- "Skye's mother orchestrated the whole thing. It was a performance. The Quinjet they stole only fired on the one building. Nobody got hurt."
"Except Commander Gonzales. It either killed him or destroyed any evidence of foul play against him."
"If it's theater, it worked. Every Inhuman up there believes that S.H.I.E.L.D. attacked their leader and declared war."
- ―Phil Coulson, Jemma Simmons, and Melinda May[src]
Over the course of her life, Jiaying had bad experiences dealing with Humans. Before she even knew she was an Inhuman, the human Werner Reinhardt had her locked in a cage; years later, he had her dissected, in hopes of learning the secret of her longevity. As leader of Afterlife, Jiaying learned that a human killed Eva Belyakov and her daughter Katya.
Also, through her experiences, Jiaying found little difference between HYDRA and S.H.I.E.L.D. Since HYDRA worked secretly within S.H.I.E.L.D., they did many things in the name of the peacekeeping organization; one such event was when Agent Hauer brought her to Reinhardt for dissection. Her life was saved by her husband Calvin Zabo. Melinda May, an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., killed the Belyakovs.
Afterlife was an isolationist settlement started by Jiaying so that Inhumans could live separately from Humans. Only Gordon had access to the location. However, the HYDRA scientist Doctor List learned to track Gordon; the S.H.I.E.L.D. scientist Anne Weaver duplicated his work and found the settlement.
S.H.I.E.L.D. had a policy of putting people with extraordinary powers or abilities on the Index. The organization decided that it would index as many Inhumans as possible, with Jiaying's permission. Zabo hated the Index and spoke harshly about it.
In an attempt to peacefully negotiate terms between S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Inhumans, Phil Coulson arranged a meeting between himself and Jiaying in Afterlife, the Inhuman settlement. However, Coulson's council chose Robert Gonzales to go in Coulson's place, unknown to the Inhumans.
At Afterlife, Gonzales entered a building with Skye, Jiaying, and Calvin Zabo inside. Jiaying informed Gonzales that she was handing Zabo over to S.H.I.E.L.D. as a peace offering, and told Skye to take him to S.H.I.E.L.D. as she began her meeting.
Gonzales began by explaining that he had heard what Jiaying had gone through during her torture by Daniel Whitehall. He compared his battle wounds to her scars, and tried to convince her S.H.I.E.L.D. was different than HYDRA. He offered her a necklace recovered in Whitehall's office while explaining that he wished to put the Inhumans on the Index. Jiaying, disgusted and angry with the idea, brought out a gift of her own: a synthetic Terrigen Crystal, and told Gonzales that she had seen too many people fall into the trap of categorization. She explained that the crystal was deadly to humans before breaking it, and watching as Gonzales turned to stone.
Jiaying then took Gonzales' gun and shot herself twice in the shoulder, making it seem as if Gonzales had fired on her, before staggering outside and collapsing on the ground, knowing her people would follow her into a war.
Once outside, Jiaying accused S.H.I.E.L.D. of trying to assassinate her, and ordered Gordon to deal with them. He, with another Inhuman, captured a S.H.I.E.L.D. Quinjet, destroying the device used to track him and using the Quinjet to fire on the building with Gonzales' body, hiding Jiaying's actions.
The Inhumans believed Jiaying and began preparing for a war. All Inhumans who needed to be protected were moved out of Afterlife, while all those ready to fight stayed in the city. Jiaying gave Skye a choice, whether to fight with her or with S.H.I.E.L.D. 
Jiaying healed herself with a captured S.H.I.E.L.D. agent's life-force and made plans to hijack the Iliad and take down S.H.I.E.L.D. She met Raina at night and apologized for not believing her visions. She offered to make Raina an advisor, but Raina explained that her dream had been to lead the Inhumans, and that she had seen Jiaying's real plan and was going to reveal it to the rest of the Inhumans. However, Jiaying stabbed Raina in the neck, killing her, only to turn and discover that Skye, who was coming to give Jiaying her choice in the war, had witnessed the murder. Skye refused to help her mother, forcing Jiaying to have another Inhuman knock her out and imprison her. 
Having left Afterlife, S.H.I.E.L.D. began looking for answers, starting with Calvin Zabo, their "willing" captive. However, after only some questioning, Zabo had a heart attack brought on by his formula. Jemma Simmons gave him an adrenaline shot, which caused a physical transformation in Zabo resulting in enhanced strength and changed features. Zabo wreaked havoc in the Playground before being pinned against a wall by Phil Coulson. Coulson tried to reason with Zabo, eventually convincing him that he was still a good man. Zabo broke free and asked how he could help Coulson in the war.
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.08: The Things We Bury
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.17: Melinda
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.22: S.O.S. Part Two
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.20: Scars
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.12: Who You Really Are
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.15: One Door Closes
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 1.06: Girl in the Flower Dress
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.11: Aftershocks
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.21: S.O.S. Part One