A serial killer who targets couples rapes and tortures the women psychologically and physically and kills the men by blunt force to the head leaves the bodies in a car on a road to make it look like a car accident. While the BAU are investigating, a couple in a motel somewhere find themselves trapped in a pure nightmare...
In the area around Reno, Nevada, three young couples have have been murdered. The deaths are made to look like car accidents - each couple was in their car which was placed around the bend of a secluded highway, only to be hit by a speeding truck. But autopsies have confirmed that the couples were dead before impact, the male beaten and the female sexually assaulted before their death. As the BAU arrive in the area, they have a good idea of the profile of the unsub but have much legwork to do to narrow down the his possible location. Meanwhile, Ian and Abby Corbin have stopped in a secluded motel for the evening. Their room ends up being totally barricaded from the outside.
A serial killer targeting couples stages their bodies in a way to make their deaths look like car accidents.
- A truck driver, Bobby Jones, jams to AC/DC on the radio. It is a rainy night and as the hauler rounds a corner, the man's jaw drops. A car sits in the middle of the road! He steps hard on the breaks and the truck jackknifes ... but it's too little, too late.
BAM! The cab SLAMS into the car, crushing it like a child's toy. Jones leaps out of the cab and examines the wreck. Inside the car, a couple stares back. Dead.
Back at the office, the crew is about to call it a night when Jennifer enters with bad news. "There has been a series of suspicious car accidents that could be connected," she explains. In short, autopsies confirm that the bodies in the cars were dead BEFORE the cars were struck. The cause of death to the most recent victims: Blunt force head trauma.
No accident, indeed.
Cut to a happy, middle-aged couple driving at night. Bleary-eyed, they stop for the evening at a ranch-style motel. Their car is the only one in the parking lot. And yet, as the happy couple walks toward their rented cabin, the "no vacancy" sign blinks to life.
The team makes its way to an area outside Reno where the three accidents have occurred. Jennifer says the press is still reporting the incidents as simple car wrecks. Hotch stresses the importance of keeping up that charade, lest the killer change his methods. "If the unsub finds out were here, all bets are off," he says.
Some time later, the team arrives at the local sheriff's office and sets up shop. Spencer marks the murder sites on a map. Jennifer explains that three couples were staying in the area without reservations. "The common theme here is no paper trail," Spencer observes.
Hotch, meanwhile, interviews the father of the victim. Jack Laufer explains that his son-in-law was into camping but has no idea where the man usually pitched his tent. He does provide one clue, however. "My baby had a sweet tooth and John would always bring her back these donuts," Mr. Laufer says.
Cut to a plate of donuts inside Flo's, a local diner popular with residents and travelers alike. Derek and Emily enter and flash their badges. They show the waitress photos of the victims. She recognizes both. The pair had eaten breakfast at the counter two mornings in a row. "Nice couple," the woman says.
The team rushes back to the office to call Garcia. The bubbly researcher promises to send a list of phone numbers and addresses to more than 300 hotels and motels around Flo's diner.
Speaking of victims, the happy middle-aged couple from earlier awakens to find breakfast waiting for them ... and the wife's underwear missing. The problem: neither ordered the breakfast, despite the meal being exactly what the two had discussed earlier while cuddling in bed. Understanding dawns on the husband. Someone has been watching and listening.
"It's time to go," the husband says.
But it's too late. The door is locked from the outside. Boards slam down over the windows. The room goes dark. The couple is trapped!
The next morning, Jennifer arrives at the office with news. Ian and Abby Corbin -- our happy middle-aged couple -- have been reported missing. Hotch notes that the couple has been missing for more than 24 hours. The other victims had been missing for 48 before they turned up dead. "We may only until tonight to find them," Hotch says.
The couple didn't use a credit card and weren''t traveling on the interstate. "Sounds like were looking for somebody who works the night shirt at a back road motel," Sheriff Bruner says. Hotch suggests concentrating on the most remote hotels -- places where the murderer would have plenty of time and privacy.
Back at the (Bates) motel, the couple is cracking under the pressure. The killer bangs on the window and sets off loud alarms. Abby shrieks when she finds a bloody tooth in the sink. An unidentified pair of eyes watches from behind a grate in the wall.
Hotch pulls up into a small, familiar looking motel. The manager behind the desk is a nice enough chap ... until Hotch leaves. Then the young man locks the door and stares menacingly at the departing FBI agent. He tersely dismisses another couple looking to rent a room, claiming the motel is full.
We have our man. But will the team figure it out in time?
They're sure working on it. Garcia sends news of a convicted and jailed rapist who was arrested for assaulting five women. But something about the case is odd: four of the victims were not tortured or killed. The final woman was. "The last victim wasn't his," Hotch says. "It was our unsub's."
The Corbins, meanwhile, are trying desperately to escape. Ian goes into the bathroom and the door slams shut behind him. Abby hears struggling behind the door. Suddenly, it opens to reveal the young motel manager/ maniac. He stands over the terrified woman, holding a baseball bat.
Sheriff Bruner brings in a box of suspects from the previous rape case. The team begins flipping through the manila folders, looking for someone with a history violent enough to match that of the unsub. Hotch finds such a match: Floyd Hansen -- the same man he had visited earlier. "Let's go," Hotch says. "I know where were going!"
Abby, bleeding, is tied to the bed. Ian, bleeding worse, is strapped to a chair with duct tape. "Abby, I love you," Ian says. "I'm going to get us out of here. Do you hear me?" But Abby has passed out.
Hotch beats himself up as the team speeds toward the hotel. "Hotch, we talked to so many people it could have been any of us," Rossi says. Garcia calls: Hansen was an abused child, whose mother died and whose father remarried a prostitute. The cell-phone connection suddenly dies. The team is too far out in the country.
The team arrives at the motel and splits up to check rooms. One after another, they break down doors. Rossi finds a bag of women's underwear, noting that the killer has probably been at this longer than even they had suspected. Suddenly, Hotch hears noises from a certain room -- and with good reason.
Inside, Ian has managed to stand up in his chair and charge Hansen, knocking him against a wall. Hansen recovers and beats the man mercilessly with a bat.
Derek and Hotch break down the door and burst into the room. Hansen flees out of the back door and into the woods. Our heroes give chase. Now it's a foot race -- plain and simple. Hansen runs blindly out into the middle of the road ... and into the onrushing headlights of a truck!
Oh the irony!
The truck SLAMS into Hansen, killing him instantly.
Later, Hotch is still berating his own judgment. "It happens to the best of us," Rossi says. "Welcome to the club."