One week earlier, in Hastings Nebraska, a very somber Alex Tully sits on a chair in his living room. Sifting through his ransacked house, police officers are searching for something. A medic tends to a wound on his head. Across from him, Detective Ehrle probes Alex about his last conversation with his wife, Kathryn Tully. Ehrle's comments and questions make it clear that he believes Alex is at fault for Kathryn's disappearance. Alex stands and tells Ehrle to do whatever he needs to do to clear his name and find his wife. Ehrle finishes by telling Alex that "Kidnapping generally happens for a purpose.
To compromise those left behind. Now why would someone want to compromise you?" Alex has no answer for the Detective and Ehrle walks away. Alex looks to the floor and finds a small wrapped gift. He holds it up and reads the note, "To my loving husband on our anniversary." He places the gift on a bookshelf, followed by the gift he intended to give Kathryn.
Wendy Patrakas is going into labor and she screams as a team of doctors push her through the halls of a hospital in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. The female doctor tells a nurse to call her husband, but Wendy breaks through the screaming and grabs her arm, telling her that her husband Richard has meetings all day and shouldn't be bothered.
A few days later, Wendy and her newborn child, Sam, are ready to go home. The doctor tells Wendy that she noticed bruising on Wendy's thigh and the back of her shoulders. She tries to get Wendy to open up about possible physical abuse by her husband, but Wendy just says she's clumsy. Another nurse walks in and places a huge fruit basket on a table near the bed.
The doctor tries one more time, but Wendy just says she'll try to be more careful.
Brockbridge, Maryland. Winston Salazar, donned in a bright orange prison jumpsuit, is being escorted down a hallway, asking the guard who bailed him out of jail. Winston believes his wealthy father, who is trying to break into politics, got him out of jail so he'd stay quiet during the campaign.
Moments later, Winston in civilian clothing, looks through his belongings and finds a sleek, black cell phone. The guard sees Winston making a puzzled expression, "Something wrong? That's not yours?" Winston says he's just checking it. He pulls a winter hat down and walks out.
Winston leans against the hood of a gaudy gold Impala convertible. He makes a call to the office of his father, Fernando Salazar. An employee asks who is calling. When Winston answers, "Tell him, it's his son." But the office worker catches Winston off guard, "Oh! Hi! Sean! I didn't recognize your voice!" Winston cuts the worker off, "It's his other son." The worker puts Winston on hold, and when he returns, tells Winston is father is unavailable. Winston leaves a message. "Tell him I said thanks. That I got the phone. And I guess he'll just call me on it whenever he wants." The worker asks if there's anything else, and Winston gets angry, "Yeah, you know what? Tell him he could have put some cash with it too," Winston snaps the phone closed. He stands up, and takes a step forward to hurl the phone, but suddenly the phone rings. He stops and looks back at it.
In Nebraska, Alex tears into the small package he believes was from his wife when he hears the same ringtone as Winston.
Wendy slowly walks with baby in hand towards the fruit basket. She moves the bow and finds the phone attached.
Alex gets the phone from the gift box and answers. A mysterious man's voice greets him, "I've got to hand it to you Alex.
You've got will power. Others would have ripped that box open first chance they got." Alex barks back, "Who is this? Where's Kathryn?" Wendy listens to the same man's voice, "Listen closely, I'm about to make you an offer. One that could change your life.
But you must follow these instructions to the letter or risk losing this opportunity." Winston listens to the instructions, "You will no have time to consider it. You will not have to think. Only to act, for action now is all that is required."