A Board Meeting is in session at the Hazelwood Hospital for the Criminally Insane in Florida. It is 1988, and Dr. Lorenz is speaking passionately about the special circumstances that should keep the young patient locked up for the rest of his life. This young man has particularly disturbing fantasies, and no medication will keep his behavior under control outside of the facility. Even as the other board members argue with him, suggesting that the patient could lead a normal life, Dr. Lorenz holds up a hand-written journal and tells them that, given the chance, the patient would perform "every sickening deviant detail" that had been written down. Unfortunately, Dr. Nash says, the law states that a minor child that had been committed to mental health would be freed upon his 18th birthday – and their hands are tied.
In his hospital room, Floyd Feylinn Ferell has neatly arranged his books by height on his shelf – books that are dedicated to Satanism. The guard enters and says Floyd should change his name to "Lucky" because he is being released, and advises him to thank whatever god he has for his good fortune. Floyd fingers his books and says, "I will."
BAU Technical Analyst Penelope Garcia walks into her usual morning café and greets the server by name. She notices a handsome young man sitting at a table nearby having difficulty with his laptop. He bangs on the keys in disgust, and Garcia cannot resist offering her help. After sharing some computer banter, she works her magic on the man's computer, and he introduces himself and offers to take her to lunch. James "Colby" Baylor gives Garcia his card, and she gives him her number, a little flustered that this is happening so quickly.
Profiler Derek Morgan is quick to spot that something is a little bit different about Garcia when they exchange their usual good mornings in the BAU bullpen. Garcia admits she is a little spooked about the incident in the café, and is wondering if everything is happening too quickly. Morgan advises her to trust her gut: if the man seems too smooth, or too "smokin' hot" maybe she should walk away. Before they can finish their conversation JJ enters with case files, and she is clearly upset about the current case in Florida.
The team is assembled to be briefed on the disappearance and murder of Abby Kelton, a college student from Bridgewater, Florida. Her body had been found by joggers along I-75, also known as Alligator Alley, and everything below her waist had been eaten. Unfortunately, that was the least of Abby's injuries: her throat was cut, her fingers were cut off, and an inverted pentagram was carved into her chest. Local authorities believe these are signs that she was killed by a satanic cult. Prentiss is quick to inform Rossi that there is no such thing as satanic cult murders; that any theories of cult murders were debunked as urban myths. Reid uncomfortably tells Prentiss that it was Agent Rossi who did the debunking, and she coolly smiles and thanks him. Rossi believes that these killings will turn serial if they already haven't, and leaves the team with Dante's words from The Inferno: "Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate" – "Abandon hope all ye who enter here." Just because there aren't records of satanic cult killings doesn't mean there aren't people who are Satanists who kill.
Reproductions of Goya's "Black Paintings," inverted pentagrams, and lines of text decorate the brick walls of Floyd's room where he sits at a desk and contemplates a Ziploc bag containing human fingers.
"Fantasy, abandoned by reason, produces impossible monsters." Francisco Goya.
On the BAU jet, Reid proves that he's read and memorized all of Rossi's books by rattling off paragraphs of information about the two types of satanic activities involved with crime. He explains that one type is a typically teen-aged offender who is involved with minor crimes like destruction of property and killings only occur when this behavior gets out of hand. Morgan gestures to Reid to stop and Rossi takes over the explanation of the Adaptive Satanist: someone who rationalizes his own murderous urges by blaming them on Satan. Hotchner hopes that they are dealing with teenagers, as the presence of satanic elements can have an effect on even the most experienced profilers. He advises the team to "keep an eye on the locals, and keep an eye on each other." Morgan denies being spooked by all the talk of the devil – his mother took the family to church every Sunday when he was a child. Reid questions Morgan's belief in the reality of God if he cannot believe in the reality of Satan. When Morgan objects to his observation, Reid comments that it is only logical to assume that belief in one causes belief in the other. Hotchner tells the team that it is people's reactions to "the devil" that gives it appeal to the offenders of this type.
The local medical examiner, Dr. Fulton, details the nature of Abby Kelton's injuries to Hotchner, Prentiss and Reid. Her nose was broken approximately 48 hours before her death, leading Hotchner to assume the killer used a blitz attack to subdue her. She was killed when her throat was cut and the pentagram was cut into her skin after her death. The doctor was unsure when the fingers were removed until he checked Abby's stomach contents. Ten fingers had been fed to her prior to her death.
