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End of the Beginning

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"End of the Beginning" is the sixteenth episode of the ABC/Marvel series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It premiered on April 1, 2014.


In Sydney, Australia, Agents Garrett and Triplett enter a S.H.I.E.L.D. safehouse. Though it is not quite as nice as previous accommodations, they are soon attacked by Mike Peterson, who is relatively undeterred. After being zapped by an ICER, he leaps through the roof to escape.

On the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier, Agents Sitwell, Blake, Hand, Garrett, and Triplett enter the Bus. In the sky, the agents talk about the clairvoyant which the other agents doubt because psychics are not considered real. Because of the previous run-in with Lorelei, Coulson is more open to a telepathic-powered villain. Deathlok, as Peterson is known now, has been tracked by Triplett and Garrett, who have also been narrowing down the list of potential suspects for the clairvoyant from the list of those rejected for the S.H.I.E.L.D. index. Coulson tells the agents about the plan to only give each field agent a piece of the information. Agent Hand says that whoever is compounding the information would need to be a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in order to get clearance.

Fitz-Simmons, draws a sample of Skye's blood, trying to convince Skye to talk to Coulson about getting outside help in studying the chemicals used in her. Skye stinks by Coulson's call the keep it quiet because "he's the boss". Soon Ward tells Skye that she will need to go upstairs to explain the mission. She is then instated as a S.H.I.E.L.D. level 1 agent to give her the clearance she needs. Extremely surprised, Skye begins setting up the mission.

Deathlok, looks at himself in the mirror, but is interrupted by a knock at the door. Retrieving a package, Mike finds a cybernetic armplate sent by the clairvoyant. He puts it on his arm and the mechanic prothesis becomes a part of his body, upgrading the electronics already at work in him. The clairvoyant sends him an urgent message that he will allow Deathlok to meet him, as the cyborg's eye glows red.

Hand and Sitwell must leave before the mission is begun but Skye commences the full explanation. Garrett officially introduces himself to Skye and he commends her for her risks and she thanks him for risking his life to save her. He tells her that not only has Ward had an influence on her but she has influenced him. Fitz explains to May his new gun that shoots a tracker that will embed in it's target that can then be tracked.

The teams split up: Ward and Triplett land in the United Kingdom. When keeping things light does not work, Grant points out that Skye was almost killed by the clairvoyant, but Triplett says that his partner Dan Monroe actually was killed. They share their information and enter a prison. Blake and May end up at an insane asylum in Georgia, where Blake believes they were paired together for a reason. Coulson and Garrett are paired together to investigate in Indiana. During the drive to their mission location, Garrett tells an embellished story which Coulson was actually there to witness. They are detoured from their intended path of travel.

At the assisted living center, May and Blake look for their suspected clairvoyant. In the prison, Ward and Tripplett wait to be let in, but the front desk is unattended. Conveniently, Coulson and Garrett are boxed in so that they are unable to drive their destination. Upon searching the files, Blake rings the bell for assistance and is immediately attacked by Deathlok. He is able to take six shots at Mike, but the cyborg chokes him and injures him.

After receiving the call on Blake's condition, the other two teams rush back to the rendevous point at the hub, while May fights with Deathlok.

Thomas Nash, the target for Blake and May, is now the target of the entire S.H.I.E.L.D. team. Simmons is left at the hub to debrief the other agents. Fitz deduces that Simmons is really staying at the hub to use their labs in order to run tests on Skye's blood. When Coulson checks the guns Blake fired at Deathlok, he discovers that one of the shots fired by Blake was a tracking device. Upon searching the satellite feeds, Skye traces it to Pensacola, Florida.

The agents blow their way in to the supposed hideout and Fitz releases his tracking orbs to find Deathlok. Using her backscatter feed, Skye discovers that most of Mike's skeleton is covered with metal. The agents charge towards Deathlok's location and ultimately find themselves in a basement with an invalid man, talking only through a machine, in a wheelchair: Thomas Nash. He surrenders easily to the surrounding agents.

Nash convinces them that the room is safe and their meeting was pre-destined. He says he had Deathlok lead the agents to him so that he could see them with his own eyes. Garrett wants to take "the clairvoyant" to the fridge, but he says nothing could imprison him more than his wheelchair. Nash begins using Skye's near-death experience as leverage to anger Coulson. After "more empty threats", Ward becomes infuriated to the point of shooting the clairvoyant and killing him.

Ward must be taken back to the hub to be debriefed, but Coulson wants to talk to him before he is taken away. May informs Coulson that Fury now available for Coulson to tell him all that has been bothering him.

In the containment room on the bus, Skye asks Ward why he did it. Ward claims it was because the clairvoyant "pushed the right buttons". He lays out all the bad things done by Nash's commands and says he had to stop it. He must go before a S.H.I.E.L.D. review board to discuss his punishment for compromising the mission but he does not regret his actions if Skye is safe.

While snooping in the central communications wires to create a secure, unmonitored encrypted phone line, Fitz stumbles across a wire tap and follows it.

Coulson is worried about Ward, not because Grant killed Nash but rather that Nash might not be the true clairvoyant. Skye expresses her belief that the clairvoyant might just be looking through their files, rather than actually possessing telekinetic powers. The reason the clairvoyant is unable to see what happened to Coulson after he died is because Director Fury hid that portion of Coulson's file. They realize they must look for a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.

Infuriated, Coulson asks Ward if he was being ordered to kill Thomas Nash. Fitz is able to trail the wire to the cockpit where he finds Agent May's encrypted like, but is surprised to find her right behind him. Frantically leaving the cockpit, he runs into Skye, who was looking for him. He tells her about the unauthorized encrypted wire. When May tries to make a call, Fitz cuts the wire. She readies her weapon to go after Fitz.

Ward swears that he made the call himself rather than being told to by someone else to kill Nash. Skye rushes in to tell Coulson of May's apparent betrayal. As she tracks Fitz, he locks himself in the lab. Coulson points a firearm at her, and she claims hers is only an ICER. Skye also points a gun at her. May is forced to surrender and explain, but she refuses to do so there. Coulson begins piecing together that May is really the one in control of Deathlok and under the clairvoyant's control. Soon the plane goes out of control and is sent on a different course. Believing it to be her, Coulson urges her to explain what is happening, but she does not know.

At the hub, Agent Hand gives orders to take out everyone on the plane except Coulson, who she will handle.

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