Coulson is in Spain, reflected on his darker moments from the past years. May’s voice is telling him to stay on mission and be patient. Mack, in his earpiece, tells Coulson to listen to that instinct. They are tailing a woman named Agnes, who look identical to Aida.
Aida pulls a VR headset off of Radcliffe. Aida has built a virtual simulation of the entire planet Earth. They encounter the Superior, Anton Ivanov, and Watchdog leader Terrance Shockley in another room of the submarine. Ivanov and Shockley don’t like Aida, and so Radcliffe sends her away. Ivanov has the Darkhold in his hands and tells Radcliffe that he read it overnight. Radcliffe gets angry, but Ivanov says the book revealed that Radcliffe is the answer to the Inhuman problem. Radcliffe needs and Inhuman to bait SHIELD with. He reveals some pure Terrigen Crystals that he acquired while working for Hive. He plans to use them to create an Inhuman for his scheme.
Fitz is installing security sensors to detect LMDs. Simmons is studying Mace’s physiology. She tells him that the Patriot serum that gives him his strength is potentially lethal and that the every dose he takes could kill him, with increasing probability of cardiac arrest. She tells him, despite Talbot’s intentions, Mace will never be Captain America. Mace’s own training is not going great and Mace is eager to get his strength back to help fill the void left by Agent May’s abduction. Fitz arrives just then with Mace’s Patriot suit, which has been upgraded to include a serum delivery system. His timing is not great.
Mace walks in on Quake working on an Inhuman relocation program. Part of the plan is to keep the Inhumans hidden while the Darkhold is in the hands of the Watchdogs, but Mace notes that the Sokovia Accords give Nadeer a right to their location.
Coulson calls in and reports that Radcliffe based AIDA on someone. Mace says he wants to be doing more. Coulson says he felt the same way when he was working with the Avengers, and that he did his best to protect the team and it turned out he had a role to play. He tells Mace that he’ll ultimately make the right decision, or he’ll get an Asgardian staff through the chest.
Agnes sits down to do some drawing. Coulson approaches her and tells her that he knows about the work she did with Radcliffe. Agnes says he doesn’t know anything and that she doesn’t want anything to do with Radcliffe. Mack arrives and cuts her off before she can leave. Mack shows her Aida.
Shockley arrives at the capitol. Nadeer is planning for a diplomatic battle with the United Nations. Shockley goes to her office. Shockley accuses Nadeer of having alien blood in her veins. Nadeer denies it, but he says that even if she isn’t Inhuman, she carries the dormant DNA. Shockley pulls out a Terrigen crystal and smashes it. Nadeer is unaffected but Shockley undergoes Terrigenesis and then Nadeer’s office explodes.
SHIELD watches the news report on the “bombing,” which confirms Nadeer is dead.
Coulson asks Agnes why Aida was modeled on her. Agnes says Radcliffe left her because she has an inoperable brain tumor that he couldn’t fix. Radcliffe couldn’t handle the failure and the guilt. Coulson insists that Agnes helps them find Radcliffe Agnes refuses.
Mace, Quake, Fitz, and Simmons arrive at the crime scene. Mace fields questions while the rest go to investigate.
Coulson and Mack argue about whether they should force Agnes to help. Mack implies that May could be dead already, but Coulson insists he’s going to get Agnes’s help with or without mack.
Quake discovers that Shockley was seen walking into Nadeer’s office before the explosion.
Shockley reports to the Superior. He lies and says that Nadeer turned and exploded. Ivanov is suspicious but takes Shockley’s word. Ivanov plans to leave the country. Shockley plans to take SHIELD down with him when they come for him.
Quake’s team finds the Watchdog hideout.
Coulson finds Agnes. He tells Agnes about Radcliffe abducting May and replacing her with an LMD. Agnes says Radcliffe is all about healing and prolonging life. Coulson tries to tell her about the influence of the Darkhold. Agnes agrees to help.
Shockley and the Watchdogs are taken into SHIELD custody aboard the Zephyr One. Quake interrogates Shockley, but he says he’ll only talk to Director Mace.
Radcliffe is studying the Darkhold when he receives and urgent alert from a post-humanist subgroup. Radcliffe explains to Aida about Agnes and says that Agnes needs his help.
Simmons and Fitz study the materials from the bomb site. They realize it was Terrigenesis and Shockley must have been the one to undergo it.
Mace arrives to speak to Shockley. Shockley begins powering up to explode when Fitz and Simmons arrive to warn them. Quake, Mace, and Fitz are able to force Shockley into a containment cell and Simmons jettisons it before he explodes.
Shockley’s body reforms on the ground where he landed. He asks for a ride from a passerby.
Fitzsimmons study how Shockley’s powers work. His body charges up with kinetic energy to an atomic level until is not longer a solid but a flammable gas. Fitz and Simmons need Quake to counter Shockley’s vibrations with her own.
Agnes is waiting for Radcliffe to meet her. A waiter gives her a phone. Radcliffe is on the line. Radcliffe says he can save her. He gives her instructions on where to go.
Schockley arrives at a motel diner and uses the phone to call the Superior. He confesses to being an Inhuman but offers to remain a soldier protecting humanity. He plans to continue his effort to take down SHIELD. He begins the process of exploding in the diner.
Quake is practicing finding a counter frequency for Shockley when Mace arrives with news of Shockley’s latest explosion.
Radcliffe tells Agnes that instead of trying to cure her sickness, he’s now trying to cure death. Agnes finds Radcliffe’s car. Coulson and Mack go on the move. Radcliffe plans to insert Agnes into the Framework, the virtual world he and Aida created. Agnes disposes of her ear piece and leaves with Radcliffe. Gunmen pull up behind Radcliffe’s car and open fire to prevent Coulson and Mack from following.
Quake approaches Shockley. She decides that, since she can't prevent Shockley’s explosions, she’s going to wear him out by forcing him to explode over and over again. Fitz prepares a device to deal with Shockley when more of the Superior’s forces arrive. Quake is becoming exhausted. Mace decides to sacrifice himself to give the rest of them a chance. He injects himself with the Patriot serum and runs towards the Superior’s vehicles. The trucks surround him and Ivanov and his men get out. Ivanov’s men use cattle prods to subdue the director.
Quake makes Shockley explode again and Fitz drives his device into Schockley’s gaseous form. The device sucks Shockley in, trapping him there.
Radcliffe has Aida insert Agnes into the Framework.
Coulson and Mack discuss Agnes’ decision. It is disappointing, but Coulson heard what Radcliffe said about already having a subject in the framework. He takes that to meant hat May is still alive.
In the Framework, Agnes admires the print of ballet dancers. Aida tells Radcliffe there’s nothing they can do to keep Agnes alive. Radcliffe kisses her and as Agnes dies, but he says it doesn’t matter because her consciousness is safe in the Framework. Aida takes the necklace from around Agnes’s neck. May begins to stir.