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Episode Recap: The Abyss Stares Back
D’Branin investigates the source of the malfunctions. Rowan prepares Thale for first contact.
D'Branin is showing his calculations to a group and making his case – he believes that an alien ship is out in deep space and that he can pinpoint its location. He also believes this could be a solution to the crisis on Earth and a key to moving faster with human colonization. At the end of his speech, Captain Eris calls him and believes in his work, inviting him onto the Nightflyer to rendezvous with that ship. And the memory fades.
On the ship, Captain Eris eulogizes the two crew members who were killed by laser-spider-bot. Lommie and Jhirl are lounging around in bed (more than friends…) and D'Branin busts in with ideas. He wants to find out what, exactly, Captain Eris is hiding from everyone. Jhirl calls him to her again, and Captain Hologram shows up for a brief chat/confrontation. She is taunting him into sharing more and chiding him for being so distant.
Biologist Rowan heads to the greenhouse and talks to the bee lady. Turns out, Tessia is not an alien life form composed mostly of bees. Rather, she is a futuristic human hippie gardener who can, apparently, control bees. She likes Thale and has ideas that she shares with Rowan, who suddenly wants to do some experiments. His idea: Bring Thale a rabbit to attempt communication with.
Angry crew member Suczek is not doing well after watching fellow crew members die at the legs of laser-spider-bot. He keeps seeing things, and that red camera eye on the ship is paying a lot of attention to him, while D'Branin has yet another video call with his wife. Things aren't going great – back on Earth she is having large chunks of memory erased due to her sadness about their daughter dying. Her chosen therapy is to forget everything about Skye.
Lommie discovers that one of the ship thrusters is malfunctioning, and it appears to have been intentionally programmed by someone on deck seven. Captain Hologram's quarters. Jhirl needs to go into the engine and manually reset it so they don't go off course – with her genetic engineering she is the only one who can withstand the radiation in the engine. And D'Branin sees this as an opportunity to sneak into Eris' quarters for a look-see.
In Thale's room, the rabbit has died. He only sensed hunger, and now the rabbit is dead. There is a tapeworm inside. Thale was sensing the parasite all along, and suspects that was always Rowan's plan.
Jhirl goes into the engine with Captain Hologram at her side. But the ship's red cameras flicker and Captain Eris quickly fades. She's on her own. She manages to reset the Thruster but can't get out. She collapses in the room, hallucinating, but then is saved by a mystery hero in a radiation suit.
Suczek storms the bridge, weapon in hand. He asks everyone to stay away from the controls. The ship does not want them to complete the mission. Captain Eris appears and tells him to put the gun down. He talks to him to calm him down, and when that doesn't work, he grabs him and chokes him out. Captain Hologram? Could it be? Yes, in the flesh and in person. Proven with a punch to the throat and a quick neck twist.
In Eris's quarters, D'Branin and Rowan are sneaking around. They find what they believe to be his late mother's impressive quarters. And then D'Branin's wife Joy somehow appears. She looks horrible – a weird vision pulling out pieces of her brain and threatening him. Eris arrives and tells her to leave. Who is creating these nightmarish projections and messing with the ship? Turns out, it's Eris' mother. She's dead, but she uploaded her consciousness into the Nightflyer. And she is trying to kill them.