Rossi, Morgan and JJ go to the Bridgewater Church to speak with Abby's parents, and to interview the pastor, Father Marks, about any satanic activity in the area. Before they enter the church, Morgan points out that he'd rather speak with the parents than interview the priest. Rossi is surprised. When they enter the church, Father Marks greets the three agents, and Rossi tells him that Agent Morgan will be asking him some questions while he and JJ go and speak with Bob and Lee-Ann Kelton, Abby's parents. Morgan almost objects, but follows Rossi's lead and remains behind with the priest. Pastor Marks can easily spot that Morgan is uncomfortable within the church, and asks him how long it has been since he's been to church. Changing the subject, Morgan asks the priest about any break-ins or threats towards the church or any parishioners who have been asking questions about the occult. Father Marks denies anything unusual.
Upstairs, Rossi and JJ try to comfort Abby's parents. They've brought dozens of pictures of Abby to the church to choose one for the funeral service. Many of the pictures are of Abby's childhood – her first steps, dressed up in costumes – a smiling, happy child. Rossi gets Mrs. Kelton to speak about her daughter – about her outgoing personality and her desire to become a nurse. Mr. Kelton becomes more and more agitated as his wife talks, wiping the tears from his eyes. JJ ushers Mrs. Kelton out and Rossi sits down with Mr. Kelton. He tearfully relates his experience identifying Abby's body at the morgue, and how the doctor and Detective Jordan didn't let him see Abby's injuries. Although he trusts Dr. Fulton and the detective, he wants Rossi to assure him that he didn't need to see what was done to his daughter by her killer. Rossi taps the photos of Abby and says, "these are the memories that you want to keep." As the agents leave the church, the Timmons family is bringing in food for the Keltons. Morgan and Rossi exchange glares as they get into their car.
Discussing the case at the police station, Prentiss, Morgan and Rossi are convinced that this is a serial killer, not a group of teenagers. Even though the killer cut off Abby's fingers and fed them to her, this is the only mark of sadism in the crime – the fingers are a message. Hotchner enters with more information – none of the fingers within Abby's stomach were hers – and six of them were index fingers. The unsub's message was "I have done this before."
At Bridgewater Inlet State Park, Tracey Lambert parks her jeep near the restrooms, tucks her birding book in her backpack and carries that into the facilities. When she closes the door of the bathroom stall she sees a red pentagram painted on the back of the door. The killer quietly puts his feet down in the stall next to her, walks to her door, and opens it as Tracey screams.
In her office, Garcia is expecting the incoming phone call to be from the BAU, but it is Colby, from the café. He invites her to go to dinner with him tomorrow night, and Garcia is not sure what to do. Finally, she begins faking a cough and claims she is coming down with something. As she hesitates, her computer screen shows that the fingerprints she has been running have come back matched to 10 different women. She brushes Colby off, saying that she has his number if she starts feeling better. Dialing Morgan, she looks at Colby's card and then throws it in the trash can. She tells Morgan that the ten fingers found in Abby Kelton's stomach all belonged to different women, and that she's sending the files on the women to him. All of the women had been arrested for prostitution in the counties surrounding Bridgewater, Florida. When Garcia begins to hang-up, Morgan again questions her attitude. She admits that the man from the café called and asked her out, but she took Morgan's advice and "blew him off." When Morgan attempts to commend her for trusting her instincts, Garcia becomes defensive, and asks Morgan if it was that the man found her attractive that told him that there was something wrong with him. Even though Morgan tries to apologize and explain, Garcia will not listen. Getting more and more upset, Garcia finally tells Morgan that he is completely superficial, and hangs up on him saying, "Hey, Derek? You suck!" As soon as she hangs up, she reaches for her trash can and digs out Colby's business card.
Prentiss walks in on a very confused Morgan with the files Garcia had already sent. The last known locations for all of the ten victims are already charted on a local map, and Hotchner has set up a profile briefing for the local police.
Hotchner advises Det. Jordan and his men that the unsub is operating out of the town of Bridgewater – he is a local man. The ten previous victims' locations are plotted on a map and make a distinct circle around the town. "The void in the center is his safety zone," Hotchner explains. The unsub has always avoided killing in the area in which he lives, and Bridgewater is in the center of the safety zone. The unsub took Abby Kelton and fed her the fingers because he wants the police to know about him. Rossi advises the officers that the killer is just getting started. Det. Jordan believes him when he receives a call notifying him about Tracey Lambert's abduction.
Prentiss and Rossi examine the restroom at the State Park. Rossi finds that the unsub has taken the books from Tracey's backpack and lined them up from smallest to largest inside the bathroom stall. He deduces that the unsub spent some time in a mental hospital, since mental patients often find one aspect of their lives to keep in some kind of order amidst the chaos. He's seen this pattern in mental patients before.
