Carly loses custody of her son until the trial. Grace is due to die, so Trevor kidnaps her to save her life. Believing he is insane, she flees and is overwritten despite having avoided the accident that would have killed her. Grace and another newly arrived traveler, Ellis, are computer programmers who have fled an anti-Director faction in the future. Ellis has developed a code that is sought by this faction, and has returned to the 21st century to keep it from them. David and Marcy consummate their relationship. However, her condition worsens and Boyd stabilizes her, but Marcy is near death. In the future, Grace was in charge of social media research and identifying the candidates. She wants to correct Marcy's condition with an experimental overwrite. She offers to redirect Marcy's original transfer into the functional part of her brain, saving her at the cost of her 21st-century memories. MacLaren lets Marcy decide, and she decides to speak to David first. However, her condition becomes critical shortly before David returns home, and she is overwritten by her earlier self. Her team introduces her to David.
Mac investigates a mass arrival of Travelers, while also trying to repair his marriage with Kat. Philip is given assistance with his addiction from fellow Traveler 4514, Jenny. Marcy treats David for PTSD, but is dealing with feelings of detachment and disassociation herself. Carly and Jeff try and clean up their act for Child Protective Services and regain custody of their son. Trevor and Grace bond in the hospital while recovering from their injuries.
In an interview with Exclaim!, Nick Thorburn explained that the overhauled lineup was a product of his desire to try new things. "That's important to me ― to be able to constantly try new things. That's why this record's largely informed by electronic stuff like drum machines, sequencing, and programming, which really scales it back from the last record."  Thompson once again left the band prior to the summer 2010 tour, and was again replaced by Aaron Harris.
During the summer of 2015, Islands simultaneously recorded two records: Should I Remain Here, At Sea? — a spiritual successor to the band's debut album, Return to the Sea — and Taste, a "more electronic" album "buoyed by drum machines, programming and vintage synths." The albums were released on May 13, 2016 via the band's own Manqué label, reaching #21 and #23 on the Billboard Heatseeker charts, respectively.