"T.A.H.I.T.I." is the fourteenth episode of the first season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..
Coulson and his team rush Skye to the S.H.I.E.L.D. Trauma Center in Zurich, Switzerland. After waiting all night - and failing to get any classified information about Skye from Director Fury - Dr. Jazuat informs Coulson that she's in dire condition and they need to decide if they will keep her on life support. Refusing to give up on Skye so easily, Coulson has her hospital room put on the Bus.
Back on the Bus, May brutally attacks Ian Quinn, who has been in Coulson's custody since Italy, in the Cage for shooting Skye. Coulson and Ward pull May off him and send her to the front of the plane to fly. Rather than transporting Quinn to the Fridge as ordered, Coulson sends his team to Bethesda so Skye can receive the same treatment that brought him back to life. He shows FitzSimmons his file detailing his resurrection. As it is Level 10 classified, they are hesitant to read it until Coulson orders them to do so. S.H.I.E.L.D. intercepts the Bus and has agents John Garrett and Antoine Triplett board the plane to retrieve Quinn. Although the two agents at first peacefully board the plane, Ward and Triplett get into a fight. Ward easily overpowers Triplett, but Garrett and Coulson interrupt the fight, telling Ward they received permission from their superiors to interrogate Quinn aboard the plane without dropping him off at the Fridge.
Garrett and Coulson interrogate Quinn, first by asking about the Deathlok Program. Quinn becomes flippant, only for Garrett to pinch his lips shut, reminding him that he had no lawyer or rights on the plane. Coulson accuses Quinn of shooting Skye because what she saw back in Italy. Quinn reveals that he shot Skye on orders from "the Clairvoyant," the mysterious leader of Project Centipede, so Coulson would lead them to where he was miraculously revived. Meanwhile, Simmons informs Coulson that much of what was behind his revival, including the facility in Bethesda, the machine that implanted the memory of Tahiti, and Dr. Streiten, do not exist in S.H.I.E.L.D. Coulson guesses that they do exist somewhere else, reminding that S.H.I.E.L.D. always has secrets to hide. Simmons concurs, as his files is filled with secrets. She and May also debate whether they should use these methods to save Skye, given the trauma Coulson endured. Coulson insists that he's not suggesting that they put Skye through the same things he endured but he is determined to try, even if it means giving the Clairvoyant exactly what he wants.
As Fitz and Simmons helplessly observe a deteriorating Skye, they review the portfolio again and find that the only thing of interest is a drug called GH 325, which caused Coulson's wounds to instantly regenerate. Fitz set up the Echo Chamber and access data from the Triskelion, following a virtual paper trail and discovering records of Director Fury opening up a collapsed World War II bunker called the Guest House, which they determine is not a part of S.H.I.E.L.D. When they try to access the location, they find what appears to be encryption but Fitz looks at it from another angle and determines that the coding makes up a landscape. The Bus later lands at the Guest House. Coulson, Fitz, Ward, and Garrett infiltrate the facility, but not without facing resistance from two agents posted there. When Coulson's team takes out the two hostiles, they activate a self-destruct sequence. The team leaves Garrett behind to stop the facility from blowing up, while the other three go find the drug. Coulson meanwhile has flashbacks to his time in the facility. They find a sample of GH 325, but have to leave in a hurry because Garrett could not halt the self-destruct sequence. However, Coulson finds a door marked "T.A.H.I.T.I." and goes behind it as the rest of his team get out.
With minutes to spare, Garrett runs back to grab Coulson. He finds him wandering a hall in a daze, warning Garrett not to give Skye the drug. They make it out of there as the facility explodes, and hurry back on the plane to warn Simmons about GH 325. With few options, Simmons gives her the drug anyway. Although it first sends Skye into a seizure, she eventually settles, and her vitals stabilize. Their mission complete, Garrett and Triplett leave with Quinn, taunting him that the Clairvoyant didn't show up and that the Guest House is no more. May then goes to Coulson's office to ask him why he didn't want Skye to take the serum. Coulson tells her that he didn't want Skye to suffer like he did. What he doesn't tell her is what he saw in the Guest House: the source of the GH drugs. Inside the T.A.H.I.T.I. room, Coulson finds more vials of GH, all with different number labels, with tubes leading to a large tank labeled "G.H.", inside of which was a badly-scarred blue-skinned alien body.
Meanwhile, in Death Valley, the Asgardian Lorelei finds herself lost in Midgard. She takes control of a man, separating him from his new wife, and tells him she has big things in store as they drive away.
- Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson
- Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May
- Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmons
- Iain De Caestecker as Leo Fitz
- Brett Dalton as Grant Ward
- Chloe Bennet as Skye
- Bill Paxton as John Garrett
- Elena Satine as Lorelei
- David Conrad as Ian Quinn
- Rob Belushi as Jimmy Mackenzie
- B.J. Britt as Antoine Triplett
- Sarayu Rao as Dr. Jazuat
- Michael J. Silver as Alpha
- Jake Newton as Beta
- Julie Civiello as Nicole Mackenzie
Continuity and References to the Marvel Cinematic Universe
- Nick Fury is mentioned.
- Ian Quinn returns.
- Coulson's "death" is mentioned.
- Project Deathlok and Cybertek are mentioned.
- The Battle of New York is mentioned.
- The Clairvoyant is mentioned.
- S.H.I.E.L.D. Jump Jet appears.
- Triskelion is mentioned.
- Dr. Streiten is mentioned.
- John Garrett is introduced.
- Antoine Triplett is introduced.
- A blue-skinned alien is seen.
- Project T.A.H.I.T.I. and the GH.325 appear.
- Lorelei is introduced.
- When Simmons first mentions she wants to the phone Dr. Streiten, many people mistakingly thought she said 'Dr. Strange', referring to the comic book character Doctor Stephen Strange, the Sorceror Supreme. However, in subsequent scenes she is clearly saying 'Dr. Streiten', the character played by Ron Glass who appeared in the 'Pilot' episode and in 'The Magical Place'.
- The comic book version of John Garrett first appeared in the mini-series 'Elektra: Assassin". He also played a supporting role in comic series Secret Warriors.
- This marks the first appearance of the alien race "The Kree" in live action and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although, the name of the race wasn't revealed until Season 2.
- The alien body was produced using a body scan of Brandon Kolpack, son of series Visual Effects Supervisor Mark Kolpack. Since the creature had to be muscular, Brandon, who is a personal trainer and amateur body builder, was chosen.
- The alien body is part The Kree, the alien race who plays a significant role in Guardians of the Galaxy.