We pick up where we left off last week, with the crew scrambling to figure out what to do now they’re nose to nose with the Dauntless. Hologram Janeway deactivates herself, reasoning that if she doesn’t know what they’re doing she can’t sabotage them any further. The Dauntless is hailing them but Dal orders them not to respond so it doesn’t trigger the construct weapon. They’re locked out of controls but the Protostar‘s warp drive powers up, causing the ship to try to run away.
Meanwhile on the Dauntless the Diviner, the Vindicator and Drednok stash Vice-Admiral Janeway, who is still passed out, inside a cupboard. Drednok wants to get rid of Janeway by throwing her out an airlock, but the Diviner says that would draw too much attention, so the Vindicator takes Janeway’s comm badge, saying she’ll put it in the Vice-Admiral’s quarters and tell everyone Janeway asked not to be disturbed. She turns back into Ensign Asencia and heads to the bridge. They pursue the Protostar and Asencia suggests merging their warp bubbles so they can’t escape. They merge warp bubbles and then fire phasers, trying to take out shields so they can board the Protostar.
Gwyn asks whether Zero can use their psychic powers to reach Vice-Admiral Janeway, but they say they would need their hive mind. Rok suggests that Dal could act as a hive mind because he has latent genes from telepathic species. Zero instructs Dal to close his eyes and relax, reaching out with his mind to the Dauntless. Just as he’s about to succeed a phaser hits the Protostar and something goes wrong.
When Dal gets up he sees Murf and screams. Turns out he’s not Dal; he’s Admiral Janeway and the two have switched bodies. Dal in Janeway’s body is absolutely hilarious and the animation of the physical comedy is golden. Dal gets out of the closet and walks clumsily down the corridor, saluting an officer as, “Starfleet person,” making finger guns at Asencia and almost slipping out of the Captain’s chair.
Dr. Noum orders him to drink coffee and whispers, “Get it together.” Dal spits out the coffee and exclaims, “Ugh, how does she drink this stuff?”
On the Protostar Janeway in Dal’s body acknowledges that she made many incorrect assumptions about the Unwanted, and agrees to help them. They work on a way to reverse the mind-swap but it doesn’t work – there is some variable not accounted for.
Back on the Dauntless Dal in Janeway’s body is still under suspicion, calling her first officer “Antennas” and exhorting, “Team work makes the dream work” before heading off for a nap. Janeway’s crew note that they’re heading perilously close to Federation space and Asencia plants the idea that if there is a weapon on the Protostar, they won’t be able to face it alone. The XO says he’ll call the Federation for backup, and Asencia smiles wickedly.
Janeway in Dal’s body tries to figure out how to unlock the controls and then realizes that Hologram Janeway did it, so she can probably undo it. She opens the door in the floor of the bridge and finds Hologram Janeway studying the construct. To prove she is really Vice-Admiral Janeway she tells a story about the time she spilled her sister Phoebe’s paints on the floor and blamed it on the dog. Her father said, “Come on, Kate, make something great out of that mess.” The Vice-Admiral can’t restore control of the entire ship, but can purge the corrupted files from Hologram Janeway’s matrix.
The process restores Hologram Janeway’s memories of the Protostar under Chakotay’s command, and they both watch the memory of the boarding anxiously. Vice-Admiral Janeway asks if Chakotay and his crew are dead or alive, but Hologram Janeway doesn’t know.
Rok interrupts them to say they’ve figured out a way to swap their bodies back. The missing variable was the phaser that hit them during the original mind link. They need to recreate a similar link but can’t risk taking more phaser fire, so they need Dal and Janeway to exit their ships and make contact…outside.
Murf looks up and notices Dal in Janeway’s body trying to signal them through a window, communicating SOS in morse code. But they don’t think he knows more letters than that so Janeway suggests a game of charades. Jankom, Rok and Janeway in Dal’s body act it out but just as Dal in Janeway’s body figures it out, her senior officers arrive to take him to Sickbay. He tries to run but they catch him and Noum sedates him.
On the Protostar they get Janeway into an EV suit and Gwyn mentions their dream to join Starfleet. Janeway breaks some tough news to her: Dal is an Augment, and Starfleet won’t ever let him in because of that.
At the same time, the Diviner comes into the room where Dal-Janeway is restrained, and he unexpectedly releases him, in return for Janeway having saved his life. He makes one request: should his mission fail, he wants Janeway to protect his daughter.
“Look, I get it. I’d do anything for Gwyn too,” says Dal.
Dal, in Janeway’s body, gets his EV suit on and gets out on the hull but on the wrong side of the ship. Inside the ship the others look for options but they can’t beam her back while they’re at warp. He launches himself off the hull and immediately loses grip on him phaser.
On the Protostar, Janeway promises to fix this once she gets back in her body, and uses Murf as a tether to launch herself into the void between the ships. But as they’re about to touch the Dauntless catches Dal in Janeway’s body in a tractor beam. Janeway realizes they won’t be able to touch, but they can create a conduit if she fires her phaser, even if it might sting a bit. Their minds swap back into their own bodies, and everything is consumed in a flash of light.
Dal wakes up on his own ship and hugs Murf. They’re all glad to have Dal back, but the moment of relief doesn’t last long as they realize they’re dropping out of warp in the middle of Federation space, surrounded by dozens of starships, with more still arriving. And even though Janeway’s now on their side, after all the weird behavior Dal exhibited in her body, she’s now in the brig.