The platforms are crowded on the Red Line of the DC Metro. Emily Prentiss rides down the escalator with other rush-hour travelers, the exhaustion of the past few weeks catching up with her.
In another part of the city, Ron Cosenza pulls into his driveway, radio blaring out the latest weather update concerning the winter storm that is descending on the Eastern seaboard. He wanders into the living room where the local television news warns of power outages and travel restrictions. He's surprised to see a spilled can of Diet Coke on the coffee table and begins mumbling in Italian, heading up the stairs to find out what's taking so long and why his son isn't responding.
Prentiss is wary, glancing around her, aware of every movement, every other person waiting for the train.
Kerry Fagan is primping in front of her bedroom mirror. She calls to her husband, playfully reproaching him that it is his fine cooking that is expanding her waistline. Frank urges her to hurry up, as they are late. A sudden noise alarms her and she calls her husband's name. There is no answer. The power fails.
Prentiss, thankfully, finds a seat in the half-empty metro car. She tries to stay vigilant, watching suspiciously as a man moves slowly down the car towards her, but he passes by.
Ron Cosenza eases down the dark hallway towards the bedroom, a gun in his hand. He nudges the door open and comes face to face with his young son held at gunpoint by a masked assailant.
Frank Fagan kneels, his tie stuffed into his mouth, opposite his tearful wife. She is on her knees, her masked assailant holding her tightly. She mouths, "I love you," before a towel is placed over her face and she is smothered.
Ron pleads for his son's life, but the blank holes in the white mask stare back silently. "Please, my son, let my son go. He's innocent!" A muffled shot rings out, and then another.
The tension has caught up with Prentiss and her eyes slide closed, head bobbing with the Metro car's shifts and sways. Before she realizes it, her former Interpol teammate, Clyde Easter, has taken a seat next to her, another teammate, Tsia Mosely across the aisle. She jerks awake. Easter addresses her in French, saying that it is a good thing he doesn't work for their enemy, Ian Doyle, or she would be dead. Prentiss tells the two that she's seen Doyle; that she sat across a cafe table from him the night before. Doyle threatened to kill Prentiss' BAU teammates if she warned anyone. Easter and Mosely demand to know why she didn't kill Doyle when she had the chance. She tells them he is not working alone - he plans everything down to the last detail. Mosely urges Prentiss to tell her team. She responds, "No way, this is not their fight. And I won't take that risk."
Mosely agrees, saying that if she, Easter, and Prentiss stick together, they can win. Prentiss tells them that DC is not Doyle's comfort zone, it is hers. "This ends here," she insists before she hurries off the train.
White masked men leave the homes and enter a plain blue van. As the van pulls away, the houses explode into flames.
At the BAU the next morning, Hotch, Morgan, Rossi, Reid, Cadet Seaver, and Garcia sit around the conference table, discussing the strange events of the night before. Metro police found three bodies in two torched homes and yet none of the information has hit the news. "All anyone's talking about is this storm," Garcia states. She did find one on-line article about the fires written by Jed Hastings, but no one is running with it.
Hotch explains that the Cosenza family, mother, father, and son, were found shot to death in the master bedroom of their home, killed with the father's gun. Seaver wonders if it is a murder suicide - Morgan shrugs, advising that it is the current theory but it is early days yet. Reid tells the group that the Fagans were found dead in the bedroom from a supposed gas leak. Rossi, looking at the damage to the home, is still confused as to why such a huge gas leak that caused a house to explode hasn't been on the front page. Garcia has found the only, tenuous, connection between the families is that Ron Cosenza was born in Italy, and Kerry Fagan, Germany. One tiny European connection.
Prentiss hurries in, apologizing, and asks why the BAU would be investigating a murder/suicide and a freak accident. Rossi remarks that the details of the case, "tip the scale of coincidence." Reid notes that this unsub is highly motivated and organized. And, since the storm will hit in 72 hours, shutting the city down, they have little time to investigate.
Before Prentiss can leave the room, Garcia approaches her. "What's his name," she asks with a smile. Prentiss is brusque, shutting down Garcia's playful insistence that she give up details of this suspected love affair. Garcia frowns as she watches the agent walk quickly away.
The back doors of a plain blue van are open, and one man stuffs a duffle bag with automatic weapons and a stack of plain white masks.
"Lao Tzu said, 'When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.'"
At the Cosenza home, Prentiss and Rossi stand within the burned out bedroom, both surprised by the news that the Metro PD - which originally invited them into the investigation - will not be coming. They find that the home was equipped with hard-wired smoke alarms, a sprinkler system, and a thick, steel door with heavy locks. It's far too much security for this neighborhood - almost like it was a panic room. Cosenza must have been afraid of something - perhaps himself.
