In a brackish swamp, an alligator slides into the mire, drifting close to some unseen prey, its eyes beaming like holograms. An armadillo rustles through palmetto fronds. Its beady eyes are red in the pitch-black night. A shiny red Camaro is parked on a desolate dirt road next to the swamp with its engine is off and the windows fogged up. Music plays inside while a young couple — Adam and Chelsea — make out, lost in the heat of the moment. Suddenly, they hear a faint, spooky clanging noise outside of the car. But they ignore it and go back to their make-out session.
The wind picks up and the clanging grows louder. A bright light floods the car through the back window. Adam pulls away and squints into the glare. Thinking it's the cops, he gets out of the car. He ventures a few cautious steps into the light — eyes adjusting to see there is no patrol car and that the light seems to be coming off the water.
Chelsea climbs out of the car and stands next to Adam, when suddenly the clanging stops and the lights die down. The couple is left in complete darkness. Startled, Chelsea turns and begins to walk back to the car, but trips on something and falls into the mud. She gets up and looks down. She screams when she realized she tripped over a man's lifeless, naked body.
Inside a karate studio, Callie Cargill's son Jeff flips Detective Jim Longworth onto a mat. Jim, caught completely off guard, stumbles to the ground. He gets back on his feet as Callie — still in her hospital scrubs — walks into the studio. Jeff jokes around with his mom, telling her that he kicked Jim's ass. She smiles, saying, "That calls for some pancakes." Jeff runs to change and, once he's out of sight, Callie gives Jim a kiss and tells him that Jeff still needs more time to get comfortable with the fact that they're "officially" dating as well as the reality of her losing her job, since her hospital is closing in about a week. Jim senses her uncertainty and asks if Carlos could help with her job search, but she reassures him that she's fine and has a few leads. They kiss again as Jim's phone rings.
Back at the swamp — appropriately named Mosquito Lagoon — techs and uniforms work the crime scene. After questioning Adam and Chelsea, Jim turns around to find Dr. Carlos Sanchez taking the victim's body temperature. Carlos tells Jim that the victim is a white male, early 60s, and the body has no bloating or bug bites, so he's likely only been out there less than a day. And because there was a new moon the previous night, the spring tide wiped away any footprints or tire tracks. Jim tells Carlos that the two lovebirds who found the body told him that they saw what looked like a UFO. Carlos, only slightly amused, says that Mosquito Lagoon is a hotspot for UFO sightings, but clearly believes none of it, telling Jim that there's a reasonable explanation for everything. What the kids thought were lights from a UFO could have been a plane from a nearby air force base or a shrimp boat. Carlos' expression changes when he reads the victim's body temperature: 60 degrees on a 90 degree day. Carlos rolls the body over to find ten round holes, three-quarters of an inch in diameter, bored into the dead man's upper chest and torso in a distinct pattern. They stare at the odd, disturbing wounds.
Colleen Manus, Regional Director of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, talks to Carlos and Jim while lab tech Daniel Green hovers over the body, examining the puncture wounds. Manus tells the team that they received a record number of UFO sighting last night and a lot of people are going to be interested in this case so she wants everything done by the books. She and Carlos look at Jim, who plays dumb. Daniel tells them that the wounds on the victim are an exact match to a set of wounds found in the Missoula Abduction — a famous alien abduction from 1937, in which a farmhand named George Smith was found in a pasture with circular wounds. As with Smith, the victim suffered minimal blood loss and the wounds were made to a uniform depth, which means they were created with a laser or "some other super sharp surgical device that hasn't been invented yet." Daniel shows the team a photo on his phone of a man's torso with the exact same wound pattern. Jim examines the photo, and tells the team that they're either dealing with a copycat murder or "that thing that makes Carlos stammer," meaning an alien abduction. Carlos isn't considering that explanation. It could have been a kids' party balloon or parachute flares from some kind of military training. Manus says maybe there really are things in the world we just can't explain — she's seen unidentified lights in the sky before. Jim leaves to talk to some "little green men."
