This one starts with Pete and Claudia picking up an order from a coffeehouse in Univille. Some hipster doofus is performing on stage and Pete tells Claudia she should bring her guitar sometime and show them what real music is. Claudia’s not too fond of that idea, but Pete says she needs to get out of her comfort zone. Claudia gets a call from a dude named Gibson (played by Steven Yeun of Walking Dead fame), who says her old friend Fargo (from Eureka) is in trouble. Fargo has hooked himself into a video game and now he’s having convulsions and drooling like crazy. Claudia, Pete, and Myka head to Palo Alto and find a messy house … typical game developers. In the living room, Fargo and another guy are plugged into the video game, but their vital signs are through the roof and they can’t be safely disconnected without killing them. (Pete:” Who are you, why are we here, and why is Fargo jacked into the Matrix?”)
Gibson shows them Fargo’s pitch for the video game to explain what’s up. Basically, Gibson and his friend Jerry found a way to do a virtual reality game and came to Fargo to get it off the ground. But when Fargo and Jerry tried to beta-test the game, their vitals spiked after a few hours and now Gibson can’t disconnect them. Claudia quickly figures out that the game wouldn’t work on its own and Gibson admits they couldn’t get the human brain to accept the virtual environment … so Fargo used an artifact—a tea set. In New York, Steve and Artie are called to the Hobbes Art Gallery to investigate a suspicious suicide. They were called in by FBI agent Sally Stukowski, who Steve’s met before (and who we know is a bad guy, but Steve and Artie don’t know that).
Stukowski is acting much nicer than usual as she tells them the curator of the gallery went through a pane of safety glass and splattered on the ground, even though they’re only on the second floor. Artie notices a certain painting across from the window and suddenly tells Stukowski the coroner was right … it was a suicide. He hustles Steve out, mentioning the painting (a Van Gogh called Stormy Night) is responsible for many deaths and has been missing for years. Artie doesn’t want to give Stukowski any more clues as to what they do, so he says he and Steve will have to come back and steal the painting. In Palo Alto, Leena lets them know the tea set belonged to Beatrix Potter and can be used to stimulate the imagination centre of the brain. Dunking the set in Purple neutralizer goo doesn’t do anything, probably because the set is incomplete—one of the cups is in the Warehouse. Leena says she’ll find Potter’s first editions and get back to them. Fargo and Jerry start convulsing again and Claudia says there’s not much they can do from outside the game.
Claudia whips up a device that lets people on the outside communicate with the players. Gibson designs avatars for Pete (whose only requirement is that he be bad-ass) and Claudia … who still isn’t comfortable being on display, so she just says she’ll be herself. Pete drinks from the tea-cup first (“I was playing Frogger when you were just a tadpole.”) and conks out, entering the game. The communicator works and Gibson tells Pete how to wake himself up (by pushing a button on his belt in the game). It works and Pete tells them it’s really cool inside the game. Claudia tells Myka to fill up her tea-cup.
Inside the game, everything looks partially animated. Pete is a gladiator and Claudia’s an elf … I guess Gibson misheard her. It looks like Fargo used the Warehouse as inspiration for his game; the castle resembles the Warehouse and they’re met by Artie … actually, by General Arthur, who tells them (in rhyme) they have to rescue the princess from the Black Tower. Fargo and Jerry are already farther in the game, so Pete and Claudia have no choice but to accept the quest. Pete seems to be having fun … when talking to Myka, he signs off with “Crash Bandicoot out!” in New York, Artie and Steve bypass the security systems using a device Artie calls an Eclipse. It works for 42 minutes and 59 seconds, the length of Dark Side of the Moon. (Steve: “You’re a Floyd fan? Dude, have you seen Laser Floyd?”; Artie: “Dude, I’ve got Roger Waters’ name tattooed on my neck. No, I’m not a Floyd fan!”) Agent Stukowski comes in and threatens to set off the alarm if they don’t let her in on whatever they’re doing.
Inside the game, Pete and Claudia make their way through a facsimile of the Warehouse and come across someone chained to a disco ball. Pete tries to smash the chain with his sword, but that doesn’t work. Claudia doesn’t have any weapons, but she has some purple neutralizer goo and puts some on the chain, dissolving it. The captive turns out to be Leena (though much more buxom than usual, which Pete notices right away). Leena is one of the Eagle People and rewards Claudia with a feather before flying off; Claudia can use the feather to call Leena if she needs help later in the game. (Pete: “How does she get off the ground with those things?”; Claudia: “Dude, they’re wings.”; Pete: “Yeah, the wings probably help.”)
