The episode begins with a scene from a year ago, where the unsub prepares a hot bath, and kills a woman by drowning her in the tub. Cut to the present, Hotch tells the team that this unsub kills his victims on the same date every year. Garcia shows the team the pictures of Rachael Hughes, Melissa Martinez, Tara Rios, Diana Brooks and Gloria Clemente. Over the past five years, each of these women has disappeared from parks along the coast of California. Each one of them was a nanny, who looked after kids. Thankfully, the kids were returned back totally unharmed within 24 hours.
Reid tells the team that the actual abduction date varies from case to case but the unsub went to great lengths to make sure that the bodies were found on the same date, May 13th. All except victim no. 3, Tara Rios, who managed to escape. A garbage truck driver found Tara passed out in an alley, but she doesn’t remember anything about the abduction. Morgan tells them that each victim was sexually assaulted and tortured with burning instruments for several days, and he then drowns them in hot water. He also manages to return them to Los Angeles. Reid points out that May 13th is two weeks away. The team leaves for Los Angeles. Elsewhere, the unsub kidnaps another nanny from a park, and he also takes the child, Phoebe with him. On the flight, the team tries to figure out the significance of Mat 13th.
Garcia appears online and tells them that another nanny, Gina Mendez was abducted from a park in Los Angeles, along with the baby, Phoebe Peyton. Hotch and Alex talk to Phoebe’s parents. They tell them that Gina has been working for them since last four years and that she is more like family. They also tell them that Phoebe has asthma, and Gina is not carrying enough medicines with her. Alex tells Hotch that all the families had the same thing to say about their nannies; that she was more like family. Alex thinks that the nanny’s connection with the children could be the trigger for the unsub. This means that the unsub would have to stalk the nannies to know their routine. Rossi tells Reid that some nannies from the observatory told him that Gina and Phoebe used to go there every Tuesdays and Thursdays.
They figure out that the unsub has his own vehicle, something like a van or an SUV. Reid points out that the unsub has repeated Griffith park twice; he hasn’t done that before. In Seattle, Morgan and JJ go to meet Tara, the victim who escaped. Tara refuses to talk. Reid and Rossi point out to the fact that the unsub is varying from his schedule because he has had Phoebe for 28 hours and has returned her yet. Also, he abducted Gina way earlier than his other victims. Elsewhere, it is seen that the unsub has prepared the hot bath, but this time he is holding little Phoebe over the tub. Morgan and JJ talk to Tara’s doctor, Jerry Berneman on a video call. He tells them that it took him two years to get Tara back to normal and he would hate to see her go back to the state she was found in, three years ago.
Morgan is upset that they cannot question Tara because she is the only real lead they have got. Reid, Rossi and Alex talk about the unsub’s change in pattern. Reid wonders why he hasn’t returned Phoebe. Rossi thinks that he might have killed Phoebe. Alex finds it strange that he returned the other children but killed Phoebe. Rossi wonders what makes Phoebe different from the other children. Reid thinks that it could be the asthma. Rossi asks Garcia to check the health records of the other children who were returned. Garcia tells them that they were absolutely healthy. They confirm that Phoebe is the kind of kid the unsub was looking for. This means that Gina might not live till May 13th. They profile the victim. They tell the team and the reporters that the unsub suffers from the disorder called “the paternal desire”.
This could have been triggered by the void left from the loss of a child. The team feels that the unsub exhibits a lot of rage towards the nannies, but is very compassionate towards the children. That is why they bring Mr. and Mrs. Peyton, Phoebe’s parents to talk to the press. Tara watches the parents’ appeal on television. She feels bad. The unsub also watches the Peytons on television. He turns it off. Tara calls Morgan and tells him that she is ready to help. Morgan is glad and he turns the flight around. He tells JJ that Tara saw the press conference. Later, they make Tara go through a process called EMDR. Tara tries to remember the day she was abducted. She tells them that she was at the park, and a man walked up to Jake and her. He had a dog. He told her that Jake reminded him of his baby sister. She tells him that he had a gun and he pointed it at Jake.
He then hit her with the butt of the gun and she passed out. Later she woke up and found that she was tied to a bed. She says that Jake was continuously crying. She also heard a woman saying “Help me”. Everyone is surprised at this point, but Tara is unable to continue and she runs out of the room. JJ follows her and calms her down. She assures Tara that this method is working. Tara continues to narrate the incident. She tells them that she vaguely remembers seeing the woman in the van with her; she was wearing a blue shirt. She then tells them that at the house, she heard the unsub call her Allison, when he was torturing her. Tara then tells them that when she was about to escape, she saw the blonde woman tied to the sink in the bathroom, but Tara didn’t bother about her and she ran out of the house.
Later, JJ tells the team that Tara might be able to help them with the unsub’s sketch. Garcia pulls up the records and tells the team that a woman named Allison was found buried in a shallow grave. She was a marathon runner. Garcia tells them that they have managed to locate Allison’s remains and the coroner is waiting for them. The coroner tells Reid and Rossi that there were large bite marks on Allison’s leg, maybe from some big dog. In the office, Rossi wonders as to why the unsub hid Allison in a grave. Alex tells them that before Allison got into pharmaceuticals, she was in the Navy. She feels that Allison must have witnessed Tara’s abduction and tried to intervene. Reid makes a discovery. He points out at the places where the unsub abducted and dumped the nannies. In between these places there are two dog parks.
At the house, Gina convinces the unsub to let her give Phoebe her medicines. The team sets out to canvas the parks. JJ and Morgan show the unsub’s sketch to the dog walkers. Two guys tell them that the sketch looks like Johnny’s, but they haven’t seen him around for a while. They tell the duo that Johnny has a Rottweiler. Morgan tells Garcia to check the vet records. Garcia finds out about a Jonathan Covey who owns a Rottweiler. She gives them the address. At the house, Jonathan remembers the time when his nanny was busying smoking her cigarette while his sister was playing in the bath tub. His nanny sees him standing at the door and tells him to go to bed. When the nanny was busy disciplining him, his sister drowned in the bath tub. Garcia tells Morgan that Jonathan lost his sister on May 13th and she too had asthma. Morgan and JJ arrive at Jonathan’s house.
Jonathan escapes and JJ follows him. Jonathan attempts to shoot JJ, but ends up getting shot by her. Case Closed. Later, Phoebe’s parents reunite with their daughter and their nanny. Tara arrives at the scene and tells JJ that she wants to see Jonathan’s dead body. Mrs. Peyton thanks Tara for her help. Next, JJ arrives home and is glad to find her son asleep in his bed. The episode ends.