Jim arrives at a campy, alien-themed restaurant, up the street from the lagoon. He finds Richard Oberman, the young owner and a true believer in extraterrestrials, who is steering a hand truck stacked with boxes of frozen shrimp. Jim asks Oberman if he's seen anything strange the last few days, especially since his place is on the only road in and out of the Mosquito Lagoon. Oberman tells Jim that he was at a FETA (Federation of Extra Terrestrial Abductees) conference in Colorado all week. Jim smirks, attempting to hold back laughter, and after making a Uranus joke, shows a picture of the victim to Oberman, to see if he recognizes the man. Oberman, stunned, tells Jim that it's Derek Adams, a fellow "Traveler." Jim tells Oberman he's dead and Oberman wonders aloud if the Visitors "came back" for him. As Jim makes light of "little green men," Oberman schools him about the "visitors." Jim then gets a call from Daniel, who identifies the victim from a Missing Persons report as Derek Adams, from Jupiter, Florida.
Jim follows Stella Adams — Derek's gorgeous bikini-clad, (not to mention young) wife — to the bar where she pours herself a margarita. She doesn't exactly looking like a grieving widow. Jim compliments her on the walk-in wine cellar inside the house while Stella takes a nice, long sip of her drink. He tells her that he knows Derek was worth over $60 million and was a confirmed bachelor up until three years ago when he met Stella while she was working as a nurse at his dermatologist's office. Stella — knowing what Jim is getting at — tells him that she and Derek were planning on going to Bimini the following week to renew their vows. He had a "deep, magical soul." She explains that Derek was fine until his "relationship" with FETA and Oberman started two years ago. She tells Jim that Derek was driving home when he said that he was blinded by a white light. His car hit a tree and knocked him out. He walked away three hours later and said the Visitors healed him on their space ship. Oberman tried to "poison" her marriage and his pull and exploitation was so strong that Derek eventually lost all interest in her and their marriage.
Outside the police station, Jim spots Callie driving up. In a visibly good mood, Callie tells Jim that she just came back from a killer interview with Palm Beach Memorial hospital. The Chief Resident loved her. As the two kiss, Jim asks about the radio DJ Callie is listening to, who is talking about how we are "not alone." She tells him that it's Radar Rex, who has been all over the Killer Alien story. The couple makes plans to have dinner together that night.
Manus, Jim and Daniel watch a video of Oberman posted on the FETA website about Derek. Daniel tells the team that the I.R.S. gave FETA non-profit status as a paranormal research center. He brings up a video of an alien autopsy that was shot in the Amazon just as Carlos walks in to share Derek's autopsy. He tells the team that Derek died of a heart attack, though he doesn't know the cause yet, and that Derek didn't bleed from his wounds because he was frozen — he found ice crystals in his blood. Carlos and Daniel note that freezing a body is a good way to hide time of death. Manus gets a call and tells Jim that an FDLE chopper just found something that Jim is going to want to see.
Carlos and Jim squint through the blinding sun and try to grasp what they're seeing. They look each other and step back, revealing a huge crop circle.
Jim and Carlos walk towards Oberman's restaurant. Jim tells Carlos that Daniel said that FHP (Florida Highway Patrol) is canvassing the area around the crop circles since there were reports of kids in the area last night following the outbreak of "UFO" sightings. He also found out that Derek gave FETA and Oberman a hundred grand two years in a row, then suddenly stopped donating. They land at the restaurant's front door, where a sign reads "Closed Due to Investigation."
Jim and Carlos find Oberman and a team of FETA volunteers unspooling green FETA tape around the FDLE's yellow crime scene tape. Carlos heads off after them as Jim looks at the green tape, which has alien faces on it. Oberman claims it's his crime scene because the FDLE is covering up alien interaction with the public. Jim tells Oberman he knows the crop circles were made by kids in the area and Oberman agrees. Then Jim confronts him about leaking the story of Derek's death to Radar Rex to drive traffic to FETA's website so that he could get more donors. When Oberman denies that he needs more donors, Jim tells him that he knows that Derek suddenly stopped giving large donations to FETA, which could be a possible motive for him killing Derek. Fuming, Oberman says that the medical examiner is hiding Derek's autopsy report and Carlos tells him, he doesn't have the report yet, but that when he does Oberman will be the "first person he doesn't share it with." Oberman leaves, claiming he won't rest until FETA shows the world what the police are hiding.
