Montages of various scenes that appear to showcase events in the country's history flash by and are accompanied by Leonard Cohen's "I'm Your Man." A man driving a motor home along the streets of Los Angeles lights a cigarette as he listens to a newscaster on the radio announcing scheduled, rolling blackouts throughout the city.
The power inside the Everson's residence goes out. Inside the house, a woman lights candles and talks to her husband about the heat. They hear a loud noise from downstairs. The woman says, "Maybe a garbage can blew over." When they investigate the noise in the kitchen, they decide it's just trees brushing against the house. Colleen and Greg return to the bedroom and notice the window that had been closed earlier is now open. Someone is inside the house.
At the BAU in Quantico, JJ briefs the team about the crime. Greg Everson had been murdered and his wife had been raped repeatedly, but she was still alive. The case is similar to two other cases in downtown Los Angeles. The team arrives at police headquarters in Los Angeles and meets Detectives Adam Kurzbard and Matt Spicer, who believe the victims appear to have been chosen at random.
Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote, "And out of the darkness came the hands that reach thro' nature, moulding men."
Rossi and Reid visit Colleen Everson at the hospital. She is not doing well and has attempted to commit suicide twice. "It wasn't about you," Reid whispers to her. "This man only thinks about power and control." Obviously distraught and sobbing, the woman is unable to provide any solid clues about the attacker.
A young woman returns to her home to find that the power is out and her garage door opener doesn't work. She parks the car and walks to the front door. She opens the door and leaves it slightly open as the returns to the car, gets her son and carries him inside while noticing the door is now wide open. She disregards the door, carries her son, Carter, inside, and puts the boy to bed. As she turns around, she discovers the killer waiting for her.
The team arrives on the scene the following day. Det. Kurzbard explains the child had been left alive, but the mother was raped and murdered. "Hunting in the dark is definitely part of his signature," Hotchner comments. A bloody message written on the wall reads: "Hello ther." "Uneducated," Rossi speculates. Meanwhile, Morgan and Det. Spicer talk to Carter, who had seen his mother die. He is unable to provide any valuable information.
Back at LAPD headquarters, the team has compiled a profile. The unsub has major intimacy issues and might be compensating for some kind of physical deformity, no matter how small. "He feeds on making them powerless," Prentiss notes. JJ clarifies that the press has named him "The Prince of Darkness," which will only serve to feed the man's ego. "Once we unravel his need for darkness, we'll find him," Hotchner asserts. Morgan and Det. Spicer contemplate questioning the boy further. Det. Spicer tells the team that his own parents had died when he was young and he could emphawith the boy. Morgan relates that he had lost his father as well and didn't think the boy should be questioned. He tells Spicer that the bad things in our lives "shape us." "That's why you have that badge," Det. Spicer appears to understand.
Garcia calls to tell the team she has found similar cases in every one of the 48 contiguous states that stretch back nearly three decades. "He's the worst I've ever seen," she says, and tells them that Los Angeles is the only city the killer has visited twice. The last spree occurred in 1984 in Southern California. "Why did he come back?" Hotch postulates.
The BAU is called to another crime scene. "Son-of-a-bitch left a baby in there," Spicer tells his partner. "A baby!" Back at the LAPD, the team finds it strange that all the murders have taken place in the detectives' division. A quick search of the records reveals Det. Spicer's parents were among the killer's first victims. The detective is shocked. He had been told by his grandparents that his parents had died in a car accident while returning home because he was ill. "You were the first child he left alive." Hotch tells him. Morgan interjects, "This guy knows who you are."
Det. Spicer agrees to have his memory jogged by Morgan aided by using his sense of smell. As he begins to remember, scenes of a man entering a young Matt Spicer's bedroom and standing at the foot of his bed whispering, "Hello there." Young Matt watches from his closet and sees his parents be murdered. "I can't see him," the detective cries. "I'm sorry!" Hotch theorizes the unsub believes he had turned the boy into a city hero and he might try to target Spicer's teenaged daughter.
In Det. Spicer's darkened home, a man enters the darkened house quietly and stands by watching Matt's sister and daughter, Ellie, sleep peacefully.
Det. Spicer and the BAU enter the house with their weapons drawn. The bed is empty, but a newspaper article on Spicer has been left on the sheets. "He took them somewhere," Morgan says. "He probably took them to Santa Monica to your old house." As they try to get to Santa Monica, they encounter heavy traffic due to the blackouts and they have no cell phone service. Rossi and Matt Spicer are on the own when they finally arrive at Spicer's childhood home. They enter the house to find the current occupants murdered and Spicer's sister and daughter tied to the bed. The unsub strikes Morgan and knocks him to the ground. Spicer enters the bedroom to see the unsub holding a gun to Ellie. "I love you," Spicer says to his daughter, just as the killer shoots him as Morgan lies on the floor unable to help him.
Matt's sister screams as the unsub drags Spicer's daughter from the room. "I don't usually take much to kids," the he retorts. "This one's just special." Morgan shouts at the unsub as he leaves the room. "We will find you, you sick son-of-a-bitch!"
To be continued...