Jordy Raines, posing as a campus security guard, approaches Linda outside her sorority house and offers to come in and make sure the building is secure. He goes to a room where the girl is currently out and tells Linda that he’s studied all of the floor plans. He then opens the window and brings in a bag that he tossed up onto the roof earlier. Linda asks what he’s doing and Jordy takes out a knife as he explains it’s important to have the right tools and that he’s been planning for a long time.
Claire is at home watching the newscasts about the abduction of her son, Joey. Ryan and Reilly arrive and Claire runs to hug Ryan. She asks why the woman she knew as Denise Harris abducted Joey, and Ryan explains that Carroll planted one of his followers, Emma Hall, in the house under a false name. Claire insists that she ran a background check on the nanny and Ryan asks to see the records. Meanwhile, Mike confirms that Emma drugged the police on duty, left with Joey, and abandoned her car in a parking lot 45 minutes later. As they go over Emma’s records, Claire explains that Emma spent much of her time in her room, reading, and didn’t talk much about herself. When she blames herself for not noticing anything suspicious, Ryan assures her that it isn’t her fault.
Emma, Jacob, and Paul take Joey to a farmhouse in upstate New York. As Joey and Jacob play on the yard, Emma comes over and tells Joey that the house belongs to a friend of his mother. They go in and Joey asks to call his mother, but Emma tells him that Claire said not to call anyone. Outside, Jacob talks to Paul, who is clearly unhappy with abducting a child and jokingly admits he’d rather just kill the boy. They check with Emma and Paul goes inside. Jacob tells Emma that Paul had a rough night and Emma kisses him and says that it’s good to have him back.
At the detention center, Mike introduces Ryan to their new consultant, Agent Mitchell with cyber-forensics. Mitchell tells them that she’s identified Paul and Jacob, the men who were Sarah’s neighbors, and explains that Paul worked as a computer consultant and has a history of fraud. Ryan notices that Agent Jennifer Mason isn’t present and asks where she is, and Mike tells him to talk to Reilly. As Ryan arrives he hears, Turner telling Reilly that he wants Ryan off the case and knows how he cracked up after he captured Carroll. With them is Agent Debra Parker. When Ryan comes in, she explains that she’s been brought in as Jennifer’s replacement since she let Ryan break a prisoner’s fingers under her watch. Debra figures that they have to keep Ryan with them despite his behavior because Carroll is using Ryan as the hero in his new “book.”
Ryan asks Debra to deputize him, reminding her that Director Franklin put him on the case. She refuses for the moment and asks about his heart condition and his former drinking problem. Ryan ducks the questions and explains that Carroll used the Internet to recruit followers like Jordy. Having reviewed the tape of Carroll’s interrogation, Debra asks about the letter that the killer mentioned, and Ryan explains that Carroll sent Claire a letter asking about her relationship with Ryan. Before Debra can pursue the matter, Reilly comes in and tells them that more bodies have turned up.
The FBI team goes to the sorority house where the police have already confirmed that Jordy killed all nine occupants. He emulated Carroll, cutting out their eyes and writing “Nevermore” on the walls. Ryan figures that Emma and the others abducted Joey as a sacrifice to Carroll, and warns that Carroll won’t tell them anything about where his followers may have taken the boy. Reilly suggests that Carroll might tell his wife and reminds Ryan that the killer asked to see his wife.
Once they pick up Claire, the team takes her to the detention center. Ryan advises her to play on Carroll’s paternal instincts and she admits that she doesn’t want to confront her husband, but realizes she has no idea. Before she goes in, Claire briefly touches Ryan’s hand.
After Carroll’s arrest, Ryan visits Claire at her new place. She tells him that she doesn’t want to see her former husband again and Ryan assures her that she won’t have to.
When Claire enters the interrogation room, Carroll insists on talking about their past together and how beautiful she is. Claire demands that she’s only there to talk about Joey, and Carroll asks if she got his letter and refuses to discuss their son until she answers his question. Claire says that she got the letter and admits that she and Ryan had a relationship two months after the divorce. Carroll asks how the sex was and, as Claire reluctantly answers, Ryan watches on the monitors and tells the others that they have to get her out of there. Debra refuses, while Carroll asks Claire if she loves Ryan. Claire slaps him and Carroll grabs her by the neck and starts choking her. As Reilly and the guards go in and pull Claire away, Carroll says that he’ll always love her.
