Previously on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Skye followed Ian Quinn into his lair armed with like a Super Soaker water gun and was rewarded with multiple (actual) gunshot wounds to her chest and abdomen. Luckily, the gang was hot on her heels, so Simmons kept her alive long enough to stabilize her in the freezer chamber Ian Quinn was using to lock up Mike Peterson, who was resurrected for, oh, the fifth time, but with a cool new robotic Deathlok leg. Coulson continued to be mighty pissed that his own personal resurrection was something that occurred after several days of him being dead, instead of a few minutes, like everyone kept telling him. And Malinda May kicked asses, took names, wore aviators, scowled a lot, smiled a little, was perfect.
The gang loads up Skye’s freezer chamber in a medical pod and stashes it in the bus for a quick trip to the S.H.I.E.L.D. medical facility, where the doctor tells them pretty quick-like that Skye’s been wounded to badly to live, unless she stays on life support forever. Jenna Simmons’ face is a study in grief. Denial: Nope, nope, nope! Anger: She’s the smartest person in the Nine Worlds; how could she not have saved Skye! Bargaining: Oh sweet Asgardian spirits, she’d give up 23 of her 24 degrees if only Skye would live! Depression: She cannot believe she’s losing the woman who sneaky-sneaked her way into the deepest places of her heart!
Except for she never gets to step number five because Coulson decides to take Skye to the Bethesda facility where he was restored to full life powers after the Battle of New York because they are her family.
Melinda May handles her grief in a different way, in that she busts into the interrogation room where Ian Quinn is being held and beats the shiz out of him. Coulson calls her off, but only because he needs her to calm down enough to fly the plane. Her face is like, “Do I not like the chillest bitch to you right now?” She does, actually. Spooky. Sexy! I also like how she flips her hair out of the way with such grace when she’s pummeling bad guys, like, you do what you have to do but when your hair is good enough to be in a shampoo commercial you should protect it from the blood splatters you’re causing.
Coulson resolves that S.H.I.E.L.D. can go fuck itself. He breaks protocol by sharing his classified zombie file with Fitz and Simmons, and then he breaks protocol again by not handing over Quinn to the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents who have come to take him to the Fridge. This does not delight Agent Bill “Garrett” Paxton, who docks his plane right on top of the bus and climbs on in at 30,000 feet. He agrees to travel with them to Bethesda because it’s in his best interests, also, for Skye to live. He’s been tracking Quinn a long time and any info she has about his dirty doings will be helpful. Buuuut in the meantime, he wouldn’t mind violating Quinn’s civil rights under the jurisdiction of the Patriot Act.
He threatens to pull out Quinn’s tongue if Quinn doesn’t come clean, and Quinn, this evil-cool cucumber over here, he just goes, “I shot Skye because the Clairvoyant told me to because the only thing the Clairvoyant doesn’t know is what Coulson was up to all those days he was dead and the Clairvoyant knows he’ll do for Skye what Fury did for him, so.” This earns him another kick in the nards.
Even with FitzSimmons’ brain-twins powers activated, they can’t crack the code on Coulson’s files. Doctors that don’t exist. Treatment facilities no one knows about. Drugs made of elements and compounds they’ve never even heard of. But more than that, they really question the ethics of putting Skye through a procedure that had Coulson begging to die. But Coulson insists, so they hack into some kind of virtual S.H.I.E.L.D. archive room, which knowledge contained within would cause Hermione Granger’s brain to short circuit as she fell to her knees and cried out in adoration. What they find is that Tahiti is code for T.A.H.I.T.I., a bunker hidden under some mountains in the nowhere region of nowhere.