Sarah experiences deja vu when she has disturbing nightmares, meaning trouble for Sarah and John. Derek and Jesse look into a Skynet collaborator.
We're back in the Mexican desert, at Cromartie's grave to be specific. Sarah looks in. Cameron waters three cacti which grow rapidly. What? As the cacti turn to metal and wrap around John, Sarah WAKES UP.
In the car. On the way back from Mexico. She's going to be sick. Outside the car, Sarah throws up. Before getting back in the car, Sarah sees a baby turtle on it's back -- she flips it over and it sets it out of the road.
Back in bed at the Connor house, Sarah's worse for the wear. Sarah tells John they have to go back to Mexico to retrieve Cromartie's body and burn it, but he knows she's in no shape to go anywhere.
Derek gets an emergency call from Jesse: "I need to see you. Now. Bring a gun." He goes to meet her at a shipping container facility. There, Jesse tells him about a man she spotted at the mall this morning -- Charles Fischer -- but Derek doesn't know who he is. "You him. Charles Fischer, sent back from the future and he works for the machines." Jesse has him bound up. She plans to kill him.
Cameron and John drive back to Mexico together to retrieve Cromartie's body. She tells John that she is "feeling what it's like to get away from it all," but he insists that she doesn't have feelings. "I'm not sure you understand how we work." She goes on to tell him that she has sensation and that she can feel... but is this just more of her leading him on? Pulling him away from Riley?
Jesse tells Derek about Fischer. She explains that in the future, he is a Grey -- human traitors that work for Skynet and teach the machines to act more human. But the man bound up denies that he is Fischer and has no clue what she's talking about. He claims to be Paul Stewart, but Derek isn't sure what to believe...
Derek checks the man's ID. His license confirms his name is Paul Stewart and he tells them he works on watches. "What are you doing here, Fischer?" Jesse asks before she slaps him. She wants to know why Skynet sent him back but the man continues to deny that he is Fischer. Derek interrogates him as he pleads for his life.
Outside the shipping container, Derek talks with Jesse. He doesn't remember anyone called Fischer, but Jesse reminds him that Fischer was the worst of the Greys, the one they never caught. "You really don't remember?" Derek thinks that if this man really is who Jesse says he is, they better find out why Skynet sent him back. He wants to hear the man admit everything. Jesse has a plan to prove it.
Sarah's eyes open in bed to a strange sound on babies crying on a baby monitor. She follows the noise through the house, leading her into a room -- full of baby cradles. Clearly she's dreaming. Each cradle is full of three turtles (setup in the same shape as the cacti in her dream earlier). Sarah turns around to find Cameron nursing a turtle. Cameron hands the baby turtle off to Cromartie, a manifestation of Sarah's worst nightmare...
...as Sarah wakes with her gun drawn, alarms blaring, facing off with her own reflection. Sarah contemplates the set of three's -- the cacti, the turtles, drawing the triangular design on paper. What does it mean? What does it represent?
Cameron and John dig up Cromartie's body, but only find his boot. With his chip destroyed, someone came and beat them to Cromartie. "There's only one other person who knew about this," John confirms.
Derek frees the bound-up man's hands and offers him a burger. He takes time to interrogate the man without Jesse. While sitting with him, Derek spots a tattoo on the man's arm -- a clock with no hands. "So what'd they get you for? It's prison ink." The man denies that he ever went to jail, but Derek doesn't believe him. He knows the tattoo means 'till the end of time -- life sentence. Derek ties the prisoner's hands back up.
John and Cameron drive back from Mexico. Derek checks in with Cameron and sends her a picture of the man tied up; she doesn't recognize him.
Sarah stops by to visit Dr. Sherman, the therapist from the bloody list on the wall. He remembers her, but reminds her that she came to him a month ago for help and he hasn't heard from her since. She tells him she has an emergency, but he suggests she make an appointment. Sarah bombards him with the news of her nightmares and sleep walking. "Where are you walking to?" He invites her in to talk...
John and Cameron stake out Ellison's house. In the car, Cameron asks John about the turtle and why Sarah flipped it over in Mexico. "She was helping it." But why? John explains to her that when people see something or someone that's in pain or trouble, you try and help them. "Empathy?" Cameron asks. She knows that not everyone would turn the turtle over... but she also explains to John that it wasn't a threat and they (the machines) weren't built to be cruel.
As Ellison arrives home, Cameron and John break in. She pins him against the sofa, asking about Cromartie's body. Ellison is as surprised as they are -- "What could I possibly want it for?" Cameron believes he's lying. She throws him around the house, but he continues to deny that he knows anything. John tells Cameron to let him go, but when she does she flips him over like the turtle. Before he leaves, John finds the polaroid of his mother, younger, made famous by Kyle Reese. He takes it with him...
