Twenty miles south of Binghamton, New York, a prisoner is being transferred by ambulance. When the agent watching him gets a call, the prisoner quickly scans everything in the back, computes the vehicle's speed, and spots a truck behind them. He then takes a coin from his mouth and throws it, knocking over a shelf and dropping oxygen tanks on the agent watching him. The oxygen tank valve breaks off, blinding the driver, who loses control and causes an accident. A loose pipe from a truck passes through the windshield, breaks the chain on the prisoner's handcuffs, and knocks open the rear door. The prisoner, unharmed, steps out of the ambulance, picks up his coin, and goes to make a call at a nearby phone and report an accident.
The Alpha team move into their new offices. Gary complains about the hum despite Rachel's assurances that there is no hum. Nina has already used her abilities to get everything moved into her office. Rachel reluctantly takes a call from her parents, and Gary listens in until she tells him to stop. Cameron arrives and wonders what they do, and Nina explains that they spend most of their time finding other Alphas. Some of them go to the Compound, where dangerous Alphas are taken.
Bonita, the real estate agent for the building, arrives. Rosen explains who she is and avoids telling her exactly what they do, while Bill demands the security codes and keys. As Rosen directs her away, Bonita gives him his tie and says that he left it at her place the previous night. Rosen is then called to the accident scene where he meets with Dr. Singh. The doctor soon realizes that the prisoner was Marcus Ayers, and he engineered the entire accident. He tells the agent in charge, Nathan Cley, that they'll need his help. Nathan figures that it will be a simple recovery, but Rosen warns that Marcus calculates every possibility, is always on the attack, and sees everyone as enemies. What they need to do is figure out who Marcus perceives as the enemy. As Nathan and Singh go back to the crash site, Rosen sees a chess knight etched into the glass of the phone.
Seven Years Earlier
Rosen and Marcus play chess at a park, and Marcus insists that everyone makes perfect moves for them. The doctor points out that Marcus believes that there are no accidents or mistakes in life, but people aren't like that. Rosen tosses him a coin and says everything is as random as a coin toss. Marcus disagrees, explaining that he got mad at his roommates, which lead to him becoming Rosen's prisoner. Rosen insists that Marcus isn't like everyone else, and that he is one of several people with neurological disorders that he calls "Alphas." He asks if there's anything extraordinary that he can do. In response, Marcus takes Rosen's hand and holds it up just as a leaf floats into it.
Rosen goes to the park and finds a leaf and a coin on the table where he and Marcus played chess. Marcus watches him from hiding.
As Rachel and Nina leave the office, Rachel continues arguing with her mother over the phone about the man she's supposed to marry. When Rachel figures that Nina would have handled things better, Nina admits that she hasn't talked to her family in years. As Nina drives home, she stops to talk to Cameron and assures him that Rosen wants him there.
The next day, Kathy Sullivan arrives at the office. Bill assumes that she's another of Rosen's dates, but it becomes clear that Sullivan knows all about them. Rosen arrives and introduces Sullivan as their new DoD liaison while Wilson is on assignment. Sullivan talks to Rosen in private and warns him that Marcus blames him for his institutionalization. When Rosen reveals that Marcus left him a message but didn't try to kill him, Sullivan warns the doctor that he has a conflict of interest. Rosen admits that he isn't happy to be working for the government but they have no choice so they should get started.
Rosen meets with his team and explains that Marcus can perceive and manipulate chains of cause and effect. Once the others leave, Nina confronts Rosen and says that she's not comfortable with who Rosen decides goes to the Compound and who doesn't, particularly after she used her abilities on her boyfriend. Rosen insists that he thinks about it every day.
Cameron watches tapes of Marcus' sessions with Rosen. He warns the doctor that Marcus has a mean streak, and Rosen admits that Marcus can't understand why others can't control their environment the way that he does. The doctor believes that Cameron's abilities are similar to Marcus, but Cameron directs the blame of his failures inward. Cameron figures that Marcus is blaming himself the same way that Cameron does.
Rachel analyzes the coin and informs Rosen that she found an old smudge. Rosen knows that it's ash and simply says, "past failures." He then goes to an apartment building.
Six Years Earlier
Rosen goes to the building where Marcus lived with his roommates. It has burned down, putting Marcus' roommates in the hospital, and Rosen finds a coin among the ashes.
Marcus approaches Rosen and asks him what took so long. He then asks about Rosen's team and the doctor insists that they're not his enemies. Rosen tries to get through to Marcus, who says that things have changed and Singh and his team are doing something different. When Rosen denies it, Marcus doesn't believe him and explains that the people at Binghamton have big plans for him. He asks Rosen why they were transferring him and then realizes that Rosen doesn't know a thing, including the fact that he's being used as bait. Nathan and his agents move in and Marcus tosses a bottle of pop in front of a skater, setting off a chain of events that cause concrete blocks to fall on the agents so Marcus can make his escape.
