Emergence kicks off with an eerie plane crash that jolts Jo, her father, Ed, and her daughter, Mia, out of bed.
As they venture outside to find the source of the crash, they see a bright green aura lighting up the sky.
Jo, the Chief of Police, gets a call about the crash and upon arrival at the crash site, finds a young girl hiding out in the bushes.
The girl is unharmed but given the crash, Jo assumes that she was on the plane and takes her to the hospital where the doctor says she probably has amnesia.
Commotion ensues when the NTSB arrives at the hospital to retrieve the girl.
When Jo refuses to allow them to see her, they get hostile.
During the chaos, the girl disappears from her room as Jo gets a call from her deputy, Chris, that the NTSB that showed up in the hospital is fake.
Jo finds the girl hiding out in her car and takes her back home for the night mostly avoiding her father’s protests.
The next morning, Mia and the girl are getting along rather well at breakfast. Since the girl still doesnt remember her name, they give her the name Piper.
Jo leaves to investigate the crash site leaving Piper behind with her cancer-stricken father.
Piper calls him out for taking pills that aren't helping his sickness and begins exhibiting some kind of powers when he's not looking.
She's drawn to the static on the television, which projects a symbol, but quickly snaps out of it.
She also steals a box cutter from Ed’s toolkit that she later uses to remove a microchip from behind her ear. The chip has the same symbols on it as the TV did. Piper flushes it down the drain and is eerily pleased with herself.
At the clean crash site, Jo encounters an odd man named Benny Gallagher.
He identifies himself as an investigative reporter who knows the truth about what happened to the plane.
He informs her that the government is going to blame it on an unmanned drone that was being used for farming purposes and tells her that it took off from an island 3 miles away, which everyone knows belongs to a homeland research facility.
Jo doesn’t believe him, but puts a tail on him anyway. When she eventually gets a call blaming the crash on an unmanned drone, she hunts him down for answers.
Jo also gets a call from the station that Piper's parents are waiting to collect her.
She arrives to question them and though they seem forthcoming with information, they're almost too forthcoming.
When Jo asks to see photos of “Olivia” on their phone, the man claimig to be the father gets visibly upset.
Jo tells Chris to pull the "parents'"prints, and as the lights flicker, the couple disappears.
Jo calls her ex-husband to get the kids and her father out of the house and tells him to meet her at the place where they once burnt down the kitchen.
She meets the family at the isolated house, but they aren't alone - the couple from the precinct followed them there.
Jo safely evacuates the family our of the basement, but the couple gets away with Piper.
A chase ensues that comes to an abrupt halt when the car carrying the couple and Piper flips upside down and explodes in flames.
Again, Piper comes out unscathed and we're led to believe that she made all of this happen with her mind again.
Piper worries about being taken away if she remembers, but Jo vows to protect her.
Jo informs Chris that she's not going to turn Piper over to the system, which is illegal and asks him to do something equally as illegal by keeping her secret.
He agrees without any hesitation.