The new CIA recruits continue training at The Farm focusing on assessment, while in the future, Alex goes undercover to infiltrate the terrorist group holding everyone hostage where she is shocked to discover not everyone is a stranger.
Ryan and Alex tell Nimah and Shelby about all of the trainees, including ones that could have been recruited to the AIC, the name the two gave to the rogue intelligence faction. Alex and the other trainees meet Leigh Davis, another recruit who was an events planner as well as a mother of two.
The trainees are summoned to the Farm. However, they are all drugged and kidnapped. With every recruit in a forest, they try to find their way back to the Farm. Using Leigh's phone, both Leigh and Harry make their way to the Farm as well as everyone else. Owen then reveals that the exercise should have taken them a maximum of 25 minutes.
Alex calls Miranda, filling her in on the attack, the terrorists, the assassination of the First Lady, and the biological weapon. However, Alex is unaware that Miranda has remained contact with a CLF member. Alex then disguises herself as a terrorist.
Meanwhile, the CLF move about 150 hostages, including Ryan, Raina, Dayana, León, Harry, Sebastian, Leigh, and Lydia, into a library. Ryan then started a fake fight with Harry as a diversion to unmask a CLF member. However, he accidentally unmasked Alex. Ryan is taken away by the CLF and Alex is sent to be killed. In a basement, Alex gets into a fight with a CLF member guarding her. She unmasks her executioner, Angie Reynolds, kills her, and sends her body as a message to the terrorists.
At the FBI office, Shelby and Miranda theorized that the AIC was behind the attack. Shelby then told Miranda that she wrote a report which detailed possible members of the AIC. Miranda then tells Shelby to bring her the report.
- Priyanka Chopra as Alex Parrish
- Jake McLaughlin as Ryan Booth
- Aunjanue Ellis as Miranda Shaw
- Yasmine Al Massri as Nimah and Raina Amin
- Johanna Braddy as Shelby Wyatt
- Russell Tovey as Harry Doyle
- Blair Underwood as Owen Hall
- Pearl Thusi as Dayana Mampasi
- Aarón Díaz as León Velez
- Tracy Ifeachor as Lydia Hall
- David Lim as Sebastian Chen
- Jay Armstrong Johnson as Will Olsen
- Heléne Yorke as Leigh Davis
- Candi Boyd as Angie Reynolds
- Jason Tottenham as Jason Bowling
- Renan Kanbay as Millie Metzger (uncredited)
- The title of this episode, Stescalade is a CIA cryptonym for a former covert operation that involved numerous attempts at secretly bugging the New China News Agency based in Havana, Cuba.