- "Someone with that much empathy being responsible for that much loss of life, she's devastated. Spouting nonsense about God punishing her for–"
"People believe what they need to believe to justify their actions."
"Is that how you justify your shoot first policy? At least let me try to repair that damage."
- ―Skye and Melinda May
In a Roxxon Gas Station mini-mart in Batesville, Utah, Hannah Hutchins tries to purchase a few groceries, only to be blamed by the cashier for the death of Frank Delacourt. Feeling intimidated, Hutchins tries to leave, but the angry man will not let her. Things begin to fly off the shelves. The two then hear something break outside the store, and the man goes to investigate. Fearing what would happen, Hutchins hides behind a shelf, clutching her cross necklace and muttering prayers to God. An explosion is heard, and fire surrounds the building.
Meanwhile, back at the hotel Coulson's Team is staying at, Melinda May receives a text on her cell phone of a mission before Grant Ward walks in from the bathroom. He asks if there were any specifics, to which she answers no. Ward reminds her that they would need to arrive at the Bus at different times so as to not raise suspicion of their sexual relationship. As he turns to face her, he scoffs, realizing she is already gone.
Back at the Bus, Phil Coulson and Skye discuss Hutchins who was the safety inspector at StatiCorp. People were suspecting her to be a telekinetic, as she appeared to be able to move objects with her mind. Skye asks Coulson about this, and he tells her telekinetic powers are unheard of on the Index. The team travels to Batesville to conduct an index asset evaluation and intake. Civilians had crowded around Hutchins's house, demanding that she be arrested. Coulson's team and the police are unable to calm the citizens, leading to May's having to sedate Hutchins.
Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons head to Staticorp to gather data using their D.W.A.R.F.s. While there, they have a conversation about Miss Hutchins, agreeing that people with telekinetic powers do not exist. This led to Fitz's playfully teasing Simmons about believing that very thing for a short amount of time after a freshman prank was pulled on her back at the S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy. The idea strikes Simmons that Skye had never been to the Academy, and is, therefore, a freshman. Fitz agrees with her that being pranked is "an integral part of becoming a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent." And so begins the prank war on Skye.
In the interrogation room on the Bus, Hutchins is still asleep but expected to wake up soon. Coulson asks May to go in with him, both for protection, and to get Hutchins to trust them. Coulson and May enter the Cage, and Hutchins stirs awake and starts backing up into the wall, scared. Coulson tries to appear friendly, and gives her a bottle of water and introduces himself and May.
While the activities with Hutchins are going on, FitzSimmons begin their prank on Skye. After Fitz refers to May as "the Cavalry", Skye inquires as to where the name came from. The two scientists are stunned that Skye had never heard the story. Fitz and Simmons begin the phony story of May, saying that she crossed off over 100 heavily armed assassins with two pistols, after riding in on a horse. Skye is doubtful at first but eventually falls for it.
Coulson's gentle interrogation of Hutchins pulls up more information about the Staticorp accident. Apparently, Hutchins had been receiving complaints for weeks about the coupling assembly coming loose at the bolts. Tobias Ford had been the technician there. Hutchins had gone down every few days to check the bolts and found no more issues. Coulson informs her that they believe she may have acquired some sort of telekinetic ability as a result of the accident. Hutchins breaks down as she realizes they thought it was her who was causing the freak accidents. Coulson tries to explain to her that all of the incidents had one thing in common... her. Hutchins insists that they were not her doing, and Coulson asks who was causing it if it wasn't her. After hesitation, she admits to believing demons are haunting her because God does not protect her anymore.
Out in the briefing room, Coulson and his team discuss Hutchins. After doing a background check on her, Skye insists that Hutchins is "overly nice"; she took the job as safety manager because she actually cared about their lives, not to mention that she volunteers at a shelter and rescue puppies. Skye points out that person like Hutchins, who has lots of empathy would be completely devastated by the loss of life; she blames herself. Skye begs Coulson to let her talk to Hutchins as a friend, but Coulson denies her request, saying it was too dangerous.
Later, Skye talks about May with Ward, how she does not understand her. Skye comes to the conclusion that May needs to "get laid". Ward tenses, remembering his night with May but brushes it off cooly. Skye references the story that FitzSimmons told her about May, and Ward tells her that the story gets bigger every year. He corrects her, saying that there were twenty assassins, not a hundred, and May crossed them off alone with one pistol. He adds that there were no horses involved. Ward starts to clean up after the sandwich he had prepared and discovers the knife is missing.
In the interrogation room, Hutchins hears thumps and crashing sounds outside the door and starts crying for God to forgive her.
Simmons examines a holotable image of the coupling from the Staticorp explosion. Fitz sneaks up behind her in a gas mask in an attempt to scare her, but she is not the least bit startled. After a brief quarrel over their prank on Skye, Fitz heads off to find some spare couplings to run simulations.
In the lounge of the Bus, Skye has pulled up some information about Tobias Ford, which she shares with Ward. Apparently previous to his death at the explosion, Ford had filed three safety complaints, all in Miss Hutchins' department.
Fitz searches a closet for couplings, but instead finds a mop, which he intends to use for another prank.
Fiddling with the Holotable image, Simmons uncovers a landscape image and is sent into awe. She tries to ask Fitz what they were seeing, but instead of Fitz answering, Ford appears and growls that the image is of Hell, and proceeds to try to strike Simmons with a wrench. Simmons is able to dodge, and the wrench shatters the holotable. After hearing her scream, Coulson comes running in, with Ford gone. Frightened, Simmons tells Coulson that Hutchins had been telling the truth and that there is "someone else on this plane".
