A newscaster with a special news bulletin from KGMI, Channel 9, out of La Plata County, Colorado, reports they are still waiting to see what becomes of the women, children, and two FBI agents who are trapped within a Separatarian Sect at Liberty Ranch in a showdown with law enforcement. As the reporter speaks, a huge explosion can be seen engulfing the main ranch building in the background.
Three days earlier...
BAU Agents Reid and Prentiss are traveling down a rural road with a local Social Services worker Nancy Lunde on their way to investigate allegations of child abuse in a Colorado cult. Lunde explains they received a 9-1-1 call from a whispering girl who claimed the sect's leader, Benjamin Cyrus, had sexually abused her. Glancing through the man's file, Reid notes he has no record at all. Rumor has it that he has been practicing polygamy and arranged marriages. They suspect the caller had been Jessica Evanson, but Social Services had been able to negotiate interviews with all of the children at the ranch. Handing her weapon and ID over the seat to Reid, Prentiss tells Nancy not to identify them as FBI, but to use their real names and introduce them as Child Interview experts.
Arriving at the complex, they find Benjamin Cyrus waiting for them on the stairs leading to the chapel. He is a thin man in his late-thirties, and he is reading the Bible as the agents walk up. He seems very open and honest; stating it is a sad world where someone called a "child interview expert" is needed. He points them in the direction of the children's school rooms so they can get started. Keeping back a few paces, Reid notices the solar panels on the hillside outside the buildings. Cyrus explains they are a completely self-sufficient community, living by Benjamin Franklin's maxim: God helps those who help themselves. Reid admits to being impressed by his sentiment, and Cyrus seems appreciative of the young man's attitude.
Inside the schoolroom, Prentiss, Reid, and Nancy Lunde sit down with Jessica Evanson and her mother. Jessica is appalled concerning the allegations against Cyrus, insisting that Cyrus is her husband so it is only natural that they share a bed. Reid tells the girl that, since she is only 15 years old, her mother would have had to consent to the marriage. One glance at the mother's face tells Prentiss the mother had done just that. Suddenly men with automatic rifles burst into the schoolroom. One man pats Prentiss and Reid down, searching for weapons, and Cyrus himself confronts the two. He wonders if they have anything to tell him about a raid. It is obvious even to him that neither agent knows what he is talking about.
Outside, two blue SUVs race up to the ranch. Eight SWAT officers spread out quickly to surround the buildings, one team heading to the school and one to the chapel. The school building opens easily and the officers rush inside to find the building completely empty. The team attempting to break down the door to the chapel is having a difficult time. The chapel is completely barred and their battering ram is proving to be ineffectual. Hitting the door again and again, the officers work methodically to try to get inside. The other team finds a hatch in the floor of the school building and realizes it leads to a tunnel. "They knew we were coming," one office cries, and the team quickly moves towards the door. As soon as they reach the open, several sect members on the roof of a nearby building open fire. One group of officers is pinned down within the school house, and the other is under fire outside the chapel door.
Reid and Prentiss are being ushered through a tunnel with the women and children from the school house. Cyrus tells the children to listen to their parents and have faith. As they move through the underground chamber, the agents notice a stockpile of weapons and explosives. Nancy Lunde is panicking, but Reid and Prentiss advise her to calm down, and they had no idea there would be a State Police raid on the property.
Officers and sect members continue to fire at each other as Cyrus rushes to the chapel doors, yelling for his men to cease fire. His voice is muffled by the continuous banging of the battering ram and the gunfire.
Downstairs, Nancy Lunde turns to the FBI agents worriedly. She tells them she is an officer of the state and has to do something. She rushes towards the stairs, hoping to be able to mediate between Cyrus and the State Police. Although Prentiss and Reid try to stop her, they cannot get to her in time.
