The Airborne Mobile Command Station known as "the bus" is headed for a top secret location dubbed the Slingshot. Even though there was a bumpy situation on the ground not long ago, Agent Phil Coulson radios in that all is well. Then... BOOM! An explosion rips open a side section of the aircraft. A body flies out. Inside, Agent Coulson hangs on for his life as he is violently sucked toward the opening. We jump back 19 hours earlier to see what led to this turbulent situation in the sky.
Agent Ward lets it be known that the frown on his face is because Skye is part of the team. Technically, she's acting as a consultant, which is also how Agent Coulson classifies Tony Stark. Melinda May is concerned about the two kids they are bringing aboard the bus. She's speaking of Agents Fitz and Simmons. Their combined number of missions in the field adds up to a grand total of one. It was the rescue of Skye in the "Pilot." Their next mission is in Peru. An 0-8-4 has been uncovered there. That's an object of unknown origin. Coulson says that last 0-8-4 turned out to be pretty interesting. It was a big hammer.
The team arrives at the Incan archaeological site in Peru. The 0-8-4 is lodged in a wall inside a temple. Drone dwarf Sleepy scans the object suggesting it was there before the structure was built. On the outside, Agents Ward and May discover Peruvian soldiers, or the national police, trying to sneak up on them. They neutralize a few of them, but are quickly outnumbered. Coulson steps out to address the leader of the soldiers, Comandante Camilla Reyes. These two have a past. All signs point to it being an amicable one once Camilla plants two kisses on a receptive Coulson. All guns are lowered. Everything is cool until...
BOOM! An explosion rocks the site as attacking Peruvian rebels swarm the area. The 0-8-4 has a fluctuating power core. It must be handled with delicate care. Agent Ward doesn't do "delicate" when under attack. He rips the 0-8-4 out of the wall. He then jabs a device into the outside ground that creates sonic blast that knocks the rebels off their feet. Melinda May peels up to the scene with an escape vehicle. The team races back to the bus under heavy fire along with Camilla and a few of her men. They also have the 0-8-4 which is fueled by tesserat technology from the days when Captain America first came to be. It holds lethal amounts of gamma radiation.
Coulson settles down his bickering team. They all have different ways at looking at things, but they also have different skills to bring to the table. For example, Fitz and Simmons determine that the 0-8-4 is actually a very powerful weapon. Melinda May is a pretty good pilot who is trying to ditch a past where she was referred to as "the cavalry." Skye doesn't believe one person always has the solution. Sometimes it takes a group to figure things out. Speaking of figuring things out, Coulson believes Camilla is getting too friendly, too fast. He realizes she has an agenda right around the time Agent Ward figures out her soldiers are aboard for nefarious reasons.
Ward does battle with several of the soldiers while Coulson dukes it out with Camilla upstairs. One of the bad guys makes his way to the cockpit where he injects a gas that that knocks out Agent May. Soon Camilla and her men are in control of the plane. She knows Coulson will provide her the clearance she needs to change the air routes in order to save his team as they sit tied up in the cargo hold. Ward gives a subtle nod to Skye when he suggests they all work together for a solution to their problem. Agent May snaps her wrist to release herself from her bindings. She takes out the guard in seconds. The cavalry has arrived.
Even though he has no idea that his team is free, Coulson knows they'll come through. That's because Camilla has provided them with something very powerful: a common enemy. Melinda May crashes a car into the lab so Fitz and Simmons can get to work. Coulson notices a dwarf drone flying into his area. He knows his team has plan, so he gives the "all is well" call over the radio. BOOM! The dwarf drone triggers a reaction that blows a hole in the side of the aircraft. One soldier is sucked out as Coulson hangs on for dear life. The drop in cabin pressure releases all the door locks allowing the rest of the team full access to all parts of the aircraft.
Ward takes out multiple bad guys while Skye, Fitz and Simmons retrieve the 0-8-4. The plane continues to lose pressure as Agent May fights off an attacker in the cockpit. She regains control of the plane, but they are still falling. Thankfully, Skye read the safety pamphlet Ward gave her before they left. She releases a heavy duty raft that blocks the hole in the side of the plane. Everything stabilizes. Coulson sets a broken glass on the table where his team gathers. Skye puts a coaster underneath it, just like her new boss asked her to do before takeoff. This will stop any water rings from forming on the table, which is nice. Unfortunately, the rest of the plane is in pretty bad shape thanks to all the fighting, gunfire and that big, gaping hole in its side.
The plane may be totaled, but at least Lola survived all the excitement without a scratch. The 0-8-4 is delivered to the classified Slingshot location where it will be dealt with accordingly. Camilla is sent to a S.H.I.E.L.D. detainment facility where she will be dealt with accordingly, too. As for her past personal relationship with Agent Coulson, that information has been deemed classified. Ward accepts the responsibility of becoming Skye's supervising officer. As for his trainee, she is about to take responsibility for the hole in the plane until the rest of the team chimes in to say it was a group effort. Agent Coulson is pleased.
As the team watches the rocket holding the 0-8-4 launch on its journey to the sun, Skye receives a text message. It's from the Rising Tide. The message reads: "Rising Tide in a holding pattern. Planning to go dark. What is your status?" Skye hesitates for a moment before uneasily typing her reply. It reads: "I'm in."