"A true heart should never be doubted."
Treachery in the Senate! The Jedi Council suspects that Senator Rush Clovis is secretly taking part in a Separatist conspiracy. But to find out what the Senator from Scipio is up to, the Council will need a spy of its own. Meanwhile, Jedi Anakin Skywalker has been away from Coruscant on a lengthy tour of duty leading the clone army. Now Anakin returns for a long-awaited reunionwith his wife, Padme Amidala....
After a long absence, Anakin Skywalker is warmly greeted by Padme Amidala at her skyrise apartment on Coruscant. Anakin has just hitched a ride on a cargo freighter, and brought back warm dinner. It is a special occasion tonight, when the secretly wed couple are able to spend time together.
At the Jedi Temple, the Council discusses a disturbing matter. The InterGalactic Banking Clan has shrewdly avoided direct connection to the Separatists, but the Jedi suspect the financial institution to be in league just the same. Investigating Senator Rush Clovis of the Banking delegation could provide the Jedi the proof they need to expose the treachery, but already Senator Amidala has refused their entreaty to spy on her colleague.
The Jedi are unwilling to take no as an answer. Mace Windu and Yoda ask Obi-Wan Kenobi to summon Anakin, but Kenobi has had difficulty reaching his former apprentice. Anakin has been attempting to ignore them all night, but ultimately feels that duty calls. Padme is disappointed, and does not appreciate Anakin's hasty lecture about putting duty first in times of war.
Back at the Jedi Temple, Mace, Obi-Wan and Yoda examine surveillance footage of Rush Clovis, a young human Senator, meeting with the Trade Federation Senatorial representative, Lott Dod. Anakin arrives at the briefing. Mace explains that they need Senator Amidala to spy on Clovis -- to send a Jedi would only raise Clovis's guard. Anakin is increasingly hesitant, particularly when he learns that Clovis and Amidala were close friends during their early careers in the Senate. Yoda implores Anakin to get Amidala to agree to this.
Anakin catches up with Padme in the hallways of the Galactic Senate building. Despite her words, she is still upset at Anakin, and his requests on behalf of the Jedi Council are of little help for her mood. She reiterates her refusal to spy on a colleague and old friend. Anakin's jealous reaction to her friendship with Clovis only sparks Padme's temper. Padme is surprised to learn that Clovis may have any connection to the Separatist, a fact Yoda failed to mention during his entreaties to her. This changes her mind on the matter, but Anakin disagrees with the Council's decision to use Padme like this. He refuses to see her put in danger, and she is irked by his overprotective streak. She accepts the mission over Anakin's protestations, quoting his original line that duty comes first in wartime.
Inside the Jedi Council chamber, Padme lays out her strategy for spying on Clovis. First, she must re-initiate contact; it's been some time since they last were in touch. Anakin is unsettled to learn that Padme and Clovis had a romantic relationship. She ended it years ago, returning them to the status of professional colleagues, something that Clovis did not take well. Still, Padme is confident he can regain his trust. Anakin will serve as bodyguard for the assignment.
At the dining commons within the Senate building, Padme and Clovis enjoy a late dinner. Rush is about to head to Cato Neimoidia, to collect some outstanding dues from the Trade Federation. Padme offers to help, and she agrees to accompany Clovis in the hopes of using her diplomatic contacts to sway the Neimoidians. Clovis hopes that traveling with Padme will be even better than it was in their past.
The next day, the Senators board a gleaming Naboo star skiff. Anakin, dressed as a Naboo pilot, assists Captain Typho, C-3PO and R2-D2 in ship preparations. Anakin barely contains his jealousy while trying to play the role of an impartial pilot. To prevent Clovis from sitting right next to Padme, Anakin surreptitiously breaks the harness of the adjacent seat, forcing Clovis to sit apart. When Clovis moves too close to Padme for Anakin's liking, Skywalker twists the ship through a maneuver to shake the amorous Senator away.
