Outside in a playground at Miami Detention Facility, inmates surround a prisoner and stab him to death. Lt. Horatio Caine arrives on the scene to investigate. The murder weapon is the handle of a toothbrush, which was fashioned into a stabbing implement. When Horatio interrogates one of the prisoners, whose name is Rico Ramirez, he finds the back of his tattoo and reads "Montoya." He notices that he made a bracelet switch and a chopper flying into the prison yard. Horatio immediately alerts the prison guards that an escape attempt is in progress. Escapees get ahold of a machine gun from the helicopter, firing back at the guards, killing Guard Gordon. Horatio attempts to gun down the chopper, but it flies away. He calls for backup to help track the helicopter.
Horatio and Tim Speedle begin processing 1200 general population inmates and 300 keep aways to figure out the bracelet switches. A prison guard notices inmate Joe Aviar, a rapist of senior-citizen women, who's wearing a bracelet belonging to "Hank Kerner." Hank Kerner went away for carjacking and double murder of a tourist couple in Biscayne. He was going away for life. Horatio receives a phone call notifying him the escaped chopper was downed on the corner of Northwest and Flagler.
Horatio arrives at the chopper and briefs with Detective John Hagen. Pedestrians noticed the chopper was losing altitude. Medical Examiner Alexx Woods examines two dead bodies, which were found with single shots to their temples. The prisoner was Randall Kaye, a Miami stockbroker who was a suspect in a hit-and-run case one Thanksgiving. He dragged a pedestrian two miles down, hired a powerful Miami attorney, and got three years. The pilot was Bryce Kaye, who was Randall's brother before his death. Calleigh thinks that since the remaining two prisoners were on the ground for 40 minutes with average foot speed of three miles, the prisoners are still within over a three-mile radius of the chopper landing. John puts out a BOLO (Be On the LookOut) for stolen cars within three miles. The suspect to look out for is Hank Kerner. Horatio tells everyone to broadcast Hank Kerner's picture over the news.
Eric arrives at Miami Detention Facility and joins Speed in processing the murder. They begin processing Joe Aviar's cell. Eric finds thread wrapped around a wooden ring and Speed photographs Randall Kaye's family pictures. Horatio told Speed that the Kaye brothers were used to break out Rico and Hank. Eric found a spark plug in the cell as well. Concrete dust was found on the plug, indicating the user dug through the cell's walls, specifically behind their toilet, which leads to a possible escape route during lockdown.
Speed guides Eric through the pipe system behind the toilet. The passage leads to a maintenance tunnel, which also leads to an exit from the facility. Eric finds the open door the escapees used to make it to the ladder they climbed up.
John Hagen alerts Horatio about victim Jill Gormley, wife and mother of two children, who was recently carjacked and shot and killed with a gunshot to her temple, same signature as the Kayes. She drove a black Lincoln Navigator. Street vendor, Guillermo Soriano, witnessed the carjacking. Yelina arrives on scene to assist. Guillermo speaks in Spanish, recounting that while he was selling a coconut drink to Jill, he noticed a big flash the same moment Hank walked up to the driver's side and shot her. Horatio figures out the big flash Guillermo is referring to is the traffic enforcement camera taking pictures and capturing the carjacking and murder.
Horatio and Yelina review the traffic footage. The footage confirms that Hank was the carjacker, but also confirms that his partner Stewart Otis, convicted child killer who murdered Ruthie Cryden. Horatio feels he has an obligation to keep his promise to Mrs. Cryden that Stewart would not hurt a child again.
Alexx processes Jill's body with Calleigh. She extracts the bullet for Calleigh to process. Calleigh determines the gun came from a .357 calibur weapon, possibly a Smith and Wesson revolver. They also detect the figure-eight muzzle stamp on her temple, same as the Kaye brothers. Alexx remembers Calleigh's history with Hank, having testified against Hank, who was facing life without parole. John walks in and becomes concerned with her safety. John told her that a prostitute named Treynece Banks visited Hank earlier and Calleigh decides to look into her.
