The skitter that Tom previously overpowered and took as a prisoner of war has begun to regain consciousness. The group believes that by figuring out how it thinks, they may be able to figure out its weaknesses. Dr. Harris and Anne don't see eye to eye about the best way to examine the prisoner. She mentions that while they study this creature, it seems to be studying us right back. When Tom enters the room, the alien becomes agitated, and soldiers must taser it in order to restore order. The skitter seems to recognize Tom, its captor.
In another room, John Pope tells Weaver there's a motorcycle shop nearby, which could benefit the transportation needs of the 2nd Mass. Weaver wants Tom and his team to check it out, though Tom would rather go out and rescue his harnessed son, Ben. Weaver responds that the regime needs more bikes, which will help to get more pharmaceuticals, which can then lead to Ben's rescue mission. Pope wants to go but Tom, who's second in command behind Weaver, doesn't trust this criminal (even if he does know where they're going). However, the team is down a rider ever since Karen was taken, so it makes sense for Pope to tag along. Tom gives in hesitantly.
Meanwhile, Anne examines a recovering Ricky and questions his father, Mike, about his son's health. She can't believe Ricky ever had cystic fibrosis because his lungs are completely clear. She tells Mike that full remissions are very rare. Could the harness have cured him?
Tom stops by the medical bay to talk to Anne. He believes the pediatrician may be sugar coating Ricky's prognosis for Mike, his father, but everyone else needs to know the truth, however hard it is to hear. She says that Mike feels bad about how Ricky was the one who was rescued, instead of the intended target: Ben. Tom can't hold a grudge for too long since he knows any parent would probably react the same way that Mike did.
As Tom's small squad prepare to head out for the motorcycle shop, his youngest son, 8-year-old Matt, runs out and says that he wants to come and help. He tells his father that some kids his age are learning how to load and shoot guns. Tom ignores his son's request and demands the eager child go back to "school." Pope overhears the exchange and says that Matt actually should learn how to defend himself, in case the situation calls for it. The young father sees the validity of that statement, but wants his son to have a real childhood, without violence, for as long as possible.
The small squad is on their way, and Pope shows his true (and pretty racist) colors as he talks to Anthony, a former cop before the invasion began. While the two men bicker, Tom notices that Hal isn't his normal self. He's probably thinking about Karen, and how his girlfriend is now either harnessed or possibly worse. He's putting up a wall. Tom tells Dai how he forgets that soldier Hal is still just a 16-year-old kid. His wife, Rebecca, was much better at talking out problems with their sons, and in moments like this, he really feels her absence. Dai didn't have a family before the invasion and counts himself lucky that he doesn't have to feel the emotional torment that some of the parents and spouses do over their missing or dead loved ones.
Meanwhile, back at base camp, Lourdes looks at the missing persons board and prays for these innocent souls. She tells Jimmy, another young soldier, that it makes her feel better to pray, even when things seem so dire. We learn that Lourdes is originally from Mexico City and moved to Boston with her family when she was about 10 years old. She was a pre-med freshman at Wellesley when the invasion began.
As Lourdes prays, Anne tries to test the imprisoned Skitter by showing it images of our planet and universe. Harris is skeptical, believing this to be a waste of time. Anne believes the creature is scared; she wonders if we are hideous to it, strange to it. What does the Skitter see when it looks at humans?
Anne's uncle, Scott, shows weaver an old crank radio (no batteries needed) they found in the school basement, which will help communication between regimens. Scott brings in Matt as a volunteer who will pump the crank and turn the dial when necessary. Weaver is happy with the find, Scott is happy to work on a new project and Matt is happy that he's now the "communications officer."
Meanwhile, Tom and his team come across a skitter nest on their way to the motorcycle shop. This is a curious sight as the skitters don't seem to be nocturnal, but the humans assume these creature try to get in sleep whenever they can, even during the day. As much as the team would like to open fire on the skitter nest, Tom says it's not part of today's mission and it wouldn't be prudent. Pope isn't happy.
Anne offers water to the imprisoned skitter, taking utmost precaution. As she releases the lock on the jail cell and starts to slip a bowl of water through the opening, Dr. Harris bursts in with a covered gurney. He shows the skitter the corpse of a dead alien Pope and his men killed a while back. The creature reacts wildly, and at the same moment, Matt and Scott, in a nearby room, notice static on the radio. With this dramatic reaction, Harris reminds Anne that the skitter isn't a pet.
Maggie runs into Weaver at base camp and warns him that Tom and his team may have a problem controlling Pope out in the open. Speaking of, we see the group finally makes it to the motorcycle shop. They need to find gas and fill up as many bikes as possible. Hal spots a keychain in the store that Karen would have loved. Tom reminds Hal that they're not going to give up on rescuing Karen. A disgruntled Hal tells his father that she was a high school senior, not a soldier, and should have never been put in that position. However, Karen knew how dangerous the situation was and wanted to take the risks in order to help the cause. Tom says that his mom, Rebecca, might have told her son to hold on to the memories and let the rest of it go; Hal balks at this and says that mom would have told him to "suck it up." Both of the Mason men agree that Rebecca was always better with parental advice.
