The crew left behind on the artificial planet make a surprising return.
In Brody's bar, Adam Brody is busy fixing his still while Nicholas Rush is discussing the pattern in the cosmic microwave background radiation with some of the crew, Vanessa James and Morrison among them. Though Rush finds it fascinating, Morrison is not impressed, his concern at the moment being the continued operation of Brody's still. Once Brody fixes it, he goes for a drink. Annoyed by their disinterest, Rush leaves.
The ship drops out of FTL while Everett Young is arranging papers in his quarters. He calls Brody for a report, only to get Dale Volker instead. Volker explains that they switched shifts so Brody could fix the still, even though it annoys Young. Dismissing it, Young asks for a report again. Volker notes that there are two planets in range, but is surprised when one of Destiny's shuttles suddenly appears out of nowhere. Young orders Rush to the bridge.
Once Young reaches the bridge, he asks for the status of the shuttle. Currently, it's flying along side Destiny. Young wonders where it came from, but Volker has no answer; one moment there was empty space, and the next the shuttle was there. Rush and Brody come in, so Young points out the shuttle. Young smells the scent of liquor on Brody, who is quick to explain that he was fixing the still, not drinking from it. Robert Caine then calls over the comm, trying to get a response. This further confuses the bridge crew. Young responds, noting that Caine and seven other people were left behind on an artificial planet in the previous galaxy. Caine confirms this fact, as he and the other seven that stayed with him are on the shuttle, with no idea as to how they got there. Rush is curious as to how their shuttle could have made it this far, not being space-worthy let alone capable of such speeds. Again, they have no answer.
As they discuss the situation, Young calls Matthew Scott to the bridge. Eli Wallace has arrived, and is baffled by how the aliens that built the planet could have known where to find them and when exactly Destiny would drop out of FTL. Brody voices the concern that the people on-board may not be who they claim to be. Young asks if a voice-check can be run using previous Kino recordings, but Eli is sure that aliens capable of building planets could impersonate a voice. Volker notes that Boone was good at impersonating Caine's voice, though Brody believes he has it backwards. Young is not sure they should take returning civilians at their word, as it may be a ruse to get by their defenses; a Trojan horse, as Eli puts it. Rush points out that aliens with such power could destroy then at any moment if they felt like it. Young does find the prospect of having a working shuttle appealing, and so does Rush. Rush recommends bringing them on-board but taking every precaution. Young calls Caine and informs him that Scott will talk him through the docking procedure, to which Caine admits that he doesn't even drive a car. Brody assumes this is what a Trojan would say, leading to a short argument with Eli when Eli tries to correct him on the actual meaning of the term. Young is quick to silence them, then reassures Caine that they'll take it slow.
Ronald Greer sets up a defense team at the airlock while Young makes his way there. Tamara Johansen catches up to him, having heard about the returning civilians from Eli. Young insists that she doesn't need to be there, but TJ is adamant about staying and believes Young should have told her. Knowing where this is going, Young voices his belief that Destiny was responsible for the vision she experienced of her daughter being saved, though TJ is not convinced, especially now that the people on the planet are back. Young notes that none of them mentioned a child, and he doesn't want TJ getting her hopes up. TJ, however, needs to see for herself.
Scott directs Caine in bringing the shuttle in. Once it lands, he secures the docking clamps. Caine is the first to exit, greeting Young and remarking on the surprise visit. Young orders the crew to exit the shuttle one at a time, explaining that they they will be escorted to a holding area. Caine is confused, since they know his group isn't a threat, but Young insists. As the group exits, TJ greets Peter and Val, the last two to leave. They smile in response. Once everyone is gone, TJ searches the shuttle, finding nothing. She fights back the tears, composing herself when Young asks if she's alright, then quickly leaves.
In his quarters, Eli records a diary entry about how he's losing Chloe Armstrong, clarifying that her condition is progressing and they cannot stop it. Meanwhile, Scott visits Chloe in her quarters to inform her of the latest developments. Once he's done, he asks if he can get her anything. Chloe declines, then points out the effort Scott is making to hide the fact that he no longer sees Chloe as who she was but what she's becoming, which she is also aware of. She finds his inability to lie endearing. She shows him a new patch of alien skin which has grown on her arm. Scott insists that they'll find a way to fix her, but Chloe isn't even sure if she wants to be cured. Her blackouts have nearly stopped, as she is now consciously aware of the alien part of her, and no longer fears it. Scott tells her to fight it, but she believes it's too late to.
