The episode begins with a girl named Floressa offering her prayers to her Lord in the woods. She then goes to collect some flowers to offer at the altar. When she returns, she finds some creepy, crawly insects on the altar. A man, the unsub arrives and calls her Paddie. She tells him that her name was Nina Skinner before she joined the church and changed it to Floressa. He then kills Floressa by driving a chisel into her brain and leaves the body with bugs around it. Grosse! At the unit, Garcia briefs the team about this gruesome act and also tells them that, two days ago, a guy named Charlie Clayton was killed in the same way. Both of the murders have some sort of religious connections.
Reid thinks it could be someone who hates religion and Rossi thinks it could be the opposite, someone who hates people who follow a non-mainstream religion or those who deviate from strict orthodox beliefs. They also learn that there are guest allowed on the church grounds and those who are looking for a week long retreat. Hotch tells Garcia to make a list of these guests. Hotch and JJ then meet the Head of the Church, and she tells them that this church was founded 9 years ago and Floressa joined them 6 years ago. JJ shows her the picture of Charlie Clayton and she tells him that she has never seen him before. She then shows them the site where the murder took place. They ask the Head if the church did a background check for the people who joined them and she says a no. Rossi and Morgan are at Charlie’s and Rossi gets no answers from the family.
They then see the neighbor right across Charlie’s house and they question him. He tells them that a man arrived and started talking to him and that he wanted to confirm Charlie’s address. The stranger called Charlie “Taylor”. He then asked Charlie out for tea. So the neighbor is sure that the stranger was looking for Charlie. He remembers what the guy looked like. The coroner tells Reid that there were wood splinters found in between Floressa’s teeth and they infer that the unsub used the stick as a gag. The coroner also tells them that there was advanced insect infestation which is inconsistent with the time of the murder. This same thing happened with Charlie too. There is also some skunk hair found with the larvae. Reid infers that the unsub is bring flies along with him. Morgan calls Hotch and tell him that the neighbor managed to help get a sketch drawn; and that too, a good one!
We then see that the unsub cuts his jaw and then goes to a café. There he talks to the waitress and asks her if he recognizes him. He calls her Carol and she corrects him by telling him that her name is Brianna. Reid tells the group that part of the MO resembles to that of Smith; a sexual sadist who killed prostitutes and had then bite on a wood before he killed them and this serial killer is from the 80’s. Next, the unsub kills Brianna in her car. Morgan arrives at the scene and introduces Sheriff Mitchell to Rossi. Rossi and Morgan talk to Carson, Brianna’s colleague and she recognizes the unsub’s sketch. She tells them about the way things got intense when the unsub asked for free dessert as it was his birthday, and Brianna wanted to see proof. She also tells them that he did call her by another name.
Next, Reid tells Hotch and Rossi that the larvae that were found at the crime scene were from a different region; mostly the drier ones and there is no way that they can be found here. Moreover, these larvae are being fed on animal remains and also there are traces of engine oil. Road kill! Next, the unsub arrives at his next victim’s house and refers to him as Ted. But his real name is Kyle. The unsub renders Kyle unconscious. The unsub enters the house and sees some pictures. A woman arrives and finds Kyle lying on the floor. The unsub is looking at the pictures of a couple and he asks the woman if she is Ted’s wife. She is surprised to learn that the unsub knows her husband, as the unsub looks young. She tells him that her husband dies in ’99 in a hospital at night. The unsub hurries to the hospital.
The team believes that December 12 could actually be the unsub’s birthday but there is no way that this is a good enough lead. Hotch is bothered about the mark on the unsub’s jaw that Carson was talking about. he points out that the neighbor never mentioned any scar while making the sketch. He then asks for a picture of the serial killer, Russell Smith and Garcia sends it to them. They see that Smith had a scar on his right jaw. This means that the unsub is trying to be Russell Smith. They profile the unsub. With all the other points, they BAU also tell the cops that Smith had a lot of scorpion tattoos and we see that the unsub is getting himself a scorpion tattoo.
He runs a search on the website of a hospital by entering a date, the date the woman’s husband died, and pulls up the profile of a young boy named Aden, who was born on the same date. The woman and Kyle are being tied up and they are helplessly watching the unsub. Also, he could be using different names either because he is delusional or because he is using these victims as surrogates. They also tell them to look out for license plates of the southern states. We then see that the unsub is following the young boy, Aiden. The team pulls up all the prostitutes killed by Smith and they compare their names and date of death. Hotch infers that the unsub is addressing the victim’s by the names of the people Smith killed. Also the birth dates of the unsub’s victims are on the same day Smith’s victims were killed.
Also, the places where Patty, Charlie and Brianna were born are the same where Smith’s victims died. So this is about reincarnation!! Morgan explains to the Sheriff that the unsub is leaving newly hatched larvae on the scene to make sure that the spirit of the victims who he killed don’t come back in the human form and that they come back as flies or worms or get inside the body of these worms. Hotch tells Garcia to check the list of people who were born on the day Smith died and she comes up with one hit; Wille Kestler and he is our unsub. She sends Kestler’s picture to the team and it matches the sketch. She tells them the vehicle he is driving. Meanwhile, Wille is about to kill Aiden. He tells Aiden how he ended up being a killer.
He tells him that he used to hear voices in his head which never made sense. His grandfather used to tell him that he has the soul of a killer inside him as he was born on the same day Smith died and that too Smith dies right beside Kestler’s mother’s bed. Garcia sends them Kestler’s address and they find nothing but tone of reincarnation books. At home, Kestler tells Aiden that he was supposed to be better when he reincarnated and he did not want to be a killer again. But then one day someone cut his breaks loose and he feels that it is one of the reincarnated victims of Smith. That is why he has to kill all of them. At the office, Hotch tells Garcia to do the math with the remaining victims and she comes up with a list of 22 out of which the closest is a man named Ted who died 13 years ago. Hotch figures out that they need to looks for a 13 year old. Rossi gets a tip that Kestler’s car was found outside a motel.
They leave for the motel. Kestler takes Aiden to the bathroom as he sees the cops arrive. They find Aiden in the bathroom; he is fine and he tells the team that Kestler was crazy and that he said he will come back for Aiden in twenty years. Rossi knows where Kestler must have gone. We see that Kestler goes to the hospital and asks the receptionist for the delivery rooms. When the receptionist refuses to help him, Kestler shoots him. The team arrives at the hospital. Kestler goes to the room where all the babies are kept. He picks up a baby that was just born. The team arrives and asks him to put the baby down and drop his weapon. He places the baby on the floor and fires at Morgan.
Morgan gets hit. Rossi, Hotch and JJ shoot Kestler. He falls on the ground and he looks at the baby; hoping that his soul will be born again as it will enter the baby. JJ quickly picks up the baby. Kestler sees that the box of worms that he had in his pocket has fallen down along with him and there is a larva crawling on his arm! No more reincarnation for Kestler! At the office, Hotch calls for a meeting. He tells the team that someone is mimicking the cases that they solved and this is now an active case, they have to solve with the rest. The episode ends.