A man enters a van with a bag of ice, which he then opens and dumps into a cooler. Afterward, he removes a metal cup-like instrument from an unusual looking tool belt then rinses it before placing it back into a tool belt with other unusual tools. He drives to an area where he can watch people leave a building. He observes two girls leave the building and enter a parking deck. He follows them inside where he attacks them.
The next day, Morgan is having coffee with Tamara Barnes and telling her about his taking over as Unit Chief. She thanks him for coming to the hearing and helping her. He confesses that she's helped him as well. She offers to buy him a drink once things calm down with his new position, and then gives him a gift - a silver cross that had belonged to her brother, William.
At the BAU headquarters, Hotch peers out of his office at the team. JJ, Garcia, Reid and Prentiss are pondering why Hotch is stepping down. Morgan and Strauss are seated at a separate table, and Morgan tells her which case he has chosen. Hotch approaches the two, and tells Morgan and Strauss if they need privacy they can use his office. He also tells Morgan he'll clear it out after they return.
Morgan tells them he doesn't want Hotch's office. And, as Unit Chief, it's his decision and he won't take it. He calls the team to the meeting to discuss their new case in Oklahoma City. Victims have been found with their eyes removed - the unsub is an enucleator. They discuss what is typical for this type of killer, but wondering why he is taking the eyes with him.
The unsub is seen placing jars with eyeballs in a refrigerator in front of the mustard and pickle relish.
Morgan: "And if they right eye offend thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee." Matthew 5:29
The team discusses the unsub on the BAU jet and detailing why enucleators do what they do. Morgan hands out assignments, and JJ lets him know the victim's sister has asked to speak with the team leader. Morgan displays discomfort with his new position, and then reorganizes the team assignments.
In Oklahoma City, Hotch and Reid meet with local law enforcement and share information. The local police detective, Phil Brantley, wonders what the unsub is doing with the eyes. Reid suggests there have been cases where mental patients have actually consumed them.
Back at the unsub's home, he is smashing, then eating, boiled eggs.
Morgan speaks with Lani Sukarto, the Buddhist relative of one of the victims, Bina Sukarto. She explains to Morgan her dead sister is cursed and stuck for an eternity because her ghost is looking for her eyes. She asks that he return her sister's eyes so that they can cremate her - all of her.
The team returns to the police station to discuss the case before being called to the medical examiner, who makes them aware that something in the killer's methods have changed. He has gotten better at removing the eyes with precision.
Tracy Cooper is on a jogging trail in a park and it's dark. She pauses for a rest and to take a drink of water, and hears something. She starts running again and stumbles on a tripwire. As she lies on the ground, the unsub attacks her and drags her into the trees.
JJ, Reid, and Garcia are seeking potential suspects when Garcia asks how Morgan is doing as head honcho. They tell her that he's "on top of it." JJ tells Garcia there is something she can do for him.
Hotch, Morgan, and Prentiss are at the crime scene examining the physical evidence. When Hotch discovers the tripwire, he tells them something about the unsub - he's exhibiting the behavior of a game hunter.
At the police station, JJ, Reid, and Rossi have new information. Morgan returns, and JJ tells him the national press has caught wind of the story and are calling the unsub the "Eye Snatcher." He directs her to hold a press conference to squash the name - he doesn't want to turn this guy into the boogeyman.
She tells him Morgan isn't answering Strauss's calls. Morgan says she can wait. Hotch says he should take the call - they have enough battles – and he doesn't want Morgan to have to fight her too. Morgan tells Hotch once he gets the profile out, he'll call her.
Rossi tells Hotch that Morgan is a natural leader, which makes Hotch think about what is going to happen when Morgan has to step down.
The team gives the profile to the local police, and JJ gives her press conference.
Morgan takes the next call from Strauss. She asks tough questions, but in the end gives him a little encouragement, then promises to touch base the next day.
