Fifteen Years Ago
At the Juvenile Secure Unit in Plymouth, Massachusetts, a young Grant is brought in and Garrett introduces himself. He explains that the quartermaster at Grant's military school is a friend of his, and reported a student with extraordinary talents who went AWOL, stole a car, drove home and tried to burn the place down. Garrett asks Grant if he knew his brother was in the house when he tried to burn it down, and Grant claims that he didn't. The older man says that he was a pyro when he was a kid and made a good living at it, and tells Grant that he's making him a one-time offer to go with him rather than face charges as an adult.
Garrett leans over and says that he works for a secret organization looking to recruit men like Grant. Grant wonders why he should trust him, and Garrett advises him not to trust anyone, including himself. He promises that no one will ever screw with Grant again and tells him to say yes, and gives him ten seconds to respond. Grant says yes, just as HYDRA gunmen break in and order everyone down.
At the motel where they've taken refuge, the team is watching a newscast about Deathlok killing a drug lord in Bogota. They wonder why the cyborg would kill a drug lord with ties to HYDRA, and Skye figures that Garrett and the stolen Bus aren't in American airspace. Coulson calls them into the next room where he and Melinda have worked out a chart of everyone they've been dealing with. They're all tied to Cybertek, the company that built Deathlok's parts. They figure that Garrett wants GH-325 to complete the Centipede serum. Grant went after the hard drive because it had all of the research on Coulson and Skye. Skye has created a Trojan Horse, but didn't have time to load it onto their computers so they need to plug it into one of their laptops. Melinda figures that since Garrett has been working with Cybertek for years, they can get to him through a Cybertek computer. Coulson reminds them that they are no longer S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and have no authority, but he plans to stop Grant and Garrett.
As they head back from Bogota in the Bus, Grant complains that he could have finished off the drug lord without Deathlok being noticed. Garrett explains that they wanted to send a message. He congratulates Deathlok as he comes in and suggests that he might be enjoying his work. Garrett then calls one of his people, Zeller, and tells him to stream Deathlok video of his son Ace. As Grant and Garrett walk off, Grant admits that he's still sore at Garrett for making Deathlok shut down his heart to get Skye to talk. Garrett insists that they're close to getting something he's been working on for 25 years. They go into the lab and Raina tells him that thanks to the research files on the hard drive, she's close to perfecting GH-325 and she's sending the information to their main lab in Cuba.
At the motel, Coulson makes a call and then tells Skye and Fitz that they're on with the R&D lab in Cybertek's Palo Alto office. Fitz is worried about giving Cybetek access to their designs, and Coulson says that he doesn't have to go. The scientist wonders if Garrett used an exploding eye implant to coerce him to help, but Skye says that their former teammate is simply evil. Fitz doesn't believe it and insists that something must have happened. Trip arrives with his grandfather's Howling Commando spy tech equipment, and Coulson geeks out over it, and figures it gives them a fighting chance against HYDRA.
Fifteen Years Ago
Garrett takes Grant out in the Wyoming country, hunting, and Grant wonders what happens if the police find him. His new mentor assures him that they're not looking and tells Grant that he's going to have to hunt down his dinner and find shelter. When Grant explains that Garrett didn't warn him, Garrett tells him to go back to juvenile hall if he wants it easy. He leaves his hunting dog Buddy with him and says that he'll be back in a couple of months. As he drives off, Garrett tells Grant that he thinks he can do it.
At Cybertek, the VPs of R&D, Ott and Diaz, greet Coulson and Melinda, who are posing as former S.H.I.E.L.D. scientists. Diaz admits that they're underwhelmed and would rather have HYDRA scientists. Fitz and Skye, listening in from the van outside, wish that they had gone inside instead. Meanwhile, Melinda activates a lapel pin and Skye uses it to look for Cybertek's mainframe. She doesn't find any digital data and has Fitzsimmons to tell Coulson and Melinda to stall while she continues searching. The scientists talk their teammates through describing the Icer bullet The scientists have already seen the bullet and converted it into an aerosol grenade, and aren't impressed.
