Come morning, Claire sneaks out of the house with Joey and tries to escape the grounds. They discover that the gates are locked and before they can squeeze through, Roderick and his people arrive. The sheriff suggests that Claire and Joey return to the house and the mother and son have no choice but to go with them.
At Ryan's apartment in New York City, Molly checks to make sure that his pacemaker is working okay. She advises him to be careful and tells him not to get killed.
Jacob and Roderick put a leg monitor on Claire and tell her that she can't go more than 50 yards from the house. As they talk, Claire looks around and sees security cameras covering the entire grounds, and Roderick tells her that they could see her the entire time. Carroll come sin and when Claire tries to go to him, he warns her that trust has to be earned.
Ryan meets the rest of the team at the abandoned armory. Mike is back on duty and has prepared a sketch of the man in charge of torturing him. Donovan comes over with Debra and tells them that the armory belonged to the government but was shut down years ago because it was an environmental hazard. Debra has found video of Carroll's people indoctrinating new recruits using standard brainwashing techniques, and Mitchell has managed to get the real names of three of the members. One corridor is filled with Poe-based graffiti and Debra figures that Carroll is teaching his people a new "religion" that promotes death as the highest level of what she dubs Carrollism.
Carroll tries to work on his new story but has trouble filling in Ryan's motivation. Frustrated, he finally calls Ryan and says that he wants to develop Ryan as a character, rather than make him out to be a standard do-gooder. Ryan is intrigued by the fact that his adversary sounds frustrated, but Carroll continues and explains that it's the death of Ryan's father, Bill, in a convenience store shooting that interests him. He asks how it affected Ryan when he was 17, but Ryan baits him about how they've found the armory. Carroll hands up and Ryan tells Debra that their opponent is starting to unravel.
Ryan and Bill pull up to a convenience store and the boy waits in the car while Bill goes in to get some food.
Mitchell identifies the cult members as working with Freedom 13, a militia group. They were led by Daniel Moore, who is now a black marketeer, and they figure that Daniel has been providing Carroll with all of his weapons.
Carroll calls Roderick, Vince, and Jacob in and demands to know if the FBI can trace them from anything at the armory. Vince insists that there's nothing there that will lead to the house, and Roderick says that they can't trace Daniel. Skeptical, Vince warns that's not likely and that Daniel helped set them up at the house. Carroll warns Roderick that Daniel knows too much about them and Vince offers to take them to the arms dealer. Roderick points out that Daniel has been a friend to them and Carroll assures his lieutenant that he won't order Roderick to kill him. Jacob immediately volunteers to do it, but Carroll says that he'll handle it personally and take Vince and Jacob with him. When Roderick objects, saying that it's too risky for Carroll to leave the house, Mentor says that it's even riskier to leave Daniel's murder up to Roderick.
Mike starts nervously searching the armory, slamming doors, and Ryan suggests that he might need more time to recover from his injuries. Debra and Mitchell check the armory servers and get an IP address to a house in Maryland owned by Gloria and Ronald Fowler. Their son, Brian, was a member of Freedom 13. Mitchell looks up the address and Mike takes it from her and heads out. After a moment, Debra and Ryan go after him.
Emma watches Claire and Joey sitting in the main room and Roderick asks her if she's scared of Claire. When Emma claims that she's just trying to be respectful, Roderick reminds her that she slept with Claire's ex-husband. Angry, Emma walks away. Meanwhile, Claire tells Joey to act normally for the time being until they can make another escape attempt. Roderick comes over and Claire sends Joey to get a game for them. Once they're alone, she asks Roderick if he's her ex-husband's second-in-command, and Roderick admits that Carroll no longer sees him that way. He explains that the group is made up of a mix of psychos and groupies, and that he is there because it's someplace where he can belong. Claire wonders what Carroll is up to and Roderick suggests that she asks himself. When Claire warns him that Carroll can't be trusted, Roderick walks away without responding.
Ryan, Mike, and Debra drive to the Fowler house and Mike breaks in when no one answers the door. As they make their way through the house, they discover an elaborate internal security system. A man jumps Ryan and Mike viciously pistol-whips the attacker as Debra stares at him in surprise.
Claire and Joey play cards in Carroll's study and Claire sees her ex-husband's laptop. She tells Joey to stand watch and then opens up the laptop. Online access is locked off, but Claire finds Carroll's story and starts reading it.
Once they tie up the attacker, Brian, Debra interrogates the man. When he refuses to tell them where Daniel is, Mike punches him and Debra tells her agent to back off. Ryan decides to take a look around and Debra sends Mike with him rather than keep him near Brian. They split up to check the basement and Daniel emerges from hiding to capture Ryan. However, Mike gets the drop on the arms dealer, who quickly surrenders once he realizes that he's outnumbered and outgunned.
Debra discovers that Brian has installed a cell jammer as part of his security precautions. He suggests that she go out on the street to make her call, and Debra steps out into the hallway. Someone in the house makes a sound and Debra goes to investigate. She hears a scream and goes back to discover that Brian is dead, his throat cut. Jacob steps out of the shadows and knocks Debra out before she can warn the others.