As Ryan examines Claire’s throat for damage, she apologizes for discussing their relationship with Carroll. Ryan tells her that it’s okay and promises to bring Joey safely back home.
Emma takes Joey up to his new room, which has all the furnishings and toys of his old room. He again asks to call his mother and Emma tell him that they have to wait. Joey asks why his father is such a bad man and Emma says that he’s just misunderstood.
Emma goes to one of Carroll’s book signings and listens to him read. Afterward, she approaches him and says how beautiful his book was. Carroll clears the hair from her eyes and says how beautiful they are, and Emma asks if the book’s protagonist, Gwendolyn, died in the end when she waded out into the ocean. Carroll asks what she thinks and Emma believes that she died, but she died swimming toward hope. Sharon Cooper, Emma’s mother, arrives to pick her up. When she sees Carroll and realizes that Emma is attracted to him, Sharon flirts with Carroll. He finishes by signing his book to Emma, saying, “Hopefully yours.”
When Paul asks Emma which room they’ll be sharing, she tells him that she and Jacob will take the master and Paul will sleep alone. He complains, claiming that he’s only worried about what Joey will think, but Emma tells him not to worry about it.
Mike reviews the video logs of Carroll’s visitors and discovers that Emma and Jacob, and later Jacob and Paul, came in together to see the killer. Going back further, Mike confirms that Emma used her real name on her first visit, and she has an address in Petersburg. Debra sends them there even though they figure that Emma is long gone. When they arrive with the local police, Ryan sneaks around the back and then breaks in, while Mike nervously watches outside. He searches the house and discovers that the walls are covered with Poe’s poems and pictures on the walls. In the master bedroom he finds a collection of Poe masks and a copy of his own book. As Ryan turns around, a man wearing a Poe mask charges out of the closet and knocks him down. He draws a gun on Ryan, says that he shouldn’t be there, but promises to finish him off later. The man then pistol-whips Ryan unconscious and escapes.
When the FBI secures the house, Debra isn’t happy that Ryan went in on his own. He tells her that the man didn’t match Jordy’s height and build, and figures that Carroll didn’t anticipate them finding Emma’s house. Debra looks at all of the material dedicated to Poe and suggests that Carroll has formed a cult, and explains that she specializes in cults.
Paul sets up wireless wifi for the farmhouse and then uses a scrambled connection to log onto Carroll’s primary Internet board. Jacob and Paul are glad to hear that Jordy managed to pull off the sorority killing, since they figured he was too incompetent to succeed. Emma comes in and tells Paul to check on Joey. Once he leaves, Emma wonders if he’s really gay and Jacob says that it was just the two of them, alone undercover posing as a gay couple. She dismissively tells Jacob that Paul will have to adjust to the two of them being together and insists that they had to pose as a gay couple because it’s part of Carroll’s plan.
Emma visits Carroll in prison and shows him her new, shorter haircut that shows off her eyes. Carroll compliments her and suggests that she go out and have a date with a guy that he thinks would like her. Later, she meets with the guy--an equally shy Jacob--and they hit it off.
Jacob and Emma have sex on the couch.
At Emma’s house, Debra tells the team to analyze the writing on the walls. Meanwhile, Ryan look at the walls and notices a newspaper clipping about Claire.
Ryan visits Claire at home and they talk about her divorce. She wonders if she should be happy about it and Ryan tells her that she deserves some happiness. After they share a toast, Claire tells Ryan to kiss her. They haggle for a bit and Ryan wonders if she’s sure, and Claire tells him that she’s been sure for a long time.
Paul finds Jacob and tells him that Rick sent them an email about the FBI finding Emma’s house. Rick wants Emma to call him about what to do next, and Paul objects to Emma being the one in charge. Jacob tells him to stop fighting with Emma, and Paul tells him that Emma is too good for her. Jacob doesn’t believe it and, noticing that Emma has been listening from the door, tells her that she’s amazing.
Jacob comes over for dinner with Emma and her mother, and Sharon insists on flirting with her daughter's prospective boyfriend. When Sharon wonders why Jacob is dating Emma, Jacob insists that Emma is the most amazing woman he knows. Sharon doesn't believe it and Emma stabs her in the back, and then tells Jacob that she finally did it.
