The story is simple: Captain Batel (Melanie Scrofano) is aiding a remote Federation outpost that just happens to look like a small town in 2023 Wisconsin (a budget-saving conceit that is winkingly referred to in the episode’s opening dialogue). Out of nowhere, a massive attack ship appears in the sky and begins laying waste to the colony, as well as Captain Batel’s ship, the U.S.S. Cayuga, up in orbit. Nurse Chapel (Jess Bush) is also present for this attack. Chapel, one might recall, is currently embroiled in an affair with Spock (Ethan Peck) and Captain Batel has been in the midst of instigating a relationship with Captain Pike (Anson Mount). Hearing that various paramours are in danger, the Enterprise charges to the rescue.
It seems the Gorn has no beef with the Federation other than the Wisconsin colony’s planet is in their spatial territory. The Gorn are trying to exterminate infiltrators, and the Enterprise fires back. It’s not long before crew members have been paired off in order to address the attack from their individualized venues. Captain Pike finds Captain Batel, sadly infected with Gorn eggs, on the planet below, and they attempt to fight off encroaching Gorns while hoping to destroy the enemy control tower. In a fun character reveal, a young Montgomery “Scotty” Scott (Martin Quinn) is there to help.
Meanwhile, Nurse Chapel has become stranded on the remains of the Cayuga, which was nearly destroyed in the first Gorn volley. To rescue her, Spock will put on a space suit and fly through space without a ship to get her.
This is all very exciting, of course, and the action is tense and expertly presented. After nine episodes of whimsey and/or thoughtfulness, it seems that it’s now crunch time.