We open with a flashback to when Hive was created. In what I assume is prehistoric times, an early man is hunting buffalo when a pair of Kree reapers happen upon him. They took him back to their ship and began experimenting on him. He didn’t know it at the time, but he was being injected with Kree blood. This is how Hive became the first Inhuman. Now, Hive reveals what his plans are: he is going to recreate the Kree experiment and turn a trio of Hydra underlings into Inhumans.
The Kree were hoping to make soldiers with the creation of Inhumans. It didn’t work out with Hive, and they feared his power. But now, Hive hopes to continue the Kree legacy by using Radcliffe to alter the DNA of his test subjects and introduce terrigen at the same time. They are injected with a Windex-blue liquid, and the three test subjects scream and writhe in pain. The experiment doesn’t work, and the test subjects melt into gooey puddles.
Radcliffe apologizes to Hive for the failed experiment, but swears it would have worked if he had the right ingredients. He needs DNA from a living Kree, and Hive gave him DNA from the Ward shell he is wearing. Hive is pissed, and threatens to kill Radcliffe and take over his mind. Radcliffe begs him not to, swears he will be a loyal soldier, and Hive lets him go. It is time to use the artifacts now.
Over at SHIELD, May, Mack, and Coulson are prepping the team to kill Hive. Daisy’s face was caught on a security camera, and SHIELD’s facial recognition software – the one Daisy helped create – caught her. Coulson feels that this is a trap, but Mack thinks Daisy still has some control over herself, and showing up on the camera was a cry for help. Coulson doesn’t believe it, but it doesn’t matter: their first – and main – objective is to kill Hive. He instructs the team to only kill Inhumans when it is absolutely necessary.
FitzSimmons have been working on a cure to counter the effects of Hive’s infection. The only problem is that it has just as much of a chance to kill Daisy as it does to save her. They need a human subject (rather, an Inhuman subject) and Lincoln volunteers. They present the pros and cons to Lincoln and Coulson and ultimately, Coulson decides it is not worth the risk. He tells FitzSimmons to look for other options, then goes back to give the final briefings to the extraction team. (Basically, his only other instructions are: “If Hive can’t be killed, run the hell out of there.”)
After a quick break for tea, FitzSimmons returns to the lab to find Lincoln injecting himself with the anti-toxin. Lightning explodes from his body, frying several computers and knocking out the lights and Lincoln. Simmons is horrified and wants to inject him with something to counteract the anti-toxin, but Lincoln refuses. He insists that his body can handle it. This anti-toxin has essentially nuked Lincoln’s immune system. Fitz looks after Lincoln in the medical bay, and he is mad. Not necessarily because he risked his life foolishly, but more because he disobeyed a direct order. Simmons joins them and announces that the only way to tell if the serum worked was to take a tissue sample – from Lincoln’s brain. Something he would have known about if he hadn’t been so reckless.
Upon arriving at Hivetown, May spies James, and Mack fills her in on what a blowhard he is. May uses this to her advantage and plays the role of a Hydra contractor, brought in for security. She gets all mad and high-horsey about “other contractors” being called in – until James reveals his Inhuman powers. May apologizes and begs for his forgiveness. She didn’t realize he was “one of them.” He will forgive her if she has a drink with him. May agrees, and between the flirting and the beer, James admits that Hive is there to turn humans into Inhumans, and offers to move her to the front of that line. As soon as he mentions that Hive is in the “abandoned mine facility” on the edge of town, she knocks him out and SHIELD moves in on Hive.
Daisy and Hive are spending some quality time, talking about how they were made (he by the Kree; she by SHIELD) and Hive checking to make sure Daisy has the strength to defeat “what made her.” She tells him she wants to put her friends through the Inhuman process; it is the only way to save them. If they decline, and come after them with weapons, Daisy assures her overlord that she will rip their hearts out. This pleases Hive.
SHIELD moves in on the mining facility, but are greeted to an empty building. There is a static radio sound that seems to be coming from the two artifacts, now active. Coulson, from his perch in HQ, recognizes the writing on the artifacts and commands everyone out. Now. The team barely clears the building when a meteor crashes into the building. It looks like a satellite, not a spaceship, but big footprints lead away from the crash. The artifacts, joined together, create a beacon. The two Kree reapers that made Hive stomp out of the flames.
As Hive explains, the reapers exist only to hunt, to find humans for their makers. They have been in stasis, and are the only things that can defeat Hive. Despite the fact that they are crazy powerful, he instructs Daisy to get blood from them. In order to make humans Inhumans, they must have blood from a live Kree.
The Kree split up. One finds Alisha and kills her – and her clone – easily. SHIELD sees the other Kree systematically taking out the Hydra guards, and keep their distance. The Kree are doing a lot of SHIELD’s work for them. Coulson instructs his team to follow close, but stay out of the crosshairs. The reaper senses something in a building, but moves past it into the church. Mack is certain that it sensed Daisy, and stays behind to find her.
The first reaper, the one who did away with Alisha so swiftly, finds Radcliffe. Daisy surprises it and uses her powers to blow him back. The two fight, and Daisy doesn’t go down nearly as easily as Alisha did. In the end, Daisy uses her powers to break the Kree’s limbs and spine. She directs Radcliffe to gather the blood from the crippled Kree.
Radcliffe should have all the blood they need in the next hour and tells Daisy she is free to leave if she has other things to do. Mack shows up and announces she is coming with him. Radcliffe seems to disappear at this point, as Daisy and Mack debate on whether or not she needs saving. Daisy is initially warm-ish, telling Mack she wants to make her friends Inhumans, but Mack insists she has been brainwashed. Daisy becomes more insistent in her beliefs: that it was SHIELD messing with her head, not Hive; that there is no reason to stay; that Hive gave her the feeling of belonging. Mack counters with his “you wanted to be caught” argument, but it falls on deaf ears. He tosses a splinter bomb on the Kree being drained. “If I can’t save you, I’ll save everyone else.” Daisy uses her powers to throw him into the street, and the two fight. Well, Daisy fights. Mack refuses to do anything more than defend himself.
May and her team follow the second Kree into the church, where it fights Hive. The Kree calls Hive a “failed experiment.” After some pointless punches are thrown, Hive uses his Hive-y power to disintegrate the Kree. Coulson, watching all of this from the ship, instructs his team to fire. May and her people empty their guns on Hive, who just stands there, staring at them. They pull out a huge gun, and while it takes out a huge chunk of Hive’s shoulder, it grows back instantly. At this point, May tells everyone to run.
Outside, Daisy is about to land a fatal blow to Mack when May shoots her with a tranquilizer. An emergency evacuation chamber flies in, picks up May, Mack, and the team, and gets out of there. Hive cradles Daisy as they leave.
Simmons visits Lincoln in a containment unit and fills him in: Daisy is alive but they weren’t able to stop Hive. Lincoln is mad at being locked in the containment unit, but Simmons points out that if someone so much as sneezes on him, he could die. He is looking better, but that doesn’t matter. Simmons is there to tell him the anti-toxin didn’t work. They don’t have a cure.
Back in Hivetown, Radcliffe patches up Daisy as Hive rails against her, fearing he put too much trust in her, that she can’t separate herself from SHIELD. To prove her loyalty, she offers up her own blood. She has actual Kree DNA in her veins. “You want this to work, drain me.”
You can watch a preview for next week’s episode, titled “Emancipation,” using the player below.