Saving Daisy from Hive isn’t going to be quick or easy. The agent fell victim to Hive’s mind control in the last episode, and her friends failed to save her in “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3, episode 18. Instead, Daisy helped Hive build a group of Inhuman followers, and she threatened the life of one of her former co-workers.
At the beginning of episode 18, Coulson (Clark Gregg) decides to leave the damaged base to go find Daisy (Chloe Bennet), but she’s off with Hive (Brett Dalton). Daisy realizes Hive has Ward’s memories, and she starts to catch him up on everything Ward missed.
Daisy tells Hive that she isn’t known as Skye anymore. She starts telling him about her parents and realizes she doesn’t know why she is opening up so much. “Connection,” Hive says. “You and I are one organism now.” Hive adds that he wants to take back the planet and make it a home for Inhumans.
S.H.I.E.L.D. has to work to save Daisy fast, and that means putting some agents in the field who aren’t typically there. Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) and Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) explain that Hive’s parasites make the Inhumans stronger. ICERs don’t work, and they need an expert to help. They think a scientist with interest in human modification, Dr. Radcliffe (John Hannah), could help. He has been working on genetically engineering parasites, but Fitz and Simmons have to track him down first.
Before leaving for their mission with Mack (Henry Simmons), Fitz and Simmons say they want to maintain their professional relationship despite their romantic feelings. “Things are bound to get complicated,” Fitz says.
“You mean once we have sex?” Simmons asks bluntly.
Unfortunately, their conversation is interrupted by May (Ming-Na Wen). She gives Simmons a gun. The scientist says she won’t need it, but May doesn’t let her leave without it.
The rest of the S.H.I.E.L.D. team wants to find Alisha (AliciaVela-Bailey) before Hive does. Coulson tells Lincoln (Luke Mitchell) that he is welcome to come, but he has to wear a “murder vest.” May will have the kill switch, just in case. Hive could infect Lincoln, and they apparently aren't as interested in saving Lincoln as they are with Daisy.
Before they go in, May asks what she should do if Daisy shows up. Coulson orders her to save Daisy and bring her in. May points out Coulson’s preferential treatment. “I’ll do your dirty work, Phil, but don’t you dare pretend your hands are clean,” May says.
When Lincoln gets to Alisha, he is too late. Daisy and Hive have already gotten to her, and they’ve moved on to James (Axle Whitehead), the potential Inhuman that was introduced a couple weeks ago. Hive wants to know where the missing part of the Kree artifact is, but they aren’t waiting for answers. Daisy drops a terrigen crystal and James starts transforming.
Meanwhile, May and Lincoln have to fight Alisha and one of her clones. Alisha knocks out May and grabs her gun. Lincoln holds one clone hostage and demands to know where Daisy is or else he’ll torture the clone. Alisha claims she can’t say, and shoots her doppelganger in the head. Before she can kill May too, Coulson shoots Alisha.
It turns out they were both clones. Alisha is actually with Hive and claims she is “happy to make the sacrifice.” They’re at James’ trailer where they discover that James has fire powers.
James shows Hive where the missing component of the Kree artifact is. The object is “the only thing that can destroy me,” Hive says.
After their mission goes south, Coulson rethinks the whole “murder vest” idea. He wants to take Lincoln out of the field completely. He says that Daisy would want him to keep Lincoln safe.
Coulson admits to May that he favors Lincoln’s girlfriend. He wanted to give Daisy the family she has always wanted. “Phil, you’re not her father,” May reminds him.
“No, but she’s the closest thing I have to a daughter,” Coulson says.
Their honest moment is interrupted when they get information that Hive’s team is in South Dakota. They go to James’ trailer, but all they find is a hole in the floor. May realizes that the whole place is rigged with explosives, and they don’t have time to evacuate. The trailer blows up while they’re in there, but Coulson uses a handy shield in his fake hand to protect them. They aren’t the only ones in trouble, though.
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Fits and Simmons are posing as black market sellers to get Radcliffe’s interest. They bring a pair of enhanced eyes to the scientist to get his attention. While they wait for Radcliffe to decide if he is interested, Simmons and Fitz turn off their ear coms to finally discuss their relationship. Fitz compares their relationship changing to crossing the event horizon. They agree to stop thinking and just go for it.
That’s when the scientist agrees to see them. They are brought to a lab with a human subject on the operating table. To prove that their offer is as good as they say, they’ll have to perform a successful surgery and put the cybernetic eye into a random guy.
They decide that they’ll do what they have to in order to save Daisy. Simmons puts a needle in the eye, and the guy pulls it out. It turns out Dr. Radcliffe is the patient, and he wanted to be sure they were for real. His eye is already fake anyway.
He realizes that they were passing off old Hydra tech and doesn’t want to associate with them. Fitz and Simmons try to explain what they’re doing, but the meeting is interrupted by Hive’s team.
— Agents of SHIELD (@AgentsofSHIELD) April 27, 2016
In the bar outside, James creates an explosion that gets Mack’s attention. While they’re fighting James throws out some new nicknames for himself: fire starter, burning man. (It isn’t until the end of the episode that he comes up with Hellfire, a name familiar to comic book readers.)
Meanwhile, Alisha takes the scientist, and Daisy tells Fitz to stop saving her. “I finally have a family, Fitz. You don’t need to pity me anymore,” Daisy says. She tells him about her vision of an agent dying, and she says that if he loves Simmons, he’ll leave the Inhumans alone. They don’t want to hurt S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, but they aren’t afraid to do what they have to do. This is his last warning. Next time, she’ll kill him.
Simmons has her own terrifying encounter with Hive. He starts speaking like Will and tells Simmons about the dead astronaut’s feelings for her. He tells her that he wants her to be happy, and he needs to say goodbye. Simmons cries, but she isn’t falling for it. She shoots Hive and runs away.
As soon as Simmons and Fitz get back to their hotel room, they realize they have to stop giving people enough time to interrupt. They know that they have a lot to discuss, but they’ll talk about it another day. They make use of the hotel room that S.H.I.E.L.D. got them instead.
Back at headquarters, Talbot (Adrian Pasdar) ends Hydra. Malick (Powers Boothe) gave them everything on the organization. May and Coulson watch soldiers all over the world attack Hydra bases. “Hydra has been eliminated,” Talbot says. It should be a celebration, but they can’t celebrate with Hive on the loose.
Hive has Dr. Radcliffe in custody and explains that they’re remaking humanity. They’re going to recreate the experiment that was once done on him, and he has bought them a town to start the process.
“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Season 3 airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EDT on ABC.