The Desert, Golconda, Nevada - One day earlier
A lone vulture is circling above the rocks at dawn as a vehicle drives away. It has left something behind on the sand - a hand, a bracelet, a whole arm – a severed arm.
Fat Sam's Diner - Present day - 2:59 p.m.
The waitress in the roadside diner, Lila May, is giving orders to the cook as Gideon and Morgan enter. She greets Gideon with a flirtatious, "Finally, you walk into my life. What took you so long, handsome?" but Gideon ignores her and walks past. Morgan remains standing near the entrance. Gideon stops at a booth where a man is seated and asks him if he may sit across from him. When the man agrees, Gideon sits down and looks at him with a knowing smile. Gideon's manner is almost playful – but like a cat with a mouse.
The man suggests Gideon try Fat Sam's milkshakes, but Gideon declines, saying he's cold and tired. The man observes that Gideon's also not from the area. Gideon asks the man where he is from, but he doesn't get an answer. The other diners turn their heads as the waitress serves the man a strawberry milkshake. The man asks Gideon what his name is, as names are a hobby of his.
"Jason, from Greek Mythology, to heal. Gideon, a hero from the Old Testament who led the Israelites against the Midianites. Your parents had great ambitions for you." He continues by explaining his own name. "I'm Frank, Germanic. Third century derived from the name of a type of spear. I wonder what aspirations my parents had for me?"
Morgan walks toward them and tells Frank to cut the crap. He asks him where "she" is. Gideon shows Frank his FBI badge and Frank comments, "The BAU. You didn't disappoint your parents." Gideon tells him they are looking for a man in his mid- to late fifties, who listens to Beethoven, wears a corduroy jacket with a fleece-lined collar. He is left-handed. He explains that the man will have a notebook in his inside right jacket pocket with extensive detailed accounts of the torture inflicted on all of his victims. Morgan pushes Frank back and removes a black notebook out of his right inside jacket pocket as Gideon speaks. Frank is not impressed and compares it to a magic trick. Morgan tells him it's not magic, that it's the profile of a sadistic serial killer. The waitress looks at them, with a shocked expression on her face.
Morgan flips through the notebook and comments that it is brand new and there only are two entries. He tosses the book on the table and tells Gideon this doesn't prove anything. Frank tells Gideon that when he is finished with his shake Gideon will get what he's there for. He continues by telling him that, after that he will get up and walk out of there. "And you and your lapdog are going to let me." And, as Frank takes a sip of his milkshake, Gideon tells him that that would be a magic trick.
Outside the diner, Golconda police cars swarm around the building with their lights flashing. The police take positions around the diner and aims their weapons towards it.
Gideon's voice is heard: "Aristotle said, 'Evil brings men together.'"
Deputy Siglock angrily shouts to the other policemen, encouraging them to rush the building if what Gideon's doing takes longer than 15 minutes. They are intent on getting "her" back. Everyone shouts in agreement.
Fat Sam's Diner – Present day
Frank is still drinking his strawberry shake and looking at the clock: 3:03 pm. Morgan notices and says Frank is waiting for something. Frank just kindly looks at him, "If I had your looks, you know how much easier my life would be?" Morgan bends forward, gestures at the police outside, and tells him he will not be able to negotiate his way out if this. Frank looks back at Gideon who asks him if he wants to know how they caught him. Frank says yes. Even though Morgan interrupts and tells Gideon they do not have time to discuss matters with Frank, Frank says they have the time it takes for him to finish his milkshake. Gideon begins at the beginning, when the BAU received a call from Golconda Sheriff Georgia Davis.
BAU Headquarters, Quantico, Virginia – One day earlier
JJ is showing the team the skeletal remains of a man found in 1996 in Desert Rose National Park, and has never been identified. She continues by saying the remains of two other victims were found in almost exactly the same area that morning – the torso of a man, and a woman's arm. Prentiss suggests one year later may be cause for concern, but 10 years later might be a coincidence. Reid agrees that it would be if it weren't for the missing right rib bone on both torsos. Both had been surgically removed, and the advanced rate of decomposition of the current male victim indicates he died quite some time before the female.