Back at base camp, Harris and Anne disagree about cutting into the skitter, as the surgeon wants to perform a vivisection. Anne says that these creatures killed her family and she would like nothing more than to cut their heads off, but that isn't part of Weaver's orders. They're job is to observe the creature, not torture it. Harris says he won't be second guessed, especially by a pediatrician.
As the two doctors bicker, Ricky begins to wake up and stares at his father, Mike, blankly. He doesn't recognize his dad. Ricky then begins looking at the imprisoned skitter -- an uncomfortable, lingering stare. Something seems to be wrong, and Mike notices it.
He approaches the skitter's jail cell and talks to the creature in plain English. He tells the alien how important Ricky is to him, how he seems to be healthy because of the harness. Mike begins to grow agitated and his frustration levels rise. He wants the skitter to talk to him, explain itself. He holds up the pictures Anne was using earlier. How did the aliens find our planet? Why did they attack us? He grabs a nearby gun and seems to instill more fear into the creature. Suddenly, a low wash of static turns up on the radio.
Mike demands the skitter look at the picture and make a noise. He shoves the gun into the alien's mouth, which seems to knock the alien out. Anne, Harris and a few others find out what Mike has been up to. The doctors examine the creature and discover there's a nerve bundle above the skitter's soft palette, with no bone separating its brain from the nerves. This is why it passed out when Mike pushed the gun in its face.
Anne believes that the loud burst of radio static is somehow related to the skitter and its reaction. Harris isn't a believer, but agrees to help examine the corpse of an old skitter and see if there's any physiological explanation for the static.
Back in the field, Tom's guys try to get the motorcycles started. While Dai's back is turned, Pope knocks him out and escapes on. He arrives back at the skitter nest and can't seem to leave this target alone. He throws a container full of fuel at the nest and watches as the whole thing explodes.
The squad hears this explosion and notices black smoke in the distance. Hal will investigate the disruption as quickly as possible, so as to not attract unwanted attention from any nearby mechs.
After its run in with Mike, the prisoner of war/skitter begins to regain consciousness. This triggers Ricky's consciousness as well -- the two seem to communicate non-verbally. Ricky notices his old harness, which Harris had previously removed in a tricky surgery. He voluntarily reaffixes it to his back, much to the surprise of us viewers.
Since the skitter corpse was too old to offer any explanations about the radio feedback, Anne is back to square one. That is, until they hear static again.
The group realizes that Ricky is all alone in the room with the imprisoned alien. Mike and the doctors run in to see the newly harnessed Ricky standing right next to the skitter's prison cell. The boy, who shares some type of psychic connection to the alien, has become the creature's mouthpiece. Ricky/skitter tells Harris and the group that it believes they want to hurt it, and it wants to be let go or killed. Dr. Harris tries to calm a hysterical Mike, saying that this "kid" isn't Ricky, he's no longer his son. No one ever expected that these children, like Ricky, would want to wear the harness.
Meanwhile, Hal returns to the squad and says that Pope blew up the skitter nest. At about the same time, a bunch of harnessed, armed children surround the motorcycle shop and open fire on Tom and his men. Dai is hit in the leg, but the men refuse to fire back on these brainwashed kids. Instead, they set off an explosive as a diversionary measure. On the way out, a skitter tries to stop them but fails.
The men return to base camp. Weaver doesn't understand -- the skitters have better ammo and mechs, so why do they need human children? Tom responds that they're a human shield, a part of psychological warfare. There is a silver lining, however, since the more we get to know the aliens, the better chance we have in beating them. Weaver jokes that Tom's optimism is starting to annoy him, and we see these two leaders may complement each other after all. Tom tells his commanding officer that after they look for the drugs, he's going to rescue Ben and the other harnessed children. Weaver permits it, saying that if his kids were still out there, he'd be focusing on the exact same thing.
Tom then finds Hal looking through his father's belongings. He sees a copy of Harry Potter, one of Ben's favorite books, and it seems to become a symbol of hope for his father. Hal isn't sure what Ben will be like after being harnessed for so many weeks, but Tom, ever the optimist, believes his middle son is stronger than they realize.
Later, Anne fills Tom in on what's been going on at base camp: Matt is Scott's new assistant and the radio transmissions weren't too strong to attract extraterrestrial attention.
As the dinner bell rings, Maggie tells Tom that nearby pharmacies have been wiped clean so finding drugs may be harder than expected. She also says that even though Pope is gone, he left a tasty meal as his going-away present.
Lourdes gives thanks for her food, showing her appreciation for what they have. The rest of the group joins in -- Hal is thankful for the newly acquired motorcycles as well as the chance to bring back the people they love; Anne appreciates that they all found each other, and they're not alone during this scary time; an exhausted Tom is thankful for freshly baked bread, even if it did come from Pope; Dai is high on pain killers and doesn't really know what he's thankful for or what's going on; and Weaver is happy for the bread as well.
Lourdes says grace on behalf of the entire group, and a new family seems to have been born out of the chaos of the invasion. Things may be tough, but as it turns out, hope is not lost.