Horatio, Eric, and Speed review the three escapees. They had a desire to escape as relating the three. Randall Kaye was assigned to printing, Hank Kerner was assigned to workshop, and Stewart Otis was assigned to tailoring. The thread belonged to Stewart, who was making a disguise to stalk his next victim. He picked Randall's six-year-old daughter, Emma Kaye. Some of the thread found were red, blue, and grey, which match the emblem colors of St. Lucita's school, where Emma goes to school. Horatio rushes down to the school with Yelina.
School gets out and the kids leave. Horatio and Yelina arrived just as school went out. A classmate told Horatio that a new teacher arrived and offered to take Emma home. Emma's mother had been waiting for her and Horatio approaches her. Yelina notes an unusual amount of luggage in her car.
Horatio and Yelina question Mrs. Kaye about the luggage. She avoids the question by asking where Emma's at. Horatio informs her that Randall was killed after escaping jail. He also tells her that Stewart has kidnapped Emma and is not looking for money for her safe return. They ask Mrs. Kaye for an article of clothing to track her with.
John visits Calleigh in the Ballistics Lab. Calleigh tries to match the bullets found in the Kaye brothers and Jill Gormley. Hagen receives a phone call and tells Calleigh that Hank claimed another victim.
The victim, identified as District Attorney Janet Medrano, who prosecuted Hank for the double homicide and carjacking, was found face down on a beach. Calleigh is in tears and Hagen is concerned for her safety. She asserts him that she's never taken a sick day and is not about to start with Hank. Calleigh wants to visit Janet's family when they are notified. She refuses to walk away from the investigation.
Horatio receives a call from Fugitive Team Commander Dan Clarkson and passes it to Eric, who is on the scene. Calleigh calls Horatio about Janet's murder. Her liver temperature indicates she was killed recently, so he's still in proximity. She thinks beach sand in his shoes is more than enough to sentence him to the electric chair when he is captured. Horatio instructs her to take precaution.
Horatio gives Emma's clothing to Officer Butch, who waves it to his scent dog, Duchess. Eric notes that dogs can smell with their tongues too. Butch explains that most odor molecues are carried by mucus through the nasal cavity and convoluted folds behind the cavity, where the molecules carry a message to the brain. Duchess runs across a street where they believe Stewart hailed a cab. Butch explains that new venting systems from the car allow scent dogs to detect them when they've gotten into a car. They eventually track the end of her scent to the back of an alley, where they find Emma's hair cut and her discarded school uniform. From Stewart's previous M.O., Horatio deduces that he disguised Emma as a little boy so he can throw them off the trail.
Hagen arrives at Treynece's place with a SWAT team. He presses her pimp to confirm that Treynece ("Delicious") is with Hank. He calls and confirms his presence. Calleigh arrives and berates Hagen for not notifying her. Hagen assures her the lead just came in, but Calleigh tells him not to run anything anymore without notifying her. Shots are fired from the complex and SWAT moves in on Treynece's place. They secure Treynece, who tells the police that Hank escaped. He told Treynece he was hunting down a blonde cop. Treynece took down a portrait, which covered up the number "31" painted on the wall, which is code for homicide.
Horatio and Yelina questioned Dawn Kaye about a jail visit with her husband Randall. She told them he was approached by a convict about escaping. Horatio tells her to continue, believing she may know more than she thinks. Dawn remembers telling the plan to Bryce, who would have done anything for his older brother, Randall. She remembers one of the men asking for an RV. Randall did not want Dawn tied up in purchasing one, so he put up $50,000 in cash for each man. Horatio tells Yelina to contact all the RV dealerships in Miami and find out who rented an RV in the last 24 hours because Stewart has to conserve his cash.
Horatio and Yelina arrive at Simon Bishop's home, who rented an RV. Horatio examines his family pictures, including a picture of a soccer team where he was named "Coach of the Year." Simon also coached basketball and cross country teams. When asked about where his RV was at, Simon told them he lent it to a friend he met online named Stewart Odett. Yelina showed him his prison photo and Horatio mentioned to him his real name is Stewart Otis. When asked about Emma, Simon claimed that Stewart showed up alone, but Horatio spotted a kid's meal take-out box with Chinese food in it, indicating that Simon lied about Emma's whereabouts. Simon relents and tells them her name used to be Emma. He renamed her, but Simon didn't catch the new name. When asked about what he traded with Stewart for his RV, Simon said nothing. Horatio feels insulted, but Simon protests that "emotional intimacy doesn't come with a predetermined age range" and challenged the accepted view that children are non-sexual. Horatio threatened to charge Simon with a felony until he gave up what Simon traded with Stewart. He confesses to being traded photos of Stewart with Emma in a boy's long haircut and boy's clothes. Yelina formally charges Simon for possession of child pornography.
