Inside, Bones is examining Spock. He thinks that Spock has suffered some sort of neurological trauma.
Dude seems okay, however. He tells Kirk about V'Ger's home planet and its incredible technology. He was horrified by its "pure logic," however.
He then says, "I should have known," before passing out.
Suddenly he wakes up. Oh. He was just talking about the importance of friendship and emotions. Kind of a buzzkill.
He says that V'Ger has one only question: "Is this all that I am?"
Kirk receives a message from Starfleet: the entity is about three minutes from Earth, but its cloud is dissipating as it approaches.
Everyone gathers on the bridge. V'Ger sends out a message, which Ilia says is a signal to the Creator.
Spock is surprised: it's "a simple binary code transmitted by carrier wave signal." In layman's terms: radio.
They want to answer, but still don't know the question. V'Ger lets loose an energy blast that disables every defense system on the planet.
Then another. And another. And another. It stops when there are five glowing orbs orbiting Earth. They could destroy the entire planet in an instant.
Kirk asks Ilia why this is happening, and she responds that the Creator still hasn't answered. She must kill these carbon-based life forms to please the Creator.
Spock pulls Kirk aside. He tells him that he needs to treat V'Ger like a child.
Kirk leaps into action, announcing to Ilia that he knows why the Creator is silent. And he won't tell her until they break away from Earth's orbit.
Ilia wants the info now. Kirk says no. High drama. To show its seriousness, V'Ger starts blasting around electricity all willy-nilly.
Kirk doesn't care—he tells the crew to leave the bridge. Ilia finally says that V'Ger will leave Earth, but only after Kirk tells her what's up with the Creator.
Kirk tells her that he needs to present the information directly to V'Ger. Ilia stares off in space for a while as the door to V'Ger's inner sanctum opens up.
They see a glowing blue structure in distance. An "oxygen-gravity envelope" forms around the Enterprise, which basically means that humans can now survive outside of the ship.
The Enterprise stops and Ilia points to the blue structure. That's V'Ger, ya'll.
Kirk, Spock, Bones, and Decker exit the ship, led by Ilia. They walk on strange, hexagonal tiles until they finally reach the object of their quest.
It's...it's...a satellite? That seems awfully normal. Honestly, it looks like something NASA would make.
Kirk touches it. That's when he realizes that it is something that NASA would make—it's a Voyager space probe. Voyager VI to be specific.
(The Voyager space probes were a series of small, unmanned units that were sent deep into space to perform research. There were only two launched in real life, however: Voyager VI is a fictional creation.)
Voyager VI was sent off 300 years ago, in Star Trek time, so everyone is flabbergasted.
Decker says that Voyager VI fell into a black hole. After emerging, it must have landed on the planet of living machines, who saw it as one of their own and transformed it into the behemoth we see today.
We see glowing electricity and hear strange, Pong-like noises from V'Ger. It wants its info.
Kirk tells Uhura to research the official NASA codes for communicating with an unmanned probe like Voyager VI and telling it to release its data.
Kirk now directly addresses V'Ger, telling it that humans are the Creator. To prove it, he will release the code that completes its programming.
Decker reads the code aloud, but nothing happens. Ilia explains that the code isn't enough–"the Creator must join with V'Ger." Cue longing look to Decker.
Spock looks at V'Ger and determines that V'Ger intentionally sabotaged itself so that it would have to directly encounter the Creator.
The crew members have an aside. They determine that V'Ger needs to transcend logic if it's going to evolve into a higher state of being. Is that really the issue right now, guys?
Decker rushes towards V'Ger and fixes the damaged wires, despite Kirk telling him to stop. He stares at Ilia and his body is overcome with shiny, flashing lights.
Ilia walks towards the glowing mass of energy and both figures dissipate in another flurry of light.
This massive stream of energy is expanding, so Kirk, Spock, and Bones hustle back to the ship. It grows and grows until the cloud has completely disappeared, leaving only the Enterprise.
Back on the bridge, Kirk and Spock wonder if they just saw the birth of a new lifeform—or maybe even a new evolution for humanity.
Scotty offers to take Spock back to Vulcan, but he's sticking around. Our dude is right where he belongs.
Kirk tells the helms officer to head "out there" and the Enterprise jumps into warp space. To infinity and beyond, ya'll. Oops: wrong spaceman.