Skye checks the building blueprints and finds a reinforced room on the fourth floor. She tells Coulson and Melinda to get there as they finish their interview and get into the elevator with two security guards. After knocking out the guards, the two agents go to the fourth floor and another guard spots them. He runs for a security phone and Melinda takes him out before he can make a call. Using a laser cigarette, they cut through the wall into the reinforced room and discover that there is no mainframe. All of the files are hard copies, and they start looking around.
In the Bus lab, Deathlok confronts Raina and reminds her that she captured his son. Raina insists that she was just following orders and he wonders if someone has put an eye implant in her as well. She says that there isn't and that she's there to see what will be revealed inside the people displaying superpowers. Raina then asks what Deathlok knows about Skye, suggesting that they have something in common.
Melinda finds Deathlok's file, dating back to 1990. They find Garrett's file inside and realize that he was the first Deathlok. They hear someone coming and tell Skye to get ready for a large file transfer... and then shove the cabinet out the window to the van below. Fitzsimmons load it up while Trip shoots a harpoon line up to the window. Coulson and Melinda slide down it to the van.
Fifteen Years Ago
Grant huddles against a tree with Buddy as the rain pours down.
Grant complains to Garrett that he was going to let him die, and Garrett tells him that they both knew that Skye was weak, just like Grant is. When Grant insists that he isn't a scared teenager anymore, Garrett tells him to stop acting weak. He then clutches at his side and Grant gets him into the lab and orders everyone out. Raina reluctantly goes and Grant hooks up a cable to Garrett's chest plate to stabilize him.
Back at the motel, the team confirm that Garrett was the first Deathlok soldier, and they figure he wants Centipede for himself. Fitz wonders if Garrett did the same thing to Grant and programmed him to betray them, but Jemma tells him to stop fooling himself. Skye reminds Fitz that Grant is a killer and regrets not letting Deathlok finish him. Coulson assures her that she had compassion. A pizza boy arrives with food.
Grant reboots Garrett's biomechanics and stabilizes him, and Garrett admits that it's been happening more and more as his organs fail. He tells Grant that the Cybertek team gives him maybe two months until he dies.
Skye goes into the motel room on her own. Melinda finally comes in and tells Skye that Fitz believes what he has to. She's sure that Grant isn't being controlled and Skye agrees, and says that it must be nice not to feel anything. Melinda says that she's furious but she's not going to waste it on a tantrum. She plans to focus it and use it to take Grant down when they find him. Coulson comes in and tells them that Tripp has tracked Cybertek shipments all ending up in Cuba, where S.H.I.E.L.D. once had a base.
In Havana, Quinn is getting a haircut at the barber shop when Garrett and Grant come in Quinn points out that he was only an international criminal because of S.H.I.E.L.D., and they no longer exist. He assures Garrett that he'll be in DC the next day capitalizing on Deathlok's attack on the drug lord, and then leaves. Grant gets a text and tells Garrett that it's Raina. He goes down to the lab and Raina admits that she's realized that Garrett is just trying to save his life rather than share her interest in special people. She figures that Garrett may not be interested in what she's learned about Skye, and Grant insists that Raina tell him. Raina finally tells him that the hard drive had Skye's DNA on it, and it's a match for a baby girl she heard about a long time ago. The girl was born in a village in China, and monsters tore the village apart searching for the girl... and the baby girl's parents were the monsters.
Fifteen Years Ago
Six months later, Garrett returns to find Grant and discovers that he's get up a camp. Grant gets the drop on him and puts a rifle to his back. Garrett says that he was on assignment and Grant says that the first few weeks were rough. Then he raided cabins and things got better. Garrett congratulates him and then draws a gun on him shoots several of the pots that Grant stole. He then gives the gun to Grant and assures him that he'll learn to shoot better than that.
As the technicians pack up the lab equipment, Garrett comes in and tells Grant that something about Raina worries him. Grant doesn't tell him about Skye's DNA, and Garrett says that they were going to leave anyway and the theft at Cybertek just speeded up his decision. Raina comes over with a vial and says that they've distilled all of the samples down to one vial, and it should heal someone the same as it did Coulson and Skye. Garrett studies it and smiles in satisfaction.