Outside, Hotchner and Morgan are going through Tracey's jeep when Father Marks drives up. Det. Jordan called him in to have the church help with search and rescue. Morgan objects to the priest's involvement since the unsub might be one of his parishioners. Unsubs like this one try to insert themselves into the investigation, so JJ suggests the detective allow her to set up the search so that they can try to draw him out in a controlled environment. Tables are set up and church members are asked to show ID as they sign up for search teams. Water and food are distributed to the teams, and the parishioners make their way through the woods in small groups looking for Tracey. One woman, Sheryl Timmons, moves through the underbrush and is separated from her group. Her husband, John, notices that she is missing and rushes off to look for her, just as she is being dragged away, unconscious.
That night, a police car pulls a large late-model sedan over for speeding. Floyd pulls his car over and quickly turns up the radio to drown out the muffled thumps coming from the trunk. The police officer begins to approach Floyd's car, but receives a radio call announcing the BOLO for Sheryl Timmons. The officer shouts a warning to Floyd to slow down, gets into his car and speeds away. The banging and thumping from the trunk continues.
As Hotchner and Rossi speak to Mr. Timmons at the police station, Morgan tells Prentiss that Father Marks did not notice anyone unusual in the search parties. Garcia calls Prentiss to tell her that she is cross-checking the volunteers' names from the search lists with county mental health records. This time it is Prentiss who questions Garcia's actions – she would normally call Morgan with this type of information, but called her instead. Garcia reiterates that she does not like to be profiled, but explains the situation to Prentiss. Hanging up, Prentiss approaches Morgan with some advice: "When a woman tells a man about her feelings, she doesn't want him to 'fix' her, she wants him to shut up and listen."
Father Marks is frustrated. He has gone over the list of volunteer searchers again and again, and none of the people on the list matches the description of the unsub. Morgan explains this man can imitate faith – he can attend services and act just like everyone else, but it isn't real. Father Marks tells him that most people in the church are imitating faith. Morgan insists that the priest knows the man they are looking for, but Father Marks does not know what else he can do. Holding up a picture of Abby Kelton's mutilated body, Morgan bluntly tells the priest that all his prayers over the dead bodies aren't going to help Sheryl Timmons' family. Finally, the priest asks Morgan what happened to him to make him have such contempt for a priest he hardly knows. Speaking quietly and staring straight into Father Marks' eyes, Morgan says that, when he was a child and terrible things were happening to him, God never answered his prayers.
Rossi walks outside the police station to talk with Morgan, commenting that Father Marks looked very upset when he left the station. He tells Morgan that he maneuvered him into interviewing the priest yesterday in order to give Morgan an opportunity for "personal growth." Laughing, Morgan turns the conversation around, announcing that he understands Rossi perfectly well. Every time Rossi was told that he "couldn't" do something – interview serial killers, get a profiling team together, come back to the BAU – he had to prove them wrong. Rossi wonders, if Morgan knew all this about him, why he made that statement about not wanting to talk with the priest. Morgan says he was giving him an opportunity for "personal growth." Morgan walks off towards the church to apologize to Father Marks.
The church is eerily silent as Morgan enters. There is one lone woman sitting hunched in a pew, and the candles are flickering. A sudden wind blows out the candles near the altar, and Morgan starts nervously, asking the woman if she saw something. Morgan approaches the woman, trying to get her attention, and finally touches her on the shoulder. The dead body of the woman, fingers removed and a pentagram carved into her chest, collapses onto the pew.
Sheryl Timmons is lying on her stomach in a locked storage room. She struggles against her bonds and pleads for her life as Floyd approaches her with a large knife. He cuts long slits up her trousers, exposing her legs, and begins rubbing oil onto Sheryl's calves.
The dead woman from the church has been identified as Maria Lopez, a prostitute who has been missing for nine months. Prentiss cannot think of a reason the unsub would hold a woman for nine months, not commit any sexual assault, and then kill her three days ago. Hotchner asks the medical examiner if the body had been frozen – he believes that the unsub has been eating his victims.
The medical examiner confirms that Maria Lopez was frozen slightly after death, which explains why they haven't been able to find all of the victims – the unsub is keeping them. Hotchner tells the team how he knew it was cannibalism: the unsub wasn't taking the victims for sex, and having Abby Kelton eat the fingers was a direct message about what he was doing. This is the drive that makes the unsub want to blame his actions on an outside force like the devil.
Garcia calls to tell the team that she can't find any Florida mental patients with a history of both Satanism and cannibalism, but Hazelwood's Mental Institution had a fire in 1998 that destroyed all of their records. Reid and Hotchner head off to the hospital to speak with someone who might remember a patient with these symptoms.
