"Emancipation" is the twentieth episode of the third season of ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the sixty-forth episode of the series overall. It aired on May 10, 2016. It was written by Craig Titley and directed by Vincent Misiano.
Hive and James capture several Watchdogs to serve as test subjects for Radcliffe's next experiment, for which he has devised an airborne pathogen created by combining the GH325 in Daisy's blood, Terrigen, and Hive's parasites. However they become super-strong, deformed creatures incapable of speech or independent thought, completely subservient to Hive, who wants a disgusted Radcliffe to make more 'Primitives'.
Following the signing of the Sokovia Accords, Talbot visits the Playground to discuss the Sokovia Accords, wanting to register the Inhumans, to which Coulson is strongly opposed. Elena also returns, wanting to help rescue Daisy, and she tries to help a dispirited Mack as he recovers from the injuries Daisy inflicted, encouraging him to regain his faith. Daisy hacks into the Playground mainframe to talk to a still-quarantined Lincoln, who asks her to run away with him, abandoning both Hive and SHIELD. She agrees while secretly planning to hand him over to Hive, and helps him break out of his cell, steal a quinjet and escape the Playground, sending him her co-ordinates.
However this was part of a plan devised earlier by Lincoln, Coulson and May, who send Lash instead, hoping he may be able to kill Hive. Lash proves a formidable opponent to Hive, neutralizing his parasites when he attempts to enthrall him, and slaughtering the Primitives. He then uses his powers to draw the parasites out of Daisy's brain and destroy them, freeing her from Hive's control, but as she escapes, James impales Lash on a fire-charged chain, killing him. Returning to the Playground, Daisy is taken into custody, while May mourns for Andrew. When Talbot reveals that Hydra stole a warhead from the ATCU, Fitz and Simmons deduce that Hive intends to use it to unleash the mutagenic pathogen into Earth's atmosphere.
In an end tag Mack, his faith restored, is given a crucifix as a gift by Elena.