Seaver stares at the evidence board. Garcia arrives, dragging a laptop and heavy bag in her gloved hands, and sits next to Reid at the round table, advising the agent that neither family showed any evidence of psychological problems - nor of financial problems. She explains her gloves, telling the two that the heat is out in her office and that she is truly amazed that the allegedly approaching storm is the only news. Reid has found that, based on the time the fires were set, neither family was located in their habitual place in the home. Ron Cosenza would not usually be home yet, and the Fagans were expected at a dinner party last night. These details seem to point to the fact that these were not random victims.
Morgan and Hotch are at the morgue, where the coroner has an interesting story to tell. The Cosenza family had absolutely no smoke in their lungs. Even if Ron had killed his family, set the fire, and then killed himself, a trace of smoke would be found. He was dead when the fire started.
As Rossi and Prentiss ride the elevator up to the BAU, they discuss the fact that, although both families' backgrounds are very, very clean, the nature of the crimes suggest anything but. Prentiss' phone chimes and she sighs, prompting Rossi to ask her about a possible vacation - a trip to Italy she'd been talking about. Prentiss rolls her eyes, explaining that her mother is in Italy right now so it wouldn't be much of a vacation. "It's a big country," Rossi quips. "Not big enough," she responds drolly.
Arriving at her desk, Prentiss tosses her heavy bag down, startling Reid whose desk is beside hers. "I'm sorry," she says quizzically, surprised at his out of character reaction. He rambles on about the victims' phone numbers and looking for a connection, but she insists that he explain. "I've been having these really intense headaches," Reid finally admits, going on to say that none of the doctors have been able to figure out the problem. Prentiss is taken aback by his admission. She hesitates, seems on the verge of saying something. She promises him that she won't tell. Reid is grateful, expecting her confidence and loyalty, and worried that the others would "treat him like a baby" if they found out. When Reid asks about the stress she seems to be under - he's noticed she's been picking her fingernails again - she brushes it off. Reid finds something in the phone numbers and stands, turning to her. "You coming?" She smiles and makes an excuse and watches him hurry off. Prentiss sits at her desk, slides her top drawer open and seems to search for something inside before she joins the team in the conference room.
Garcia tells Hotch that the original on-line article she'd read has been pulled and she'd like his permission to track down the journalist and find out why. The only connection he'd found between the families was that they both coached soccer on Capitol Hill. Reid rushes in to say that he's found one common telephone number between the families. Garcia searches it and finds that it belongs to a man named Byron Delaney - a British man. Morgan hurries out, grabbing Prentiss in the hallway.
Byron Delaney walks towards his front door just as it bursts in, three masked gunmen attacking him. They wrestle him to the living room and shut off the lights.
On their way to Delaney's home, Morgan observes that the unsubs are contradicting themselves - going to great lengths to hide the crimes while exposing bodies. Prentiss suggests that they wanted the BAU on the case. Morgan doesn't agree. "You're right," she quickly changes her mind.
One assailant pulls off Delaney's shoe and sock and injects something between his toes. Just as they're putting his shoe back on, one masked man looks out the window and sees the BAU SUV pull up outside. "Is it her?" one assailant asks. "Yeah," the other responds.
Morgan and Prentiss park across the street, wondering that the lights are off. As they leave their vehicle, the three gunmen step out the door and launch round after round at the SUV, pinning Prentiss and Morgan behind it. The two BAU agents can't even get a shot off - the automatic weapons' fire is a constant, deafening barrage. The gunmen move down the street towards their van, still shooting, but Prentiss and Morgan duck behind other vehicles and follow, managing to get off a few rounds. Finally, just before the last gunman turns the corner, Prentiss hits him in the left knee and he falls to the ground. He yells at his companions to wait, but they shoot him three times - once in the right wrist and twice in the head - before they drive away. Inside the van, Ian Doyle removes his mask.
Police cars all around, Morgan stares down at the dead body and remarks, "Well this is one story that's not going to get buried." The assailant was a young man, and Morgan finds that the shot to the wrist was to try to obliterate a tattoo there. Inside Delaney's home, Hotch and Rossi examine the body, finding his shoe is untied. They find the injection site between his toes. Rossi notes all of the security features of the home - just like the other victims'. There is an open briefcase on the floor filled with money and passports. His phone logs find he's called the Fagans and the Cosenzas. Delaney was warned. Whatever the victims had in common, whatever they were a part of, it did not happen on US soil.
As the four agents come together, they theorize that the gunmen are a European hit squad. Prentiss wonders why they didn't kill her and Morgan when they had the chance. Perhaps they didn't want to start a war by gunning down FBI agents. Whoever is next on the hit list must have warned Byron Delaney.
