Onboard Discovery, much of the crew are assembled for a party filled with dance music, drinks, and entertainment. Burnham, who is notably uncomfortable in the festive atmosphere, talks with Cadet Tilly and, eventually, Lt. Tyler. Their conversation is interrupted when Burnham and Tyler are summoned to the bridge after sensors discovered a Gormagander; an endangered space-dwelling creature. Due to regulations surrounding endangered species, Discovery is required to beam the creature aboard for transfer to a sanctuary.
When the creature is brought into the shuttlebay, a figure emerges, firing at several crew members. Eventfully confined in a corridor, the figure reveals himself to be none other than Harry Mudd. Though cornered, Mudd does not seem to be concerned as he spews rhetoric towards Captain Lorca before, seemingly, destroying the Discovery.
Suddenly, the timeline is reset which finds Burnham and company back at the party again. However this time when she and Tyler leave for the bridge, Lt. Stamets confronts them and attempts to explain that Discovery and her crew are stuck in a time-loop. He claims that he alone is aware of the time-loop, thanks to the tardigrade DNA injected into his body that has him existing outside of normal space-time.
After several loops, it is revealed that Mudd is after the secret of Discovery so he can sell the ship to the Klingons. Unfortunately, Mudd is struggling to learn the secrets given the time-loop resets every 30 minutes. While working through the loops, Mudd takes pleasure in – repeatedly – murdering Captain Lorca, along with other unfortunate crew members. He also takes more control of the Discovery each time, assuming full control of the computer and anointing himself as ‘Captain’.
With each new loop, Lt. Stamets slowly convinces Burnham of the unfolding events where she, in turn, convinces Lt. Tyler and, eventually, Lorca. After dozens upon dozens of loops, Lorca and the bridge crew are ready for Mudd’s latest attempt. Thanks to a clever ploy by Burnham, she convinces Mudd that the Klingons would pay an even higher reward for her than for Discovery, given the fact that she murdered T'Kuvma. She promptly commits suicide, forcing Mudd to reset time once again. When he does, he is surprised that the bridge crew surrenders over the ship to him without resistance. He quickly contacts the Klingons and proceeds to the transporter room to welcome them. Unfortunately for Mudd, instead of contacting the Klingons, he was tricked into contacting his father-in-law, the father of his "beloved" Stella, to whom he was on the run from. Stella and her father beam into the transporter room, where they reclaim Mudd who now is forced to make Stella an “honest” woman.