JJ says the female victim's name is Katherine Hale – they had identified her by the bracelet on the arm. She ran away two weeks ago in Colorado. Hotchner says the unsub is mobile and crosses state lines. Morgan wonders if the victims are related and where has he been for the past 10 years. Gideon enters the room carrying a box with files and tells Morgan he's been "killing." He dumps the files on the table and explains that these are files going back 30 years. "Every case, the victimology is the same – the unwanted. 13 cases spanning 30 years." And in each case the right rib bone is missing and the body parts have been dumped near Interstate 80 in remote areas. A few things have changed – the unsub has never dumped victims who had been killed so recently before, and never dumped two victims at the same time and place. Prentiss cannot believe that all these murders are the work of one man. Gideon utters that this is the most prolific serial killer ever.
Fat Sam's Diner – Present day
Frank is impressed. He starts to deny his involvement, but Gideon interrupts by saying they know exactly who he is.
The Desert – One day earlier
With vultures circling above, Morgan, Gideon, and Hotch walk up to the remains where local officers are waiting for them. Gideon walks past the officers and the sheriff and heads straight for the remains. Hotch introduces himself and Morgan to Deputy Siglock and Sheriff Georgia Davis, and explains that "The guy who sometimes forgets his manners is Jason Gideon." The sheriff says she stood in that same spot ten years ago with the same feeling – that someone in her town might be a ruthless killer. Then her cell phone rings to the tune of "Smoke on the Water" - her husband is calling - and she excuses herself to answer.
Deputy Siglock says they are lucky they found anything as there has been a recent spike in the coyote population. Morgan thinks maybe that is why the unsub dumps the bodies there. If this serial killer doesn't live in Golconda, he must at least pass through from time to time.
Golconda Police Station
Prentiss and Reid arrive at the Golconda police station to a cold welcome. A police officer is trying to push a very reluctant woman out of the police station. She is screaming and shouting and fighting him, yelling that she doesn't want to go home. The police officer tries to calm Jane down. For a moment, she pretends to go along with him, then she wrests herself loose and clings to Reid's jacket. She yells: "He's coming, he's coming back and there's nothing you can do about it. Nothing!" As the officer pulls her away she drops something on the floor. Prentiss picks it up and returns it to her - it's an odd looking whistle. Jane thanks her and, as she is led away, Reid comments, "A psycho with the whistle, that's not too weird."
Gideon is inspecting the arm, as Morgan and Hotch inspect the torso. Hotch notes the prison tattoos, and says the unsub has extensive medical knowledge. He confirms it when Gideon asks if the unsub cauterized the main arteries. The victims were alive when he cut off their limbs. Morgan takes pictures of the tattoos on his cell phone and quips, "Garcia's gonna love this."
Garcia's Office at the BAU
"Oh, this is so not the way to a girl's heart," is Garcia's response to the photos Morgan has sent her. JJ is putting a map on the wall, noting the locations where the victims had been found with push pins. Garcia is searching through a database of prison tattoos and is able to identify the man as Reno Rodriguez, who was last seen in Salt Lake City, Utah. Katherine Hale, the female victim, was picked up in Colorado. Looking at the map, JJ says the unsub appears to travel from east to west. If his destination is Golconda, where is he coming from?
The only thing the victims seem to have in common is the Interstate that the team can see in the distance.
Fat Sam's Diner - Present day - 3:08 p.m.
Morgan ushers all of the civilians out of the diner. As she's leaving, Morgan asks Lila May about Frank, and she says she's seen him over the years. He never eats and only orders a strawberry milkshake. Gideon tells Frank he thought he had seen the very worst humanity had to offer until he had met him. Frank asks Gideon if he thinks him insane. Gideon tells him not to play him, that Frank knows exactly what he is: a psychopathic sexual sadist who gets off on the brutal torture of others. Morgan adds, "And you knew the moment we arrived in this town, you had no way out." Gideon says that is why he took "her." Frank asks who is playing whom now, and adds Gideon doesn't care about "her." It's not the victims that drive him- it's the hunt. Gideon refuses to be engaged by Frank's remarks and focuses on the victims.