Cyrus continues to shout at both his men and the police, asking both groups to cease fire. Behind him, Nancy Lunde approaches the door just as a stray bullet pierces the heavy wooden door and strikes her in the chest. Cyrus returns to the basement, telling his people to have faith and God will see them through this trial. He tells Prentiss that Lunde's death wasn't his fault. "I didn't start this," he insists, telling one of his followers to "take the tunnel" while he takes the roof. A few minutes later a sect member pops up through the hatch in the schoolroom behind the SWAT officers trapped there. Firing rapidly to keep him pinned down, one officer dives through the glass door and is caught by a bullet fired from the roof. One of the men at the chapel door is also hit. Cyrus appears on the roof and tells his men to stop shooting. Addressing the police he tells them that he is giving them a chance to pull out. With two wounded, the officers have no choice but to do so.
In the basement, Prentiss and Reid know that the officers will not be gone for long.
"To follow by faith alone is to follow blindly." Benjamin Franklin.
JJ races through the BAU bullpen to Morgan's desk, flicking the television remote to show the coverage of the failed attack on the Separatarian Sect Ranch in Colorado. When he realizes this is the ranch where his teammates Prentiss and Reid are working undercover, he turns and screams Hotchner's name at the top of his lungs. Every agent in the room is now staring at the television as Hotchner and Rossi come out of their offices and are met with the news. Phones begin ringing shrilly, filling the BAU offices with nerve-jangling noise. Hotchner shouts to be heard above the din, telling the agents they will be working lead on this case with Hostage Rescue and Support.
Morgan, Rossi, JJ, and Hotchner are on the BAU jet flying towards their colleagues in Colorado in record time. When the news reporter announces the Sect had been under investigation by the State Attorney General for weapons violations for the past six months, Morgan wants to know why they didn't know that. JJ defensively replies she had checked, in fact, she had asked ATF call the SAG, and he told them pointblank there were no pending investigations. She believes he lied because he was challenging the governor in the next election, and this would look great on the campaign trail.
Cutting into the video feed of the news report, Garcia informs the team on the history of Liberty Ranch. It was originally founded as a Libertarian self-sustaining commune by Leo Kane. Libertarian principles state people should be free to do as they please as long as they don't hurt others. Rossi insists Libertarians aren't particularly religious, and Hotchner explains that Benjamin Cyrus, the new leader, introduced religion eight years ago when Kane left. Cyrus has no record, but Leo Kane is in prison for tax evasion and violently resisting arrest. Hotchner believes they should interview Kane because he might be the best source for information about the compound, and about Cyrus in particular.
In the basement of the compound, Prentiss and Reid overhear the sect members talking about their casualties – three are dead, including a young couple. Jessica Evanson arrives with the couple's little girl in her arms. Cyrus comforts them both, and tells them everything will be all right. Turning to his second-in-command, Cole, Cyrus tells him to distribute weapons and ammo to everyone.
The BAU arrives at the command post outside Liberty Ranch, and Hotch stops Rossi for a word before they head inside. They've left choice of hostage negotiator up to Hotchner, and he wants Rossi to take the lead. Rossi's face falls – yes, he taught most of the members of the hostage negotiating team, but he is personally involved, and so is Hotchner. They can't possibly remain objective with their teammates trapped inside the compound. Knowing Rossi is right, Hotchner makes his case: only they will be able to effectively profile Reid and Prentiss to determine how their involvement on the inside will affect any outcome. "I know how bad this is," Hotchner insists, "that's why I want you to do the talking." Rossi agrees reluctantly.
A loud, overbearing man in a suit and tie hurries from the trailer housing the Hostage Rescue Team, and demands to know who is in command. Dan Torre, lead for the HRT, tries to stop him, but Hotchner overhears the discussion and hurries over. He turns on the State Attorney General and, with a cold stare and a harsh tone, delivers the news that he will be filing criminal charges against the Colorado politician for any lives lost in this debacle. Stepping close to the sweating bureaucrat, Hotchner orders him off his crime scene.
Dan Torre turns to greet the two agents warmly, having worked with Rossi at Waco, Ruby Ridge, and the Freeman Standoff. He fills the agents in on the HRT actions, including his dismissal of the State Police and utilization of the local sheriff's office for support. They'd had no contact with the sect thus far, and, because the compound is completely self-sustaining, cannot easily restrict their access to the news. Hotchner isn't worried, having assigned JJ to keep the media under control.