At a hangar in the airport, Fitz and Trip arm themselves and each one takes a tracking unit disguised as a quarter. Coulson tells Fitzsimmons to search for the Bus while he goes to the former S.H.I.E.L.D. base with Trip, Melinda, and Skye. They go there and Trip confirms that it's empty, but Skye picks up major energy readings nearby. Fitzsimmons call to say that they've found the Bus at an airfield outside of Abel Santamaria, a three-hour drive. Coulson tells them not to engage and hangs up. Skye suggests that they go into the barber shop, find a computer, and install her virus. The others agree and they head in.
At the airfield, Fitz spots Garrett and Jemma suggests that they send a drone in so they can track the Bus. Fitz goes to get it but Grant comes in.
Ten Years Ago
A now-adult Grant says that Buddy is smart and trustworthy, but Garrett figures that the dog will be dumped in the woods or left to a pound. He says that he grew up the same way and tells Grant that he was fragged by an IED outside of Sarajevo and his S.H.I.E.L.D. superior abandoned him. Garrett vowed to treat S.H.I.E.L.D. the way they treated him if he got out, then duct-taped himself up and got out. He then tells Grant that he's a double agent for HYDRA, and HYDRA understands the importance of survival.
Grant takes Fitzsimmons into the Bus and Fitz tells Garrett that he wants their plane back. Unimpressed, Garrett figures that Coulson is at the barbershop and has an agent call Kaminsky because he'll know what to do. As they prepare to take off, Fitz triggers a miniature EMP device, which fries Garrett's cybernetics as well as the plane's electronics.
The Bus lifts off and Grant goes to the lab, grabs some gear, and tells Raina to call Cybertek. Fitz says that they've won and tells Grant that he doesn't have to take orders from Garrett anymore. Grant tells the agents to leave with the scientists and prepares to revive Garrett.
Ten Years Ago
As Grant hunts a deer, Garrett tells him that he's been accepted by S.H.I.E.L.D.'s operation division. When Grant thanks him, Garrett tells him that he doesn't owe anyone anything and warns him not to get attached to anyone. He tells Grant to fight that weakness in him and orders him to shoot Buddy. Grant hesitates and Garrett asks if it's a weakness, and Grant assures him it isn't.
As Grant prepares to open up Garrett, Raina comes in and says that Cybertek is prepping a facility in Miami. Garrett tells Grant to kill Fitzsimmons immediately. When Grant hesitates, Garrett asks if it's a weakness, and Grant assures him it isn't. Raina offers to stay with Garrett and Grant leaves the lounge.
Coulson and the others enter the HYDRA base beneath the barbershop. Skye looks for the computers while Trip checks his grandfather's gear for anything he can use.
Garrett tells Raina that there's a mechanical failsafe and she opens it. Inside is a vial of her Centipede serum, and Garrett explains that it's the only thing that has been keeping him alive. Raina warns him that his system is shutting down, and Garrett tells her to inject him with her distilled serum.
In the lab, Fitz tosses a chair in front of the HYDRA agents escorting them. He and Skye run out through the lab but Grant arrives and they lock themselves in a cargo container. Grant asks him to open the door, and Jemma warns her friend that Grant isn't their friend and doesn't care about them. Fitz asks Grant if they're friends.
Ten Years Ago
Grant prepares to shoot Buddy. After a moment, he fires the gun into the air and Buddy runs off.
Fitz insists that Grant is a good person, but Grant says that he has his orders. The scientists refuse to open the door and Grant turns to a nearby panel. Realizing what he's doing, Fitz tells Grant that he has a choice and he doesn't have to do it. Grant admits that he does have a choice.
Ten Years Ago
Someone draws a bead on Buddy as he runs away, and then fires.
Grant jettisons the container into the ocean below.
Raina prepares to inject the serum and warns Garrett that it may not work, but he figures that he's dead no matter what. She injects the serum as Grant comes in and tells Garrett that it's done. Garrett goes into convulsion, his veins glowing red, and then tells Grant that he's feeling... the universe.
Trip scans the base and finds something behind a wall. Coulson opens the panel just as several Centipede soldiers come in.
In Washington, Quinn meets with General Jacobs and a Navy admiral, and says that HYDRA can provide them with a thousand cybernetic soldiers just like Deathlok. Cybertek is expanding their operations into a new state-of-the-art cybernetic facility and invites them to take a tour.