Picking up 36 hours after the end of “The Bridge” which saw Coulson (Clark Gregg) captured by Centipede (the group mashing up various tech to create their own super-soldiers who are even more interested in Coulson’s resurrection than he is), Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns from hiatus with Coulson’s team working for Victoria Hand (Saffron Burrows) to apprehend a black market supplier (Aiden Turner) with ties to the group. When Hand’s handpicked interrogator (Darren Dupree Washington) proves ineffective, Ward (Brett Dalton) takes the initiative to create a more conducive environment for the man’s cooperation.
Meanwhile, Coulson is stuck in the middle of the desert and subjected to an invasive interrogation of his own by Po (Cullen Douglas) and Raina (Ruth Negga) each seeking the secret to immortality which their clairvoyant believes is locked inside Coulson’s mind. Kicked off the plane by Hand, but still limited by her bracelet (which limits her use of any electronic device), Skye (Chloe Bennet) has to think outside the box while searching for Coulson on her own beginning by impersonating Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen) to get answers from Vanchat’s money man (Rob Huebel).
While under the procedure Coulson learns the truth about Tahiti and, after his rescue, confronts one of the doctors (Ron Glass) responsible who informs Coulson of the true story of his miraculous revival after been dead more than a week. Although it looks like this explanation offered in “The Magical Place” kills the theory that Coulson is actually a Life Model Decoy, it does offer the agent a harrowing truth about the measures taken to bring him back and questions as to how much of the man he was truly survived the multiple surgeries, brain manipulation, and more. The episode ends with teases of Mike Peterson‘s (J. August Richards) survival and that Skye will apparently be the next member of the team to confront dark secrets from her past.