Joey warns Claire that someone is coming and she shuts off the laptop just as Emma comes in. Emma wants to talk about what happened and insists that she took good care of Joey. Unimpressed, Claire orders Emma out, but the girl continues to talk about how she felt like part of a family for the first time when she was with Claire and Joey. When Claire tells her to shut up, Emma figures that she just needs more time and walks out. Claire goes after her and tells her to stay away from Joey, and Emma warns her that it isn't up to her. Furious, Claire slaps her and then starts choking her. Roderick hears the commotion and eventually breaks them up, and Claire goes back to Joey while Emma runs off.
Ryan and Mike tie up Daniel and demand answers, telling him that they've connected him to Carroll. When Daniel says that he's not part of Carroll's house, Ryan asks what house that he's referring to. Daniel demands to see a lawyer before he says anything else, and an alarm light goes off. Ryan tells Mike to watch Daniel while he check it out. As he heads upstairs, Vince shoots at him and Ryan manages to get the drop on him. When Vince tries to go for his gun, Ryan shoots him.
When Ryan goes back to Daniel, he discovers that the man is dead and Mike is missing. Searching, Ryan finds Mike locked up inside of a room with bulletproof glass, zip-tied to a chair. Carroll steps out and Mike yells at Ryan to kill him. Ryan is unable to break the glass and Carroll digs his fingers into Mike's wounds. He threatens to kill the agent but Ryan says that he won't do it because he needs a hostage to get out. Carroll concedes the point and knocks Mike out, and then tells Ryan that they have to stop meeting unexpectedly. He explains that he needs to understand Ryan's motives so that he can finish his novel, and asks if Bill's death was the defining moment. When Ryan refuses to cooperate, Carroll threatens to kill Mike unless he does.
Debra wakes up and discovers that Jacob has zip-tied her. She asks where Paul is and Jacob admits that his lover didn't escape. He takes a knife out of a drawer and tells Debra that he's going to kill her, and she asks him to indulge her and explain why he became a killer. Jacob talks about how his father and how he didn't want to become a doctor like him. When Debra asks for more details, Jacob tells her that he'll stab her if she doesn't shut up.
Carroll asks Ryan where he was when Bill was shot. When Ryan refuses to answer, Carroll tortures Mike some more and Ryan finally answers.
Ryan hears gunshots from inside the store and sees a crackhead come running out. When Ryan runs over, the crackhead freezes and Ryan stares at him for a moment, gun at the ready. The robber then turns and runs off.
Ryan tells Carroll that he was just lucky that the crackhead didn't shoot him, but Carroll doesn't believe it.
Ryan kneels by his dying father and holds his hand until he passes away.
Carroll figures that was the first time that Ryan saw a man die, and asks what happened to the crackhead. Ryan says that the robber died of an overdose three days later, and Carroll suggests that it was a matter of poetic justice. When he says that sometimes the world is fair, Ryan disagrees, saying that it never is. Carroll asks Ryan why he thinks he's surrounded by death, and figures that the former FBI agent set out to help people after seeing Bill die. The serial killer says that it's narcissism but Ryan denies it and asks what drives Carroll. Carroll says that death drives him, and figures that it drives Ryan as well. he asks Ryan what he did to deserve his place in life, and Ryan says that it just is.
Jacob brings Debra down and Carroll tells him to kill her if Ryan tries to do anything. After Ryan kicks his gun over, Carroll comes out and tells Ryan that he may embellish him a bit, but he now has a grasp on his motivations. Jacob shoves Debra at Ryan, knocking him back while they run off. The two men take a tunnel up to the surface and by the time Ryan gets there, they have disappeared into the night.
As the FBI and the police arrive, Debra tells Donovan that Daniel let slip that Carroll has a house somewhere in the area. As Donovan prepares search teams, Debra tells Ryan that despite her injuries, she's fine.
When he gets back to the house, Carroll visits Claire, but she tells him that she's done pretending things are normal between them. She admits that she read his manuscript and tells Carroll that his plan won't work. When Claire dismisses it as just as poor a work as his last book, Carroll starts to slap her but restrains himself just in time and walks out.
Jacob is in the communication center watching newscasts about the members of the cult. When they talk about Jacob and how he dropped out of med school, Jacob calls his father. The man comes on and recognizes Jacob's voice, but Jacob hangs up without saying anything.
Emma is in the kitchen drinking when Carroll comes in. He tells her that he knows that she's upset with him, and Emma complains that he's been ignoring her. Carroll finally kisses her and then they make love on the kitchen table.
Ryan checks on Mike and admits that his behavior had him worried. Mike says that he went too far and that sometimes it's hard to know when the line ends. Ryan tells him that the one thing he always has to do is make sure he doesn't do anything he can't live with.
Ryan tracks down the crackhead to his apartment and gives him a syringe of heroin. He then forces the man at gunpoint to inject himself with the overdose.
As the ambulance takes Mike to the hospital, Debra calls Ryan over and introduces him to the local law officer: Sheriff Roderick Nelson. Roderick assures them that he'll help them as much as he can.