want her to suffer discomfort. At that moment, Skye, Jiaying, and another Inhuman enter the room. Jiaying tells Raina says that they call the Inhumans' transformations gifts because they do not want other peoples' views of them to define who they are. She then accuses Raina of using her abilities to manipulate others, but Raina denies this and claims that she is trying to save the Inhumans. However, no one believes her. Jiaying then decides to have Raina confined in her room until S.H.I.E.L.D. has left. A desperate Raina tries to convince them as they leave of the danger that is awaiting them and says that they will regret not trusting her.
The quinjets arrive at Afterlife, and Gordon meets them upon landing. Gordon then takes Gonzales to Jiaying's house, where she is waiting with Skye and Zabo. Skye is uspet to see Gonzales instead of Coulson at the meeting, but Gonzales claims to represent S.H.I.E.L.D. with its same intentions. He then asks why Zabo is there, and Jiaying explains that since S.H.I.E.L.D. allowed Skye and Lincoln to return to Afterlife, she wanted to do the right thing and return someone of interest to S.H.I.E.L.D. Jiaying then asks Skye to take Zabo to the agents outside while she and Gonzales talk. Skye is worried but agrees to do this. As Skye and Zabo go outside, Zabo expresses his happiness at the person that Skye has become and his gratitude for having gotten to know her. Skye reciprocates these feelings and admits that she is happy that she has gotten to know him as well, making him smile.
Gonzales tells Jiaying that he heard from Skye what HYDRA did to her and says that HYDRA also hurt him as well, indicating his limp, and that they share the same scars. Gonzales then presents the box as a gift to Jiaying.
As Zabo is taken into custody by the other S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, Skye asks May if S.H.I.E.L.D. did something to Coulson. May replies that everyone believed that they needed someone more objective to meet with Jiaying. However, Skye counters that Gonzales had sent agents to kill her a few weeks earlier, but May defends Gonzales. Skye then asks why May did not meet with Jiaying instead, but May implies that she would not have been objective, due to her experience in Bahrain.
Back at her house, Jiaying opens the box, and Gonzales explains that he is aware of what Daniel Whitehall did to her and reveals that Coulson shot him dead. Inside the box, Jiaying discovers a traditional Chinese gift made to ward off evil spirits that S.H.I.E.L.D. had recovered from Whitehall's office after his death. Gonzales concluded that the gift probably had been for Skye. This appears to move Jiaying, and she says that she was never able to give Skye the gift and instead had to hope that evil would never find her if she was still alive.
Back outside, as May leaves, she tells Skye that she hopes that Skye's mother was everything that Skye wanted her to be.
Back in Jiaying's room, Gonzales admits that S.H.I.E.L.D. has had a long and violent history with powered people, but he notes that both good and bad people sometimes get powers and that S.H.I.E.L.D. is there to protect the public from the latter. Jiaying asks what she can do to help S.H.I.E.L.D. do that. Gonzales asks to meet the Inhumans and to learn about their powers, of which S.H.I.E.L.D. will keep a record so that in case any of the Inhumans ever try to hurt other people, S.H.I.E.L.D. will be able to stop them. Jiaying then claims to have a "gift" for Gonzales, a piece of the Inhumans' history, something which she claims might even be worth indexing, finally realizing the significance of the term. Jiaying takes out a terrigen crystal and proceeds to explain that she has lived long enough to see many people profiled and discriminated against for their differences and is angered that people feel that they have the right to do that. She concludes that they do it out of fear, but Gonzales claims that S.H.I.E.L.D. is there to protect everyone.
As May watches Zabo being taken onto her quinjet, she informs Coulson, Fitz, and Hunter of Zabo's capture. Coulson replies that they will deal with him after she gets back to the Playground. The agents on the quinjet find suspicious vials containing chemical mixtures in Zabo's pockets, which they show Weaver. When Weaver asks Zabo what the vials are, he feigns ignorance about them and grins.
