When Holder's search for a runaway girl leads him to discover a gruesome string of murders that may connect to a previous murder investigated by Linden, she is drawn back into the life she thought she'd left behind. Read more...
Detectives Stephen Holder and Carl Reddick investigate the body of a teenage girl found in an abandoned factory, throat slashed and with a broken finger. