Enterprise is traveling at warp speed to reach its mysterious destination. The crew is hard at work as usual, only now Sybok is in control.
Conveniently, Sybok decides to announce his intentions to the crew. And he means this literally—dude gets on the intercom. Not exactly subtle.
Sybok explains that now is the time to "consider the questions of existence." Although many people say that it's "fantasy" to imagine a place where these questions are answered, Sybok believes that such a place actually exists. It even has a name: Sha Ka Ree.
According to Sybok, the planet Sha Ka Ree lies "beyond the Great Barrier" at the "center of the galaxy."
Spock, explaining that this is based on an old Vulcan legend, seems intrigued. Kirk, on the other hand, flatly dismisses Sybok's rambling, saying that no ship has ever gone into the Great Barrier and returned.
The three men stop talking—they hear a strange tapping coming from behind the cell wall. Kirk realizes that it's Morse code, and he interprets the first word as "stand."
The second word is "back."
Before the guys can stand back, however, the wall explodes, revealing our favorite Scottish engineer. Our heroes escape, and Sybok discovers the prison break moments later.
Our escapees discuss their plan. There's an emergency communications system they can use to send a distress beacon, but they'll need to climb up "turbo shaft No. 3" to reach it, which is mighty dangerous.
Kirk tells Scotty to get the transporter working before running off with Spock and Bones. Moments later, Scotty walks into a beam and falls unconscious. Really.
Alarms blare, and Sybok's cronies rush through the ship.
Our heroes reach the turbo shaft. Kirk and Bones head up first, while Spock rushes out of the room before they realize he's gone.
Meanwhile, Sulu finds Scotty unconscious and brings him to the sick bay.
Kirk and Bones continue their climb. It takes them 13 levels to realize that Spock is missing. What observant fellows.
As soon as Kirk and Bones do realize that Spock is gone, however, he appears—once again sporting his rocket boots. He gives Kirk and Bones a helpful (and adorable) ticket to the top.
Unfortunately, the three weigh too much, so they start floating back down to the surface—just as Sulu and the cronies rush in. Uh-oh.
Kirk kicks the boots to max power, and the three barrel to the top of the shaft, nearly careening into the ceiling. Thankfully, they make it to the communications room safe and sound.
The three send out a distress message and get in contact with Starfleet. Kirk tells Starfleet their situation and requests emergency help.
Shockingly, we discover that the person Kirk is talking to isn't a member of Starfleet—it's Klaa's sidekick. She's posing as a Federation officer in order to get Enterprise's location. Out of the frying pan...
Our heroes head to the door but are stopped by Sybok. Well, this is just getting better and better.
Sybok launches into a soliloquy about how humans have achieved the impossible throughout their history. So why can't he achieve the impossible here?
Sybok tells his buddies to leave the room.
Scotty comes to in the medical bay with Uhura sitting next to him. He says that he dreamed a "madman" had taken over Enterprise. Uhura scoffs—Sybok is no madman, she says.
There's some strange sexual chemistry between Scotty and Uhura. As longtime Trekkies, we have no idea where this is coming from.
Back in the communications room, Sybok explains that every culture shares a "common dream of a place from which creation sprang." Sybok believes this place to be a reality.
Kirk asks Sybok how he controls minds. Sybok responds that he doesn't control minds—he frees them. But how? According to Sybok, he makes you "face your pain and draw strength from it," which sort of just sounds like therapy.
McCoy is clearly falling under Sybok's spell, but he resists it. Suddenly, we see a man in a hospital bed appear behind him. This must be a manifestation of McCoy's subconscious.
The man is Bones' father. He seems to be dying. He asks Bones to "stop the pain" and "release" him. Visibly distressed, McCoy places an instrument on the hospital bed, seemingly turning off his dad's life-support system.
Sybok creeps up behind McCoy and asks him why he did it. Bones responds that it was "to preserve his dignity."
Sybok is not done yet. McCoy has an even deeper pain buried in his past, he claims.
Soon after McCoy's father's death, doctors found a cure for the disease he had—which means that he might have recovered had McCoy not ended his life. Sybok orders McCoy to "release the pain" that has "poisoned" his soul since that terrible event.
As McCoy sobs, Spock says that he hides no pain. Sybok disagrees, and to prove it, he conjures up another strange hallucination from the past.
It seems to be Spock's birth. After the delivery, Spock is brought to his father, Sarek, who dismissively describes him as "so human."
Spock walks away deeply shaken.
Now it's Kirk's turn, says Sybok. Kirk balks at this, calling Sybok a "con man." He argues that the "pain and guilt" we carry shouldn't be erased, as those things "make us who we are."
Kirk is interrupted by a transmission from Uhura: Enterprise is approaching the Great Barrier. Sybok tells Kirk to stay, and he tells Spock and McCoy to join him on the bridge.
Spock doesn't move, saying that he belongs with Kirk. Spock isn't the "outcast boy" Sybok once knew, thanks largely to Kirk and Enterprise. Hearing this, McCoy decides to stay as well.
Sybok explains that passing through the Great Barrier will prove the "vision" given to him by God. Kind of late to mention that part, dude.