Claudia and Pete find the Key to the Black Tower, but almost fall into quicksand. They realize someone else is in the quicksand and Pete uses his sword to pull them out. It turns out to be Fargo, who’s pretty happy to see them. He’s especially happy they still have their controllers, since his is gone. He tells them his and Jerry’s controllers were taken by a freaky villain in rags carrying a huge pole-axe. The villain shows up and telekinetically grabs Pete and Claudia’s controllers too, slicing Pete’s shield in half when he tries to resist. They take off and Myka calls to tell them Fargo’s vitals are back to normal. She mentions that Beatrix Potter’s early editions were really twisted and Claudia figures the tea set doesn’t just enhance imagination, it also brings out subconscious fears. Fargo says he always had a fear of drowning, which explains his falling in quicksand, but he figures the Reaper-esque villain must be from Jerry’s fears. Fargo says without the controllers, the only way to get out of the game is to get to the end, so they head for the Black Tower.
In meat-space, Myka tries to figure out what Jerry’s subconscious fears might be, but Gibson is no help, since he and Jerry never talk about anything meaningful. (Myka: “Why are all men so emotionally stunted? I need a woman.”; Gibson: “Yeah, you and me both.”) Myka remembers a photo of Jerry with a girl and asks Gibson about her, but he can’t even remember her name. Myka goes through Jerry’s phone, finds out her name is Hannah, and calls her. In New York, Stukowski is asking all kinds of questions, but Artie is being cagey with her. He duplicates the Van Gogh with Gutenberg Memory Paper, but before they can swap it, Stukowski sneezes on the painting. That activates its powers and it blows them across the room toward the already broken window. Steve saves Stukowski from going through the window as Artie sprays purple neutralizer on the painting. He says they’d better get it switched before the time runs out on the alarm shutdown, but he doesn’t notice that a leaf from the painting landed on the Eclipse device and is shorting it out.
In Palo Alto, Hannah comes to the house and Myka asks her about Jerry. Hannah says she wanted to get married and Jerry kept saying he wanted the same thing—he even had a ring—but he never got around to proposing. She got tired of being put off, so she dumped him last week. Myka wonders if that might have something to do with the Reaper figure that’s stalking through the game. In New York, the Eclipse device fails and Stukowski grabs the Van Gogh and dives out of the room right before it’s locked down by security gates. In the game, Claudia, Pete, and Fargo find the princess and guess who she looks like? Yup, she’s Claudia … except she talks like an airhead and has gigantic knockers. (Claudia: “What are those things on my chest?”; Fargo: “Uh … freckles?”) Claudia is surprised to see herself as the princess, but I think the rest of us saw that coming a mile away.
Now that they’ve found the princess, the game should be over … but it’s not. They find Jerry whimpering in the corner and the Reaper shows up again. After killing the annoying princess, the Reaper zaps Pete with a lightning bolt and grabs Jerry. Naturally, the Reaper turns out to be a witched-up version of Hannah, and she spirits Jerry away. When Pete opens the door to follow, he’s almost roasted by a dragon. Myka calls to tell them their heart rates are spiking again and mentions Hannah. The communicator cuts out and Pete says he was thinking it would be scarier if they had no link to the outside. Fargo says the dragon is part of the game, but he forgot to program in a weapon to defeat it. Claudia uses her feather to call Leena (Pete: “Great, I’ll get to see them again … see her again, see Leena.”) to fly them to where Hannah has Jerry.
In New York, Artie and Steve are about to be hauled in by the cops when Stukowski shows up and convinces the police that they’re working on a terrorism case, so they turn the Warehouse agents over to her. In the game, Jerry is put under a guillotine by Hannah and Fargo speculates that if Jerry dies in the game, he might die in real life. Claudia is freaking out, trying not to think about her fears, but they end up manifesting anyway. Her fear is being back in the asylum, where a doctor named Michener tells her that everything she’s experienced in the last couple of years was all a delusion … she never really left the institution. Claudia is strapped down and about to be electro-shocked when Myka shows up and shoots the doctor with a crossbow bolt. Claudia finishes him off with his own shock therapy device and Pete admires Myka’s leather outfit … complete with huge tits. I wonder if all the women being buxom is supposed to be a comment on how women are portrayed in video games, or if it’s meant to show Fargo’s prurient side?
Fargo realizes that they have to overcome their own fears, even if they have help from others. Myka and Claudia go to give Jerry a pep talk while Pete and Fargo try to distract Hannah. In New York, Stukowski lets Artie and Steve go and returns the painting to them … which makes Artie a bit suspicious. We see Stukowski’s partner in crime, Marcus Diamond, watching from a nearby car, so obviously something’s up. In the game, Pete and Fargo fight Hannah (while the gladiator music from “Gamesters of Triskelion” plays in the background) and Myka convinces Jerry that this whole mess stems from his fear of Hannah rejecting his proposal. Jerry whips out a ring and proposes and Hannah loses her evil witchiness and disappears, ending the game. They all wake up in Palo Alto and Hannah is thrilled that Jerry’s okay.
Back in Univille, Claudia overcomes her fears and does a song at the coffeehouse (she totally kills it). As the song plays in the background, we see Jerry proposing (and Hannah accepting) for real, and Pete and Myka shelve the tea set. Later, Stukowski reports to her boss (some dude in a wheelchair) and says their plan worked. We see the Van Gogh painting as zillions of bug-shaped nanites burst out of it and fly all through the Warehouse.