Emma and Jacob share the memory from their past and smile at each other.
Ryan checks out the attack of Emma's house and discovers that someone has written the names of women on the walls. He tells Reilly that they're the names of women in Poe's life who all died. Among the names is a photo of Sarah. Mike finds a hollow spot in the wall and, prying the boards open, finds Sharon's corpse inside. Ryan explains that Poe often wrote of people buried behind walls, while Debra looks around and finds a photo of Claire. Realizing that Carroll's ex-wife may still be in danger, Debra has her people call the house to make sure that she's safe.
The team drives to Claire's home and meet with Detective Morales. He assures them that Claire is safe and takes them inside. Ryan tells Claire about Emma and how she met Carroll while he was in prison. Claire take Ryan's hand for a moment, and Debra notices the brief exchange. Ryan then goes outside and snaps at two officers who are drinking coffee instead of watching the house.
Inside, an officer escorts Claire upstairs to her room and make sure that it's safe, and then stands guard outside the door.
Reilly tells Debra that they've checked the names written at Emma's house and discovered that at least nine different handwriting samples are present. Four of them match Emma, Jacob, Paul, and Jordy, but they don't have a match on the other five. Debra wonders how Jordy has managed to disappear so thoroughly despite his low IQ.
As Claire washes up for the night, the officer outside notices something down the hall and investigates. Jordy drops down behind him and kills him, shoving the corpse in a side room. He then goes into Claire's room, closing the door behind him, and charges at her as she spots him in the mirror.
Outside, Ryan goes to the command van and brings up blueprints of Sarah's house. The blueprints were also written on the walls of Emma's attic. Ryan sorts through them and discovers that one blueprint is for Claire's basement. Realizing what the followers are up to, he runs into the house to Claire's bedroom. Jordy is there, holding Claire as a shield, and shoots at Ryan. Ryan ducks back and Jordy tells him that he's been waiting for the consultant. He orders Ryan to keep everyone else out and Ryan motions to the others as they arrive. As Ryan goes to the bedroom door, Reilly slips a gun underneath his belt and watches with the others as Ryan goes inside and closes the door.
Once they're alone, Jordy tells Ryan that he has to kill Claire in front of the consultant. Ryan reminds him that Carroll doesn't want Claire dead, but Jordy insists that he plans to write out his chapter the way that he wants to. Unimpressed, Ryan suggests that they call Carroll and confirm that. When Jordy glances at the phone, Claire shoves him away and Ryan draws the hidden gun and shoots the killer in the shoulder.
Later, the FBI team hauls Jordy out while Reilly and Mike criticize Morales for her letting Jordy gain access through the basement. Debra checks on Ryan and Claire, who are holding hands. Ryan finally lets go of Claire's hand and goes outside with Debra. He insists that he needs to see Carroll now that they've captured Jordy and Debra reluctantly agrees.
At the detention center, Ryan and four armed guards enter the interrogation room. Carroll tells Ryan that he should take better care of himself and Ryan informs him that he had to save Claire from Jordy. The killer assures him that he figured Ryan would rescue Claire all along and that Jordy is the least of the threats that he will face. Ryan asks what he's doing and Carroll dares him to figure out his end-game. He asks Ryan how it feels to have killed Jordy, and Ryan tells him that he captured Jordy and that the man is awaiting interrogation. Unimpressed, Carroll says that Jordy is a halfwit and that his capture means nothing to his ultimate plans. Ryan realizes that he's lying and points it out, and then leaves, satisfied with his small victory.
Later, Ryan goes back to Claire's house and offers to take her somewhere safe. She doesn't see the point and asks Ryan to stay, insisting that he's the only one she trusts. Ryan sets up for the night and promises that he isn't going anywhere, and Claire goes to Joey's bed and dozes off, holding onto his stuffed animal.
Paul checks in on Joey, who is fast asleep, and then checks on Emma and Jacob. They are having sex in the master bedroom, and Paul walks away.
Debra gets a request from Carroll for a volume of Poe's works and takes it to his cell. He peers out at her through the cell window as she pushes it in through the access slot.
Once Claire dozes off, Ryan sits on the bed and watches over her.
The next day, the man in the Poe mask that attacked Ryan walks up to a man on the street. He pours gasoline on the man, sets him on fire, and then casually walks away as the nearby pedestrians scream in horror.