At the FBI field office, Debra and Ryan are called in to brief the Department of Homeland Security, the CIA, and the NSA about what happened and what they may be facing. Debra admits that they don't know how many people he has or where Carroll may have gone to ground. Nick tries to avoid anyone placing blame, and Ryan explains that Carroll has recruited lost, maladjusted people from all walks of life. Debra tells them that Carroll is using Romantic literature and promising to elevate their lives.
Carroll addresses his group and thanks them all for everything that they've done for him. He then tells them to help him by telling him what inspires them so he can finish his own story. Carroll tells them that they're ready and that they will now begin.
Ryan and Debra leave and she admits that it didn't go well. Nick approaches them and asks to talk to Debra privately. She wonders if they plan to drop her, and Nick tells them that they're taking operational control to Washington but want Debra to stay on to work with Ryan and keep her task force going there.
An older woman arrives at her home in Arrowlane, PA, and realizes that someone has broken into the house. She finds Paul on the couch, wounded, and Jacob comes up behind her... and calls her Mom.
A woman, Amanda Porter, tells Carroll about her chapter but can't bring herself to speak up. Roderick gets her to calm down and continue.
Amanda comes to see Carroll in prison. He assures her that he found her letters moving and asks her what happened recently. She tells Carroll that she killed her husband and his mistress using a shotgun. He nods in approval as Amanda describes how she cut the pieces up and burned them with acid. When she admits that she doesn't have anywhere to go, Carroll says that he has a friend named Roderick who can give her a place to stay.
Amanda says that she wants her chapter to have a happy ending by reuniting Carroll with his wife.
Mrs. Wells tells Jacob that she had to come to their country home because the Federal agents know about Jacob's involvement with Carroll and they're all over the house. He assures her that he never killed anyone and she hugs him.
At the field office, Ryan takes another tip call from the chief homicide detective in Dallas. After dismissing the man's tip, he takes the next call and discovers that it's Carroll. Carroll asks about Mike and Ryan assures him that he'll be fine, and expresses his condolences about killing his five followers. As they trace the call, Carroll asks Ryan if he misses Claire. As Carroll talks about how they both love Claire and that love hurts, Mitchell tries to trace the call. Meanwhile, Carroll asks how much hurt a man can endure and tells Ryan to let him know.
At a diner in Richmond , VA, two women come in to order. One of them goes to the restroom and Amanda leaves Louise at the counter and sits down next to the remaining woman, DeeDee. Amanda tells DeeDee that she needs to give a message to Ryan Hardy. When DeeDee questions her, Amanda slaps the table and says that she's serious. As the second woman comes back, Amanda says that they need to tell Ryan that love hurts. She then takes out a pressurized speargun from her purse, shoots the second woman, tells DeeDee to remember what she said, and leaves with Louise.
When they get word of the shooting, Ryan and Debra take a helicopter there. DeeDee is giving a statement and wonders why Amanda would have killed Claire Dobkins. Ryan questions her and confirms that Claire was separated and her maiden name was Matthews. Realizing what Carroll is up to, Ryan tells Nick to make sure Claire doesn't learn about the shooting and to make sure she's safe. As he walks away, Debra tries to reassure Ryan but he says that Carroll plans to kill every Claire Matthews that he can find.
Mrs. Wells treats Paul calling on her nurse experience, but warns him that she's not a nurse anymore. Meanwhile, Jacob leaves another message for Emma but Paul tells him that their friend left them to die.
Emma talks with Paul and picks out a target, Robin Stewart. When Paul insists that he's killed before and doesn't need to prove himself, Emma says that Jacob will go with him to make sure. Paul says that he's given up everything in El Paso to move there and says that they can trust him, and Emma says that he can trust them.
Paul starts rambling until Jacob calms him down.
Carroll watches the newscasts and admits to Emma that Amanda is good with her weapons. Emma briefly touches her lover and he walks out of the room. When she wonders if they're okay, Carroll says that they shouldn't advertise their indiscretion. She's surprised that he thinks that it's so bad, and Carroll turns away from her and asks Roderick if there's any news about Jacob and Paul. Roderick says that he'll keep looking and Carroll walks away.
Mrs. Wells warns Jacob that Paul has sepsis and he'll die if they don't get him to a hospital. He needs a blood transfusion to stabilize and then surgery, and Mrs. Wells tells Jacob that his father is on his way and her son should leave.
At the command center, Nick reviews Amanda's history while Ryan confirms there are almost a hundred Claire Matthews in the U.S. There are four in the area and the FBI already have one in protective custody.
A Claire Matthews comes out of the shower when a friend calls to tell her about the news. As Claire turns on the nose, there's a knock at the door. It's Amanda, claiming that she's with the police. Once she gets in, they struggle and Amanda throws Claire out the window where she falls to her death.
The FBI arrive at the scene and Nick holds a press conference asking the reporters to get the word out that they're looking for Amanda. Meanwhile, Debra confirms that they have another Claire in custody, leaving one more left. Ryan wonders why the murders are so mundane and figures that he's trying to lure Claire out. Debra assures him that Claire doesn't have media access and Ryan hopes that she's right.
Back at the office, Nick tries to work out why Amanda became a serial killer and Ryan figures that Amanda is using Carroll's playbook and his romantic underpinnings to kill her victims.