Derek's naked body lies on the autopsy table. Carlos and Jim stand above it while Carlos explains that while he still doesn't know what made the holes in Derek's body, according to the autopsy, he was electrocuted — possibly with a stun gun or a cattle prod — which caused the heart attack. Carlos tosses Derek's head X-rays on the light board and tells Jim that Derek also had lesions and scar tissue on his prefrontal cortex from his car accident two years ago, which would've impaired his executive functions: decision making, ability to tell right from wrong, truth from a lie as well as a pinched C3 nerve, which would have caused shooting pains in his arms and legs. Daniel brings up Derek's credit card statements, which show visits to Cryofreeze Physical Therapy Spa — a place that relieves pain with extreme cold. Derek went there for treatments three times a week for six months, but suddenly stopped going four weeks ago.
Jim and Carlos arrive at the spa where Sean Simmons, a buff, dim physical therapist explains how the treatment works to reduce inflammation and takes pressure off nerves. Sean says that he treated Derek all the time, at the spa and at his mansion. Jim asks why Derek dropped him as a therapist, but Sean tells him that Derek just stopped coming and he assumed he got better. He said Derek was a little "out there" with his belief in aliens. When Jim suggests that perhaps Sean liked that Derek was out of the picture because now Sean could make a move on Derek's smoking hot wife, Sean dismisses that idea, saying that even thought he was a bit crazy, he liked Derek. He doesn't know where he is, just that he hasn't seen him in four months. After Sean goes away to get his client our of a machine, Carlos tells Jim that the body wasn't frozen there because liquid nitrogen works too fast and burns tissue and there wasn't any evidence of that on Derek's body.
Jim and Callie sit at the dinner table with a half-full bottle of wine on the table. Callie grabs the bottle, filling her glass a little too full, and tells Jim she didn't get the job she interviewed for. She just didn't want to say anything and upset Jeff. Just then, Jeff enters the room, gives Callie and Jim some bowls of ice cream, and leaves saying he's going to a friend's house to study. While Jim and Callie kiss, realizing they have the whole house to themselves, Daniel calls with some interesting news — Derek willed his entire estate, worth $50 million, to FETA. He didn't leave anything to Stella, not even the house. Jim then questions Callie about what a dermatology nurse does. She tells him they freeze tissue samples and remove malignant moles with a surgical punch, which cuts a wheel of tissue around the bad mole to see if the cancer has spread.
Jim walks into Stella's backyard and finds her in the hot tub, pouring herself a glass of wine. She asks him if he would like to join her and he declines. He asks her whether Sean Simmons ever took a dip in the hot tub. She says that Sean creeped her out and when he treated her husband, she left. Stella takes a sip of her wine, makes a sour face, and pours it down the drain. It turned to vinegar. When Jim alludes to Stella having to go back to work since she was written out of the will, she said she would have rather killed Oberman, who conned Derek out of his money. But Stella reveals that Derek had a new will that restored all the money back to her. It was set to be filed with the courts that Tuesday, after they came back from renewing their vows. If she was going to kill Derek, she would have "waited for the ink to dry." She suggests that Jim talk to someone who was going to lose out on her husband's fortune.
Later that night, Carlos and Jim drive on a deserted stretch of road, talking about why Derek would have left all of his money to a con man like Oberman. Jim suggests that maybe when he saw the white lights after his car accident he was able to trade everything he had in this life for a better one in another. Carlos says that sounds like a near-death experience, which "unlike extraterrestrials is real; it's a neurologic response to trauma with a calming psychological effect. Just then Jim's car suddenly dies. Jim turns the key in the ignition. Nothing. The headlights to the car then go off. Carlos, a little unsettled, pulls out his cell phone to call for a back-up unit, but neither his nor Jim's cell phone work. They trade a worried look.
The next morning Daniel calls Jim, who is at Oberman's restaurant where a memorial is being held for Derek, to report that the Highway Patrol says there were no other incidents of cars randomly dying in the same area where Jim's car shut down the previous night, but they have plenty of reports from the past — the area is notorious for that unexplained phenomena. The mechanic says Jim's car's engine was completely fried. Daniel offers to take a ride out to the area to see what could have happened. Jim hangs up and spots Oberman. He confronts him about the "revised" will leaving Derek's money to Stella, but Richard denies even knowing that Derek was planning on giving the fortune back to his wife, so why would he have killed him? But Jim tells Oberman he thinks he's lying and that he couldn't just wait for him to die since the new file was only days away from being filed. Oberman introduces Jim to the crowd as a detective from the FDLE who is hiding the truth behind Derek's abduction. The crowd boos Jim.
Manus calls Jim to tell him that Sean has an assault record in Oregon. He served 6 months in jail and his ex still has a restraining order against him.
