A young woman in Franklin, Alaska, hears frightening noises as she walks through a boat dock, so she begins to walk faster. Then she drops the icebox she is carrying and begins to run. She is relieved to see a man she recognizes, but he shoots her with an arrow.
Back in Washington, Prentiss, JJ and Garcia were out for the night until they were called in for a case that is the first murder investigation on record in a small isolated fishing village like Franklin that has claimed the lives of three victims. The unsub had crossed sex and race boundaries, and seemed to be all over the map.
Back in Franklin, the unsub licks a bloody arrow.
The team arrives in Alaska via helicopter. They checked into a local tavern as Prentiss and Morgan meet with a man who is leaving town. Rossi and Reid speak with the coroner, who is also the only doctor in town. He had found human urine on the remains. Rossi and Reid believe the unsub is progressing with efficiency in killing.
In the tavern, Garcia meets with Josh, the son of the tavern owner, who had left town and returned recently. She shows him how she does her research by checking his records. In the great room of the tavern, the team determines the unsub is a psychopath with hunting skills. Garcia must share a room with Morgan, which makes Kevin jealous when she checks in with him. She loses her satellite connection as she talks with him, so she checks the satellite in back. There she discovers a man who has been mortally stabbed and, as she screamed for help, the man dies.
Prentiss confirms the latest victim was the man they had talked to earlier. Morgan consoles Garcia who is in shock and crying.
The team profiles the unsub as being a local. They believe he is an emotionally immature man who recently suffered a loss and has extensive hunting experience. When Hotch and the sheriff talk to a local teacher, they deduce that Josh, the tavern owner's son, could possibly be a suspect. Garcia can't believe he could be guilty. The tavern owner pleads with Rossi, Hotch and the sheriff to tell her that son didn't do it. After further checking the records of the victims, Garcia is able to connect that they all wanted to leave town. The next viable suspect is a waitress, so they held her in protective custody. That night, the tavern owner is viciously murdered by the real unsub.
Josh is upset when he learns his mother has been killed. Rossi and Reid give the profile of the unsub to him. He leaves calmly, and Rossi and Reid think he knows who the unsub is.
The team determines that the unsub was an abused teenage boy that Josh had taken under his wing before he left town and the boy felt betrayed. As the team races through the woods chasing the young man, Josh and the other townsmen are also in pursuit. Rossi is forced to shoot an emotionally distraught Josh and wound him to prevent him from killing the unsub himself.