Dr. Nash, one of the board members of Hazelwood Hospital in 1988, is still on the hospital board. He explains that they have no records of that particular patient Agent Hotchner is describing, and he doesn't remember the case very clearly. Dr. Lorenz worked with the adolescent patients and he died in the fire. He apparently returned to his office to retrieve something very important to him when the fire alarms rang out. Dr. Nash hesitates before digging through his desk for Dr. Lorenz's journal in which noted every detail of the adolescent patient's symptoms. Reid quickly begins reading through the doctor's notes, finding references to the boy's biting, and his belief that he was possessed of a flesh-eating demon. He finally finds the name – Floyd Feylinn Ferell. Det. Jordan recognizes the name right away – Floyd Feylinn lives in Bridgewater – he simply dropped his last name.
Det. Jordan and the team head off for Floyd's home. They find the main floor empty - but the tools in the kitchen give Morgan and Prentiss pause before they proceed with the search. Det. Jordan hears music coming from a door to the basement, and they walk carefully down the stairs. At the bottom they are faced with three doors. Det. Jordan and JJ fling the first door open and walk into a room- freezer full of the bodies of dead women. JJ forces the detective to keep his composure and look at the women's faces, but he does not see Tracey Lambert. Prentiss and Rossi open the second door to find Sheryl Timmons, alive and well. She hasn't seen Tracey, either. Morgan forces open the third door to find Floyd sitting before a make-shift altar in his underwear. The altar is smeared with blood, and the room is decorated with Goya prints and an inverted pentagram. Floyd does not resist as Morgan handcuffs him and ushers him out. Rossi approaches Floyd's neatly kept bookshelf and takes down a handwritten journal.
The team members watch Floyd through a pane of one-way glass as they discuss the things they found in his home. The Goya paintings were part of a therapeutic art-therapy Floyd was exposed to in the hospital. Hotchner hands the journal to Morgan and asks him to try to get Tracey Lambert's location from Floyd. Inside the interrogation room, Morgan places the journal on the table and opens it. It is a list of recipes. Floyd explains that he put a smiley face by the recipes he liked, and a frowny face by the ones that weren't quite right. Floyd admits that he isn't very smart, but he has a "smart friend" who tells him things. One of the things his friend wants him to tell Morgan is that his watch has stopped. Morgan glances down and sees that his watch stopped at 3:10, but he isn't rattled. After continued questioning, Floyd will only say that he's not supposed to tell Morgan where Tracey is – he's supposed to tell Father Marks.
Father Marks agrees to help the team, and approaches Morgan outside the interview room door. Morgan reaches out to shake the priest's hand, as if in a gesture of friendship, and advises him to let Morgan do all of the talking. As the two begin to speak to Floyd, Rossi shuffles through the volunteer lists for the search teams – there's something that they missed. Floyd signed into the park, but his name does not appear on the list of searchers. Floyd begins to talk about feeling alone, as if God has abandoned him – he seems to want Father Marks to say something. When the priest responds by saying, "God is in all of us," Floyd looks up with satisfaction. Hotchner and Rossi try to rush in to stop the interview, but they are too late - Floyd has an answer for the priest: "So is Tracey Lambert."
Suddenly, they each recall the scene at the park that day – the tables set up for the searchers that provide water and food. Floyd had joined to provide BBQ to feed the hungry searchers – BBQ he had prepared himself at his restaurant. Pastor Marks leaps across the table to attack Floyd, and Morgan struggles to pull him away as Floyd laughs.
On the BAU jet, Rossi explains that it wasn't enough to assuage Floyd's guilt that he blamed his actions on the devil, he had to trick others into participating in his crimes. Morgan is most upset because of all the lucky breaks Floyd had – from being released from the hospital to getting away from the police with a woman in the trunk of his car. He wonders if Floyd didn't have some supernatural help after all. Rossi concludes that the question isn't theirs to answer – their job is to stop evil, it is someone else's job to decide where it came from. He decides that Reid was right after all – to believe in one, you must believe in the other.
Morgan enters another empty church and sits in a back pew, tears in his eyes, as he gazes at the altar.
Back in Virginia, Colby walks Garcia to her door after their date, and mentions how lucky it was that his laptop froze up just in time for them to meet. Garcia tells him that she doesn't believe in luck, but that everything happens for a really good reason. Colby leans in to her, and then chuckles and gives her a hug goodnight. He takes a few steps down the sidewalk before turning and getting Garcia's attention again. "I've been thinking about doing this all night," he says, as he pulls out a gun and shoots her in the chest.
[recap written by Finnegan77]