The United Nations Headquarters is attacked by Marcus Scarlotti and his mercenaries in the name of S.H.I.E.L.D. while Glenn Talbot gives a speech there. Six, including Adamo Dioli, are killed in the attack.
With his arm in a sling, Talbot goes to see Senator Christian Ward, who is upset that Talbot allowed S.H.I.E.L.D. to attack him as he brags about bringing down the organization. Talbot doubts that S.H.I.E.L.D. attacked the UN, but he assures that no one knows about Christian's connection to Grant.
Every morning at 5:30 sharp, Grant Ward awakens, works on his broken thumb, and exercises. Skye and Jemma Simmons note that he has no way of knowing the time but he is punctual. Melinda May interrupts the conversation by announcing the United Nations' attack.
Director Coulson gathers information on the attack and sends May, Bobbi Morse and Lance Hunter to investigate a lead in Okinawa, Japan. He tells European agent Noelle Walters to have her team on standby, while Simmons is told to access the hard drive she stole from HYDRA Laboratories.
Simmons asks Leo Fitz for help in accessing the hard drive, but they begin to argue. Simmons leaves, unable to handle the new Fitz.
During her conversation with Toshiro Mori, the one who named the Splinter Bomb, Morse learns that Scarlotti seeks Julien Beckers, a Belgium politician. Hunter and May save Morse when her cover is blown. Coulson instructs Walters' team to find and protect Beckers.
After Senator Ward has a televised debate with Beckers calling S.H.I.E.L.D. a terrorist organization, he finds Coulson in his office. They discuss the Ward family history and that Grant is in Coulson's basement. Christian decides that he will reveal his connection to his traitorous brother and will speak kindly of S.H.I.E.L.D., if Grant is turned over to his custody. Coulson agrees.
Grant tells Skye everything he knows about her father, how he saved Skye from HYDRA's custody, but could not save her mother. Ward is then taken by the United States Armed Forces. While being transported, Grant adjusts his thumb so he can slip his handcuffs and kills his guards.
Meanwhile, Scarlotti kills Agent Walters who learns that Beckers is a member of HYDRA. Alphonso Mackenzie helps Fitz open the hard drive and learn that the Beckers family has worked for HYDRA since Vincent Beckers, Julien's grandfather. May, Morse, and Hunter take down Scarlotti and his mercenaries and turn them over to Glenn Talbot, who gives May his condolences on the loss of Walter's team.
Mackenzie tells Simmons that he does not remember the old Fitz; he only knows this one. However, he feels that this one is better without her. She tearfully agrees.
Sebastian Derik asks his tattoo artist to give him another tattoo. As the artist disapproves and Derik disrobes, his body is covered with the Words of Creation. The pain of getting a tattoo helps him to remember.
- Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson
- Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May
- Brett Dalton as Grant Ward
- Chloe Bennet as Skye
- Iain De Caestecker as Leo Fitz
- Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmons
- Nick Blood as Lance Hunter
- B.J. Britt as Agent Antoine Triplett
- Henry Simmons as Agent Alphonso Mackenzie
- Adrianne Palicki as Agent Bobbi Morse
- Adrian Pasdar as Brigadier General Glenn Talbot
- Tim DeKay as Senator Christian Ward
- Falk Hentschel as Marcus Scarlotti
- Brian Tee as Toshiro Mori
- Brian Van Holt as Sebastian Derik
- Melanie Cruz as Agent Noelle Walters
- Michael Enright as Julien Beckers
- Joe Marinelli as Adamo Dioli
- Darrel Cherney as Tattoo Artist
- Liberte Chan as International Reporter
- Chris Wolfe as News Reporter
- Tara Macken as HYDRA Mercenary (uncredited)
- Parisa Fakhri as Senator's Aide (uncredited)
- Antal Kalik as HYDRA Mercenary (uncredited)
- Jeff Imada as Mori's Mercenary (uncredited)
- New York City, New York
- Washington, D.C.
- Okinawa, Japan
- Bruges, Belgium
- HYDRA Laboratories (mentioned)
- Italy (mentioned)
- Shizuoka, Japan (mentioned)
- Miami, Florida (mentioned)
- Hunan, China (mentioned)
- Macon, Georgia (mentioned)
- Franny's Saloon (mentioned)
- War on HYDRA
- Massacre in Hunan (mentioned)
- Kidnapping of Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons (mentioned)
- Assassination of Eric Koenig (mentioned)
- Assassination of Victoria Hand (mentioned)
- Splinter Bomb
- Inertial Confinement Laser Barrier
- Words of Creation
- Bobbi Morse's Battle Staves
- Rope Dart Knife
- Diviner (mentioned)
- United States Air Force
- United Nations
- United States Congress
- WHiH World News
- Strategic Scientific Reserve (logo)
- Avengers (mentioned)
- Daniel Whitehall
- Clint Barton
- Thomas Ward
- Red Skull
- Vincent Beckers
- Calvin Zabo
- Victoria Hand
- Eric Koenig
- Maria Hill (name on file)
- Anna Ward (photograph)
|Love Won't Last||Bunny Vincent||
- In the "Previously On" segment, Grant Ward's line "My older brother, he didn't beat up my younger brother" from The Only Light in the Darkness is changed to "My older brother, Christian, he didn't beat up my younger brother".
- The episode was supposed to be the debut of the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, but it leaked first. However, new footage was released together with the trailer.