It’s the team’s second mission, and they’re having trouble getting along.
Ward is incensed by the notion of including Skye. She is, after all, a member of the Rising Tide. Coulson will have none of it – he wants a team member that thinks differently from the rest.
There’s little time to argue as they’re called away on a mission to Peru to retrieve what turns out to be a gamma-radiation weapon (dubbed the 0-8-4). As Fitz-Simmons study it in the temple that it’s been stashed in, May and Ward do battle with the Peruvian National Police outside. Coulson’s appearance halts the stand-off; he knows (read: once slept with) their commanding officer, Reyes.
Unfortunately, the National Police aren’t their only problem – a rebel group attacks. Ward yanks the 0-8-4 out of the wall, over loud protests from Fitz, and they make a run for it, being shot at as they go. They make it back to their plane (a spacious, elaborate set-up), taking Reyes and some of her colleagues with them to safety.
The team continues to squabble in the lab; Ward isn’t a fan of Fitz-Simmons’ technobabble. Skye half-jokes that she should be Team Captain, since she’s been a part of the team as long as anyone else, and the others can’t get along at all. Later, however, she and Ward seem to come to an understanding; they see the world in very different ways. Skye sees the beauty in hundreds of people collaborating to solve a piece of the puzzle; Ward is a lone soldier, used to taking out any and all variables.
As Coulson and Reyes reminisce in his plane-based office, he realizes that she’s up to no good. Ward comes to the same conclusion, as he watches her soldiers pretend to drink. Suddenly, they’re waging war; one of the Peruvian soldiers has knocked May out, preventing her from piloting the plane. Ward – who, like May (nicknamed “Cavalry”), is a one-man army – takes out a host of soldiers…but Fitz is taken hostage in the lab, forcing his hand.
With Coulson tied up on the floor in front of her, Reyes takes the opportunity to scoff at his team. He’s having a mid-life crisis, she claims, hiring a bunch of pretty young agents and trying to stay relevant. But Coulson knows his team is the best, and down in the cargo hold, they finally band together. Ward concedes that they need to work together, putting Skye’s puzzle analogy to good use.
May dislocates her wrist and escapes from her bindings, then takes out the guard. Fitz-Simmons fire the gamma-ray weapon, blasting a hole in the side of the plane. A rush of air breaks through, pulling the Peruvian police off their feet and sucking them into the sky. Coulson, who had just managed to untie himself, holds on for dear life…and rescues Reyes, who seems fated to slip away. Ward fights off the guards, and Skye opens a raft, which covers the hole and saves him from flying out, too. In the shuffle, May regains control of the plane.
They land at a secret base, where they plan to surrender the 0-8-4 and watch it shot off into space via a rocket. When Ward admits that Skye has potential, May tells him that he should be her Supervising Officer. Fitz-Simmons no longer seem to be regretting their foray out of the lab and into the field; they eagerly sit down with a few beers to watch the rocket launch.
Skye, however, hangs back. She’s received a text from the Rising Tide, asking for her status. She hesitates, and it’s clear she’s torn, but in the end, she chooses a side. “I’m in,” she texts back.
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