Jesse returns to the shipping container with another person, bag in a head. "I brought proof." It's a Charles Fischer, present-day and younger, with a matching mole! Jesse binds him up too. Young Charlie Fischer tells Jesse that he doesn't know why he's there, he's just a technician. But the other man still denies that he is Charles Fischer from the future...
Jesse and Derek reconvene outside the container. Derek reiterates that they need to find out what he's doing here. They can't just kill him. Quite a long way from the guy that shot and killed Andy Goode without hesitation... perhaps his time here is getting to him? Jesse agrees that he's been sent by Skynet for a reason. She encourages Derek to beat him down until he talks. But Derek's got another idea; he grabs a pair of pliers and begins plucking off the finger nails of the younger Charlie Fischer, one-by-one...
..."Stop it, stop it, stop it. My name is Charles Fischer." Jesse was right. Derek inquires as to why he's here. Charles Fischer tells him he wasn't sent back on a mission. This is his reward from Skynet -- when the bombs dropped he was locked up in prison and survived. After Judgement Day he was given a choice -- teach them everything he learned inside prison or be killed. "What'd you learn?" "I learned what makes people tick."
Dr. Sherman asks Sarah what she was doing in Mexico. She claims it was a family vacation, but he clearly knows something traumatic happened since last she saw them. He believes that dreams tend to mirror the central conflict in reality and correctly deduces that the central conflict in her life is her relationship with John. He needs her to be honest --- honest about the three dots in her life. Sherman believes that the three dots in her dreams represent her, John, and Cameron...
Older Charles Fischer and younger Charlie Fischer speak privately. It's an odd meeting where the younger Charlie Fischer encourages him to tell them everything he knows.
Jesse still believes Charles Fischer is playing with them, making them believe that he's weak. She insists they need to kill him. "What did he do, what did he do to you?" Jesse explains that prisoners were taken to a place where he tortured them in front of an audience of machines -- teaching them how to get to them. "How long did it go on?" Weeks, months, she insists. We see Fischer torturing Jesse, breaking her down, all in front of this audience of machines.
"How'd you get out?" Derek asks her. "I don't know. You never told me." AH! Turns out it wasn't actually Jesse Fischer used as the example, but Derek.
Derek beats up Fischer. "You remember, you remember now." Fischer mocks him. But Derek doesn't remember, Jesse does and that's good enough for him. As Derek sets to kill Young Fischer to stop any of it from happening, Jesse takes out the older one instead.
John returns home to find Sarah resting on the couch. She asks him if he recognizes the three-dot symbol, but it doesn't mean anything to him. She explains that she keeps seeing it in her dreams. John tells her that Cromartie's body is gone and that Ellison doesn't have it. "Cromartie was in my dreams. It's connected, it's all connected," Sarah insists. Sarah feels guilty for leading Cromartie to John; she tells him about the boy in the bowling alley and how she made a mistake by letting him go. "We are not murderers," John believes. But Sarah knows the boy is dead anyways...
After burying Fischer's body, Derek and Jesse wonders about young Fischer. Even she knows that he's not the monster that the older Fischer became. "Do you remember any of it?" she asks. But he doesn't. Nothing. It's strange to Jesse because Derek was obsessed with finding him, ending him. "It's a trauma, you've blocked it," Jesse believes. But Derek's not sure. Maybe the future's changed slightly, things he's done in the present may have effected the future...
"Do you think there's a version of the future where we're not together?" Jesse asks. "No."
As young Charlie Fischer heads to work the next day, he's scans himself in and is greeted by the FBI. In an interrogation room, he's told that he broke into the building late at night two nights ago, but he denies it. There was an unauthorized access to the computer networking system, but he knows nothing about it. "Fischer" installed a backdoor program into the system that the Feds can't uninstall. And as we know that it wasn't this Fischer, we realize that the older one's secured his own fate... in prison.
Ellison meets Weaver outside a warehouse. He pops open his trunk and presents her with Cromartie's body. "We need to learn how they work. How to find them. How to stop them." It's up to them.
Back in Sarah's dream, she climbs down a ladder into an underground tunnel. She turns and curiously finds herself at Dr. Sherman's door. He's waiting for her. "What am I doing here?" But he doesn't know. And even in her dream she knows she should get back to work...
FLASHLIGHT. Sarah, awake, illuminates the bloody list on her basement wall. And there it is. Next to "Greenway," Sherman," and all the others -- three bloody fingerprints in the shape of the three-dot symbol. But what can it mean?