A couple, Sandy and Wes, are sitting on a bench in the park at night. They see a man across a clearing. They call to the man and the lights in the park start going off. It's very dark and they decide to leave by another way. They hear the unsub behind them. Wes unlocks the car with the remote and tells the girl to run toward it. She falls and hears something and begins to call for Wes. She sits on the ground in the dark, frozen in fear as the unsub approaches wearing night-vision goggles.
Rossi returns the next morning to find that Morgan never left. He admonishes him and tells him that he can't do that again. Hotch comes in, notices the blankets and pillows that Morgan never left, but doesn't comment. He tells him there's another victim, but there is something different about the crime scene.
Wes's eyes weren't taken; however, one of them was damaged. Morgan has an idea and suggests the guy may be preserving them like a taxidermist. They discover the first victim, John O'Heron, wrote a check to a taxidermist who had died recently. The dead taxidermist has a 28-year-old son, Earl, who has a petty crime record and three counts of animal cruelty.
Earl is in a taxidermy shop working with eye sockets. A call from the bank is picked up by the answering machine that advises him he has to collect his belongings and vacate by Sunday. He smashes the phone with a hammer, then flashes back to a customer telling him the eyes are all wrong and asking where his father is. Earl tells him his father isn't there, and the customer replies, "You can't do eyes! I'm taking it somewhere else!" Earl strikes him with a heavy glass ashtray and kills him, then focuses on the blood on the floor where the customer had previously stood.
Hotch, Emily, and Morgan are on the way to the taxidermy shop while Garcia is relaying them the latest information on Earl. Lost his dad, the house, and the shop, all very recently. Prentiss says, "Care to choose a stressor?"
At the shop, Morgan sees the bloody floor through the window. They enter and hypothethe blood must belong to John O'Heron. They notice a lot of the animals he is working on do not have eyes. When they find one that does have eyes, they realize what he's doing with the eyes he takes from his victims.
Earl delivers some taxidermy work to a woman customer. He tells her that he needs something from her.
The team and Lt. Brantley are looking at Earl's customer list and recognize one of the addresses. Hotch and Brantley go to the house, and learn it is the woman who Earl had just visited an hour earlier. It turns out that what he needed from her was for her to pay him the balance she owes. A call over the police radio alerts Hotch and Brantley that Earl's van is nearby, and they head out.
It's dark. A woman gets off a bus and begins walking along the street near a construction site when she is snatched and thrown to the ground by a stranger. She wrestles with Earl and sprays mace in his face.
Hotch hears the struggle and looks for the unsub, and approaches just as Earl is preparing to take her eyes. Earl tries to run away, but Hotch catches him and pulls him to the ground, then cuffs him. Hotch helps the victim, who is still lying on the ground a few feet away.
Morgan and Prentiss arrive on the scene. Morgan berates Hotch for taking the unsub down solo. Hotch tells him Brantley is right behind him. Morgan insists he should have waited for back up. Hotch asks, "Would you have?" Morgan has no response and walks away. Prentiss tries to cover a smile as Hotch passes her. He looks back with a smirk and retorts, "What?"
JJ checks in with Garcia back at the police station and asks if she's completed her special ops mission. Morgan returns with Earl and says that they'll try to leave in about an hour. Earl looks at JJ curiously and he tells her she has pretty eyes. She is startled at his directness. Morgan has him removed from the room and asks JJ if they have found any more eyes. He is looking specifically for Bena Sukarto's eyes. He tells her that he may need more than an hour. He returns to Bena's sister and tells her where her sister's eyes are.
Morgan: "Dwell in peace in the home of your own being, and the messenger of death will not be able to touch you." Guru Nanak
Back at BAU headquarters, Garcia approaches Morgan who is staying late to prepare reports. As he's packing up, she asks him to help her get something out storage. She takes him to a new office they've set up for him. She tells him it's the office of an agent who is retiring, and she and JJ had worked together to set it up. Morgan thanks her. After she leaves, he picks up the phone and calls Tamara Barnes.