Burnham brings Spock's log to Pike and shows him that Spock knew about the signals two months before the bursts were detected by Starfleet. She wants to contact Spock.
Pike tells her that Spock is in a psychiatric facility.
Saru summons Pike to the bridge and informs him that another burst has been detected. It's very far away and the only way to get there is to use the spore drive.
Stamets shares his time with Hugh in the network with Tilly.
They arrive at a Class M planet in the Beta Quadrant, detecting human life signs where no one is meant to have settled. They receive a distress transmission that has been transmitting for two hundred years, predating warp technology.
The population on the planet is pre-warp. They don't even use electricity. Pike wants to approach them like a First Contact. They plan an away team.
Tilly is examining the asteroid. She attempts to extract a piece of the metrion embedded in the asteroid but a piece floats out of the gravitational field and immediately flattens the steel table it lands on. She manages to extract the piece she's after but a sudden energy discharge blasts her up and back into a bulkhead and knocks her unconscious.
The landing party beams down into one of the settlements, near a church that seems to be transmitting the distress signal. Burnham analyzes the stained glass window as representing all of the major religions of Earth.
Lt. Owosekun detects that the distress signal is coming from beneath them and goes to look for a basement.
Burnham sees a resemblance between one of the stained glass images and the figure she saw on the asteroid.
The doors open and a settler asks why they aren't in the fields. Pike claims they are newcomers from the north. The man takes them to the All-Mother and the community holds a ritual to welcome them. They describe how the first settlers were transported from Earth during World War 3 to this planet by the winged figure depicted in the window.
Burnham tries to solve the transport scientifically but the All-Mother claims their faith is all they need. The man who found them in the church, Jacob, tells Burnham that a camera from one of the first settlers exists but it's broken.
Tilly wakes up in the sick bay and Saru comes in to lecture her on safety. She explains she wanted to build a dark matter interface so that Stamets wouldn't need to interface with the spore drive anymore.
Saru is called back to the bridge and Detmers informs him that one of the planet's rings has destabilized and the pieces are irradiating the planet. In about an hour, there will be an extinction level event. The radiation is interfering with communications and they cannot contact Pike. They won't be able to transport either.
On the planet, the landing party looks for the beacon. Pike has decided to turn it off so no one else disturbs the settlers. When they find it, Jacob finds them and identifies them as people from Old Earth. His ancestors were scientists.
When Pike tries to get his team to leave, Jacob throws a shock grenade that knocks them out. Burnham sees the winged figure again while unconscious. Waking, they find themselves locked in the basement and that Jacob has taken all their tech. Owosekun gets them out but Pike reminds them they cannot break cover, that they are bound by General Order One.
On the ship, Tilly is working out the problem of the radioactive debris while in sickbay. With May's help, she figures out they can use the asteroid like a magnet. She runs to the bridge in her sickbay gown and explains. Stamets volunteers to pilot the ship into the debris field with the spore drive.
Jacob brings the landing party's tech to the All-Mother. Pike arrives and accuses him of robbing them. While they are arguing, Rose gest ahold of a phaser and Pike throws himself on it when it discharges. He is gravely injured and Burnham tells the All-Mother he must be moved to the church and they must pray for deliverance.
Tilly's plan works and the debris is pulled out of the atmosphere. As soon as the radiation interference is gone, the ship beams the away team back just as they get into the church. The All-Mother proclaims it as a miracle while Jacob looks heartbroken.
Tilly is relieved her plan worked and heads back to bed rest. May congratulates her on her success, calling her "Stilly" which twigs Tilly's memory.
Pike awakens in sickbay. He'll live.
In her room, Tilly finds evidence that May was a classmate when she was a child. She gets the computer to track May's whereabouts and discovers she is deceased.
Burnham meets with Pike. She tells him about the winged figure she saw on the asteroid. Burnham pleads for Jacob's case and Pike argues General Order One.
Pike goes down and meets Jacob and explains their true identity. Jacob turns off the distress signal. Pike trades a battery cell for the soldier's helmet camera. With the battery, Jacob is able to turn the church's lights back on.
Pike plays back the helmet camera footage and sees the winged figure before the footage cuts out.