The returning civilians are isolated and interviewed by Young, who is joined by Eli and Camile Wray. As far as they can remember, they went to sleep inside the shuttle, which they were using for shelter from the winter, and woke up just when the shuttle appeared near Destiny. Caine believes they were delivered to Destiny by a greater power. Young assumes this to mean the aliens that created the planet, though Caine has not ruled out divine intervention. Wray expresses disbelief at the idea that God brought them to Destiny. Caine is happy to hear her voice, and notes that though he has no proof, he did pray every night for the safety of his group. Eli sarcastically chalks this up to "magic", to which Caine responds that their arrival was miraculous. Eli cuts the audio feed and recites Arthur C. Clarke's third law: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Young tells him to "turn the mic back on", attributing the quote to Winston Churchill. Eli momentarily believes the claim, then realizes that Young is giving an order and does as told. Once the audio is restored, Peter and Val protest their continued imprisonment. Young tells them that they'll be released after TJ has examined them. Though Caine insists they're fine, Young explains that more answers means less precautions and cuts the audio feed. He tells Eli to keep an eye on them before leaving.
Brody, Rush, Scott, and Volker are examining the shuttle when Young comes in for a report. The shuttle is in perfect condition, as if it came fresh from the factory. Brody says it even has that "new shuttle smell". Young ignores the joke and asks for answers, but Rush has none. Young wants to know if the shuttle poses any danger, but nothing has been found. He tells them to keep at it.
TJ confirms that Caine's group is in perfect health, which is odd given how long they've been gone. Young notes that all of them have lost their memories of the planet and how they came to be on the shuttle when it showed up. TJ relates how Caine believes it to be God's way of telling them they were reborn, while others assume the aliens returned them to Destiny as an act of benevolence. Young isn't convinced, as aliens with such power could destroy them on a whim, which scares him. Furthermore, the group causes him to feel weird whenever he looks them in the eye, which TJ has also experienced. Rather than welcoming them home, as he thinks he should, being alone with any of them makes him want to leave as quickly as possible. Neither he or TJ understand why, but Young wants to know.
Chloe begins recording goodbye messages to the crew with Eli's help. She's not sure where to start, so Eli recommends himself as an easy one. Chloe begins, but then stops when she realizes that Eli will be the hardest person to say goodbye to. Eli calms her down and tells her to pick someone else, but she suddenly freezes up, apparently suffering from another blackout.
Young decides to release Caine's group into the general population, curtly informing them that they'll be given a list of duties to perform. Caine is displeased by the less than warm welcome, but Young merely states that he has no reason to treat them like prisoners. Peter tries to thank him, but Young adds that they shouldn't give him a reason to.
One of Caine's group goes to the observation deck and greets Morrison, happy to have been released. Morrison is not so enthusiastic about it, and excuses himself, claiming to have a shift in hydroponics. He recoils when she tries to hold his hand, telling her not to touch him. As he leaves, Lisa Park wonders what happened between them. Greer, who's standing next to her, realizes that she hasn't spent time with them. He finds it strange that eight scientists with no survival skills could leave the ship then come back, when numerous others have gone and more will certainly follow. Park says he's "being too deep again" and nudges him playfully.
TJ visits the mess hall, where Caine's group is eating at one of the table. Caine comments on how the food tastes different from that on Eden, which is what they named the artificial planet. She jokes about staying away from the apples, then explains that they've begun growing more food on the ship, which she offers to show him. TJ takes him to the new garden, which has been set up in the repaired dome section of the ship. The Ancient maintenance robot is crawling on the dome, welding parts of it. She tells him about the dream she had of her baby being transported to the planet, but Caine remembers none of it. He apologizes, wishing that he could tell her what she wants to hear.
A Kino recording of Wray interviewing Peter is playing. In it, she asks him about his time on the planet, but Peter cannot give her anything but the most basic details. She tries to press for more details, but all he can recall is gathering food and fuel. From her laptop, Wray stops the recording, which she and Young have been watching. She offers to show him other interviews, but notes that the contents are same in each one. Wray believes their memories have been tampered with, and though the act of being transported to Destiny may be responsible, she feels the memory loss is a deliberate attempt to hide something. Young likens their presence to a science experiment, though Wray insists that they are part of the crew. When asked if they creep her out, Wray admits that a lot of people creep her out. Young asks if he creeps her out, and she says that he doesn't creep her out as much as he did. Considering this to be "progress", he tells her to keep trying to jog their memories.
