After a meeting with bureaus in DC, Donovan informs Parker and Hardy that DC is taking over the investigation, and they will stay on to run the task force. Parker is instructed to keep an eye on Hardy.
Carroll speaks to his followers with the promise of elevating their lives through death. He wants them to write their own chapters, and it is time for the next part of the story.
A woman arrives at a cabin to find dishes in the sink. This confuses her for some reason. There must be someone in the house. She finds Paul on the couch and Jacob comes up behind her. It’s Jacob’s mom!
Back at the Carroll compound, a woman, Amanda, is trying to tell Joe her chapter. She is very nervous. Roderick tries to calm her down.
Flashback to Amanda visiting Joe in prison. She tells Joe that she killed her husband and his mistress and dumped their bodies in Florida. He gets her in contact with Roderick, who he says can help her.
Amanda is now telling her chapter to Joe. She wants Joe to get Claire back, and wants her chapter to have a happy ending.
Joe calls Hardy in the guise of checking on Weston. He asks Hardy if he misses Claire, and talks about the irony each of them being the only other one that understands what they are going through. Joe asks Hardy how much hurt can one man endure before he breaks.
In a restaurant in Richmond, VA, Amanda climbs into a booth with a woman. She tells the woman to tell Ryan Hardy that sometimes love hurts. When the woman’s friend returns to the table, Amanda shoots her with a spear gun.
When Hardy, Parker, and Donovan arrive at the restaurant, they find out that the victim’s name is Claire Matthews. Joe is targeting women named Claire Matthews. Based on eyewitness reports, they are able to determine that Louise and Amanda are the suspects.
As Paul lays sick and near death on the couch, he remembers how Emma never trusted him, even from the beginning. She sent him to kill a woman, almost as a test. She was nice enough to send Jacob with him.
Paul describes how when he was 12 he pushed his father down the stairs. Paul tells Jacob to stab the woman first, to prove his trust to him. Jacob cannot do it. Paul teases him about having never killed anyone before, and then kills the woman himself.
Back in current times, Jacob’s mother tells him that Paul needs to go to the hospital. He has sepsis, and will die without treatment. She also warns him that his father is on his way, and will call the police if he sees them there.
Donovan, Hardy, and Parker are searching for all Claire Matthews. They find 87 in the US, and 4 locally. They decide to go find the 4 local Claire Matthews, and try to ensure their safety.
One of the Claire Matthews receives a phone call from a friend, and turns on the news, where they are urging anyone named Claire Matthews to contact authorities. Someone knocks on her door, saying they are the police, but it is actually Amanda, who struggles with Claire, and throws her out her apartment window. She lands on the ground right at the feet of the officers who were coming to check on her.
Two of the four Claires are safe, one is dead, and one is unaccounted for. Hardy believes that Joe’s plan is to keep killing different Claire Matthews until their Claire comes out of hiding to offer herself.
Roderick confronts Emma, telling her all about the gray areas in everyone’s lives. The fact that Joe slept with her when he loves his wife, and the fact that slept with Joe when she has a boyfriend that she doesn’t seem to care about at all. He tells her he checked her phone and found a bunch of messages from Jacob asking where she was.
Jacob emailed Roderick for help, and Roderick has given him an address where he and Paul can be picked up. Paul doesn’t want to go. He tells Jacob he owes him. Another flashback to just after Paul killed that woman. Jacob was crying and couldn’t believe he had just watched a murder. Paul tells Jacob he won’t tell Emma, but now he owes him.
While I thought that Paul was telling Jacob to just go without him, he actually wants Jacob to kill him. He wants his life to mean something. He tells Jacob that he can do this, and then thanks him and tells him he loves him. Jacob smothers Paul with a pillow, sobbing as he does so.
It turns out the fourth Claire Matthews, a young college student, is at a party and left her phone in her dorm room. Hardy, Parker, and Donovan go to the party to try and find her. They arrive at some kind of block party rave, which of course is a costume party.
A boy talks to Claire, and tells her that the police are looking for her. Amanda starts coming after her, but the boy gets in her way. She stabs him, and keeps going after Claire.
Claire finds a cop, who calls for backup, but Louise comes out of the shadows and kills the cop. Hardy arrives and kills Louis, but Amanda chases after Claire. Hardy catches up to Amanda, and she shoots him in the arm with a nail gun.
Hardy catches up to Amanda again, who has the nail gun to Claire’s (#4) head. Amanda will not let Claire go, Claire has to die. That’s how it works. Hardy tells her to take him instead. She can’t. He confesses that he still loves (the real) Claire Matthews, and he can’t unlove her. She has to kill him to make it all right.
He gets closer and closer to Amanda, and is able to wrestle the nail gun away from her. Amanda is brought into custody, and Claire Matthews #4 is safe.
Roderick informs Joe of the bad news regarding Amanda and Louise. Joe offers his condolences to Roderick on Louise’s death, but Roderick doesn’t seem to care. He tells Joe that they were able to decipher an encrypted cell phone call from Donovan to protective services. They know that (the real) Claire Matthews is somewhere in Huntington County, PA.
Roderick comes to talk to Emma. She is disappointed, clearly expecting it to be Joe. He tells her he receives and exciting email, but wanted to surprise her. He brings her out to the hallway, and a not too happy Jacob is standing before her.