The crew is ecstatic to welcome Bortus and Klyden's daughter, especially since female Moclan are extremely rare, almost unheard of. When left alone, they agree that "It must be done".
In sick bay, Dr. Finn is examining Yaphit who has been complaining his fluid retention is down. The doctor gives him a clean bill of health and rebuffs his romantic overtures.
Bortus comes to see the doctor and asks her to surgically change his daughter to a male in keeping with Moclan culture. She refuses. He storms out.
In the holographic simulation suite, Mercer, Malloy, and LaMarr are re-enacting a Wild West Mexican shoot out. The criminal they are trying to apprehend throws a wrench into Mercer's fun when he challenges them to a dance-off instead. This is Malloy's doing. Bortus interrupts them and Mercer wants Malloy to fix the simulation while he's dealing with Bortus.
Mercer refuses Bortus request to order the doctor to perform the procedure and informs him that performing the procedure on a Union ship is unethical and dismisses Bortus.
The Orville performs an asteroid bifurcation to keep it from colliding with a planet. They are then hailed by a Moclan vessel which is coming to rendezvous with The Orville in order to take the baby and perform the surgery.
Mercer reprimands Bortus for circumventing procedure and contacting the Moclan ship. He relieves Bortus of duty, refusing to let him return to work until the matter is settled.
Mercer and Grayson debate the ethics of not allowing the surgery to take place and placing human values on alien cultures' ways of life. Thinking if they prove that being female is not a handicap, Mercer has Alara take Bortus into the boxing ring for a match. She punches him clear out of the ring and he leaves the gym, annoyed his crewmates can't just accept his way of life.
Klyden leaves Bortus with the baby while he goes to get clothing for their return to their homeworld. Malloy and LaMarr visit with beer and a movie. Watching the classic "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" convinces Bortus that the baby should be allowed to stay female. He goes to find Klyden who refuses to change his mind. When pushed, he admits that he was born a female and had been surgically changed at birth. He only found out about his sex change when a Union doctor examined him in preparation for joining The Orville.
The Moclan vessel rendezvous with The Orville and the captain insists the child be taken to Moclas for the surgery. Faced with a possible physical confrontation between the Moclan captain and Mercer, Bortus requests tribunal, a legal encounter to determine whether or not the child is altered. As no Moclan will defend his refusal to alter his daughter, he requests that Mercer represent him. Mercer declines and nominates Grayson as she has more training in law than he has. She reluctantly accepts in order to help Bortus.
Bortus and Klyden board the Moclan vessel with their daughter and The Orville follows. At the tribunal, the Moclan advocate insists the child will live a terrible existence as a female and grow to hate Bortus for not sparing her the pain of such an existence. Grayson tries to show that females are not necessarily weak by putting Kitan on the stand and that males are not necessarily smart by putting Malloy on the stand.
During the trial, Mercer has Isaac scan the planet for female Moclans and he, LaMarr, and Kitan go to a remote mountain home and retrieve an elderly Moclan female who agrees to speak at the tribunal. Her name is Heveena and she testifies that she was raised in secret, unaltered and is happy with who she is. She even reveals herself to be one of the most respected writers in Moclan history, although she wrote under the pen name Ghandis Elden.
The tribunal returns a verdict that forces Bortus to allow his daughter to be altered. He is upset but unable to prevent the procedure. He and Klyden agree to love their son and raise him together despite everything that has happened. Bortus tucks a Rudolph doll into the bassinet with his son.