Scott makes his way to Chloe's quarters. On the way, he is greeted by Greer. Greer asks if Scott's going to see Chloe, which doesn't sit right with him. This does not escape Scott's notice, and he explains that she's alone all day, so the only company she gets is when he comes to see her. Greer notes that she's isolated for a reason, calling what's happening to her a "freak show". Scott calls him out of line and walks off, but Greer insists that he's only doing his job as a Master Sergeant, which entails keeping "Butter Bar" Lieutenants (referring to the golden bar insignia of a Second Lieutenant) from making mistakes. Scott asks him what's wrong with trying to comfort Chloe during her last days. Greer points out that he doesn't know when that day will be. He realizes that Scott cares for her, but Chloe's condition will soon render her a threat that needs to be dealt with.
On the observation deck, Eli walks in to find Val sitting alone. Noticing that everyone is avoiding her, he decides to keep her company. He talks with her about the planet, having never gotten to go there himself. He asks if she misses it. Val's memory has started to return, which Eli finds hopeful. In fact, she just remembered something when Eli showed up. She's embarrassed to voice it, but this only leaves Eli more interested. She admits that it's a memory of skinny dipping, which Eli has already heard about. Val begins rubbing her forehead, as if suffering from a headache. Eli wonders if she checked out the obelisk, but she's doesn't remember. Her headache seems to get worse, and her nose begins to bleed. She starts screaming in pain when blood begins pouring from her eyes and mouth. Eli calls for help as she collapses.
Rush is working on the shuttle when Caine comes in, having been looking for him. Noting that the ship is out of FTL, he wonders if there's anything interesting. Rush notes that there always is, then explains that he's been working on the shuttle's navigational data, trying to determine its course from the planet to Destiny. His only conclusion, however, is that there is no path: it was there, then it was near Destiny. Caine wishes he could help, but he experienced the same thing. He brings up Destiny's mission, curious about the message in the background radiation. Rush prefers to call it fingerprints, a sign that some intelligence was responsible for the universe. Caine believes it could be God, but Rush refuses to consider it anything more than proof of intelligence. Caine notes that Rush can't bring himself to think of it as a miracle, which Rush readily admits. Caine wants to hear more, but Rush doesn't see the point; Caine can just think of it as God's will and be done with it. Caine argues that God must saved them for a reason. Rush points out that they don't know what they were saved from, having no memory of it. He cites the stories of Moses and Abraham, who were spoken to by a burning bush and the angel Gabriel, respectively; Caine, by comparison, was given no proof one way or the other. Caine takes this as a cue to leave, but Rush stops him on the way out. He points out that the shuttle was restored to pristine condition by the aliens, though Caine believes God to be responsible. Rush then counters that though the shuttle was restored, its passengers still suffer from various problems (Norris has astigmatism, Mr. Chan is balding) and have large gaps in their memories. As Rush sees it, either God has lost his touch, or it wasn't God. Before Caine can respond, Young calls Rush on the radio, looking for Caine. He wants Caine to come to the infirmary; Val is dead.
Val's death is determined to be the result of massive blunt force trauma to the head. Caine asks what happened, but they can't explain it. TJ notes that such a thing could not simply spontaneously manifest. Wray suggests that it may have happened on the planet, but Caine still has no memory of it. Wray offers to use hypnotic regression to try to access their repressed memories. Young is curious if the IOA taught her that. Wray confirms that they did, claiming that she's overqualified for human resources when Young asks if she has any other hidden talents. He gives the go-ahead, though Caine asks to inform the others of Val's death first. TJ wants to do an autopsy to check her findings, though Young doesn't believe it necessary. She feels like she should do something. Young tries to assure her that she's doing good, but she doesn't feel that way.
Chloe is visited by Greer, who asks how she's doing. Chloe is still herself, for now at least. She asks Greer if Young will see her as a threat when she's changed completely, which he believes is true. She wants to know how he'll respond, and Greer believes that he'll remove the threat. Greer admits that he'll probably be the one to do it. She apologizes, but he insists that he couldn't let it be anyone else. He's come to ask for her forgiveness when the time comes, as hearing it aloud is important to him. She obliges, and tells him to take care of Scott. He admits to already trying to dissuade Scott from seeing her, so Chloe offers to do so herself, which Greer thinks is for the best. She asks if she'll see him again, but Greer feels it best if he says his goodbyes now. Chloe gets up to hug him, but Greer motions for her to stay back, apologizing for being unable to accept the gesture. They simply exchange goodbyes instead, and he leaves.
Chloe records a farewell message to Scott, telling him that she loves him and wishes they could have done everything a normal couple would have. However, she's grateful for the time they've had. She asks him to take care of everyone, as he's more important to the crew than he realizes. She also tells him to take care of Eli, since Eli will do the same in his own way. She asks him to forgive Greer for what he will eventually have to do, since he had no choice and she's glad it is him that will do it. She ends by telling Scott she loves him again.
