We open with a look at when Lucy and Joe found the Darkhold, in the basement of the man who killed the book’s previous owner. They find it buried in a hole in the ground. When they open the book, the pages are blank. Then text appears. Lucy sees it in English; Joe sees it in German. His first language is German. Lucy posits a theory: the book is reading them.
Things are not as peaceful now, with Coulson questioning Joe, who is seizing. “Too late. She knows,” Joe says, bleeding from his eyes. He is dead. Lucy has found the book, back where she and Joe found it, in that basement. She opens the book, but because she is non-corporeal, the book can’t “read” her and the text doesn’t come through. That could be a problem for her.
SHIELD decides to take another crack at Eli. May and Coulson go in to take control of the prisoner for official SHIELD business. When they get in there, they realize the prison has been compromised. The warden sees them as ghosts and pulls a gun. Coulson and May neutralize the immediate threat, barricade themselves in the warden’s office, and call for an extraction.
Mack has Daisy lead the team to extract May and Coulson, while Mack goes for Eli. Begrudgingly, he lets Robbie come with him, if only to gain Eli’s trust. Fitz arrives to run operations from the plane. He brings with him a gift: a treatment for the ghost disease, in the form of giant injections to be shot into the base of the skull.
As Mack and Robbie look for Eli, Robbie is distracted by a Fifth Street gang leader. Mack gets him back on track, threatening to shoot him to keep Ghost Rider from coming out. Robbie promises he can control Ghost Rider. He doesn’t want his uncle to know about it. One of Lucy’s ghostly cohorts starts stalking them. Robbie lashes him with a flaming chain, busting him. Another comes out and walks through Mack before Robbie can flame it out. Mack knows he is infected and instantly injects himself with the cure. Easy peasy.
Daisy finds May and Coulson, but they don’t really need much saving. They inoculate the knocked-out guards and leave, for some reason taking a route through the prison population. Daisy realizes many of the prisoners have Watchdog tattoos. No time to worry over that now, as Lucy has appeared, locked the end doors, and unlocked all the doors to the cells. They are all infected, and all coming after Coulson’s team. Coulson tells Fitz to open ALL the doors in the prison, which he does – against his better judgement.
The team makes its way through the cafeteria while Fitz tries to find a secure cell block for them to hide in. Daisy locks May and Coulson out of the cafeteria, declaring that this is her fight, not theirs, and starts fighting the raging prisoners on her own. Coulson doesn’t care how, but he wants Fitz to find them a path back into the cafeteria. They take a long route along, leading them to crawl up through the garbage chute. Along the way, Coulson is bugging May to tell him what she saw when she died. She finally admits she saw him. The pair make it into the cafeteria and save Daisy from being strangled.
Mack and Robbie finally make it to Eli, who doesn’t want to trust SHIELD, until he finds out Lucy is back, can walk through walls, and has the book. Then he can’t get out of there fast enough. Mack stops to help a trapped prisoner, leaving Eli and Robbie to continue on their own. They move unnoticed through a full-out prison riot, but Robbie has one more thing to take care of. He sends Eli ahead and pops in on the Fifth Street gangster, who is calmly reading while the riot rages around him. Robbie confronts him, knowing that he ordered the drive-by shooting of two kids, one of whom wound up in a wheelchair. The gangster remembers, but he didn’t order the murder. He was in prison at the time. It was a hit. He doesn’t know who ordered the hit because every one of his crew is dead. Burned. Robbie’s eyes glow and the gangster gets scared. He goes full Ghost Rider and flames the gangster to death. Now the Fifth Street gang is extinct. The rioting prisoners are terrified and clear a path for Ghost Rider.
Outside, police, SHIELD agents, and paramedics are gathered. Coulson, May, and Daisy meet up with Mack. There is some concern that Robbie and Eli aren’t there. Robbie shows up, no Uncle Eli in tow. Now there is real concern. Back on the jet, Fitz found footage of Eli, being held hostage by Lucy, who took him away in the back of an ambulance. She didn’t kill him. She needs him for something.
Lucy takes Eli back to the lab and directs him to read the Darkhold because she can’t. She wants to fix herself, then finish what they started. Eli opens the book and text appears. His eyes light up.
Back at HQ, Simmons is stressed about her polygraph test. When asked about receiving sensitive information, the test redlines. The director comes in and needs Simmons to come with him right away. It is nothing sinister; he just needs her help in prepping for a televised debate with Nadeer about the “Inhuman war on humans.” He wants cold, hard science facts, and gives Simmons a mic so she can feed info to him in his earwig.
During the debate, Nadeer wants to know why humans are not SHIELD’s first priority. Then she asks about SHIELD compromising a prison. Simmons is a blank on that, and the director refuses to comment. Nadeer continues preaching against Inhumans, making it sound like she is inciting violence. Nadeer accuses Director Mace of not being the man for the job. Mace shuts off his earwig and promises he is the man for the job – he is an Inhuman.
This startling confession causes Mace’s poll numbers to go through the roof. He thanks Simmons for her help, but he is concerned because her polygraph test had some alarming results. He wants her to do it again. She leans forward and tells the director that they both know he wasn’t a hero in Vienna. A troubled look passes over Mace’s face, and he exempts her from all future testing.
In the final scenes, Director Mace has a meeting in a car – with Nadeer. She found SHIELD working with Quake in the prison, as well as another Inhuman, one she is not familiar with. One thing is for sure: he is a killer. He came with and left with SHIELD. “Do they know they are harboring a killer?” In two hours she plans on taking these photos to the news. “What do you want?” Mace asks. Nadeer smiles… leaving us to wait until next week to find out what she wants.
You can watch a preview for the next episode, titled “The Good Samaritan,” using the player below.