Two men listen to a story being told by an Inuit man about men from a missing Royal Navy ship and learn about a "thing" that was chasing them.
Back in time four years earlier.
Captain James Fitzjames is telling his own story of an earlier expedition when he was shot. Meanwhile, crew members are eating dinner.
One of the boys is eating when he starts throwing up blood.
The captains are talking about what happened and about finding a passage. The boy survived. They are worried he might have scurvy. Sir John wants to take the boy to his ship for his doctor to see him. Sir John is the captain of Erebus. Francis Crozier is captain of Terror.
James and Sir John talk about Francis. James doesn't like Francis very much.
The body is being transported to Erebus when something happens and a man goes into the sea. They can't save him and he drowns.
Back at the Erebus the boy (David) is being looked at by the doctor.
Back on the Terror, Francis is looking at maps and books and drinking. He flashes back to a play at Royal Albert Hall where they are honored. He does seem disturbed.
On Erebus Dr. Goodsir is watching over David who is in bed, resting. David is afraid he's going to die. Goodsir is trying to make him feel better by talking about angels, but they both know there is no hope for David. It's only a matter of time.
They don't know what David's dying from.
Three crewmen are on the bow of the ship listening to a dog bark. They hear something else, something low growling and one of them goes to investigate. Back in the doctor's office David has a vision and it's not pleasant. There is a man standing there coming to take him away. He looks like an Eskimo. David tells the doctor "It wants us to run" and then dies.
Dr. Goodsir is quite disturbed. He goes to the other doctor to tell him David is dead. He tries to explain what happened, but the other doctor doesn't want to hear it.
Henry Collins is going into the sea to remove some of the ice from the ship's bottom. Dr. Goodsir performs an autopsy on David while the other doctor watches.
Collins picks at something and ends up seeing a man floating towards him. Meanwhile, Goodsir discovers that David did not have scurvy. The other doctor wants him to find scurvy somewhere.
Collins doesn't tell the men on the boat about the floating man which was the man they lost earlier.
The captains of both ships talk about plans and the ice. Francis is concerned about the plan and wants to try a different route before winter. Francis warns that the place they're at wants them dead and reminds Sir John that they both know what happens when men get desperate.
Sir John won't hear any of it. He wants to continue moving forward as planned and orders Francis to bury David so they can get moving.
The crew takes David to bury him when the coffin breaks loose and David is exposed. Mr. Hinkey goes into the grave and replaces the lid on the coffin. On the ship, Sir John gives a memorial speech for David and informs the crew what they are going to be doing next. He has great hopes that htey will get to where they need to be without issue.
The ship moves forward breaking through the ice.