Elsewhere on the plane, Ford appears, and rips some wall cables, cutting the plane's power, and causing it to go down. May manages to land the plane without anyone getting hurt.
The team gathers and establishes that Miss Hutchins is indeed the victim. Skye asks once again for permission to talk to Hutchins, and Coulson finally agrees. Before the team disperses, Simmons realizes they do not know the whereabouts of Fitz.
Fitz is locked in a closet, and calling out for someone to answer him, still thinking it is a prank pulled by Simmons. Glancing at the floor, he finds a work tool wedged beneath the door. He removes it and lets himself out.
He travels down a hallway and finally runs into Simmons and Ward. Ward uses his intercom to alert May that they found Fitz. She responds that they would need him because the "ghost" took out all the plane's power systems.
Outside the Cage, Skye approaches Hutchins from outside the wall of her containment space. She introduces herself as a friend and has an encouraging talk with the girl. Hutchins asks Skye if she believes in God. Skye answers that she doesn't. Hutchins says she does, and that God is punishing her.
Skye insists that Hutchins does not deserve to be punished, that nobody does. She refers back to the bible verse stating "God is love", saying that particular passage still resonates with her, past her childhood. May interrupts their moment by volunteering to stand guard.
Fitz and Simmons debate with Ward whether the image from the coupling was of Hell or an alien world. They agree that this ghost (Tobias) is stuck between worlds, after discussing the portals between the nine realms.
After Ward leaves FitzSimmons alone to fix the wrecked wires, Ford appears and pushes the two scientists into a closet. Ford then attacks Ward.
In Coulson's office, Coulson sets Skye straight about May's past. It was not an assault or a rescue. It was an index asset evaluation and intake that "went south". A civilian girl and some S.H.I.E.L.D. agents were being held captive by the followers of the gifted individual. May had gone in to retrieve them and took it upon herself to cross off the enemy force. Coulson says that May was never the same after that incident. He describes her to be previously warm and mischievous, much like Skye.
Their talk is interrupted by Ford, who locks Skye and Coulson in the office. Coulson has to construct a makeshift bomb out of his collectible Walkie-Talkie Wristwatch, much to his own dismay. Later, May makes her way through the plane, then stops suddenly, with Ford sneaking up behind her. She quickly flees the scene and steals Hutchins away from the Bus and into an old barn.
May uses Hutchins as bait to lure Ford out, where a fight between her and the man commences. May is eventually saved by Hutchins' telling Ford to stand down.
Ford tearfully admits to Hutchins that it had been him who loosened the couplings because that meant she would go and see him, and it was the best part of his day. He insists he never intended for anyone to get hurt, even after his death, he claimed to be trying to protect Hutchins. (The fool had been unable to realize that his good intentions were just making things worse for her.) He begs her to forgive him so that he would not go to Hell, but she responds that only God could forgive him. May scolded Ford, that he was dragging Hutchins to Hell with him, and that he had to let her go.
Ford sadly lets himself drift away, releasing Hutchins. Soon after, the rest of Coulson's team arrives at the scene. Skye comforts Hutchins, and Coulson asks May what she said to Ford. She answers, "The same words you said to me in Bahrain."
Back on the Bus, Coulson praises Skye on her ability to read people and learn how their minds work. He says that was why he wanted her to pay attention to this mission because he knew that one day she would be very good at it. Maybe she would even get to rename it. Skye heads over to the cockpit, where May is preparing for takeoff. Skye asks if she could keep her company. May remains silent, which Skye takes as a yes, and watches in awe as the plane rises from the ground, using jets on the underside of the engines.
Later, Coulson, Skye, Ward, and Simmons play "Upwords" in the lounge. As Ward tries to argue Simmons' use of the word "aglet" as being a British word, their argument is cut off by Fitz walking into the lounge, shaving cream covering his face and hand. The team bursts out laughing. Fitz demands to know who pulled the prank on him, but all the agents in the lounge deny it. May smirks knowingly from the cockpit.
- 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
- Robert Baker as Tobias Ford
- Laura Seay as Hannah Hutchins
- Christopher Gehrman as Taylor
- Josh Clark as Roger
- Mickey Maxwell as Officer
- Beth Kennedy as Martha
- Max Osinski as Agent Davis
- Unknown Actor as Jack Benson (uncredited)
- Unknown Actor as Frank Delacourt (uncredited)
- Unknown Actor as Arlene Willoughby (uncredited)
- Batesville, Utah
- Dublin, Ireland
- Manama, Bahrain (mentioned)
- London, England (mentioned)
- Fridge (mentioned)
- S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy (mentioned)
- S.H.I.E.L.D. Headquarters (mentioned)
- Rescue of Hannah Hutchins
- Rescue in Bahrain (mentioned)
- Convergence (mentioned)
- Battle of Greenwich (mentioned)
- Night-Night Gun
- Golden Retrievers
- Walkie-Talkie Wristwatch
- Tracking Bracelet
- Particle Accelerator (mentioned)
- Dogs (mentioned)
- The Scrabble board in the end scenes shows the words "strange" and "tales." Strange Tales is the comic book where Nick Fury debuted.
- The barn used in the scene where Melinda May takes Hannah Hutchins is known as the "Pee-Wee Barn", as it was constructed for the comedy Big Top Pee-wee in 1985 inside Disney's Golden Oak Ranch, in Newhall, California. The barn was previously used in episode FZZT.
|Two of You||Brian Keane||