A well-dressed woman walks through a parking garage and gets into her car. As she pulls out, we notice her water pump has been leaking. Soon, she breaks down along a wooded road. She walks down the road a bit, trying to get a cell connection when a truck appears. It stops ... and then GUNS the engine. The woman is run down.
Cut to BAU headquarters where Garcia is getting bad news. Kevin has applied for a job so secret he can't even tell our girl where he would be working. "I could if you applied with me," Kevin says. "Just think about it?" Garcia gets an immediate headache.
The team, meanwhile, is looking into the case of two women recently run down with a truck in Oregon. Can the team be sure the incidents were connected? "For one, they were both backed over after the initial impact," Jennifer explains. Ouch. Time to board a plane. Heading west aboard the jet, Emily theorizes the unsub is a male because men tend to have an "unnatural bond" with their cars. She is only partly kidding. Spencer says the unsub could be compensating for a lack of power, or even impotency. "Vehicular rape," Rossi says with a raised eyebrow. Gross.
The team lands in Oregon. Emily and Hotch investigate the scene of the first death, where a woman jogger was run down. Hotch notes the construction equipment provided a natural cover. "Too convenient," he says. Hotch then notices a patch of oil, theorizing the killer was lying in wait. The victims are NOT random. "He knew their work schedules, jogging routes, work patterns."
The husband of the second victim, Shannon, arrives back at the station. "Did Shannon ever mention noticing anyone?" Hotch asks the man. "What about a truck? Or a large SUV?" Bingo. Hubby says he saw a truck he didn't recognize parked outside of his house a few days ago. Tinted glass. Black paint. Creepy.
Hotch and Rossi head out to the impound lot, where the attendant explains the water-pump line in Shannon's car had been cut. "Could somebody possibly gauge how far she could have traveled with the car in this condition?" Hotch asks. Sure, the attendant says. "Sabotage," Rossi notes.
Cut to a parking garage, where a man notices that the taillight of this red car has been broken out. Suddenly, a black truck pulls up. The truck then FLOORS it, but the man LEAPS out of the way. The truck BASHES into the red car. Terrified, the man then takes off running toward a just closing elevator door. He doesn't make it in time. The truck PLOWS into the man, crushing him between the grill and the closed doors. Yikes.
Later, the team arrives to find the third victim has nearly been "cut in two." The male victim confuses our BAU heroes. "So much for the vehicular rape theory," Spencer says. Rossi spots cigarette butts in a nearby parking spot -- but they have been field stripped. "Our guy could be ex military," Emily notes. Spencer arrives with news: "All of the victims drove red, two-door coupes," he explains. Better yet: the victims' regular routes have a single road in common. "Route 7," detective Quinn says. "The most dangerous road in the state." And not just because of the killer. The road is winding and has resulted in various deadly accidents over the years.
Cut to a mysterious man having an awful dream. In this dream, the man drives down Route 7 and then CRASH! A woman in the passenger seat lies bleeding next to him. He awakes with a start. As he climbs out of bed, we realize he is handicapped. The man climbs into a wheelchair and rolls to the garage, where the black truck of death awaits.
Briefing time. "We believe he holds the driver of the comparable vehicle responsible for his actions," Spencer tells a roomful of cops. The team also theorizes the man is physically debilitated in some way -- perhaps as a result of an accident along Route 7. "He's taking revenge against a surrogate," Hotch says.
Cut to a middle-aged father named Gil Bonner. The man has been having a hard time at work lately -- as if something is distracting him. He now sits in his living room downing beer after beer when Jennifer appears on the television, explaining the red-car theory to the press. Gils face loses all color. He walks outside where a red, two-door car is parked in the driveway. Minutes later, Gil arrives police headquarters. "He says it's his fault," Jennifer tells Hotch. Sure enough, Gil admits to reaching for his cell phone while driving along Route 7 late one night in December of 2007. Gil's red car swerved into the opposite lane, running another car off the road. Gil, scared, just kept driving. "It was the truck you're looking for," Gil explains. "It has come back for revenge." The only problem: no one ever reported an accident in December of 2007. Gil is confused.
Derek and Emily visit a rehabilitation center for disabled veterans. The administrator says one particular patient -- discharged some months back for emotional issues -- fits the profile. The name: Ian Coakley, a former military mechanic. Emily looks at Coakley's file and finds dozens of drawings. They all depict a black truck with teeth attacking various small cars. We have our man.
But not an address. Garcia does a quick search for the name -- finding nothing. Her guess: Coakley is "squatting" somewhere. Rossi inquires about the man's car. Turns out Coakley was last registered as owning a 1979 pick-up truck. "He has had to rebuilt it several times now," Rossi notes. "Parts can't be easy to find for a truck that old." Garcia does another search. An inordinate amount of parts for that particular model have been shipped to a nearby address in the last few months. Bingo.
The team wastes little time in busting down the door of the address. Derek, not surprisingly, goes first. Gun drawn, he charges around corners -- but the man and his truck are gone. A stack of truck grills -- some still with blood on them -- sit in the garage. So do a number of different license plates. Derek also finds photos of the victims. "Stalk central," he quips. One photo depicts an unidentified man standing next to a red, two-door car. "I think we found his next target," Rossi says. Derek calls Garcia and asks "baby girl" to run the plate number in the photo.
Minutes later, Rossi and Derek arrive at the home of a man in the picture, Garrett Burke. His wife answers the door, explaining her husband is out on a bike ride. "We need you to tell us every road they take," Rossi says. Back at the house, Jennifer searches through Coakley's unpacked boxes. She finds a digital camera and begins looking through photos of the unsub and his wife. One photo stops her cold. Coakley's wife stands by a red, two-door car.
Emily calls Hotch, who is racing to intercept biker Garrett Burke. "Maybe there is no other car," Emily says. "A red couple did cause the accident -- and he was driving it." In other words, Gil Bonner is off the hook. The car he swerved to avoid didn't crash, after all (explaining why no accident was ever reported). Coakley was driving his wife's car, probably fell asleep at the wheel and crashed, killing his beloved wife. "So he's projecting blame?" Hotch asks. Exactly.
Hotch FLOORS it. He rounds a corner to see Garrett Burke on his bike -- and a black pick-up truck quickly approaching from behind. Hotch jerks the wheel, sending the BAU SUV hurtling into the side of the truck. BOOM! A tremendous crash results in both cars sitting by the side of the road. Burke has been saved. Quinn leaps from the car, gun drawn. "You can't blame other people for what you've done, Coakley," he yells. It does no good. Coakley throws his battered -- but still running -- truck into reverse.
The truck takes off down the road. Rossi notes it's a dead end. "Don't do it man!" Derek yells. Too late. Coakley, seeing a vision of his wife smiling from the passenger seat, drives off a cliff. Suicide. And case closed.
But not the episode. Jennifer takes Gil Bonner aside, explaining he didn't cause any harm. The man cries in relief. "Thank you," he whispers. Garcia, in the meantime, gets another visit from Kevin. Turns out the position just "went away." Explains Kevin: "Apparently there was a security breach. Someone hacked the project database. The whole project was put on hold." Someone? A "baby girl," perhaps? "It's OK," Kevin says. "I couldn't have gone without you." The two kiss. We melt.