Inside the HRT trailer, Morgan, Rossi, and Hotchner give the officers a profile briefing concerning this "Minimal Loss" scenario. "Every person we get out is a life saved. We won't save them all," notes Rossi. Taking a marker, Morgan moves to the white board and draws a pyramid shape. He advises the men that, in a cult, the leader is at the top, his die-hard believers just beneath, and the largest group at the base are the women and children – the followers. This is the group that can be saved. Hotchner describes the "trickle – flow – gush" strategy that is designed to get the most followers out, beginning with one or two, then three or four, and then as many as they can. When the situation begins to go bad, they will go in.
Rossi explains the characteristics of a cult leader – the charisma and passion as well as the ability to see what each member needs and then become that thing to them. Their job is to change the cult's perception of the HRT – to try to become less an invading army. Torre suggests they change from their usual military-type fatigues to more casual clothes and Rossi agrees.
Night has fallen in Colorado when Rossi finally makes contact with Cyrus. Holding the phone up to the now-orphaned little girl, Cyrus makes sure her voice is the first one that Rossi hears. Rossi identifies himself to Cyrus, telling him the State Police are gone and all he wants to do is resolve the situation. The FBI isn't just going to go away, especially since one of the officers has already died. Rossi continues to speak in an even tone, telling Cyrus that they have no quarrel with his group's beliefs; they just want to avoid a battle. When Rossi asks about the three child services agents, Cyrus admits one of them is dead. This is the news that Hotchner, Morgan, and Rossi have been dreading. Cyrus goes on to tell them her name: Nancy Lunde. Although a fellow officer has been killed, the three BAU agents cannot help but feel a small sense of relief. Rossi agrees to give Cyrus medical supplies to help him treat his wounded, and offers to deliver them himself at first light.
Torre and his HRT assemble and hide miniature transmitters inside the boxes of medical supplies that Rossi will deliver. Morgan is not happy that Rossi agreed to deliver them alone, but Rossi wants to build trust with Cyrus. Torre orders parabolic microphones trained on every window in the compound, but his associate advises him the cult has blinds on every window, so getting enough glass vibration to conduct the sound will be difficult. Hotchner assures Torre that Reid and Prentiss are completely familiar with the procedures the responders will be using, and they will be ready to get the cult members talking, knowing that bugs will be in play.
True to his word, the next morning David Rossi drives a pick-up to the foot of the chapel steps. Carrying one box, he mounts the stairs, his eyes glancing at the bloodstains on the sides of the doorway. Cyrus opens the door and introduces himself, ushering Rossi inside. In the chapel, the women and children are praying quietly, and Reid and Prentiss are seated against one wall. Taking in the number and types of weapons in evidence, Rossi only lets his gaze rest briefly on his two colleagues before asking Cyrus if he can take the children with him. Cyrus refuses, calling the children his "protection." Ensuring Cyrus they will not try to force him out, Rossi agrees to tell law enforcement that he isn't crazy, just determined to live by God's law. The two men shake hands, and Rossi turns to go.
Cyrus has ordered his men to "prepare the wine," and he moves from member to member, pouring each a cup of wine from one communal jug. He tells them they are celebrating because they are one day closer to being with God. Standing at the rear of the congregation, Prentiss and Reid notice Jessica Evanson's body language and her devout worship of Benjamin Cyrus. She was not the 9-1-1 caller who had alleged her leader had assaulted her. They cannot help noticing Jessica's mother moving across the aisle to her daughter, and standing to block Jessica's view of the cult leader. Cyrus continues his sermon, calling on his congregation to have faith in him to guide their way. They all drink the wine.
Arriving back at HRT, Rossi is happy to tell his team that Reid and Prentiss are okay, but he is worried that Benjamin Cyrus is too calm, as if he was just waiting for this to happen. The radio operator announces he has picked up a signal from one of the bugs, and the team listens in, just in time to hear Benjamin Cyrus say, "We will be with Him soon, we've drank the poison together."
