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"He has the Darkhold. I gave it to him because he knows how to make things disappear."
"And now someone's made him disappear. Can't be a coincidence."
Phil Coulson and Daisy Johnson[src]

The Kidnapping of Billy Koenig was an attempt by Holden Radcliffe and the Watchdogs to reclaim the Darkhold from S.H.I.E.L.D.

Background

"It was Operation Hot Potato. Pass it back and forth, keep it moving."
LT Koenig[src]
While trying to figure out a way to rescue Phil Coulson and Leo Fitz who were trapped between dimensions, Holden Radcliffe got a glimpse of the dark grimoire known as the Darkhold, which corrupted his mind.[2] From this point, Radcliffe was obsessed at the idea of reclaiming the Book of Spells for himself and started devising a plan accordingly.
BP Aida's Death

Aida fails to steal the Darkhold

Radcliffe's first attempt consisted in sending Aida to attack the Playground, but Aida was destroyed while on her way out.[3] Knowing that the Darkhold was not safe in the Playground, Coulson handed it over to Billy Koenig who hid it in the Labyrinth with the help of Sam Koenig and LT Koenig.[4]

WU Radcliffe Arrest

S.H.I.E.L.D. arrests Holden Radcliffe

Meanwhile, Radcliffe replaced Melinda May with a Life-Model Decoy who was secretly programmed to bring him the Darkhold. Feeling that his betrayal would soon be discovered, Radcliffe replaced himself with a LMD as well and forged an alliance with the Watchdogs while his android was arrested.[1]

Kidnapping

Abduction at Al and Cam's Arcade

TShockley-SubduingBKoenig

Billy Koenig is kidnapped by the Watchdogs

"Agent Coulson, this is Agent Koenig. They got Agent Koenig. I repeat, they got Agent Koenig!"
Sam Koenig to Phil Coulson[src]

S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Billy Koenig and Sam Koenig were entertaining at Al and Cam's Arcade, where Tucker Shockley led a small group of Watchdogs. While Shockley waited outside, Leo Babikov tried to sneak behind Billy, but the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent spotted him and fought back before running to his brother. Meanwhile, Billy exchanged bullets with another Watchdog at the bar. Billy knocked Sam's attacker before escaping from the arcade room. However, he was incapacitated by Shockely's Taser Rod and abducted by the Watchdogs. While the Watchdogs drove away, Sam informed Phil Coulson of the situation.[4]

Interrogation at the Watchdogs Submarine

"I'm told you refuse to talk and that you welcome pain. I, too, love pain. And I love to make others feel it using the old ways."
Superior to Billy Koenig[src]
While Sam Koenig joined Phil Coulson and his team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents aboard the Zephyr One, Billy Koenig was taken into the Watchdogs Submarine, where he was strapped to a chair. Also seemingly a prisoner was Holden Radcliffe, who told Billy that he had made the mistake of allying with the Watchdogs and that the Watchdogs were looking for the Darkhold and knew that Billy had hidden it.

The Superior joined Billy and Radcliffe and threatened to torture and kill them if he did not get the answers he was looking for. However, as he Superior was ready to torture Billy, Radcliffe refused to be a part of this. He revealed to Billy that he actually was not the Watchdogs' prisoner and offered to find the Darkhold's location through more subtle means.

HRadcliffe-ScanningBKoenig

Holden Radcliffe explores Billy Koenig's mind

Radcliffe used Framework equipment to read into Billy's memories. Thus, Radcliffe discovered that Billy and his siblings Sam and LT had hidden the Darkhold into a secret S.H.I.E.L.D. vault known as the Labyrinth. Although the Superior was keen on torturing Billy all the same to confirm the answers found by Radcliffe, Radcliffe convinced him otherwise after Aida defended Radcliffe against Tucker Shockley.[4]

Battle at the Labyrinth

"Hello, Agent May. Mission accomplished. This is exactly what you were supposed to do. I'm eternally grateful."
"Take me with you. Please."
"Sorry. You weren't built to last."
Holden Radcliffe and Melinda May's LMD[src]
S.H.I.E.L.D. picked up Agent LT Koenig to ensure her safety. They also learned that Billy Koenig had concealed the Darkhold into the Labyrinth. They flied the Zephyr One to the S.H.I.E.L.D. facility and arrived ahead of the Watchdogs. While Sam Koenig reclaimed the Darkhold in the vault, Phil Coulson had a tender moment with Melinda May, unaware that she had been replaced with an android.
Hot Potato Soup 21

Melinda May's LMD threatens Phil Coulson

Sam returned with the Darkhold and LT warned Coulson and May about the arrrival of the Watchdogs with Billy as a captive. Thus, Sam gave the Darkhold to May and left with LT to fight against the Watchdogs. Left alone with May, Coulson requested the Darkhold, but May refused to hand it over and pointed her gun at Coulson, much to his surprise. Knowing that May would never betray him, Coulson figured out that he was speaking to an android which was programmed for stealing the Darkhold. May tried to shoot Coulson but Quake, who had been warned about May's true nature by Jemma Simmons and Leo Fitz, took her down.

TShockley-TakingDarkhold

Tucker Shockley faces S.H.I.E.L.D. in the Labyrinth

Coulson reclaimed the Darkhold and he and Quake joined the confrontation against the Watchdogs, who held Billy at gunpoint. Coulson threw the Darkhold to Tucker Shockley, who released Billy in return. As Shockley knelt to pick up the Book of Spells, Quake attacked the Watchdogs, assisted by Coulson who shot them with an I.C.E.R.. However, more Watchdogs arrived and a gunfight erupted in the Labyrinth.

HRadcliffe-StealingDarkhold

Holden Radcliffe reclaims the Darkhold

Billy took the Darkhold and tried to escape. He found May's LMD who had been wounded by Quake and, unaware of her true nature, tried to help her only to be knocked on the ground. Upon that, Holden Radcliffe sneaked into the Labyrinth and took the Darkhold. May's LMD requested that he took her with him, but he refused, stating she had fulfilled her mission and was no longer useful to him. Radcliffe and the Watchdogs then escaped while the S.H.I.E.L.D. team returned to the Zephyr One.[4]

Aftermath

"I understood that conceptually, we were building a world, but I didn't expect you would build our entire world."
Holden Radcliffe to Aida[src]
Having reclaimed the Darkhold and all its knowledge, Holden Radcliffe and Aida were able to recreate an entire virtual world within the Framework[5], a world in which the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Phil Coulson, Leo Fitz, Melinda May, Jeffrey Mace and Alphonso Mackenzie would later be trapped to live rewritten lives.[6] The Superior also intended to use the Darkhold to fulfill his obsession: killing Phil Coulson.
MayLMD Deactivated

Melinda May's LMD is deactivated

The true nature of Melinda May's LMD being revealed, the android was deactivated. However, Coulson refused to destroy her[4] and went on an intense investigation to track down Radcliffe and try to find the real Melinda May, but to no avail.[5]

Since the Watchdogs knew the location of the Labyrinth, the facility was considered compromised and could no longer be used to store objects.[4]

References

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