Garcia waits in a DC coffee shop until journalist Jed Hastings sits and takes out a book to read. She approaches him, telling him that she's just finished the book and the ending is "so sad." She introduces herself to the annoyed man and asks him why he pulled his story from the internet. "You should know," he snarls, rising. He refuses to say anything else; telling her there is no story. She insists, saying that, someday, the powers that be will back off and she'll be his source for the facts. "It could lead to a book." Hastings wavers, telling her the threat was to the shareholders, to their finances. Garcia takes this to mean that she should follow the money.
Reid is working quietly at his desk, the image of the gunman's shattered wrist and the torn up tattoo on his screen. His desk is littered with drawings, sketches, attempts to put the skin art jigsaw puzzle back together. The team gathers around him, looking over his shoulder, waiting. Hotch tells Seaver to release the gunman's photo to the press and she gets on the phone. Garcia marches in, revealing her findings since she 'followed the money.' Hastings' gazette is owned by a global conglomerate with ties to many industries which all employ a company called CWS - Clearwater Securities. Hotch knows they are a private counter-intelligence group out of Geneva. All three dead Europeans worked for CWS seven years ago. "Seaver, hang up," Hotch orders. Reid displays his drawing of the tattoo - it is a four leafed shamrock with oddly curly leaves and a small "v" at the end of the stem. Prentiss takes one look at it and pales, rushing off to the ladies' room. Garcia follows.
Prentiss calls Tsia Mosely, but before she can speak, Garcia calls out to her and she hangs up. Garcia is concerned, but Prentiss snaps at her. "Don't start," she orders. Garcia is hurt and Prentiss relents, apologizing, saying she'll be all right. Garcia asks if she's pregnant. Prentiss laughs and then begins to tell a story of a recurring nightmare she's been having about a dark haired little girl who plays on top of a hill, dancing in the sun, waiting for Prentiss. She starts to climb the hill, but by the time she arrives, the little girl is gone. When she can't find her she panics because she knows what the world can do to a girl "who only sees beauty - like you. Somehow you always make me smile," she tells Garcia, "and I don't think I've ever thanked you for that." Seaver arrives to tell Prentiss that Hotch needs her in the SKIF. Garcia is in tears as Prentiss walks away.
Hotch, Rossi, Morgan, and Prentiss walk into the SCIF - Quantico's Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility - where four members of CWS await them. The CWS spokesman, Lex Dreyer, demands to know what the BAU wants with them. When confronted by their evidence, Dreyer tells the agents that "this" is their business, as ugly as that sounds. He tells them that the US Government was in charge of the operations run by CWS. The cases these people were involved in are protected by a multi-national official secrets agreement. Hotch asks him for information to be shared only inside that room - as a courtesy - but promises that, if CWS withholds information, the company will be held fully accountable. Dreyer wants to know what the BAU has figured out. Hotch relates that this European hit team is taking people out, and that, for one of them, it's very personal. They chose to kill the Cosenza child when they didn't have to. They explain the tattoo and hand over Reid's drawing. Morgan has found a connection between the tattoo and the hidden sector, Fallen Warriors, and the ship, the Valhalla, which traveled between Dublin and America. Dreyer admits that they ran an operation to take down the leader of a breakaway IRA organization who "assumed that moniker." His name is Ian Doyle. Prentiss is strained, vibrating with tension throughout the meeting.
In a large church, a boys' choir sings. Ian Doyle approaches the votive candles, kneels, places an offering in the box, and lights a candle. "Happy birthday, my love," he whispers.
In the BAU conference room, Garcia tells the team that Ian Doyle's name and face have been plastered all over - he can't leave the District. Morgan explains to Cadet Seaver that they'll now examine everyone he's ever come in contact with. Prentiss believes they should start with how escaped from prison in Russia. Seaver tells her there were no extradition papers on Doyle. Hotch asks Prentiss if she'd heard the name while she was at Interpol. She stammers that she'd heard of him but she'd have to ask around about direct contract. Rossi feels the victims might have had "protection" files stashed close by. Morgan agrees to go back to Delaney's house with Prentiss to look for one.
In the car, Prentiss seems upset that no one's gotten back to her yet. Then she berates Morgan for driving too slow. Her phone rings and it is Tsia Mosely. She carefully asks for information on Doyle without tipping Morgan off. Tsia agrees to "send her a document." Morgan sighs. "You know Emily, you really need to trust people," he says. He doesn't let her argue, just goes on to say that "You can trust me, Emily, with anything. No matter how awful you think it is. I promise you, you are not alone. I just wish you'd believe that." "I do," she insists.
Rossi and Hotch stand at the evidence board and Rossi grumbles that Erin Strauss will be getting her hands into this mess as soon as she hears about it. Hotch is grateful that she's on vacation. Rossi claims she'll never take one again.
