For the first time in the series, we get a chance to see inside the mysterious “Academy”, where S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are trained. A device that contains technology that both Fitz and Simmons helped develop has been used to turn the swimming pool into ice. Two students were almost trapped.
Fitz and Simmons are brought in to help investigate, as well as to speak to the student body. Apparently Fitz and Simmons are the brightest, most popular students ever to graduate from the science department of the academy. Ward (who attended the operations campus) and Skye will help with the investigation as well.
During Fitz and Simmons’ speech, Donny Gill is almost turned to ice by the same device that was found in the pool. He also happened to be at the pool when the first attack happened. Agent Weaver (of the academy) is going to interview the top 10% of the student body, as they are the only ones smart enough to develop such a weapon. Ward wants Fitz to hang out with Donny, thinking perhaps that Donny is attacking himself to get kicked out of the academy.
One name that came up during their investigation is Allie Hannigan (not the band camp girl), a student looking to be assigned to the sandbox. Apparently she is number two on the list behind Donny. Ward questions her, only to find that Donny and Seth (one of the pool attack victims) had been talking about Fitz’ visit for weeks, even though S.H.I.E.L.D. only found out about the attack a few days earlier.
While Ward is gathering this intel, Fitz is in Donny’s room helping him make some improvements on some inventions he was working on. Unknowing to Fitz, he has just helped Donny complete a giant version of the ice machine, which would be incredibly dangerous in the wrong hands. Once Fitz finds this out, he goes back to Donny’s room, only to be attacked by Seth.
As they were investigating this incident, May and Coulson have gone to Mexico on their own unrelated investigation. May has found out that agent Avery, the woman who dropped off Skye at the orphanage, had a partner, agent Richard Longley. He managed to escape and happened to appear in a tourist’s photograph in Mexico.
May brings Coulson on this case to try and distract him from his own troubles, as well as to help figure out Skye’s back story, as May feels Skye has earned her place on the team now. They find Longley and chase him down. Once they announce themselves as S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, he asks if they are there about the girl.
Once on the plane, Longley explains that his team of agents was sent to investigate a report of an object of unknown origin. Through telling the story, we find out that Skye was the object of unknown origin. The whole team of agents was killed, and only Avery and Longley survived. Avery was killed trying to protect Skye, and Longley escaped to avoid the same fate of Avery.
Longley only wants to know that the girl is safe, which Coulson assures him she is. Longley says that the girl had some kind of powers, and must have been important if those near her were being killed. He warns Coulson to stop digging and to not go near the girl, as everyone around her dies.
Fitz, Simmons, and Skye are back on the plane, while Weaver and Ward look for Donny and Seth. Donny and Seth are on top of a parking garage, and Seth is talking to Ian Quinn, and shady businessman who exploits young genius minds for nefarious gains.
Seth tells Quinn that they are in trouble and need help. Quinn tells Seth to prove the machine works and he’ll come rescue them. As Seth and Donny are turning on the machine, Quinn tells his pilot the deal is off and to turn around. The machine causes a super storm of all super storms, including giant hail and insane winds.
While all of this is going on, Skye confronts Coulson about why he is avoiding her. Coulson tells Skye everything he heard from Longley about her past.
Donny convinces Seth to help him reverse the machines output to try and stop the storm, as all of the money in the world will mean nothing if they are dead. May flies the plane into the eye of the storm just as a lightning bolt strikes Seth and destroys the machine. They bring Seth onto the plane but are unable to save his life.
Donny blames himself for Seth’s death, and doesn’t want to hear anything that Fitz has to say. As the car drives away, Donny realizes that he has the power to use his fingers to create ice.
Coulson tells May that he told Skye everything. He is impressed that instead of being upset that she has no family, she is instead hopeful since this means she has been a part of S.H.I.E.L.D. since day one, so to speak. May tells Coulson about her and Ward, and Coulson tells her as long as they are careful and know what they are doing, it’s fine.
Coulson calls Quinn, and warns him that if his plane enters any S.H.I.E.L.D. ally country, it will be shot down. Quinn tells Coulson that the Clairvoyant says “Hello.”