Don't Stop Beweaving
Back on Lucy (yes, that Lucy!), Zeph, Dutch and Fancy Lee are trying to figure out A) what is the species that has run amok on Westerly, and B) how to obliterate it. Zeph has someone she can contact to help them identify the species' Achilles Heel (if it even has heels) and exploit it. Only thing is: this person is family, and there's some unresolved beef with them.
The Lady's henchmen have apprehended Turin, and brought him to Khlyen, who's been snooping around Zeph's makeshift lab for hatchling corpses. Khlyen tells Turin that Dutch and company are dead; Turin says they're not, they're just faking it. But if they were dead, Turin says, Khlyen better ill-kay The Ady-lay before it's too ate-lay. Funny he should say that, because when Khlyen returns, he finds The Lady already in a tizzy. For some reason, every time he leaves the ship, she loses control, people die, and the place goes to hell. The Lady, rightfully suspicious, threatens to use Dutch's knives against Khlyen to extract secrets. She'll need to regain control of her limbs for that, though, as she collapses to the ground.
D'av and Johnny have devised a fail-safe (yeah, right) plan to groom the prisoners as rebel fighters against The Lady: a game of capture the flag. They'll get to flex their muscles while performing team-building exercises without the risk of live ammo. What could go wrong?
And Zeph takes Dutch back to her home planet, and home family (a line of agrarian, puritanical people known as the Madeleines) in order to retrieve from them a tapestry that contains some hints to beating The Lady. But the two are quickly picked up by miffed members of Zeph's fam, and led, by pitchfork, to be judged: because, before Zeph ran away from home all those years ago, she burned down a wheat field infected with a parasite, and was anathematized. Whoopsies.
The reason The Lady is looking so wan is that her host body is dying. She either needs to abduct a new one (something Khlyen wants to discourage) or get treatment for her current skin. For some reason, Khlyen is the only one on board the ship with a biology degree, and she employs him to administer to her. This gives Khlyen the perfect opportunity for sabotage. But will he use it?
Meanwhile, the game of convict laser tag has hit a snag. D'av finds one of the guards has been shot through the head. That was definitely not permitted by the rules. And Zeph and Dutch meet with the matriarch of Zeph's former community, The Great Mother, and implore her for access to the tapestry. She says such knowledge is now forbidden, as it was used in the past to do all kinds of bad stuff that killed the planet, people, animals, etc. Apparently, though, The Great Mother has no reservations against inflicting small doses of harm on present company, as she's spiked the visitors' cups of tea with a sleeping agent to get them to shut up. Define irony.
Back on the Supermax, Johnny puts a temporary kabash on the game so they can identify the guard's killer. It soon becomes clear that it was likely Mace, the only one to dip out during play. He jumped the gun (literally) on the liberation deal, and just wanted out. Or so it would seem....
And on the armada, turns out Khlyen didn't poison The Lady's IV. She's feeling a little better, and wants Khlyen to tell her a story during her convalescence. So he starts in on one of his yarns and she conks out. Now's the perfect time for Khlyen to put the scalpel in her... but will he???
On the Supermax, in a passageway, Kalvert wrests the live gun from Mace's hands, and turns it on... Johnny? Meanwhile, in the psych ward, the Warden and D'av are investigating why all the patients here accidentally overdosed on their medications. The doctor in charge says it was an oversight because of his lack of staff. But then the truth comes out: he killed them all. Then he tranquilizes the question-askers. Definitely in violation of the Hippocratic Oath.
The Madeleines have separated Dutch from Zeph, sent her beyond the boundaries of their territory. Meanwhile, The Great Mother pulls some emotional blackmail on Zeph, guilting her back into the fold. This time, Zeph doesn't fall for it, and instead incapacitates The Great Mother with a nerve pinch she picked up from her years of fighting with the Killjoys. Then she steals The Great Mother's medallion, which is the key to accessing the tapestry. Go Zeph!
Indeed, Khlyen does attempt to nix The Lady, but her protestations stop him. She doesn't really want to colonize all of humanity; what she really wants is a father to love her like Khlyen loves Dutch. Well, okay, maybe she wants both, but the sentiment touches Khlyen and he abstains from bleeding her like a stuck pig.
And out in the woods, a marooned Dutch crosses paths with Zeph's real sister. The two go at it with a pitchfork and a hand knife. If only there were a spoon, they'd have a complete set of cutlery at their disposal. In a sacred room, Zeph uses The Great Mother's medallion to download the information from the tapestry. So it's more of a thumb drive than a key, really. After, she finds Dutch out in the woods, having already subdued her real sister. The two spare the ignorant one, and leave this backwards village behind.
Furthermore, it turns out that it was the doctor behind the guard's murder as well. He was angry that the Killjoys were trying to give the inmates another lease on rehabilitation, and decided to sabotage their whole plan. He starts flooding the prison with a nerve agent, to put an end to their quasi-humanitarian efforts. A woozy Kalvert manages to grab the flag and hurl it, bulls-eye, right in the doc's chest. A mere band-aid won't be able to patch up that boo-boo.
Everyone reconvenes back on Lucy for a much-deserved dinner party, hosted by Fancy Lee (this guy has some unknown talents coming to the fore). They rejoice in their community, and also that The Lady has no one who loves her and is all alone and that she stinks. But is that really true? Back on her ship, it looks like Khlyen and she might be forging a kind of partnership...or maybe even a friendship.