As Enterprise continues to endure the brutal Xindi attack, the crew struggles to hold the ship together. Suddenly, the Xindi ships cease firing and begin to move off. The crew is relieved, but Enterprise has sustained heavy damage and will require extensive repairs before the mission can continue. Meanwhile, Archer has been released from his imprisonment by the Xindi-Reptilians and is returned to Enterprise in a Xindi-Aquatic escape pod. Archer isn't sure why the Xindi returned him to his vessel, but he believes he may have gotten through to Degra. As Archer briefs T'Pol on his ordeal, he can't help but notice that she's acting somewhat strangely — her emotions seem close to the surface and her hands appear to be shaking uncontrollably. There's no time to dwell on this, however — Enterprise still requires a lot of work in order to be fully operational.
As the crew works to repair the ship, Enterprise receives a distress call from a heavily damaged alien vessel. Believing that perhaps the two ships can help one another, Archer meets with the vessel's captain. Archer proposes a trade with the captain — Enterprise will provide this species, the Illyrians, with trellium-D in exchange for a warp coil. The Illyrian captain says that this is the one thing his ship can't spare. Without a warp coil, it will take them three years to return to their home system, and they simply don't have the resources for such a long journey. Archer is frustrated, but the Illyrian captain is firm — he cannot provide them with a warp coil.
Meanwhile, Hoshi Sato and Mayweather have completed their analysis of the Aquatic escape pod — it contains a document with an encrypted message from Degra. Upon further analysis, T'Pol discovers a set of coordinates and stardate hidden in the document — it appears that Degra wants to meet with them. Unfortunately, Enterprise isn't running well enough to reach the rendezvous point in time. Archer, realizing that he's run out of options, comes up with a desperate plan — he will lead a boarding party to the Illyrian vessel and take their warp coil by force. The other crewmembers are wary of this plan, but there doesn't appear to be any choice. T'Pol objects most forcibly, surprising Archer with an angry outburst. She apologizes, but Archer can't help but be puzzled by her bizarre behavior.
As Enterprise heads out for its showdown with the Illyrian ship, T'Pol pays a visit to Dr. Phlox and reveals a troubling secret — she's been experimenting with trellium, injecting small doses into her bloodstream in order to access certain emotions. Trellium exposure is deadly to Vulcans, but T'Pol thought it would be safe in small amounts. Initially, she was able to control the emotions, and her interactions with the crew even improved. Recently, however, she's been having difficulties, and has realized that she is addicted to the substance. Phlox agrees to help her break her addiction and promises to keep the matter confidential. Relieved, T'Pol returns to her duties.
Meanwhile, Degra and his allies — the Council's Xindi-Humanoid and Xindi-Arboreal — are meeting with one of the mysterious trans-dimensional beings in secret. They confront her with the information Archer gave them about the Reptilians building a bio-weapon. She confirms that it's true, but claims that it was for the good of the Council. Degra asks if it's also true that her species built the Delphic Expanse's spheres, but she refuses to answer, and angrily tells them not to summon her again unless all of the Xindi Council is present. As she disappears, Degra ponders the situation, wondering if what Archer told him is true.
Back on Enterprise, the crew grimly prepares for the mission ahead. Archer leads a boarding party to the Illyrian vessel, but once there they encounter an obstacle: the warp coil is protected by a force field. On the bridge, T'Pol and the others engage in a fire fight with the Illyrian ship, and T'Pol and Reed manage to target their power junction. This causes a power drain, which gives Trip enough time to procure the warp coil. With their mission accomplished, the team returns to Enterprise. Archer leaves the Illyrians with trellium, food and supplies, but the Illyrian captain is still angered and perplexed by the captain's audacity.
Back on Enterprise, Archer reflects on his decision. Trip assures the captain that he did the right thing, but Archer can't help but brood about the moral gray areas he continues to encounter on this mission.