Cyrus continues to preach, and tells the people they will all be together. In the HRT trailer, Torre tells the BAU his team is ready to go, but Rossi insists they wait – Cyrus was too calm and cool to be in the midst of committing mass suicide with his followers. Inside the chapel, some of the sect's followers seem content to listen to Cyrus and wait, while others are crying and holding each other. Prentiss looks around frantically, but Reid has noticed that Cyrus' henchmen are all watching the crowd and taking notes. He thinks Cyrus is bluffing and there was no poison in the wine. Cole, Cyrus' second-in-command, is writing down the names of everyone who is crying, so he knows who will follow him to the end.
His voice rising over Hotch's objections, Rossi has come to the same conclusion: Jim Jones did the same thing a few years before his church committed suicide. Hotchner is torn, but orders Torre to prepare his team. Over the radio Cyrus' voice rings out, telling his congregation there was no poison - it was a test of faith. He orders his followers to watch each other for signs of weakness. In the trailer, Hotchner is shaken, and orders Torre to stand down. JJ walks into the silence and announces the former sect leader has arrived from prison.
Dressed in a standard-issue orange jumpsuit, Leo Kane is delighted to tell Morgan all about Charles Mulgrew aka Benjamin Cyrus. His mother had been five months pregnant when she arrived at the Liberty Ranch and, as Charles grew up among Kane's followers, he noticed the young man was special. He had an astounding memory for anything that he read, but he was also very mouthy. When he was 17, some young girls told Kane that Charles had been "messing with them," and Kane had kicked him out. Some years later, he returned and told Kane his mother had died and he "found God." When Morgan asked Kane how a young man managed to oust him from his own ranch, Kane replies, "One day he came to me and said that God told him that I should leave the ranch. When I said that if God felt that way he could tell me Himself he put a gun to my head and said, 'He just did.'" Embittered, Kane tells Morgan it had taken him 20 years to build that ranch and he'll do whatever he can to send Cyrus "straight to hell." "I need a map," Morgan responds.
Searching through law enforcement databases, Garcia has been able to retrieve Charles Mulgrew's rap sheet, which includes charges of statutory rape in Kentucky. The prison warden has informed her that, once inside, Mulgrew had become a model citizen – and not just in name. He volunteered for some of the more difficult jobs, including working with AIDS patients. Rossi believes this will make the situation more difficult: Cyrus has been to prison and knows what happens to child molesters there – he is not going to want to go back. Hotchner calls out to JJ to release a false statement to the press, denying any evidence of sexual misconduct within the sect. When he looks up, he is surprised by the look of cold fury on JJ's face. She links Hotchner's computer into the television feed and tells him, "You've got to see this."
The reporter tells viewers that the hostage negotiations have now been taken over by the FBI. "Anonymous sources inside the State Attorney General's office have told us there is an undercover FBI agent currently being held inside the Separatarian Sect Ranch."
Now alone in the basement tunnel at the compound, Reid and Prentiss look up as Cyrus approaches them, Cole immediately behind him with a rifle. "Which one of you is it?" Cyrus demands. Pulling a handgun from his belt, he asks again which of them is an FBI agent. Reid quietly asks why he believes one of them is an agent. "God will forgive me for what I must do," Cyrus states and aims his gun at Reid's head. Prentiss looks on in shock, and Reid denies knowing what Cyrus is talking about. Cyrus will kill him if he doesn't find out, and, at what seems like the last moment, Prentiss admits, "Me. It's me." Cyrus lowers his gun slowly, and Reid meets Prentiss' eyes, emotions playing across his face. Turning calmly to Prentiss, Cyrus suddenly reaches out and grabs her by the hair and drags her into a room at the end of the tunnel. Reid begins to stand, but Cole is covering him with the rifle.
