In this episode, written by Bryan Fuller, Neelix (Ethan Phillips) is killed while participating in a survey mission of a protomatter nebula. Using a technique devised by Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan), however, The Doctor (Robert Picardo) is able to revive Neelix after being dead for nearly 19 hours. Distressed that he had not perceived the afterlife while he was dead, Neelix begins to question his religious beliefs. With the aid of Chakotay (Robert Beltran), Neelix embarks on a spiritual vision quest, during which he confronts his dead sister, Alixia (Stapler), who mocks him before she is killed. He then finds himself on a slab, surrounded by visions of his shipmates, who tell him that life is irrelevant and that he knows what he has to do.
Convinced that his existence is meaningless and that his life has no purpose, Neelix decides to commit suicide by transporting himself into the nebula. Despite the attempts of his shipmates, Neelix prepares to beam off until Ensign Samantha Wildman (Hower) arrives to ask Neelix if he could console Naomi (Stephens), who believes she saw a monster in the replicator and who will only allow Neelix to tuck her in. Realizing that he does, indeed, have purpose in his life, Neelix relents and heads for the Wildmans' quarters. Once there, Naomi, who had heard that Neelix was sick, wondered if a monster had got him. "Yes", Neelix replied. "But I chased him away."