SHIELD’s top operatives are being kept in the Framework. Aida is tending to the Superior, who is badly injured after his encounter with Quake. The Superior is ready to die. Aida says she needs him to protect the Framework and begins carving him up with a saw, saying he will be “many things.”
FitzSimmons are cautious regarding their surroundings. Simmons wants to leave the base, but Fitz cautions her, saying that they can’t let the LMDs know that they know they are LMDs. The LMDs come into the lab and Coulson asks about missile capability of the Superior’s sub. Fearing the worst, they plan to bring all of the known Inhumans into headquarters.
After leaving the lab, Mace and Coulson note that they need to scan and replace FitzSimmons as soon as possible and discuss their plans. Daisy suggests bringing in Yo-Yo first, as she is their most valuable asset.
Coulson LMD finds the May LMD looking at the snow falling outside. When May realizes that Coulson is an LMD she becomes enraged. May believed she was real, and so is dealing with the shock of being an LMD much differently than the other LMDs, which know what they are. Coulson says their bodies don’t matter because they live in the Framework, a better version of this world. Coulson wonders what might have been if he had never joined SHIELD, and tells May that they can have a simple life together.
As FitzSimmons moves cautiously into the workshop, the LMD detection software goes off and alerts them that either Fitz or Simmons is an LMD. Simmons points a gun at Fitz, believing him to be the LMD, which makes Fitz believe that Simmons is the LMD. Neither seems to know if they really are an LMD. Fitz admits that this is all his fault, that he’s a bad guy either way and so he’ll do whatever she says. She tells him to cut his own wrist. Fitz protests, but picks up a knife off a work table and cuts into his wrist. He bleeds and when Simmons approaches him to tend to the wound Fitz flips the knife, stabs her in the leg, and knocks her out with a paint can.
Aida shows Radcliffe the others now plugged into the Framework. She had to reboot the system, which Radcliffe is angry to hear about. He noted the changes and the reboots could have done damage. Fitz is among those plugged into the Framework, but Daisy is still yet to be replaced.
Mack and Quake make plans to leave in the Zephyr One while Fitz wakes Simmons so that he can scan her brain. Simmons struggles, crawling on the ground to reach a weapon. Fitz tells her that Radcliffe has cured death and now they’ll get to get married and grow old together. Simmons says that’s the first time Fitz has mentioned getting married. The Fitz LMD says he’s thought about it but never brought it up. Simmons raises a mallet. Fitz fails to see it as a threat but uses it to bring a hanging piece of machinery down on the Fitz LMD. With Fitz pinned down, Simmons stabs the LMD to death, not falling for the LMD’s okay at Simmons’ sympathy for Fitz.
An agent tells Mack that Quake is checking the containment rooms before they leave. Mack is not happy to hear it and heads after her. While doing the check, Quake discovers a room full of her own LMDs, at least 20 of them. When Mack arrives, he finds Quake’s clothes on the ground. Quake is hiding among the LMDs and uses her powers to blast the Mack LMD when he comes near.
Quake finds her way to a closet. Using her tablet she sees throughout the camera that Coulson, Mace and two other agents have discovered Fitz’. Body. When one of the other agents realizes it is an LMD, Mace and Coulson kill them. Mack arrives and they cut the security feeds. Mack is going to try to repair Fitz.
When her feed goes dark, Quake discovers a trail of blood that leads her to Simmons. Quake explains everything she’s seen. They try to convince each other that they’re not LMDs, but neither of them can know for sure. Quake suggests Simmons allow her to use her powers to sense her bones under the skin and prove what’s happening. Simmons refuses, but Quake grabs her does it anyway and the two embrace.
Aida is building some kind of new body for the Superior. Aida tells Radcliffe that there is a paradox in her programming. She’s programmed to protect Radcliffe and the Framework, but she believes Radcliffe is the biggest threat to the Framework. She believes that Radcliffe may someday regret building the Framework and order her to shut it down. Radcliffe tries to explain how that’s not true and will never happen. Aida says that statement solved the paradox and she can now solve both problems at once. She slits both of Radcliffe’s wrists and then shoves him back into the Framework.
Mace, now in Patriot armor, and Coulson assemble all SHIELD agents at the base. They tell the assembled group that Quake and Simmons have been kidnapped and replaced.
Quake and Simmons try to come up with a plan. The real SHIELD agents are likely still alive, but the Framework’s signal is untraceable. Quake believes they can hack their way into the Framework and free their people. Simmons is ready to give up hope, but Quake gives her a pep talk and they make their move.
Simmons and Quake send ATVs with sleeping gas out into the base. Explosives go off and put the human agents to sleep. The LMDs decide to turn the lights off to gain an advantage. Coulson tells the May LMD that it is time for her to enter the fight. Quake uses Mack’s shotgun-ax to attack Mace, but the LMD takes the shots and is still standing. The two fight hand-to-hand. Simmons uses the sleeping gas antidote to wake a group of soldiers and alert them, at gunpoint, to the truth. Quake finally finishes off the Mace LMD only to be shot, first by the Mack LMD and then by the Coulson LMD. They tell her to let them download her before she bleeds out. Quake builds up her powers and then turns the against the two LMDs at once, destroying the Mack LMD and knocking out the Coulson LMD.
Quake finds Simmons and they make plans with the remaining agents to leave on the Zephyr One. The agents go one way while Simmons and Quake go another. They open the way to the hangar, but the May LMD is waiting there with explosives rigged to blow. Quake and Simmons try to talk her down, but she’s prepared to blow.
Coulson arrives at the entrance to the hangar to find that May let Quake and Simmons pass. She’s still holding the detonator. She tells Coulson that they’re programming is different. She’s afraid to die and the things that Coulson lost in being an LMD are what made him a person. Her programming, to get the Darkhold, was from Radcliffe. Her impulse, to protect Coulson, was all her, and this LMD is not Coulson. She sets off the explosives as the Zephyr One takes off with Simmons, Quake, and the other agents on board.
They pick up Yo-Yo and fill her in on everything that’s gone on and their plan to plug themselves into their Framework avatars. Simmons tells her that she programmed a backdoor out of the Framework at the rendezvous. Staying in the Framework too long could hurt them. Dying in the Framework will kill them. Being pulled out of the Framework suddenly will fry their brains.
Quake inhabits her Framework avatar while it is taking a bath. She receives a text message telling her to wake up her boyfriend because they’re being called in. She expects it to be Lincoln and steps out of the tub. She walks into the bedroom. There’s a man in her bed and a picture of her with Grant Ward on the dresser.
Coulson is teaching fear of Inhumans at a school. Mack is at his house with his family. Fitz is living the life of a tech billionaire, with a woman at his side.
Simmons is dead.
May is working as an Agent of Hydra, which has gone public.
The Superior wakes up. He grabs Aida by the neck and says he knows what she did. Aida assures him that his mind is alive and well inside his head. She’s separated his head from his body and it is remotely controlling the new mechanical body.