Wray puts Peter through hypnotic regression. Peter remembers standing in front of the lake with Val, having started a relationship with her without the others' knowledge. Wray asks about the others. Peter says that they're working, and always are. Peter is trying to plant crops, but is dissuaded by Caine, since winter would keep them from growing. Peter insists on trying, but Caine counters that they can try in the spring; for now, gathering food and firewood for warmth is more important, though Peter protests that they've already picked the area clean of food. Peter notes that Caine is afraid. Wray brings him forward in time, to a point where he's chopping down trees for wood. Val comes in as he cuts a tree down, and it falls on top of her. He jumps out of his hypnotic trance, realizing that Val died on the planet. As he tries to comprehend the memory, he suddenly starts convulsing wildly. Wray calls for help, but he's dead by the time TJ arrives.
TJ confirms that Peter died from dehydration and hypothermia. Wray relates how Peter remembered that Val died on the planet. TJ believes that Peter also died on the planet, his death being consistent with freezing in winter. Wray notes that Val died before the winter, so TJ posits that they're dying again, in the same order as they did on the planet. Young immediately orders Scott to round them up and bring them to the infirmary.
Scott finds Rachel in her quarters, her face covered in boils as she tries to keep from freezing. He brings her back to the infirmary, despite Greer's suggestion not to touch her. TJ orders Scott to get himself decontaminated just in case. Rachel dies on the table as Caine walks in. Young asks Caine for answers, and orders Caine to go through hypnotic regression with Wray when he can't give them, or else. Caine protests that they're part of the crew, but Young counters that they left by choice, and if whatever they have spreads to the rest of the crew, they'll be sent off the ship. TJ argues that it's not Caine's fault, but Young sees Caine as the reason the group remained on the planet. TJ points out that she wanted to stay, as well, so Young offers Rachel's corpse as evidence of what would have become of her. He calls Wray to inform her that Caine has "volunteered", then sends him off before he can argue.
Scott knocks on Chloe's door, but she doesn't answer. He opens the door himself, having come to keep her updated. She simply tells him to go away. He agrees to leave, but offers to come back later.
The rest of Caine's group is suffering from hypothermia, save for Caine himself. As TJ tries to treat them, Wray helps Caine go through his memories. It's now snowing on the planet. They're using the shuttle as shelter, but are freezing because the door is open. The shuttle lost power, and without life support they would suffocate since the door is airtight. Peter has managed to fashion some candles for light. Peter has already lost hope, and wanders out into the snow in the middle of the night. Wray moves forward to the night before the shuttle appeared next to Destiny. Caine is now the only survivor, the others having frozen to death. All he can do is pray. Caine awakens, as that is his last memory of the planet. He apologizes for not having more answers. Anticipating Young's response, he believes that putting him off the ship will be unnecessary, since he'll probably be dead long before that happens. Wray says he can't be sure, but Caine knows he's already dead. Meanwhile, James brings a Kino to Eli which was found in the shuttle.
The rest of Caine's group is now dead, having died in their sleep of hypothermia. TJ guesses that the aliens' method of reviving them wasn't permanent, and now they're reverting to the state they were found in. TJ apologizes for being unable to help, but Caine says it's not her fault. He asks how much time he has left, which TJ assumes to be short. Caine asks to see the stars one last time, which Young agrees to, and asks TJ to spend that time with him. They go to the observation deck. He remarks on the beauty of the view. TJ surmises that the aliens may have sent them back to say goodbye. Caine has come to the conclusion that he isn't really himself; he has Caine's body and memories, but not his soul. He believes this may be why their mere presence was so off-putting. TJ assures him that she no longer feels that way. He thanks her for the kindness, but still believes that he isn't the Robert Caine made by God. His continued faith in God surprises TJ, which is what he describes as faith. He believes his soul is watching over them, marveling at her kindness. though he still believes. He encourages TJ to believe that her baby is in a better place, and that the best thing she can do is keep living for those that have passed on.
Eli plays the video from the Kino found in the shuttle for Rush, Young, and Wray. It is a recording made by Caine after everyone else died. He asks for help from anyone who's listening, as he doesn't want to die. Suddenly, a bright light permeates the shuttle. As Caine turns to look at it, the light blots out the video feed, which then goes to static. Eli shuts it off, as there's nothing else.
- The title was revealed by Joseph Mallozzi's weblog on April 29, 2010