As Jacob gives Paul water, Mrs. Wells insists that he get Paul to the hospital before Jacob's father gets there. Jacob continues to insist that he's no killer and tells Paul to tell her the truth.
Paul and Jacob drive to the docks. As they go in, Paul talks about how his father abused him and he pushed him down the stairs when he was 12. They open the trunk and Paul tells Jacob stab the captive Robin first. He claims that he's worried they might be setting him up and Jacob takes the knife and then hesitates. He realizes that Jacob has never killed anyone and laughs, and Jacob drops the knife on the ground. Paul continues to mock him and then picks up the knife and stabs her repeatedly.
Paul tells Mrs. Wells that her son is no killer.
Emma goes down and sees Carroll drinking and flirting with some of the other members. Roderick comes over and suggests that they get drunk, and Emma wonders how he became the sheriff of a small town. He starts to explain but Emma walks away to get herself another drink. Roderick goes after her and continues explaining, pouring her a drink. He says that Carroll speaks to his contradictions and points out that Carroll loved his wife but slept with Emma. Emma tells him to mind his own business but Roderick points out that her boyfriend is with another man. He asks if she cares about them and Emma insists that she loves Jacob. Roderick tells her that he checked her satellite phone and confirmed she's received dozens of messages from Jacob. He yells the text messages out loud and then walks away, whistling.
Nick wonders what Carroll is up to and Ryan figures that he's trying to lure Claire out of hiding. As they talk, Debra comes in and tells them that they've traced the fourth Claire Matthews, a student, but she left her phone in her room and went to an off-campus student festival. They head out to find her.
Jacob sends an email to Roderick and confirms that he's going to send someone to pick them up. Mrs. Wells comes in and says that Jacob's father will be there in five minutes. When Jacob tries to move Paul, Paul reminds him that he owes him.
As Jacob and Paul drive away, Jacob rambles about what happened. He collapses into Paul's arms and Paul assures Jacob that they won't tell Emma. When Jacob wonders why he'd do that for him, Paul says that he's a good guy... and that now he owes him.
Paul says that he wants his life to mean something, and says that everything is perfect. He tells Jacob that he can do it and Jacob reluctantly gets up and leaves. Paul thanks him and says that he loves him, and then Jacob smothers him with a pillow until he dies. Once his lover is dead, Jacob kisses him on the forehead.
The FBI arrives at a masquerade street party that Claire went to and start canvassing the entire block. They start searching the crowd and Ryan spots Louise on the floor. Meanwhile, a student, Steve, approaches Claire and says that he recognizes her from the news. He brings up a new article about Amanda and tells her to get to the police. As Steve leads her through the crowd, they spot Amanda coming. Steve tells Claire to run and confronts Amanda, who stabs him in the stomach.
As Amanda runs after Claire, Ryan spots Amanda heading for the Ferris wheel and goes after her. Claire . runs out into the parking lot and finds a policeman, who escorts her to his car. He then radios in just as Louise and Amanda arrive and shoot the cop. Amanda runs after her while Ryan arrives and orders Louise to stop. She turns, daring him to shoot her, and he does. He then goes into the construction yard where Claire has run in.
Amanda tries to find Claire among the sheets and catwalks, and Ryan tries to find either both of them. As he closes in, Amanda grabs a nail gun and shoots him in the arm. He pulls the nail out as Claire screams for help. When he finds Claire, he discovers that Amanda already has her and is pointing the nail gun at her head. Ryan drops his gun and tells Amanda to let Claire go. However, Amanda insists that she has to kill Claire to punish Ryan for sleeping with Carroll's wife.
As Nick, Debra, and the backup Nick arrive, Ryan tells Amanda to kill him instead. Amanda refusing, saying that love hurts and that he has to suffer. She demands to know why he did it and Ryan says that he loves Claire. Amanda thanks him for his honesty and Ryan asks her to do something for him. He steps forward, saying that he needs to be punished, and asks her to kill him because he still loves Claire. Ryan assures her that she and Carroll will only have a happy ending if Amanda kills him. He draws closer, encouraging her, and finally yells at her. When she flinches, Ryan knocks the nail gun away and the FBI grab Amanda and haul her away.
Later, Roderick admits that they've underestimated Ryan and tells Carroll that Louise is dead and Amanda is in custody. Carroll offers his condolences, saying that he knew Roderick was important to him. Roderick shrugs and says that he doesn't know, and then tells Carroll that they deciphered Nick's encrypted call to Scott Turner, who is in charge of Claire's protection. Claire is in Huntington County, PA.
Back at the detention center, Ryan tells Debra that he wants to talk to Amanda and break her. When Debra tells him that the FBI is transferring Amanda to Washington, Ryan wonders how that makes her feel and she says that she feels like a failure. Ryan assures her that she isn't and goes to his desk, while Nick comes over and asks Debra if Ryan was telling the truth about his feelings. When she says that he is, Nick says that it's twisted.
Ryan watches the news reports on Claire.
Roderick goes to see Emma, who is pouring two drinks. He tells her that Carroll is busy and Emma asks what he wants. Roderick tells her that he received an email earlier but decided to surprise her instead. He leads Emma downstairs where an angry Jacob is waiting for her.