As Hotchner, Rossi, and Morgan listen in, Cyrus beats Prentiss, knocking her to the floor again and again. Hotchner snatches off his headphones and insists they have to go in, but Rossi is firm – if they go into the compound they will be risking the lives of everyone in there. Reluctantly, face white with strain, Hotchner puts his headphones back on. Cyrus pulls Prentiss to her feet and throws into a mirror that hangs on one wall, shattering the glass and badly cutting the agent. Through her groans and cries, Cyrus quotes the Bible, telling her that her wounds will cleanse away evil. After he hurls her headfirst into a shelf, Prentiss crouches before her attacker and says, "I can take it." Enraged, Cyrus backhands her to the floor. The most controlled of all of the profilers, Rossi insists that Morgan and Hotchner listen closely to what Prentiss is saying: she is not talking to Cyrus, she is talking to them. Standing up again, blood running down her face, Prentiss repeats her words. Telling her that "pride comes before the fall," Cyrus punches his fist into her stomach. She falls, barely conscious, shaking. Her teammates listen, helpless, as Cyrus orders Cole to take her upstairs.
Lying on a cot with her hands bound, Prentiss watches warily as Jessica Evanson's mother, Kathy, comes to sit at her side. Kathy begins cleaning Prentiss' face, telling her that she shouldn't have lied to Cyrus, that he always knows when someone is lying. Turning to face Kathy, Prentiss realizes she has heard her quiet voice before, and tells her that it would take a strong woman to defy him. Looking around in fear to see if anyone else heard her, Kathy leaves.
Cyrus is nursing his fist when Reid comes hesitantly into the room. He tells the cult leader that Nancy Lunde had described Prentiss as a child abuse expert from Denver, and in the four years he'd worked with Nancy she never lied to him. The profilers listen as Cyrus and Reid talk, Cyrus claiming that a 15-year-old girl should be considered an adult, and Reid, playing the part of a questioning young man who wants to believe, agrees all of the abuse charges he's investigated against small church groups have proven false. Cyrus tells Reid that God sent him to Liberty Ranch to save him, and Reid, after a moment, proves his loyalty to the cult by giving the leader some advice. He suggests he test the negotiator's honesty by asking him to name the FBI agent. His response will show if he is telling the truth. If Cyrus agrees to release a child and not harm the agent if he is answered truthfully, the FBI will feel compelled to respond. Listening intently at the HRT trailer, Rossi mutters, "Reid has him."
Noticing Cole's discomfort, Cyrus asks him what is wrong. Reluctantly, Cole admits he has heard some of the cult members talk about leaving. Cyrus tells him to bring the baby whose parents had been killed – he will introduce her to the FBI.
When Rossi calls again, Cyrus is ready with his demands – he will release a child if Rossi tells him the identity of the FBI agent. Playing along, Rossi claims he cannot reveal that information. Calling his bluff, Cyrus sends the little girl out of the chapel. Quickly removing their guns, Morgan and Torre hurry to a pick-up and drive towards the compound. Speaking soothingly, Morgan goes towards the girl and picks her up, carrying her to the car. Rossi, feigning reluctance, admits the agent's name is Emily Prentiss, and she was undercover as a child interview expert. Looking directly at Reid, Cyrus tells Rossi he will deliver another sign of good faith. He hangs up and tells Cole to assemble everyone in the chapel, including Agent Prentiss.
As the people assemble, Cyrus tells them he knows of their lack of faith, and begins reading off names. Prentiss walks in, her face bruised, streaks of blood on her shirt. Approaching her, Reid, distressed by her injuries, whispers his regret, but Prentiss shakes her head. Her eyes scan the crowd, as the people on the list rise from their seats. "Look at who he's releasing," she murmurs, trying to get Reid's attention back to their situation. Cyrus is going to release all those who failed the earlier test. They both know what this means, and Reid tells her he will try to get a message to the team so they can communicate the timing of raid. Moving away from Prentiss, Reid approaches the cult leader, saying he told Prentiss she shouldn't have lied to him. Cole takes Prentiss back to her room, and Cyrus tells the standing cult members to collect their belongings. Men, women, and children walk slowly down the steps of the chapel to freedom.
