Will practices shooting at the FBI shooting range. After emptying a clip, he sees the body of Garrett Jacob Hobbs coming toward him (instead of his shooting target).
Crawford and Will head to Chippewa National Forest, Minnesota to find Garrett Jacob Hobbs' cabin. Inside they find multiple stuffed animals, including a deer. Upstairs, they find hundreds of sets of antlers, one set still bloodied. Crawford says that Hobbs must have had an accomplice. Will finds a hair near the bloodied antlers.
At the FBI Academy, Will returns for a lecture. He puts up a resignation letter from Garrett Jacob Hobbs and explains that the only clue he had on Hobbs was the fact that he left no address. The question now, Will states, is how to stop people from being inspired by Hobbs to commit new murders. Dr. Bloom asks how Will is after class; Crawford wants to know if Will is ready to go back into the field. Crawford asks Will to undergo a psychiatric evaluation with Dr. Lecter in order to aid the healing process regarding the Hobbs case.
When Will gets to Lecter's office, Hannibal has already signed a release form saying that Will is fit for duty. Lecter suggests that killing Hobbs left his daughter an orphan and this is plaguing Will, because of his pure empathy. Meanwhile, in Elk Neck State Forest, Maryland, some boys who are out hiking find nine bodies buried in the ground; however, the bodies' hands are visible and a catheter has been placed in each one.
Beverly tries to help Will in target practice. The team gets the call from Maryland. The bodies are in different states of decay and well fertilized. The catheter lines were feeding fluids to the bodies for some reason, but the team doesn't know why. Meanwhile, a red-haired photographer sneaks a photo of the bodies. She asks one of the local police officers who Will is. Will uses his power to imagine what was going on while these bodies were buried. He thinks that the bodies were alive when being buried, but the people would not become conscious ever again. The I.V. tubes were being used to keep the bodies alive but buried at the same time. Will sees Garrett Hobbs again and then snaps back to reality. But when he looks down at the most recent body again, the corpses' hand suddenly grasps Will's arm.
Will goes back to Lecter, confessing that he saw Hobbs again and considers his return to work premature. They switch to the current Maryland case. Meanwhile, the red-haired reporter is recording their entire conversation from the other side of the office door. Miss Kimble, Dr. Lecter says, and invites her into his office. As she starts to ask him questions, Dr. Lecter believes she is Freddie Lounds, a tabloid journalist. She reluctantly says she is and Dr. Lecter asks her for tape recording. Dr. Lecter says that she has been rude and wonders what should be done about that. The next scene cuts to Lecter eating dinner with Crawford and the two dig into a succulent meal with bright red dressing. They discuss Will's project since he has been back in the field.
Back at the FBI lab, Jimmy Price has been doing analyses on the bodies. They all died of kidney failure and were given sugar water. This caused the mushroom growths, along with the buried area being scattered with items in which mushrooms thrive. The end result is that the sugars are converted to alcohol. Will then thinks the cause of death is diabetic ketoacidosis – they were basically poisoned by the intravenous sugar when its conversion to alcohol built up in the body. The dead are all diabetics. He puts them into comas and feeds them sugar so that mushrooms can aid the conversion to alcohol.
A woman picks up her insulin at the pharmacist. The pharmacist slips her a different vial of insulin than he normally gives. The FBI soon puts two and two together. All of the victims have gone missing from this pharmacy location, so agents are now closing in. The man the agents are searching for, Eldon Stammets, has somehow already picked up on their presence and left. They head to his car in the parking lot and open up the trunk. The woman who was given the different type of insulin is in the trunk.
The team also discovers a story written by Freddie Lounds about Will. The FBI promptly find her and question where she got her information from for the article. Crawford also states that Freddie was at the Hobbs crime scene. At the hospital where Hobbs' daughter is still recovering, Will has a vision and sees a deer as well as a woman. When he wakes up, the woman turns out to be Alana Bloom. Despite an obvious pained expression, Will says he feels good. He's happy that Hobbs' daughter survived.
The next day as Freddie leaves her motel, she finds the local officer she talked to in Maryland, Detective Pascal, waiting for her. He's been suspended because of the information he provided to her, which Freddie then stretched. Freddie tells Pascal that she can get him a job in private security. But suddenly, Eldon Stammets comes up and shoots Pascal and asks Freddie about Will. By the time Crawford gets there and learns that Stammets is interested in Will, Freddie realizes that Stammets is going to the hospital to get Hobbs' daughter. All of this is being done for Will so he can recover. Crawford calls Will, who sees that Abigail (Hobbs' daughter) is missing. Will eventually catches up with Stammets and shoots him in the shoulder. Stammets tries to plead his case.
Later, recounting the case to Dr. Lecter, Will says that he didn't see Hobbs in that moment with Stammets. Killing Hobbs felt justified, Will says. That was the difference. Will admits that he likes that he killed Hobbs. He feels bad about that.