Jim confronts Sean at the cryo spa, asking him why marriages seem to fall apart around him. He says Derek must have seen the way Sean looked at his wife and fired him. Sean defensively claims that he fired Derek. When Jim questions why Sean would have thrown away a steady two-thousand dollars a week. Sean says Stella was bored because her husband was always chasing Martians and they got into a relationship. Stella said they could have everything because he has no other family aside from her to challenge his will. He says if she had it in her to kill her husband, she could kill him too, so he left her. Jim tells Sean he knows that he is leaving town — his boss said he gave notice. Sean says he's going to Jacksonville to start a roofing company with his brother. He also says that even though Stella is hot, inside she's all ice.
Stella stands in her kitchen in skin-tight workout gear while Jim plays with some of Derek's gadgets. Stella warns him that they aren't toys, they're antiques. He asks her why she lied to him about Sean. She admits to cheating on Derek with Sean but realized shortly after that Sean was dumb and Derek was the man for her. She decided to end things with Sean and she got Derek eating better, exercising, and got him therapy for his neck. When Jim asks for her schedule the week her husband went missing, she says she sleeps until noon, has a spin class at three, and then picked up her meals from Calorie Cops. Jim tells her to cancel her plane tickets to Bimini because he knows she still hasn't done so.
Daniel buzzes down the road when his Vespa abruptly dies, rolling to a dead stop along the shoulder. His eyes scan the area. He spots something in the waist-high roadside grass. It's a black Electro Magnetic Pulse machine. He smiles, theory confirmed.
At the hospital, surrounded by equipment wrapped in plastic, Callie writes in a chart. Jim walks in telling her that he got her text about not getting the job. He rushed over knowing that she would be upset. Callie says she will get through it. After learning that they're alone in the hospital (aside from a security guard who sleeps all day), Jim takes a step towards Callie knowing what will cheer her up. The lovebirds giggle and move toward and empty room. Callie takes Jim's cell phone out of his pants and places it on a table. As they disappear into an empty room, the cell begins to ring.
Daniel, on the other end of the line, listens as Jim's cell goes to voice mail. He and Carlos walk across an overgrown field to a rusty, old shed that decades ago was a pumping station. Daniel tells Carlos that the Electro Magnetic Pulse generator (EMP) that he found generates an intense electromagnetic field that fries the circuit board of a car engine or cell phone instantly. That's why Jim's car died. After finding a website in Texas that sells them for research and giving them the serial number on the one he found, he was told it was shipped to Oberman to that address. They walk inside the shed to find alien paraphernalia everywhere — including the "alien" seen on the autopsy video. Daniel turns towards Carlos, holding a soil corer completely covered in dark red liquid.
Oberman sits in the interrogation room at a table across from Jim tells him that they found his prints all over the soil corer. Oberman says he uses it as one of his visual aids and stands by his alibi that he wasn't even in Florida when Derek died. Jim says that's why Derek stopped donating to FEMA, because he realized Oberman was a fraud. Jim says that Derek believed that the Vistors were here to help us, not destroy us as Oberman claims. He goes on to say that Oberman would have gotten two things out of Derek's death — hysteria over a possible alien abduction would have driven people to FEMA's website and Oberman would have been able to claim the $60 million left to him in Derek's will. Oberman maintains that he was in Colorado and couldn't have killed Derek. He thinks maybe someone is trying to set him up. Jim says that maybe he faked his alibi. Carlos knocks on the interrogation room window, signaling for Jim to come outside.
Outside the room, Carlos hands Jim the Calorie Cops menu, saying that he was finally able to determine time of death. He found that Derek had undigested fish in his stomach — which, according to the menu — was a meal served five days ago. Meaning Richard WAS in Colorado when Derek was killed. Daniel walks into the room revealing that Obreman was caught on camera complaining about the orange juice at the hotel in Colorado. He also says the blood on soil corer was chicken blood, not human blood. Oberman must have used it to make his alien autopsy look more legit. Jim pauses for a moment and then asks Carlos if freezing wine makes it go bad. Carlos tells him that freezing the bottle also freezes the cork, which can break the seal and turn the wine into vinegar. Jim takes this in. Before Jim heads out, he asks Carlos to make a few calls to see if he could get Callie any job interviews.
