The episode begins with Bryan Ross introducing himself on a show called “The Bigfoot Hunters”. The Director is not happy and asks Bryan for a retake. Just then they hear a rustle in the woods. Moments later a man stumbles in their direction and falls down to the ground; he has been stabbed. At the precinct, Sam is preparing for a historical event at his daughter’s school and he is dressing up as the first black astronaut who went to space. He called in a favor and has managed to get the space suit. Kensi tells the trio that a guy named Morgan is retiring; but none of them know who Morgan is. Eric arrives and declares Morgan’s retirement party and they also have got a case.
Eric tells them that the dead man is Dean Albertson and he has been wanted for act of terrorism since the ‘70s. Albertson was the founding member of the group called GBP; Gun Barrel Party. This group was wanted for a string of bombings and most of the members of the group did time with the FBI; including Albertson. Nell tells them that GBP declared its comeback and that they would attack the American institutions that support injustice. This is an issue of National security. The manifesto was posted from a coffee shop and so it could be anyone using WiFi. There were eight guys in the group and as of now only one of them is alive; Jim Mullins and he is serving time in prison. Callen asks Kensi and Deeks to check the crime scene and Deeks is not comfortable in the woods.
Kensi and Deeks go to the woods and Kensi back tracks Albertson’s trail. Callen and Sam go to prison to meet Mullins. They tell Mullins about Albertson’s death and he doesn’t seem to be affected by the news. Mullins is in prison for murdering two security guards during a bank robbery. They tell him that GBP’s return has been announced and somebody is trying to take advantage of the same. Mullins tells them that Albertson ceased being his buddy since the time he deserted the cause. Callen feels that somebody reached out to Mullins before they could and so he asks Eric to get him a list of Mullin’s recent visitors. In the woods, Kensi and Deeks find a cabin and they realize that Albertson was living there with a woman. Just then a lady walks in, attacks Deeks and tries to run away.
But Kensi grabs her and takes her to the precinct. The woman’s name is Leah Dewhurst. She tells Kensi that she is Albertson’s girlfriend and she had no idea about his death until now. She tells Kensi that she was at the grocery store and also, she doesn’t know anything about Albertson’s past. He wouldn’t talk about it. Eric tells the team that Mullins had two visitors in prison; one from his sister who lives in Ohio and the other is from a professor, Roy Hale. Callen and Sam go to meet Hale. He tells them that he is writing a book on the GBP and he is merely explaining their point of view. They then tell Hale that Albertson was stabbed to death. Hale says that he did not know about that and he feels that it would make an interesting chapter in his book.
On their way out, Sam notices some graffiti on the pamphlets that were put up on the notice board. Callen clicks a picture. Eric tells them that the graffiti belongs to an anarchist group which calls themselves Red Tide. There was a message that was uploaded on an anarchy board through the WiFi at the University. Hetty tells Deeks and Kensi that it is time for them to go back to school. Deeks will have to pretend to be a janitor and Kensi will go in as a student. Kensi meets Hale’s TA, David and has a conversation with him. David thinks that she has come for the protest; he checks her in for extra credits. He then invites her over to a discussion at Hale’s house. It is mainly for guy students but he is sure that the professor will make an exception.
Kensi asks for Hale and David tells her that Hale doesn’t come for the protests anymore because the numbers of the protesters are dwindling. Janitor Deeks enters Hale’s office and plugs in a drive into the professor’s computer to let Eric gain access to the information on it; but there is nothing on it and Eric finds that odd. Callen tells Deeks to keep digging. Just then the Red Tide group attacks the campus and Sam, Callen and Kensi manage to knock them down. Just then Deeks tells them that he has found something; it is a box of explosives. It does not have a timer; but it has a cell phone trigger. This bomb can go off any second. Deeks evacuates the building. They infer that someone wanted Hale dead. Callen and Sam go to check his house. Eric tells them that Hale’s phone is turned off.
Sam and Callen arrive at Hale’s house and they see his car in the driveway. As they approach the house, there is a huge explosion. Later, the team thinks that Hale was attacked because he must have come across something in his research on the GBP and someone did not want that information to be published. But they are not sure that Hale was in the house when it blew up. Nell calls Callen and tells him that one of the Red Tide members they busted, Allen Sanderson, was one of Hale’s graduate students. His father owns the largest construction company and his father bailed out on him due to his illegal activities. Eric tells Callen that the serial number on the bomb led them to a construction site which belongs to the Sandersons. And the bomb found in Hale’s office is a fraction of the total explosives that is missing.
Sam and Callen interrogate Allen and tell him that Red Tide is considered as a terrorist organization by the Government. Meanwhile, Kensi talks to David. David tells Kensi that Hale took him under his wings and saved his life because David was having a tough time with his father. Deeks talks to Leah and shows her Allen’s picture; but she tells him that she has never seen him before. But she recognizes Hale standing next to Allen and she tells him that Hale came to meet Albertson couple of times. But she also tells Deeks that Albertson called him Johnson. At the ops, the team discusses that Johnson belonged to GBP and he was killed in the explosion at the cabin while they were making bombs. Eric uses the age progression software on Johnson’s picture and it is a 91% match to Hale.
The crime lab informs that Hale’s body was not found in the house. Eric tells Callen that Hale is on the run and security camera footage proves that Hale was at a center where they make fake identities. Callen updates Allen about Hale’s recent activities and tells him that Hale is running again, leaving him behind. Allen tells them that Hale has a storage unit in Hollywood. They are on the way to the unit. Allen also tells them that Hale is planning to blow up one of the Southern Californian fortune 500 companies. Hale is loading the explosives in his trunk and the team arrives. They arrest Hale. Hale tells them that he wasn’t at the cabin when it exploded and the cops found his prints in the wreckage, and declared him dead. He saw this as an opportunity and started a new life.
He saw that the present generation wasted their time tweeting and so he enlisted Allen and his group for his cause. He then says that Albertson’s murder was an accident. He had gone to meet him to ask him to join him. But Albertson’s mind was elsewhere and they ended up in an argument. Albertson pulled out a knife and a struggle ensued. Albertson slipped and fell on the knife and there was nothing Hale could do. Hale tells them that he sowed a lot of seeds in the classrooms over the years he taught and he feels that some of them will definitely take root. Case closed. Next, Callen is still concerned about what Hale said. And we see that Hale was right. Hale’s death has affected David and he is going through websites learning how to make bombs.
Just then Kensi arrives and asks him out for coffee so that they can talk. Hetty tells Callen that a good friend arriving at the right time will be of great help. We now know why Kensi meets David. It is Morgan’s retirement party and Sam gets Callen the last piece of cake. Nell, Eric and Deeks join the party. They then ask Sam about the competition at his daughter’s school. Sam tells him that he was the second coolest dad; the first one was dressed as a Navy Seal! The episode ends.