Before long, the skiff arrives at the gilded bridge cities of Cato Neimoidia. The joint Naboo / Scipio delegation is greeted by Senator Lott Dod, who is surprised to see Amidala but nonetheless welcomes her to the grand hall of his palace. While servant droids escort Padme and her retinue to their room, Clovis meets with Dod in the library.
They discuss a new investment by the Banking Clan into the Separatist war effort for the creation of a new droid factory. Dod is delighted by the prospect of war profits, but is fearful of the Senator that Clovis has brought with him. The Geonosian weapons manufacturer Poggle the Lesser emerges from the shadows. The two aliens try to negotiate a greater stake of the profits, but Clovis doesn't budge. The Neimoidians are far too indebted to the banking clan in this venture to begin haggling. The conspirators cut their conversation short as Padme approaches, apparently wandering the library. Clovis escorts Padme out, leaving Dod and Poggle to fume silently. Dod notices the obvious affection Clovis has for Amidala, and sees an opportunity to force Clovis to comply with their wishes -- if they could threaten the Naboo Senator.
Senator Dod intercepts Clovis and Amidala in the grand hall corridor outside the library. He presents them drinks to toast their new friendship. Dod gives Padme a poisoned glass as the Senators retire to the dining chambers.
Meanwhile, at the skiff on the landing platform, an agitated Anakin waits impatiently for Padme's signal, with R2-D2 keeping him company.
After dinner, Padme begins to feel faint. C-3PO suggests she retire for the night, but Padme rallies her energies and agrees to a tour of the palace with Clovis. Threepio is dismissed and returns to Padme's quarters, where he encounters Anakin. The droid tells him of Padme's whereabouts and actions, which only worries Anakin more.
As Clovis and Padme walk through the palace library, her head pounds and she feels weak. She asks Clovis to fetch her some water. As he disappears, Padme sneaks to the hologram projector she spotted earlier. The data contained within is password-protected. After a few false guesses, Padme tumbles on the true password: her name. The display activates, revealing an enormous Geonosian droid factory. This is the evidence she sought. She signals R2-D2 while she ejects and palms the hologram disc.
Clovis returns with a drink for Padme, and she carefully keeps the disck hidden behind her back. She throws her arms around Clovis to keep him from seeing her stolen prize. Anakin arrives to catch his wife in the embrace of a Senator, but keeps quiet as a he stealthily takes the disc from her hand. He returns to the star skiff and gives the data to R2-D2. Anakin orders Artoo to take the data to the Jedi Council if he does not return, and then he races off back to the palace.
Clovis is surprised by Padme's display of affection. She faints from the poison, and Clovis carries her to her bedroom. He orders Threepio to fetch a medical droid. In the hallway outside the bedroom, Clovis confronts Lott Dod. He knows Padme has been poisoned. Dod correctly brands Amidala as a Republic spy. Clovis reluctantly faces the truth when he checks the hologram projector and finds the data stolen.
Clovis returns to the bedroom and calls out Padme on her treachery. She vows loyalty to the Republic; Clovis is the one who has betrayed the Republic. She tells Clovis that the data is on its way to the Senate. Just then, Anakin arrives, spoiling for a fight. He orders Clovis to step away from the fading Padme. Anakin wants to rush her to Coruscant, but there is no time. Clovis realizes that Dod must have the antidote. In exchange for the hologram disc, Clovis will get it from Dod. Anakin ignores the offer. He'd rather get what he needs directly from the Neimoidian.
Clovis genuinely cares for Padme's health. He helps Anakin take her back to her ship. They are intercepted by Lott Dod. Clovis tries to bluff his way past the Neimoidian, but Dod does not want her taken off-planet. Clovis pulls a blaster and holds Dod at gunpoint, demanding the antidote. Dod hands it over, and Anakin takes Padme back to her ship. Clovis asks for Anakin for the disc back, but Anakin coldly refuses, leaving Clovis behind to face the Neimoidians.
As the Naboo star skiff takes off, Anakin administers the antidote to Padme. Her mission was a success: with the holographic evidence, the Jedi can now move against the new droid foundry. Padme nonetheless regrets making Anakin doubt her, but he admits no doubt.