Garcia's Office at the BAU – One day earlier
A computer screen shows images of each of Frank's victims. Garcia is watching them and says if they are all related, he has killed hundreds of people all over America. JJ is marking off their locations on the map with pushpins and is trying to figure out why he keeps coming back to Golconda. Garcia tells JJ that, believe it or not, the news just got worse.
Golconda Police Station
Reid prints out an autopsy report and tells the team that there were high levels of ketamine found in the victims. Hotchner explains ketamine is a horse tranquilizer, and it leaves the victims completely immobile yet fully awake. In street lingo, is known as "being stuck in a K-hole." It's also used as a date-rape drug. Prentiss points out it is essential to this unsub that he see the terror in his victims' eyes. Hotchner adds he has either had medical training or he has honed his skills over the years.
Gideon elaborates on the profile; it is a man in his mid- to late fifties, highly intelligent, and methodically and obsessively clean. Prentiss remarks his vehicle is most likely an RV, of a muted color, is neither old nor new, and is in perfect working order. Morgan adds it will have a CB, radar detector, and a police band radio. Hotchner says the vehicle is his killing room: it will be soundproof and will either have a stirrup chair or an autopsy table. There will be medical instruments on the wall. Gideon says he records all his crimes; if not on video then in a journal that he keeps in his right-hand inside jacket pocket. Tool marks have shown that he is left-handed. He adds this man is void of all normal human feelings.
Fat Sam's Diner - Present day
Gideon calls Frank a killing machine, unable to feel remorse, compassion, and love. Frank scoffs, not too comfortable with the way this discussion is going, and looks away as Gideon tops off his strawberry milkshake. Morgan says Gideon obviously has him all worked up. Frank looks up at Morgan and says beauty can cover a multitude of sins, but underneath we all look exactly the same. Morgan then says he knows what gets him off: fear. And once again points out that judging by the crowd of policeman outside the diner Frank won't be leaving. Frank replies he doesn't want to leave, not until the story is done.
Golconda Police Station – One day earlier
Deputy Siglock says he has all roads blocked and the police are looking for an RV, truck or trailer. Gideon notices something is bothering Sheriff Davis, and she tells him that the profile he gave them reminds her of someone's story. She takes Gideon, Prentiss, and Reid to visit Jane, who is in a holding cell, still saying she doesn't want to go home. At first, she is reluctant to tell her story, saying they will make fun of her, but when Prentiss starts small talk about the whistle she opens up.
Jane tells them that 30 years ago when she was 19 her car broke down. There was a man and a very bright light and then she was in a spaceship. She could see herself, and there were strange maps on the walls and it was very cold. The alien did things to her, drew lines all over her body. He was smiling, and when she looked into his eyes she suddenly wasn't scared anymore. And then she was back in her own bed and it was the next morning. Prentiss asks if she had ever seen him again, and Jane replies that she sees him every time she shuts her eyes. As they leave Jane, Reid points out the strange maps on the walls could have been anatomical drawings, and the fact that she could see herself can be explained by a mirrored ceiling. "So his victims could see themselves being dismembered."
Gideon says that Jane's subconscious mind has created the delusion that an alien abducted her. Prentiss says it is possible that Jane was the only one who survived, because she wasn't scared anymore and thus couldn't give him what he wanted: Fear.
Fat Sam's Diner – Present day
Frank says he had read about a woman who was found in her apartment more than a year after she died. She had been surrounded by a million people and not one of them missed her. Gideon says it fills him with profound sadness, but it doesn't make Frank feel a thing. In fact, Gideon reminds him, Frank targets people who won't be missed – except for this time. Something has changed and last night Frank abducted a person of prominence, someone who matters to everyone. Gideon asks him why. Frank admits that the question is interesting, but, before he can say more a middle-aged man with a shotgun runs into the diner and threatens Frank. "That man has my wife."
