The episode begins with the team at their latest crime scene in Grafton, Virginia. The killer has used dead bodies to construct a totem pole. The head appears to belong to a recent dead body while the others are really old. Jack tells Will that seven dead bodies were dug out from the spot where the pole is constructed. This means that the killer knew where the seven bodies were buried. Will reruns the crime in his head and concludes that the killer brought his last victim to the site and made him watch his creation. He then killed him and placed him on the top of the pole. Cut to Will waking up in Hannibal’s waiting room.
Hannibal is surprised to see him. Will tells him that the last thing he remembers is that he was in Grafton. He tells Hannibal that he doesn’t know how he got here. He doesn’t remember anything. Will fears that there is something wrong with him. Hannibal tells him that he is suffering from empathy disorder. The on-field experiences overwhelm him, but he chooses to ignore them. Hannibal is worried about Will. He tells Will that he empathizes with the killers so much that he loses himself to them. He points out to Will that he can end up hurting himself or someone else. At home, Abigail wakes up from a terrible nightmare.
Will arrives to meet Jack and apologizes for the previous day, but when he sees Jack’s expressions, he figures out that Jack doesn’t know what he is talking about. Jack asks him if there is anything wrong. Will tells him that everything is just fine. Freddy meets Abigail and tells her that the families of her father’s victims have filed suits for wrongful deaths. This means that they will get all her father’s money. Abigail tells Freddy that she doesn’t want her father’s money. She asks Freddy how much would she get if she helps her to write a book on herself and her father. Freddy tells her that she will get plenty. Will arrives at the lab and the team tells him that there were 17 bodies in all.
The latest victim is Joel Summers. He runs a cell phone store in Tennessee and has been missing for three days. Will tells them that Joel was special to the killer somehow because he held the place of honor (the top of the pole). Moreover, all of the 17 people were killed by the same guy. Later, Will tells his students about their latest killer. He tells them that all these years the killer wanted to remain unnoticed. He wonders why the killer has decided to come out now. At that moment, he is interrupted by Alana. Alana tells him that she wouldn’t disturb him if he is rehearsing. That is when Will realizes that the classroom is actually empty.
Alana tells Will that she has feelings for him but she cannot have an affair with him because he is unstable. Will thanks her for not lying. Later, Will and Hannibal meet Abigail and she tells them about the book. Will thinks that it is a bad idea. Abigail tells them that she doesn’t need their permission to do what she wants. She tells them that the world thinks that she helped her father kill those girls. She wants to change what they think. Will tells her that she has nothing to apologize for. Hannibal tells her that when she opens up for this book, she will not be able to control what comes through. Later, Will tells the team that a totem pole generally tells the story of a lifetime.
He is sure that there is a connection between Joel, who is at the top, and Fletcher Marshall, who was killed 40 years ago, and whose body is at the base. Jack tells Will to come to his office. Hannibal and Alana arrive as well. Jack tells them that Nicholas Boyle’s body (the guy who Abigail killed, and Hannibal helped her dispose of the body) turned up in Minnesota, dead. The body was found in the woods, frozen and the exact time of death cannot be identified. He also tells them that Boyle was gutted. He says that he has asked for the body to be flown down here. He wants Abigail to identify him. Alana tells him that he cannot put Abigail in a room with Nick because she already has nightmares about him. Jack tells them that he is curious why she has nightmares about Nick. Jack wants Alana in the room to observe Abigail. He tells Hannibal and Will to stay away.
Abigail identifies Nick’s body and also answers Jack’s questions. She tells Jack that she hasn’t seen Nick since the night he attacked her. After the ‘interrogation’, Abigail leaves and Jack tells Alana that he does not believe her. Alana tells him that Abigail is hiding something but it is not Nick’s murder because she knows that Hannibal was present in the house with her and Abigail, and he has no reason to lie about this whole thing. Later, Hannibal talks to Abigail. He knows that she is the one who uncovered Nick’s body. Abigail tells him that she is no longer afraid of Jack finding Nick’s body. She tells him that she is in control. Hannibal tells her that she betrayed his trust and jeopardized both their lives.
At the lab, Katz tells Will that Joel was adopted after his parents died. It turns out that Joel Summers was actually Joel Marshall before he was adopted. However, there is no DNA match between Joel and Fletcher. This means that Fletcher Marshall was not Joel’s biological father. Katz tells Will and Jack that Joel’s mother, Eleanor was killed in a car accident four years after Fletcher Marshall was killed. Katz tells them that a man named Lawrence Wells was questioned for Fletcher’s murder, but was set free because there was no proof. Will tells them that Fletcher’s murder was a crime of passion, something that the other murders did not exhibit. Jack and Will go to meet Wells. It looks like he was expecting them. He admits to all of the 17 murders.
He wanted them to find him, and tells them that going to prison will be like securing his legacy because he won’t be forgotten. Jack and Will learn that Wells had an affair with Eleanor before he killed her. Will knows that Wells loved Eleanor too much, and that is why he didn’t want to disgrace her by putting her body on the pole. Will tells Wells that Joel was his son but Eleanor decided to raise him as Fletcher’s son because she knew what Wells was all about. Wells is shocked. Wells didn’t secure his legacy, he murdered it. Case closed. Will looks at Nick’s dead body. He realizes that Abigail killed Nick. He goes to meet Hannibal and tells him that Abigail killed Nick.
Hannibal tells him that he knows because he helped her dispose Nick’s body. He tells Will that he had to do that because Jack would hang Abigail for killing Nick and then the world will think of Abigail as a person who actually helped her father. He says that Nick attacked Abigail and she killed him in self defense. He tells Will that he did this to protect her. Will understands. He decides not to tell Jack the truth about Nick’s murder. Later, Freddy, Abigail, Will and Hannibal have dinner at Hannibal’s house. After the dinner, Abigail tells Hannibal that Will knows. Hannibal assures her that Will won’t say a word about it. Abigail is tensed. She confesses to Hannibal that she did help her father with the killings.
She says that she was the one who befriended the girls and found out their schedule so that her father could kill them. Hannibal tells her that he knew. He wanted to hear it from her. Cut to flashback, where Abigail and Hobbs are travelling and Hobbs spots his next victim. Abigail walks up to the girl and starts talking to her. Hobbs smiles. The episode ends.