Back at the office, Rosen asks Nathan what is going on at Binghamton. Nathan blames Rosen for the death of his agent and storms off. Miss Sullivan says that Rosen should have told them he was going to see Marcus, and Rosen insists that they have to investigate the basis for Marcus' paranoia. They go to see Dr. Singh at a hotel restaurant and Rosen asks why Marcus was being sent off-site. Singh explains that all standard treatments failed so they were sending him off for surgery to try and excise the part of his brain that gives him his abilities. Rosen objects but Singh suggests that he doesn't know what's going on at Binghamton and prefers it that way. As Singh goes outside, he sees a chess piece sitting in the gutter. As he picks it up, he hears a coin flip.
Rosen hears the sound of a crash and runs outside. He spots Singh... knocked up on top of a railing and impaled. The chess piece, a black rook, is sitting on the sidewalk below Singh's corpse.
Rosen's Alphas arrive at the scene. Rosen warns Sullivan that Marcus sees it all as a game, and she warns the doctor that it will end with Marcus' death. Meanwhile, Cameron uses his own perceptions and finds the coin that Marcus used to set off the chain of events. Rachel finds nothing on it and Nina is unable to learn anything from the witnesses. Rosen shows them the chess piece and Rachel finds stargazer lily pollen on it. Back at the office, Bill has Gary do a search of security cameras for the flowers. Rosen contemplates the chess piece and remembers...
Six Years Earlier
As Rosen serves him coffee, Marcus insists that the fire at the apartment was an accident. He boasts that nobody died because he didn't want anyone to die. As Marcus realizes that he's been drugged, Rosen explains that Marcus needs more help than he can provide and Nathan is there to take him to Binghamton.
Bill tells Rosen not to blame himself because Marcus was born broken. The doctor doesn't believe it, noting that he helped Marcus developed his ability. Gary comes in and says that Bill needs to be more specific. The teenager breaks down the overlaps and finds an office tower near the Federal Building with stargazer lilies... the building where Nathan has set up his team.
Nathan finds the flowers and a chess piece. He calls Rosen to update him and assures the doctor that he can handle things. Nathan then goes out onto the lawn and yells to Marcus that he's waiting.
Rosen and his team go to the Federal Building and find Nathan waiting for Marcus. Nathan has planted snipers on the roof and is in an area with nothing for Marcus to use. Rosen doesn't believe that Nathan's plan will work. As the team spreads out, Nina complains to Rosen that she didn't sign on to assassinate Alphas.
Bill spots someone moving away and Rachel tries to concentrate. She finally smells gas from the sewers. Nathan's men open fire, setting off the gas. Cameron anticipates the explosion and gets Nina to safety. In the field, flames burst out of the grilles around Nathan. Marcus grabs Rosen and hauls him away. He forces Rosen to drive away in a government SUV to show him something.
Rachel calls Gary and has him track the vehicle. Bill and the others follow the trail, unaware that Nathan is following them. Meanwhile, Marcus takes Rosen to a bridge overlooking the park and tells him that he has every reason to be afraid... along with everybody else on every side. Rosen reminds him that he's broken the law and hurt people, but Marcus insists that what they plan to do to all the Alphas at Binghamton is an abomination. He sees what is coming 20 moves ahead and thought Rosen was a part of it, but now he knows that Rosen doesn't see anything.
As Nathan and his people move in, Marcus explains that the government is reacting with panic and violence toward the Alphas. Rosen insists that Alphas are an opportunity for all of them, but Marcus reminds him that Singh was going to turn him into nothing and was going to do it to the other Alphas as well. Marcus admits that Singh may be right, but Rosen insists that things can be different. The Alpha explains that Rosen is the variable and has one move left to get to the rosy future he sees. When Rosen asks what the move is, Marcus tells him to kick over the chessboard.
Bill and Rachel arrive and Marcus explains that things are playing out the way he planned. Nathan arrives and Marcus says that if he's wrong, they'll take him alive. He shoves Rosen away and stands up, an easy target. Nathan guns him down and Marcus falls into the river below.
The next day, Rosen meets with Sullivan and check out the park below the river. Nathan has reported that he shot Marcus in the chest, but they haven't found his body. Rosen comments that Marcus considered the Alphas an out-of-context problem but warns that they can't enter into an us-versus-them mindset. As Sullivan leaves, Nathan continues to have his men drag the river. He's unaware that Marcus' coin is lying in the water with Nathan's bullet imbedded in it.