Morgan aims his gun at the man, Sheriff Davis' husband, and tells him to drop the shotgun. As they argue and the volume of their voices gets higher, Frank puts a bowling bag on the table. They all fall silent. Frank looks up at Gideon, "But you know what's an even more interesting question? What's the psychopath got in the bag, Jason?" Davis tearfully tells them to open the bag, and Morgan commands that he put the gun down. Gideon says he will open the bag if Davis lowers his gun. Davis complies.
Gideon slowly unzips the bag and finds a head inside, but it is not the sheriff. He asks Frank who this is, Frank replies he believes the correct question should be "who was this." Morgan shoves Davis out of the diner, and Frank answers Gideon. "He's irrelevant except for being my ticket out of here." He tells Gideon to finish the story.
RV Park – One day earlier
The team and local police are canvassing RV parks, looking for the unsub's RV or mobile home, but no one has seen him. The sheriff says there are cops arriving by the hour to help find this guy and they have also put out a nationwide APB. Morgan comments, "If he is still in this town, and I believe he is, he has absolutely no way out."
Sheriff Davis asks Gideon and Hotchner how they can be sure he's still in Golconda – he could have left before the road blocks were set up. They agree that dumping the two bodies close together tells them that there is something special about the town.
Reid and Prentiss discuss the case as they walk together. Reid says to get away with murder you simply don't tell anyone, and Prentiss adds the only people the unsub told were his victims, and he took what he needed from them: cash and credit cards. Reid calls Garcia to find out if any of Katherine Hale's belongings had been used after her death.
The members of the team come to the same conclusion at the same time: the unsub purges his vehicle before he enters Golconda. JJ says that the unsub appears to be traveling from east to west, passing the same states at the same time every year. It's like he takes a vacation in Golconda. Looking around him, Reid suggests maybe the unsub is not using an RV, but a trailer. That way he can unhook it from his truck, hide it, and move around freely. Prentiss adds his truck will be like the RV, muted in color. It's about to get dark, and they need to inform Gideon.
Gideon tells the sheriff they need to get back into town to look for a place where someone can hide a large trailer, but she says she needs to relieve her men and they will continue to search tomorrow. Morgan and Hotchner agree with her, but an aggravated Gideon refuses to give up the search.
Garcia's Office at the BAU – The night before
JJ rushes into Garcia's office and startles Garcia, who was dozing in her desk chair holding a fuzzy toy. Garcia grumbles, "I like knocking." JJ says she has been going over the calls made to the tip line and found an anonymous caller claiming he saw an RV leaving Golconda fitting the description they had given to the media. As she listens to JJ, Garcia feels around her desk for her glasses, and JJ hands them to her. JJ says there's not a single RV that has passed the roadblocks and wonders why someone would call anonymously. Garcia traces the number and learns it belongs to Katherine Hale's cell phone and the call came from Golconda. Garcia comments that, with all this heat on him, whatever is keeping him in Golconda must be freaky special.
Sheriff Davis' House
Sheriff Davis has taken Jane home with her, telling her she is safe there, explaining that her husband and son are away. She listens to her answering machine, hangs up her gun belt on a hook, and walks to the refrigerator to get grape juice as Jane asks if her husband is good to her. As Sheriff Davis reappears from behind the refrigerator door, Jane is suddenly in front of her. Sheriff Davis drops the juice as Jane tells her "he" is here. Sheriff Davis looks behind Jane, exclaiming "who the hell are you" to the strange man standing in her kitchen. It is Frank, and he speaks directly to Jane, saying she knows who he is. Sheriff Davis tells him to back off and go away as the voice of her son, Tommy, can be heard on the answering machine and she tries to usher Jane to the back of the room. Jane realizes Frank has come for her, but she doesn't seem afraid. As Sheriff Davis takes a step forward, trying to draw her gun, Frank suddenly jumps forward and plunges a syringe into her shoulder. She falls to the ground, fumbling with her gun and yelling at Jane to run. Tommy's voice is still playing on the answering machine, "I love you mommy, good night."