Meanwhile, Jiaying notes to Gonzales that fear causes people to do things they would usually never do. She admits that her fear of the Inhumans' extinction led her to experiment with terrigen crystals, as the Inhumans only had five diviners, and if they were destroyed, the Inhumans would go extinct. Therefore, she and the other Inhumans decided to make their own, ironically quoting Whitehall's motto, "discovery requires experimentation." She reveals that they eventually were able to grow new crystals after melting down a diviner. However, she explains that they were never able to remove the diviner metal from the crystals, which was not a problem for the Inhumans but would be fatal to humans exposed to it. She then proceeds to shatter the crystal that she has on her desk, exposing Gonzales to the diviner metal. She then mockingly tells him as he is getting petrified, "Let's hope you're one of us." Gonzales takes out his gun to shoot Jiaying, but his petrification prevents him. Jiaying expresses her rage over Gonzales comparing his limp to what Whitehall had done to her and tells Gonzales that he is nothing like her or the Inhumans. She tells Gonzales that she will never allow what happened to her happen to Skye or any of the other Inhumans. Before he dies, Gonzales says that Jiaying will get everyone killed. After he dies, Jiaying takes his gun and shoots herself twice in the shoulder. Skye, Simmons, and Lincoln hear the shots and run toward Jiaying's house. Jiaying comes outside stumbling and as Skye rushes to her, Jiaying lies and says that Gonzales and S.H.I.E.L.D. tried to kill her. Before collapsing from blood loss, Jiaying says, "This is war."
Meanwhile, agents try to contact Morse's quinjet but get no response. Ward and Kara have taken over the quinjet, and Ward has tied up an unconscious Morse. Ward congratulates Kara on fooling everyone at S.H.I.E.L.D., and Kara admits that it was difficult being away from Ward, with Ward agreeing that it is better when they are together. When Kara asks him why they cannot kill Morse right away, Ward explains that closure is more than just about killing people and also requires "digging in" and "doing the work." Ward promises that they will kill Morse after he shows her what he means. Kara notices that Morse is regaining consciousness, so Ward shoots her in the chest three times with his I.C.E.R., knocking her unconscious again. Ward and Kara then smile at each other.
- Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson
- Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May and Agent 33
- Brett Dalton as Grant Ward
- Chloe Bennet as Skye
- Iain De Caestecker as Leo Fitz
- Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmons
- Nick Blood as Lance Hunter
- Adrianne Palicki as Bobbi Morse
- Kyle MacLachlan as Calvin Zabo
- Henry Simmons as Alphonso Mackenzie
- Dichen Lachman as Jiaying
- Ruth Negga as Raina
- Jamie Harris as Gordon
- Maya Stojan as Kara Palamas/Agent 33
- Luke Mitchell as Lincoln Campbell
- Patton Oswalt as Sam Koenig and Billy Koenig
- Christine Adams as Anne Weaver
- Edward James Olmos as Robert Gonzales
- Mark Allan Stewart as Agent Oliver
- David Douglas as Michael
- Crystal Coney as Scientist
- Alicia Vela-Bailey as Alisha Whitley
- Theta Protocol Facility
- S.H.I.E.L.D. Safe House
- Aranda de Duero, Spain
- London (mentioned)
- Sokovia (mentioned)
- Bahrain (mentioned)
- Kidnapping of Bobbi Morse
- War against the Inhumans
- Resurrection of Phil Coulson (mentioned)
- HYDRA Uprising (mentioned)
- War on HYDRA (mentioned)
- Ultron Offensive (mentioned) & (news footage)
- Battle of Sokovia (mentioned) & (news footage)
- S.H.I.E.L.D. Lanyard
- Photostatic Veil
- Terrigen Crystals
- Terrigen Mist
- Toolbox (mentioned)
- Backscatter X-Ray Eye Implant (mentioned)
- Diviner (mentioned)
- Calvin Zabo's Formula
- WHiH World News
- Strategic Scientific Reserve (logo)
- HYDRA (mentioned)
- Avengers (mentioned)
- World Security Council (mentioned)
- Antoine Triplett
- Isabelle Hartley
- Nick Fury
- Sunil Bakshi
- Katya Belyakov
- Eva Belyakov
- Andrew Garner
- Tony Stark
- Daniel Whitehall
- Star Wars
- Call of Duty
- Muscle Milk
- The song played at the beginning of the episode is "Robot Tourist" by Tam Nightingale.