At the grocery store, Callie carries a basket filled with food while asking Jim about the case. They walk up to the deli counter where he is asked if he wants a sample of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. After noticing the size and shape of the cheese samples match the wounds found on Derek, he asks the employee behind the counter how the cheese was cut out. She tells him that it was done by a cheese trier, which a lot of wine and cheese enthusiasts have. Jim smiles as a puzzle piece falls into place.
In the evidence lab Daniel tells Jim that after checking Stella's credit card statements he's found no evidence that she bought a stun gun or a Taser, but he did find that she spent money at Happy Hour at Hanabees the day before Derek died. Daniel pops in a surveillance video from the bar which shows Stella and Sean bonding over a few drinks. Carlos walks in holding up the cheese trier the forensics lab took from Derek's house. He tells them that Luminol showed there were traces of human DNA on it. He's guessing it will be Derek's blood, since the diameter of the wounds matches the diameter of the cheese trier. Daniel— putting the pieces together in his head — concludes that Stella edited the will, faxed it to their attorney, and then killed Derek so nobody could dispute it, all while attempting to frame Oberman for the murder by punching holes in Derek's body to make it look like a fake alien abduction.
Stella sits in the interrogation room. Jim walks in and tells her that they know she lied about things being over with Sean, and shows her the surveillance footage to prove it. She admits she ran into him after spin class and they had drinks after he apologized for being a jackass. He says that if Oberman tried anything rough with her, she would be ready for him because she had a Taser. He asked where she keeps it. She tells him it's in a false bottom of her underwear drawer. Derek bought it for her to protect herself when they got married. Jim said she probably used it on him and then needed Sean to help drag away her husband's frozen body from their wine cellar. She asks for her lawyer.
Jim finds Carlos in his office. Carlos reports that the techs found Stella's Taser where she said it was. The high voltage would cause wounds to the skin, but Jim suggests Stella or Sean bore them out with the cheese trier, and then added additional holes to make it look like it was an alien abduction. There is evidence in the wine cellar that Derek was killed there and had the holes bored into his skin there, which they will confirm after some more testing.
Jim steps out of the room. Manus walks up to him, all smiles, and congratulates him about the arrest, but Jim tells her that he wasn't suggesting Stella killed Derek. He walks away to look for Daniel, leaving Manus completely confused.
Sean, at the wheel of a shiny new truck, stops in front of Oberman's restaurant to pick him up. Oberman gets in the car, not happy with Sean's attention tracker, and hands Sean the $25,000 they agreed on as they drive down along a country road. Sean tells Oberman to relax, that Stella's arrest was all over the news. He admits to killing Derek and hauling his body to the lagoon and Oberman admits to paying him $50,000 to do so. Oberman tells Sean he'll get his second half of the deal once Stella's on death row and the money from the will comes in. Suddenly, Sean's brand new truck sputters and dies. He guides it to the shoulder and tries the ignition, but the engine won't make a sound. They trade a look, and Oberman pulls out his cell phone to see that it's dead. But it's too late. Before he can get out of the car to make a run for it, Jim surprises the both of them on the passenger's side window. When Oberman again claims he was out of the state, Jim says he knows that he sent the hotel manager in Colorado a surveillance tape with him in it. He did, in fact, fake his alibi and framed himself so that he could challenge the new will. Jim says his plan could have worked except for one major mistake — teaming up with Sean who left his prints on the Taser he used to kill Derek and lowering the temperature of the wine cellar too quickly, thereby ruining about a quarter million dollars' worth of wine. Oberman looks back at Sean, giving him the ultimate death stare. Oberman makes a move that indicates he might try to make a run for it, but is met with a number of police officers with their guns drawn on him in front of the car.
That night in Jim's backyard, Callie tells Jim that she just got a call from a hospital in Port St. Lucie for an interview, which is strange since she never submitted her resume to them. She stares at Jim, knowing that he asked Carlos to help her out. He admits it, but tells Callie that up until now she's had to do a lot on her own, but she doesn't have to anymore. To his surprise, Callie isn't upset. She looks like she'll finally accept some help.
The doorbell rings with their takeout order and Callie goes to answer it. Jim, alone outside, looks back up at the black Florida sky, when he is surprised by something he sees: mysterious lights hovering on the horizon, suddenly appear. Their formation mimicks the exact pattern of holes we've seen on the "abducted" victims, throwing off energy clearly not of this planet. Jim's face is frozen in rapture.