Remaining behind in the chapel office, Reid listens as Cyrus speaks with Rossi on the phone, and tells him that they will surrender at noon the following day. He asks for food – fried chicken and all the fixings – and Rossi, going along with Cyrus' line, is happy to do so. Confused, Cole questions the cult leader, asking why he released so many. Reid interjects they "weren't prepared," and Cole turns on him, calling him an outsider. Cyrus, on the other hand, tells Cole he should listen to the young man. Reid, carefully choosing his words for his teammates, who he knows will be listening, explains the situation: that the believers had a chance to prove themselves after drinking the supposedly poisoned wine, that Cyrus wants the press there in the morning to show everyone their resolve and their last act of defiance. "How do you know that?" Cole asks. Reid answers, "I'm always looking for signs of things to come."
His eyes wide with dawning comprehension, Rossi throws his headphones off and turns to his teammates. Reid is telling them that time is up, that the cult is ready to make its last stand, and that he is waiting for a "sign" from them as to when the raid will take place. "We've got to go in."
Later, the HRT members are putting meals together for the cult, placing them in Styrofoam containers. The BAU members know they need to go in, and Torre suggests that 3 AM is the right time for a raid – normal biorhythms are at their lowest point at 3 AM. Morgan believes they also need to stage a diversion – something that will play to Cyrus' expectations. Torre knows how to do that and leaves to procure Humvees, the same type of vehicles that authorities used to storm the Waco compound. Hotchner has no doubt that Reid and Prentiss will do what they can to separate the diehards from the women and children at the proper time, but he does not know how to communicate that time to his agents. Noticing the aluminum tins that the chicken is being packed in, Hotchner grabs one of the lids and writes in block letters: "New Owners! New Hours! Open Till 3 AM!"
Officers are watching the food delivery through high-powered scopes, covering the sheriff's deputies who are carrying the food containers. A parabolic microphone scans the building, trying to pick up a signal from the covered windows. Suddenly, something appears against an upstairs window, dragging the blinds away. It is Prentiss. Still bound and lying on the bed, she uses the heel of her shoe to move aside the blinds and speaks. "If you can hear me, I know you're coming. I can try to get the women and children down to the tunnel but I need to know when you're coming." She patiently repeats herself, hoping that someone is listening. Agent Torre is – he brings Prentiss' message to Morgan and the two move to a vantage point nearby. Using a rifle with a laser scope, Morgan shines the red light through Prentiss' window. Noticing the tiny red dot on the opposite wall, she stops her repetition, telling them she sees it. "What time?" she asks. Morgan flashes the light three times. She understands, and tells them that Reid is on the first floor with Cyrus. Hearing footsteps, she warns the listeners and lowers her foot to the bed.
In the chapel, Reid notices the bright red letters on the take-out boxes. The cult leader stands over him, and tells him that he can leave if he wishes, but Reid refuses and says someone needs to tell his story. Cyrus is pleased that Reid has decided to remain. Opening a wooden crate that has been carried from the basement, he tells Reid it is time for final preparations. The box is filled with dynamite.
Kathy Evanson brings Prentiss a glass of water. Prentiss confronts the woman with the truth: Cyrus is planning a mass suicide, and it was Kathy who had made the original 9-1-1 call. Kathy is wracked with guilt, believing this would never have happened if she hadn't made the call. All she wanted to do was save her daughter from Cyrus, but she was afraid that Jessica wouldn't leave him. Prentiss tells her she has one more chance to save her daughter, but she must gather the women and children in the basement just before 3 AM. Kathy refuses, but Prentiss tells her that she has faith that Kathy is strong enough to do the right thing. Kathy looks at Prentiss coldly and walks out, leaving the agent in fear that she will go directly to Cyrus and tell him about the raid.
Standing outside in the dark, looking at the compound, Hotchner tells Rossi he cannot go inside on the raid. He does not know how he will react if something happens to his two agents. Rossi understands, but he chooses to go in.
Walking through the compound on her way to the chapel, Kathy sees the men setting the charges and hurries away. Cyrus sets dynamite inside the doors to the chapel as Reid stands watching. Hotchner and his team don flak vests and check their equipment. Prentiss sits on her cot, staring at the wall. Kathy Evanson wakes her daughter.
