A street corner magician displays his power of creating fire, when a woman (Raina) catches his eye. He invites her back to his place, where two men appear in HAZMAT suits and kidnap him.
The man is named Chan Ho Yin, and is on a S.H.I.E.L.D. watch list due to his moderate pyrokinetic abilities. In researching how Yin was discovered, it appears that a leak from Rising Tide made it’s way into the wrong hands.
Skye is immediately under suspicion, but she offers to track the hacker and prove it wasn’t her. Her tracking leads the team to Miles Landon, an experienced hacker who managed to get access to the Kremlin.
Yin startles awake, to find Raina standing over him. He thinks she works for S.H.I.E.L.D., but she assures him she does not. She wants to help him nurture his gift and turn him into a somebody. S.H.I.E.L.D. wanted him to hide his gift, and be a nobody. She gives him the codename “Scorch”, and insists that they just want to test and grow his ability. He somewhat reluctantly agrees, but is more than intrigued by the idea of being known for something.
Meanwhile, in Austin, Texas, the S.H.I.E.L.D. team has a lead on Miles. Miles tries to flee, but a high-speed chase with Coulson ensues. Miles uses some kind of program to turn all of the traffic lights green, causing a pileup, and leaving Coulson behind.
When Miles returns home, Skye is waiting for him. Apparently she tipped him off about the investigation. It looks like he and Skye are former (or sort of current?) lovers. Skye reveals an SD card that she keeps hidden in her bra, and warns Miles that S.H.I.E.L.D. is off limits.
Skye opens a door, and May is standing there. Coulson is glad he had May follow Skye, and he takes Skye and Miles prisoner.
Back in Hong Kong, Chan is being studied at a lab. They inject him with a serum to increase his abilities. It works amazingly, and he is able to create bigger fireballs and throw them across the room.
Ward reveals to Skye that Miles sold the information he hacked from S.H.I.E.L.D. for a million dollars. Skye is furious with Miles, but he justifies it by saying it was a harmless woman who works for an eco research lab that studies insects.
S.H.I.E.L.D. immediately realizes this a code for members of the Centipede project. They are testing Extremis on Chan, still trying to create the “super soldier”. Chan has been knocked out and drained of all of his platelets, and he now gets burned when he creates fire. Centipede has stolen his fire resistant platelets, as they keep Extremis stable.
Coulson, May, and a local Hong Kong agent charge in to save Chan. Before they take out the workers in the lab, one of them locks down the building. Chan has injected himself with more of the serum, and burns a hole through the Hong Kong agent.
Ward releases Skye from the holding room to help unlock the Centipede lab’s security. She needs access to the building to do so. Once she has unlocked the security, Chan escapes. Raina leaves the doctor with Chan, and he burns her alive.
May injects Chan with something, and Miles is asked to redirect a blast to the roof of the building. Whatever they have injected Chan with causes him to explode.
Coulson allows Miles to leave, but puts a tracker bracelet on him that will limit his activities, and keep him from accessing electronics for a long time. Coulson pulls Skye into his office, and wants to know what she is hiding. Skye produces the SD card, revealing that she is trying to find her parents. All she has found so far is one document, which has been redacted by S.H.I.E.L.D. Coulson gives Skye another of the tracker bracelets, and she puts it on, as Coulson says he may be able to help her.
Raina is visiting someone in prison, saying that stage two is complete, and stage two is ready to begin. She needs him to speak to the clairvoyant, to get insights on stage 3.