Upon leaving the Enolian homeworld, Archer and Trip are mistakenly identified as smugglers and arrested. The two men are placed on a prison transport headed for the penal colony known as Canamar. Among their fellow prisoners is a man named Kuroda, a hulking Nausicaan, and a young, talkative alien named Zoumas. Back on Enterprise, Sub-commander T'Pol, having found the abandoned shuttlepod, manages to convince an Enolian official that Archer and Tucker are innocent, and arranges for their safe return.
Just as Archer and Tucker are about to be released, however, Kuroda breaks free and takes down the guard and pilot. Hoping to figure out an escape plan of his own, Archer volunteers to pilot the craft, and pretends to be a smuggler, hoping that Kuroda will come to trust him. When the vessel comes under attack from Enolian patrol ships, Archer convinces Kuroda to allow Tucker to assist them. Tucker manages to create a plasma cloud that fends the patrol ships off, allowing the transport to jump to warp. Having been foiled, the Enolian authorities are now determined to get rid of the violent Kuroda, one way or another.
Back on the prison transport, Kuroda is impressed with Archer's ploy. In fact, Kuroda has come to respect Archer and asks the captain to join him on his next endeavor. As the two men talk, Kuroda reveals that he was 14 when he first spent time in a penal colony. He was innocent, but he still spent five years in prison, and started making a living as a criminal after he was released. Kuroda also finally reveals that they will rendezvous with another ship at Tamaal and destroy the transport. Archer, determined to save the other prisoners, enlists Tucker's aid.
Tucker is freed under the pretence of fixing a docking hatch and manages to render the Nausicaan unconscious, but draws the attention of Kuroda, who realizes that Archer has been plotting against him all along. The transport soon docks, but when the doors open, Lt. Reed and Ensign Mayweather appear. The crew evacuate the transport, which is now in a decaying orbit, but Kuroda remains on the transport and the vessel explodes. Back on Enterprise, the Enolian official demands a report for his superiors. Archer, however, tersely informs the official that he and Tucker were falsely arrested, and wonders how many others on their way to Canamar don't belong there.