We open with J.J. being questioned by a Senate Committee. Outside, the rest of the team waits ... and paces. "Baby girl, this is just what they do," an angry Derek tells a nervous Garcia. Inside, J.J. continues to be grilled. It is implied by Chairman Cramer that a particular case for the team became "personal." "Once the subject was confirmed, we had to act quickly," J.J. explains.
FLASHBACK! Derek, gun drawn, bursts into an apartment with J.J. by his side. They then head tot the roof. Out of nowhere, a shadowy figure TACKLES Derek. A struggle ensues. Finally, the shadowy man is revealed to be Doyle, who raises his arms in surrender. CUT back to the senate hearing, where Cramer admonishes J.J. for using government funds in a personal vendetta -- a vendetta that got two members of the team killed. Another FLASHBACK! We watch as Derek and Garcia search for Doyle. It soon becomes clear that Hotch and J.J. don't know Derek is looking for Doyle and his son, Declan. "It feels weird not sharing," Garcia notes. Derek agrees ... but won't be stopped.
The pair soon tracks down Declan. The kid is attending a boarding school and doing well. Derek watches him for two months, knowing Doyle will eventually show. And, sure enough, Doyle is soon identified via a security camera. Derek then calls Hotch, who is on assignment in Pakistan (and wearing a scruffy beard). "I'm coming back," Hotch declares upon hearing the news that Declan and daddy have been found. FAST FORWARD to the stakeout outside Doyle's makeshift apartment. Reid calls: Declan has gone missing.
CUT to Reid and Rossi, who storm the house where the child had been living. They find an FBI agent dead on the floor of the kitchen ... and another murdered upstairs. Finally, Reid finds the bloody body of the nanny. "Three bodies and no kid," Rossi comments. "Doyle's got him." CUT to Derek and J.J storming Doyle's apartment and then heading to the roof. CUT to Doyle, handcuffed, being led to an interrogation room. Derek demands to know where Declan has been taken. Doyle claims not to have involved. In fact, the gangster appears as worried about Declan as Derek is. So who took Declan?
"Who hates you enough to take him?" Derek demands. Doyle either doesn't know or he isn't talking. Garcia, meanwhile, presents a recently returned (and still bearded) Hotch with a list of Doyle's top 10 enemies. One of the men on the list, Richard Gerace, recently returned to the states -- and was spotted wearing a ski mask outside of Declan's home. Hotch relays the information to Derek, who relays the information to Doyle. Doyle will only say that Emily might be able to provide guidance. Alas, she is dead.
Or is she?
Hotch gathers the team to break the big news: Emily is actually alive. Her death was faked in order to protect her. "I take full responsibility for the decision," Hotch says. Suddenly, Emily enters. Jaws drop as do tears. Some members of the team don't know how to react, especially Derek and Reid. They might feel betrayed. But there is no time for conversation at the moment. The agents fill in Emily on the case. She has a hard time believing that Gerace had the "balls" to do this alone. A woman was also spotted outside Declan's home. Unfortunately, Doyle has a long, long list of spurned lady friends.
Reid notes that the nanny taking care of Declan was particularly brutalized. Could the mysterious woman be Declan's mother? Doyle, Emily explains, had always claimed that Declan's mommy was dead. He must've been lying. So Emily confronts Doyle. "Of course," the gangster sneers upon seeing the very alive Emily. Doyle then IDs Declan's mommy from a series of photos -- Chloe Donaghy. We have ourselves a suspect. Chloe is a doozy, too -- with a long, long record of international criminal activity. Hotch notes that Chloe isn't the mothering type and that she might just be trying to hurt Doyle. Indeed, Doyle admits that Chloe tried to kill herself when she found out she was pregnant. So, Doyle chained her to a bed for seven months, then paid her off once Declan was born.
But if mommy has no interest in keeping Declan -- and Reid believes just that -- she might be interested in giving the boy to an enemy of Doyle's in exchange for money/ weapons/ whatever. Doyle gives Emily a list of people who are a). associated with Chloe and b). might want to see him harmed. Garcia quickly discovers that one name on the list, Lachlan McDermott, stands out above the others. Doyle murdered Lochlan's brother -- and Lochlan now owns a warehouse in Baltimore, Maryland. Bingo.
CUT to the warehouse, where they find Gerace shot and killed. "He was dead weight," Hotch says. "She thinks she's going to get more for the kid without him." FLASH FORWARD. Reid is questioned by Cramer for bringing up the idea of taking Doyle to Lochlan -- with the possibility of an exchange for Declan in mind. Reid, who we discover has NOT requested reinstatement to the BAU team, vehemently (for Reid) defends his decision. "Calm down, agent!" barks Cramer. Responds Reid: "This IS calm and it's 'DOCTOR.'" FLASHBACK to Reid convincing Emily to take Doyle on the road. Emily then turns to Strauss, who resists. "I am certain that without this move there is a very good chance that little boy is going to die," Emily says. Strauss relents.
The team and Doyle then heads to an airfield linked to Lachlan, who is aboard a private jet with Chloe and Declan. Hotch gets on the megaphone: "We will give you Ian Doyle and you send out the boy!" Chloe objects ... so Lachlan shoots her. He then drags Declan outside and onto the tarmac. Emily and Reid escort Doyle to Lachlan. Just then, a wounded Chloe emerges from the plane, FIRING her weapon. Lachlan is struck dead. Doyle is shot in the neck. He reaches out to touch his son's hand ... and dies.
Case closed ... but not the episode. It's time for Senator Cramer to level his verdict. He dismisses everyone except for Emily, who passionately argues for her team. The speech sways Cramer. Suspension is listed for everyone, but they can continue to work together. The team, however, will be CLOSELY watched. Later, the team gathers at BAU headquarters. Emily is back. J.J. is back. Everything is good again.