Kathy has made her choice. She rushes into Prentiss' room and unbinds her hands. She had told her daughter that Cyrus wanted her to take the women and children into the tunnels. When Prentiss asks about Reid's location, Kathy hurries her out of the room, telling her that Reid is with Cyrus and it is already 2:45 AM – it is time to go to the tunnel.
Outside the compound, the Humvees arrive. Cole advises Cyrus, and he goes to the door to look, mumbling, "They lied to us." Leaving the door unbarred, he advises Cole to let them get closer. Taking the detonator in his hand, he steps outside the chapel and fires a few rounds into the air to get the attention of the press. He heads back inside.
Prentiss ushers the girls down the hallway to the tunnel. Attacking from the hidden tunnel in the school building, the HRT fills the tunnel with gas, and takes out the guards with a few well-placed shots. Cole has heard the shots, and Cyrus orders him to check the fuses. Morgan arrives in the tunnel and sees Prentiss. She limps up to him, as other officers shepherd the girls to safety, and tells him about the explosives and that Reid is in the chapel with Cyrus. Morgan assures her he will get Reid, and makes her leave with the women and children. Seeing the officers, Jessica Evanson turns on her mother in rage, screaming that she won't leave her husband. She runs back into the tunnel. Grabbing her mother, Morgan hands the distraught woman off to Rossi and promises to get her child. He and the HRT head into the tunnel, as Rossi, Hotchner, and Prentiss get the women and children outside.
Upstairs, at the chapel doors, Reid has run out of time. Standing behind Cole, he begins quoting scripture to the man, citing Jeremiah 29:11 and God's promise to give his people hope and a future. Cyrus, hearing this from the other side of the doorway strides over to Reid, threatening him with his rifle. He quotes Matthew 10:34, when Jesus told his disciples that he came into the world not to bring peace, but to bring a sword. As Reid begins to answer, Cyrus rams the stock of his rifle into Reid's stomach. "You cannot convert my brothers," he whispers, hitting him again. Reid falls to the floor, and Cyrus takes up the detonator again.
As the HRT pass the explosives, they quickly dismantle the devices and then move on along the tunnel.
Fingering the detonator, Cyrus speaks to Reid, "No one had to follow. God could have stopped me." Morgan steps from around the corner and puts three bullets into Cyrus' chest. "He just did," Reid announces. The detonator has fallen clear of Cyrus' body, and the compound is secure. Asking about Prentiss, Reid walks towards Morgan. They both turn to see young Jessica Evanson enter the room and look with shock on Cyrus' body on the floor. Her furious gaze takes in the bright yellow detonator and she reaches for it. His eyes open wide in fear Reid grabs Morgan by the arm and shouts for him to run. Kathy presses the button and the chapel goes up in flames.
Smoke fills the air as the agents usher the women and children from the compound. Prentiss rounds the corner to see the devastation of the chapel, the flames rising from the wreckage, and she calls for Reid and Morgan. Two figures resolve through the smoke, coughing, and she runs to engulf Reid in a hug. Hotchner and Rossi look on, relief clear on both faces. As the agents stand before the burning compound, one lone figure stands nearby, waiting to see her daughter emerge. After a moment, she realizes the truth. With tears in her eyes, Prentiss stands before Kathy Evanson silently.
"Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it." Ayn Rand.
Reid is sitting by himself on the BAU jet, a book propped open before him. Prentiss walks into the cabin, the bruises still dark against her pale skin, and sits across from him. She leans forward and takes both of her teammate's hands, speaking quietly but firmly. "I need you to listen to me," she says, "What Cyrus did to me is not your fault. It was my decision, and I would do it again." At first he cannot meet her eyes, but she gently persists. "Do you hear me?" Finally submitting to her intensity, he crooks his mouth in acceptance. Keeping her grasp on his hands for one more moment, she waits to see his smile before leaning back in her seat.
[recap written by Finnegan77]