The episode begins with a man waking up from a nightmare. He calls the front desk and tells the operator that he is really sick and wants to see a doctor. The operator tells him that there is a doctor in room 209. The man walks towards the room. Cut to, the cops discovering a man’s arm in the bushes. The ring on the finger is similar to the one the sick man was wearing. At the bureau, Rossi and Reid talk about this case. Reid shows him a newspaper that he subscribes to, and tells him that this case could be connected to another case.
Rossi figures out that Reid hasn’t been sleeping much lately. Reid briefs the team about Joseph Purl, a 33 year old man, whose dismembered body parts were found in the woods outside Rapid City, South Dakota. Garcia takes over and tells the team about the first victim, Raymond Nava, a truck driver and a logger and his dismembered body was found sixty miles away from Rapid City. Also, the dismembered parts were dispersed within a quarter mile. JJ wonders why the animals didn’t eat the flesh. Reid points out that there could be some toxin in the blood that repelled them. They also notice black, circular marks on the back which is normally used in holistic therapy. The only difference is that the diameter is wider.
The team leaves for South Dakota. Elsewhere, a woman named Tess, stops a guy at a bar and requests him to walk her to her car. She tells him that she is scared of her ex, and she doesn’t feel too safe. She realizes that the guy, Chad, is new to this place and offers him a room at the Red Creek Lodge. She is the manager at that lodge and tells him that she wouldn’t charge him. At the lodge, Tess kisses Chad and tells him that she doesn’t want to be alone. They make out, unaware of the fact that they are being watched. On the flight, the team thinks that the unsub might have some grudge against the logging industry. Later, Rossi and Reid meet Agent Stern.
Reid is surprised to learn that the cops don’t have much on Nava’s case. Stern tells them that just because the body was found on reservation land, it doesn’t mean that the natives killed Nava. Detective Landry tells Derek and Hotch that there is a wolf den in the woods where Purl’s body parts were found, and not many people know about it. At the lodge, Amber serves breakfast to Chad. She tells the groundskeeper that she thinks that Chad is Tess’s boyfriend. At the precinct, JJ tells Reid that the cause of death is a poison found in the night shade plant, solanine. She tells him that it was used to control the victims. Reid wonders if the unsub is an herbalist. Morgan and Hotch arrive and tell the team about the wolf den in the woods.
They think that it could be some animal activist that took his belief to the extreme. JJ notices the circular marks on the bodies and wonders if they are a part of some ritual. Landry tells them that Dakota Shamans are known for their extended form of healing and herbal remedies. At the lodge, Tess arrives to meet Chad. Chad is feeling a little woozy and Tess tells him that she is a naturopathic healer. The next morning, Chad wakes up and he is feeling a lot better. Tess gives him something to drink. He tells her that he needs to leave since he has to meet a friend. He opens the curtains and Tess tells him to draw them. She says that she has some auto immune disease that makes her eyes sensitive to light. She got after her son, Adam died. Chad feels really dizzy and he crashes into the glass table. Tess smiles.
Hotch and the team check out the logging company and they learn that they haven’t received any threats. Garcia calls Derek and tells him that she found nothing on the activists in the area. Instead, she finds the name of a guy who was charged with solanine poisoning, Eli Grohl. Landry arrives and tells Hotch that another man, Chad Dumont, an Air Force Captain from Ohio, has gone missing. JJ points out that Chad is not a logger, so it has no connection to the animal activists or Native Americans. Landry plays the last voice message Chad left for his friend before he disappeared. They figure out that Chad was in a bar, and the Stern is able to identify the bar. They also learn that Chad was staying in a motel, but checked out the night he left the message.
Rossi and JJ go to the bar and come across a woman who hit on Chad that night, but it seems that Chad turned her down. Rossi figures out that Chad liked women who were slightly demure and someone who he could protect. Alex and Morgan go to meet Eli, a naturopath, who made solanine for a client. He tells them that he didn’t know that his client would use that to kill his neighbor’s dog. He tells them that there are three other naturopaths in this area. Alex asks him for their names. Alex notices a chart on Eli’s wall and asks him for the cup that he uses for healing. She points out at the fact that the victims were of the same height and built. Comparing the marks on the dead bodies to the ones on the chart, Alex figures that it is about fertility. Next, the team profiles the unsub.
They tell the cops that the unsub is a woman who is trying to get pregnant. She is suffering from a ‘black widow maternal desire’. This means that she desperately wants a child because she could have recently lost one. The victims are surrogates for the male figure in her life, the one she might have already killed. She kills her other victims because she blames that man for her loss, and is exacting her revenge on the victims. They also say that she has a submissive partner who helps her to dismember the body parts. Since Chad’s body is not yet found, it is likely that he is alive. At the lodge, Amber tells the groundskeeper that she hears sounds from room 209 and it is supposed to be empty. She asks him about it.
He tells her that he doesn’t know anything and also asks her to ignore it. Amber wonders why Chad didn’t come down for breakfast. Tess arrives and tells her that he checked out last night. In the room, Chad wakes up and finds himself to the bed. At the precinct, Rossi tells Reid that he needs to talk to someone. He knows that Reid is still grieving about Maeve. Alex, Derek and JJ figure out that the unsub is a woman who works at or owns a hotel. At the lodge, Amber hears some noise from room 209, again. She goes inside to check.
Later, Amber’s dismembered body is found in the woods. JJ and Morgan conclude that the unsub killed this woman because she got in the way or something because there are no ritualistic marks on her body. At the precinct, Stern tells Reid that she found out that 12 years ago, a non-native, Roger Whitcom, was given permission to stay on the land and learn herbal medicine. He was then kicked out for poisoning a student with solanine. Reid asks Garcia to run a check on Roger Whitcom. Later, Garcia tells the team that there is nothing on Roger, but she did find a lead. She tells them about Tess Mynok, whose husband owns a hotel and she recently lost her child. The first victim was killed in the week of the anniversary of her son’s death.
Garcia tells them that Steven, Tess’s ex boyfriend, was an abusive one. The day Adam died, they were having a picnic at the lake side. They ended up in a fight and Adam wandered away and drowned. She tells them about Raoul Whalen, a naturopath, who showed up six months after Roger disappeared. It is seen that Raoul is the groundskeeper who works at the lodge. Morgan thinks that Raoul is Roger’s fake identity. The team figures out that Raoul took advantage of Tess’s grief and used her to fulfill his murderous fantasies. They feel that disposing Nava’s body on the reservation land was payback for throwing him out. Garcia also tells them that Raoul treated Tess for uvititis. At the lodge, Raoul and Tess prepare to kill Chad. Tess learns that Raoul killed Amber and she doesn’t approve of it.
She tells him that she cannot kill anymore but Raoul doesn’t let her go. He wants her to kill Chad. A drugged Chad attacks Raoul. Tess takes advantage of this and escapes. Raoul is about to kill Chad when the team arrives. They arrest Raoul. They try to find Tess. Reid asks Garcia about the location where Tess’s son died. She tells them about the lake outside the city. The team arrives at the lake and finds Tess’s dead body floating on the surface. Case closed. On their flight back, Reid gets some sleep and he see Maeve in his dreams. The episode ends.