Sheriff Davis stares up from an autopsy table as Frank pulls on latex gloves.
Fat Sam's Diner- Present day 3:12 p.m.
Frank again looks at the clock, and takes a sip of his strawberry milkshake. Gideon says he keeps checking the clock because whatever it is that he came for is coming to the diner. Morgan says they need to figure out what they missed. Frank agrees: "And soon. I'm almost finished."
Sheriff Davis' House - Earlier that day
Morgan and Hotchner lead the team as they walk in, guns drawn, but they find the house empty. Siglock walks in from the rear and leans down to investigate the spill on the floor. Morgan tells him not to touch anything because they need to profile the room. Siglock gets angry, shouting at Morgan that the unsub called from right outside the house five hours ago. "He took George!" Tracing her steps, they find her fallen gun, and Reid picks up a syringe from the floor. Siglock tells them the sheriff had taken Crazy Jane home with her. Morgan says Frank took control of George and then moved in for what he came there for: Jane. They notice the footprints on the floor and assume Jane has managed to escape. The unsub had taken the sheriff instead, and he will contact them sooner or later.
Garcia's Office at the BAU – Earlier that day
Garcia had been monitoring Katherine Hale's cell phone signal, and sees it has been turned back on. She wakes JJ and tells her, and she calls Hotchner. The cell phone is in the center of Golconda. The unsub wants them to find him, thinking that law enforcement has the one thing he wants – Jane.
Golconda – A few minutes before 3:00 p.m.
Gideon, Morgan, and the police rendezvous in the center of town where they find a dark blue pick-up truck, muted in color with CB radio, and a police band scanner. The cell phone is open on the front seat. They have to find Jane.
Meanwhile, Hotchner leads Reid, Prentiss and local police on a raid of Jane's house. There are a lot of wind chimes on the porch, and Prentiss points out they are all made from human rib bones.
Gideon looks around at the buildings in the center of town and focuses on Fat Sam's Diner. Siglock is trigger-happy and wants to storm in, but Morgan points out the unsub is smart and they have to be smarter. He holds him back. Siglock gives them 15 minutes. Gideon says that's all he needs. Morgan and Gideon walk towards the diner.
Fat Sam's Diner - Time has caught up with us
It's 2:59 p.m. and Lila May greets them flirtatiously as Gideon first sets his eyes on Frank.
Hotchner comes out on the porch where Reid and Prentiss are bagging the wind chimes, telling them that Jane's house is empty. Reid observes that the unsub obviously has been there and had left Jane the wind chimes as gifts. "How romantic," mutters Prentiss. Hotchner says this is the unsub's idea of love. Reid says that a sexual sadist cannot feel love, and when Hotchner asks him to define love, he begins a lecture about brain chemistry adding that the same chemicals are found in chocolate – and peas. Hotchner spots an overgrown barn, and they storm in with guns drawn. The barn is empty, but they find a trailer parked behind it and hidden by a tarp. Hotchner, Reid, and Prentiss go inside and are shocked by what they find: an autopsy table with traces of blood still on it, many anatomical drawings on the walls, and one wall covered with medical instruments. Hotchner whispers, "I thought I'd seen everything…"
Hotchner notices a coffin on the floor. He opens it and finds a dead woman inside. Prentiss finds another coffin, and they find Sheriff Davis inside – alive.
Fat Sam's Diner - Inside
Frank is finishing his milkshake. He is about to get up, and Morgan tells him if he takes another step he will shoot him. Gideon puts his hands on Frank's shoulders and leans towards him, face to face. He asks him what Jane said to him that night 30 years ago, pointing out that just looking into his eyes wouldn't have been enough. Frank replies that he is a sexual sadist, that he can't feel anything. Gideon says that there are no absolutes when it comes to the human mind. Morgan gets a call and tells Gideon that the sheriff is alive. Gideon says that Frank didn't care about the sheriff, and that to walk out of that diner Frank needed more. Frank tells Gideon that, when he had her on the table, Jane had told him how beautiful his eyes were. His hands had begun to sweat, he dropped the knife, twice, he got butterflies in his stomach. "Isn't that love?" But Gideon's 15 minutes are up and Deputy Siglock storms in with the rest of the Golconda police - guns drawn - and then all their beepers go off. 3:25 p.m. Frank smiles. "Magic time."
