A security guard checks a dark building after closing. It is full of carnival supplies. Creepy. Suddenly, the lights flip on. It's the guards co-worker, playing a joke. But the grins quickly turn to screams when a dead body is found on the carousel. The BAU team is quickly on the case. Jennifer notes that the dead girl's body was heavily made up and dressed in a new outfit. The other victims don't seem to match except for a similar drug in their systems that keeps them awake, but immobile. "These victims were paralyzed, but they were still conscious?" Derek asks. Yes. "The unsub turns their bodies into prisons," according to Hotch. Like living dolls, perhaps? Extra creepy.
During the plane ride to the murder site, Spencer notes that the unsub likely has medical training. A newly red-haired Garcia then calls in with news: the victims' clothing are perfect fits. Later, Emily and Derek interview the women's families and discover that no one recognizes said clothing. Hotch and Rossi, meanwhile, brainstorm on how the killer got the bodies to the disposal sites -- both of which are busy places. They quickly arrive at the conclusion that the unsub must have transported the women in wheelchairs. Thus, a wheelchair-equipped van would be needed. "I'll have Garcia pull all vehicles with handicap registrations," Hotch says. Good thinking, boys.
Garcia calls with more news: two more kidnappings of young, petite women have been reported. Both disappeared one day before the other bodies were discovered. "She doesn't let a body go until she has a replacement," Hotch says of the unknown killer. Speaking of, we cut to a dark parking lot, where a petite blonde woman helps a dowdy older lady load a wheelchair into a van. Her kindness is repaid with a Taser to the belly. "You're so pretty," the unsub whispers to the unconscious woman. Triple creepy.
The next day, the team finds yet another victim. Spencer takes a closer look and discovers that the dead woman is wearing a wig (the other women had extensions to cover bald spots where hair had fallen out due to the drugging process). And yikes! The hair has been stitched to the skin. Back at police HQ, Derek pins pictures of all the victims to the board. "She's matching up the victims physically one to one," Hotch observes. For once, Spencer simplifies: "She's a collector." Profile time! The cops should look for an "extremely introverted" woman with an attachment for objects. "We think she's collecting dolls," Rossi says. These dolls fill a hole in the life of the unsub, who is likely medically trained and a seamstress. And, as if time weren't already a factor, the missing blonde's husband informs the team that his wife is a diabetic. They need to find her within the next 24 hours.
Speaking of the missing blonde, she is sitting around a table in the collector's house having a horrifying tea party with three other living dolls. The women's eyes move, but nothing else. Meanwhile, creepy unsub is having a gay ol' time, playing with her "toys."
Back at police HQ, we finally get good news. The condition of the missing blonde, Bethany, means that she could break down the unsub's drugs quicker then the other victims. "She could regain control of her body?" Hotch asks. EXACTLY. Derek and Rossi, in the meantime, visit a doll store, where the owner points them in a direction of a now defunct local doll maker. Later, the team searches through a pile of "design-a-doll" entries for a contest held years ago by said company. One such entry wears a hand-stitched dress strikingly similar to one found on a victim. The contestants essay is also particularly odd. Garcia runs a check on the name of the entrant, who would have been a young girl at the time. Gasp! At the age of 10, the girl began undergoing electroshock treatments by order of her father, who runs a mental facility for pre-pubescent girls. Garcia then searches for real estate owned by the father. The team splits up: Rossi and Spencer will talk to dear ol' dad and the rest of the squad will investigate the properties. Samantha Malcolm could be housing her collection inside one of them.
Bethany, meanwhile, realizes that she can move her arms. She looks at the other women around the table and almost grins. "We're leaving," she gasps. Go Bethany! Sure enough, Bethany works her way out of her chair and begins crawling toward the others. She removes their IVs. Strength in numbers and all that. Rossi and Spencer, in the meantime, grill Dr. Malcolm, who denies that his daughter could have anything to do with the case. "Samantha has always been troubled," Dr. Malcolm says. "But she's not capable of that." The doc also refuses to divulge the whereabouts of his daughter. Spencer, who looks mighty upset, then presents his own disturbing theory. "My hypothesis here is that after you raped your daughter, you submitted her to electroshock treatments to make sure she stayed quiet," he practically spits. "And then, out of guilt, you bought her toys. More specifically, you bought her a line of dolls." The doctor goes white. Spencer's hypothesis seems to be scientific fact. Suddenly wanting to cooperate, Dr. Malcolm gives up the address of his daughter's residence. Bingo!
Back in crazy doll world, Bethany climbs back into her chair just seconds before Samantha arrives home. But the unsub notices that the woman has moved. She seems sad. "Don't leave me!" she pleads. Just then, Spencer steps into the room. "I know what your father did to you and I want you to know that he can never, ever hurt you again," boy wonder says in a soothing voice. Samantha, confused, holds a pair of scissors to Bethany's neck. Samantha then explains that her father kept the dolls he had given her in his office. When Samantha went into the office to get them one day, she saw Dr. Malcolm handing them to another one of his little-girl victims. Traumatized, she created her own collection.
Spencer then shows Samantha a case. It's filled with her old dolls! "I promise no one will ever take them away again," Spencer says. Samantha pathetically hugs her dolls as the rest of the team bursts into the room. They take the unsub away and tend to the drugged women. All is well. "Well done, Agent Reid," Rossi says.