Calleigh samples the bloody "31" from the wall and brings it back to the lab. She processes the blood and finds petroleum and graphite, chemicals combined to form an old-school gun lubricant, whereas modern-day gun lubricant has teflon. Hagen stops by to visit. She sends the report to Claudia to pin down the brand.
Horatio and Eric process the photos from Simon's home. Simon's image is found on a portable TV from one of the photos, meaning he was there when Stewart photographed them. A sheet was placed over the RV's windows to disguise their location. Another picture shows sunlight with a silhouette behind the sheet. Eric processes the silhouette further and narrows it down to the Orange Bowl.
Horatio drags Simon down to the Orange Bowl to point out the parking spot where Simon's RV was at last. Simon takes him to the parking spot and Yelina arrives on location. The RV is gone, but left behind a puddle. Yelina mentioned the dealer said the RV needed repairs. They follow the chemical tracks to the RV abandoned out in the wilderness. Horatio storms into the RV and finds a recording where Stewart is "playing" with Emma. Emma tells the camera her new name is "Beetle" because it's super small like her. At the end of the tape, Stewart tells a visibly-frightened Emma to say good-bye to Horatio. While the tape plays, Yelina finds fresh blood on a counter top. She also found footprints leading away from the RV. They hurry up to save Emma before it's too late.
Horatio searches through the foliage and eventually finds Emma laying underneath some palms. Emma is bloodied and he attempts to revive her. He succeeds and shouts out "She's alive!"
Back at the CSI Labs, Hagen searches for Calleigh. He visits Claudia, who identified the Gun Slick brand. Calleigh took off to track down its source.
Calleigh is at a gun shop and asks the store clerk about A-1 Dependable. The store clerk stonewalls her about it. She shows him a photo of Hank and the store clerk is visibly scared. Calleigh realizes this, simply asking the clerk where the lubricant is at. He tells her "aisle four" and she begins hunting for Hank. Hank tried to ambush Calleigh, but is caught at gunpoint. Hank is worried he'll be electrocuted for murdering the Kaye brothers, Jill Gormley, and DA Janet Medrano. Calleigh tells him he can die now or have another ten years to appeal. He eventually surrenders.
Horatio visits Emma, who tells him he is her policeman. Stewart told her that sometimes, good men go to jail like her father. During his visit, he notices that Emma is drawing Robyn's name on a piece of paper. Horatio asks about her, who is Emma's cousin and is also six years old. Although she did not tell Stewart where Robyn lived, she slipped about where she went to school. Horatio assured her she will not be in trouble because it was just an accident.
Yelina notifies Horatio that she located Robyn Kaye and is on a school field trip to the aquarium. Stewart is disguised as an aquarium keeper and is stalking Robyn's class. However, he spots Horatio already closing in on him with Yelina there. In a panic, he snatches Robyn from the crowd. They pursue Stewart up to the top of a tower, where Horatio has him cornered. Stewart holds Robyn at neckpoint, threatening to kill her. Stewart confesses that he loves little girls and cannot live without them. When Horatio refuses to let him go, Stewart grabs Robyn and tries to fling her off the roof. Horatio shoots him in the shoulder, causing him to fall over the edge and grasping to it. He instructs Robyn to run far away. Horatio tries to help Stewart back up. Stewart wants Horatio to let him go so he can die. Horatio refuses, so Stewart pulls a knife to stab at his grasping hand. Despite this, Horatio stops him and pulls him back up to safety. Yelina formally arrests Stewart for the attempted murder of Emma Kaye. Stewart warns Horatio he'll get out again because it is in his nature. Horatior responds that he'll be waiting because that's in his nature.
Speed takes down the crime photos of the events they were investigating, Eric runs outside on a track, Calleigh goes to the gun range and practices, Alexx wraps up with her work and shuts down the morgue for the day, and Horatio washes his hands in beach water of his stab wound.