A girl runs screaming through the woods from her pursuer and charges off a cliff, landing on the roadway below. Just as her body slams against the pavement, Hotch lifts Jack off the soccer field.
Incredibly, the girl survives her fall and the BAU must investigate. As the team discusses her case, they determine the incident matches an earlier one in which a woman who was obviously tortured and raped in captivity died making her escape. One team member reveals that sadists like to work close to home.
The victim revives briefly before dying, only to whisper her last words, "He has mercy," to Reid. Meanwhile, the BAU finds several graves in the area where the two women were found. An abandoned car belongs to the mother of the recent victim. Her daughter was using it on a road trip with her friend, who is being held captive in a dark chamber of torture. The girl calls her captor "Dad."
Garcia digs up the names of sex offenders in the area, which leads the team to an art teacher at a local college. When they find a bloody shirt in his house, they put him under arrest. Under interrogation, the teacher insists he didn't do it.
The parents of the missing girl tell the police they're still receiving texts from their daughter, but they don't sound quite like her, which is one clue that suggests the teacher didn't abduct the girls. From further search of his home, the team finds a shallow grave, which suggests someone is framing the teacher. But they're convinced he knows who the unsub is, so they keep him in custody.
Back at the torture chamber, the unsub keeps calling his victim Rosie, although her name is Marcy. His role-play with her suggests he's pretending she's his long-lost daughter.
Garcia pitches in to help determine who else could being killing young women. She finds a connection between the girls and a man at their church. Robert Bremmer lost his wife and step-daughter when his mentally unstable wife drove into a lake and drowned them both because she wanted to keep the daughter away from the abusive Bremmer. When Garcia sees a picture of their daughter, Rosie, and how similar she "matches" the victims, Hotch and Morgan immediately head to his house. At the same time, Bremmer is carrying out his plan to be with "Rosie" forever, and he tells the girl they're leaving. They drive away, and Hotch and Morgan chase after them, knowing he is heading for the lake. When Bremmer pitches his car into the water, Hotch and Morgan dive in after them and save the girl. Bremmer sinks with the car.
Hotch goes back to coaching his son in soccer.