In Delaney's home, Prentiss tells Morgan that any file Delaney was keeping would be where he had immediate access to it. She sits in his leather chair and notes a few scratches on the wooden paneling. Pressing a switch, a panel swings away and there is Delaney's file. It's filled with pictures of black ops teams which include Lex Dreyer, Cosenza, and Fagan.
At the BAU, Garcia enhances the images, focusing on a road sign written in Korean. Prentiss identifies the names as towns in North Korea. Prentiss recognizes one name - Haengyong-ni - as the location of a notorious political prison. If the European team took Doyle there after his capture it is no wonder that he is after them. All they've found about Doyle is that he was never married, had multiple residences, and was arrested at his Tuscan villa. There is a list of those who were at his villa that day, and Reid is looking for photos. Prentiss says that those people should also be warned as they'll be Doyle's next targets. Seaver then tells the team that "there's a whole other life he led, one that's not in any file." Hotch asks about info from Prentiss' Interpol sources and she leaves to pursue that.
At her desk, Prentiss calls Mosely and Easter, demanding to know why she wasn't told that Doyle was sent to the North Korean hell-hole of a prison. She doesn't trust Easter now, demands to know what else he isn't telling her, and doesn't believe his reassurances. She tells Tsia to get Easter off the phone. Mosely picks up the phone and Prentiss tells her to run, to leave Easter and go to 9th Street, and reminds her how the door works. "He's still there," Prentiss tells her, "you'll be in and out in five minutes." "Got it," Mosely responds. They hang up and Mosely leaves Easter. Prentiss pulls a fax off the machine. She meets up with Reid in the hallway and asks him if he's found the footage of the villa he was looking for. He tells her that he's looking into surveillance footage from the sedans, as they usually record everything. She is extremely worried.
In the conference room, Prentiss hands the fax to Hotch telling him it is a list of bank accounts - perhaps they can match any faces they find to the names listed there. Up on the video screen is a satellite picture of a number of wooden buildings surrounded by snow, listed as "Surveillance File 617-02." "What else have you found?" she murmurs anxiously.
Tsia Mosely is buzzed into an apartment building, climbs the stairs and knocks three times. "Okay, now I look into the hole," she whispers as if reminding herself what to do. A moment later two shots ring out and blood drips down her face. "My mother made it for Christmas," she sighs just before she falls, dead. The door opens and Ian Doyle steps out, leaving another dead body inside the apartment.
The BAU bullpen is filled with federal agents. Seaver and Garcia gush about being involved in a multi-agency task force on their "home turf." Hotch is meeting with Rossi and Prentiss in his office, discussing the roadblocks set up around the District. Morgan comes in, explaining that the Metro PD has been held up by a double homicide at K and 9th Streets. One victim was a forger, the other a woman with no ID. Prentiss insists on going to the scene with Morgan.
Doyle and his right hand man, Liam, pack the trunk of their car with assault weapons and white masks. Liam wants to know why Doyle wants to leave when "she's the one." "She'll follow me," Doyle responds.
At the 9th street apartment, Prentiss stands over Tsia Mosely's dead body, barely holding it together as Morgan describes the crime. She hurries outside and leans against an iron gate, vomiting. She asks Morgan if they can stop by her place on the way back to the office so she can change her clothes. Doyle and Liam are waiting outside her apartment building, but Doyle won't kill her, no matter what Liam says. "She hasn't confessed yet," he says. Liam's worried about the roadblocks.
Prentiss hurries into her bedroom and changes into jeans, boots, and a short leather jacket. She takes a blue velvet bag from her safe. In it is a small gold ring forged into the shape of two hands clasped. She takes it to the bathroom and flushes it down the toilet. She leaves the safe open when she leaves.
The profile briefing is in full swing in the BAU bullpen. Hotch is speaking, telling the large group of agents that they know Ian Doyle's name, but not much else about him. Morgan and Prentiss remain in the back, listening, watching. Hotch says that everyone on Doyle's list of targets has been warned, and that they'll find him by doing what they always do: studying his behavior. They'll track his every move since he escaped from prison.
As she stands at the back of the crowd, Prentiss isn't listening any more. She is silent, sorrowful, her eyes blurring, reddening, as she focuses on each member of her BAU family. Rossi and Hotchner are professional, solid, upright men, intent on their job. Morgan looks back at her with his eyebrows raised, asking if she's okay before facing front again. Prentiss' eyes fill. She looks to Reid, who sits atop his desk, leaning forward, hair a mess. Garcia is beside him dressed in purple, a flower in her hair. Prentiss backs slowly away, turns, and leaves.
"Journalist Dorothea Dix wrote, 'Confession is always weakness. The grave soul keeps its own secrets, and takes its own punishment in silence.'"
[Recap written by Finnegan77]