The team is called in to investigate a mysterious death of Boy Scout leader on a camping trip in the woods. The man is hovering in mid-air due to some kind of electro magnetic activity. There is also what appears to be an entry wound of some sort on his forehead.
While investigating this case, another man dies in a similar fashion on his farm. He is in the barn, floating, and it looks like he was trying to get away from someone. The team is under the impression that there is a murderer on the loose with some kind of never before seen electro-magnetic super weapon.
The investigation leads to a firehouse, where Coulson take note of a very nervous looking man. When Coulson interviews him, he finds out that the two men who died were part of a fire crew that helped out after the alien invasion. They had taken one of the alien’s helmets as a souvenir, and had recently cleaned it.
Cleaning the helmet released some kind of alien virus, and the three firefighters who cleaned it ended up infected. Two of them are already dead, and the third man, Tony Diaz, is not going to last much longer.
Coulson tells Diaz how he died once, and he knows it was for longer than 8 seconds. He tells Diaz it’s beautiful. Diaz’ electro-magnetic field is rising, and he tells Coulson to leave.
Coulson’s team will be taking the helmet to the sandbox, a secret government site, for research. No one is too happy about it being on the plane, so they need to make it there without incident.
Simmons is able to determine that the virus does not spread in the normal communicable fashion, but through electro-static shocks. Simmons ends up infected, as the first victim had given her a static shock. Coulson locks her in the lab.
While Simmons is sick, and doesn’t have much time, Coulson feels she is the only one who can come up with an antidote. She is trying to work on one, but it isn’t coming out right. The antibodies from the victims are not working.
S.H.I.E.L.D. has no record of the virus, and protocol is to get rid of the infected “cargo”. Coulson pretends that the transmission was cut off, as he obviously does not want to throw Simmons off the plane. But, if she is not treated, she will basically explode and take the plane down.
Simmons and Fitz determine that they can use the DNA of the actual alien that wore the helmet to create the antidote. Fitz gets the helmet and brings it into the lab, risking infection himself. They work to create a vaccine, and test it on one of the rats. The rat dies just like the others did on prior attempts.
Simmons asks for a minute alone with Fitz, and then knocks Fitz out with a fire extinguisher. She goes out to the cargo bay and leaps from the plane. Fitz wakes up, and realizes the rat was not dead, just knocked out.
He grabs a parachute and the vaccine, and plans to jump after her, but Ward does it instead. Ward is able to catch up to Simmons somehow and save her. Coulson yells at Simmons and Ward for their crazy actions, and Fitz reiterates to Simmons that he was going to save her before Ward took over. She knows, and kisses Fitz on the cheek. Fitz looked weird, either he’s just realizing he like her, or something is up.
Coulson had had some medical tests done, saying that his physical therapist had ordered them. He confesses to May that he had them ordered himself. He doesn’t feel right, and can’t figure out why. May tells him that he feels different because he is different. May had given a weird look earlier when Coulson told Diaz he knew he had died for more than 8 seconds. Something is definitely up with Coulson’s “recovery”. I guess there always has to be an over-arching storyline to go along with the monster of the week stuff.