Fat Sam's Diner - Outside
Hotchner, Reid and Prentiss arrive with Sheriff Davis. She hugs her husband, crying that Frank had murdered their son's school teacher – she was the woman in the coffin at Frank's trailer. Davis tells her that they've found the bus from the school field trip abandoned. Their son is safe at his mother's house, but all of his friends had been on the bus and were missing. Frank murdered the school bus driver - the head in Frank's bag was his. She asks Hotchner, "How? We had the whole town shut down. There was no way out." "What was the one vehicle we weren't looking for?"
Fat Sam's Diner – Inside
Gideon tells Frank he knows about the kids. Frank tells them that since he profiled him, Gideon should know he has no interest in harming children. Morgan says they will find them, they have helicopters and dogs. Frank points out that the desert is a very large and hostile environment, especially with the rising coyote population. Morgan says they don't have Jane, and Frank contradicts him. And indeed a police car, sirens wailing, arrives with Jane in the back seat.
Fat Sam's Diner – Outside
Hotchner tells Jane that Frank has been coming back to the town to see her every year. "He says he's in love with you." Prentiss says he hides in her barn and watches her, and he leaves her wind chimes. Jane thinks they're beautiful, but Prentiss tells her what they are. She tells her that he is not an alien but a serial killer. Jane isn't disturbed by this, holding onto the fact that he came for her, almost flattered by it. She wants to see him, and as Frank is being led out of the diner by the cops she tries to run towards him. Siglock tells Jane that Frank has the town's children.
Frank once again reminds Gideon he is not after the children, he wants Jane and then they can have their children back. Deputy Siglock doesn't really see the problem in trading Jane for the children, but as Sheriff Davis points out Jane is as much a victim as they are. Frank says that with Jane in his life he will never harm another human being. Gideon tells Jane that no matter what she does to Frank, he will never give her what she wants. Gideon makes a deal with Frank: he and Jane will come with him if he takes them to where the children are. Frank happily agrees to that, but says that if anyone follows, this story will end in tears.
Gideon drives into the desert, watching Frank and Jane in the backseat from the rearview mirror. They talk and then kiss tentatively. Frank says that, although Jason says he can't feel, he can. Frank tells Gideon to stop the car, and they get out. Gideon tells Jane that what Frank is feeling right now will pass, and then he will kill her. Only then will he really feel. Jane says she doesn't believe that. Frank says that if Gideon had the type of love Frank has with Jane, he wouldn't be there – he'd be with the one he loved. Gideon asks him where the children are. Frank motions with his head, "That way, two miles." Gideon says that there's no deal, he doesn't want to leave Frank with the chance to escape. Frank says that in that case the children will die. "You're not the hero your parents thought you'd to be." Gideon tells him he will never stop hunting him, ever. Frank says he promises the same thing; he will never stop loving Jane. Gideon says he is insane. Jane points out that love is insanity. Frank adds that it is a good insanity, and that he hopes Gideon will one day feel like him. Gideon says that if he ever finds himself feeling like Frank, he will kill himself. With an eerie "Call me first, I'd love to pick your brains," Frank and Jane walk away. Gideon runs in the opposite direction towards the children. He arrives after dark, hearing coyotes howl in the distance, to find the children - they are cold, but they are okay.
Paramedics check the children and the police have arrived as well. Gideon tells the team Frank headed west, so he and Hotch begin to follow his tracks. The tracks suddenly disappear. Frank has managed to escape. Gideon says with determination, "We'll find him."
[Recap written by highwaykind and phf3947]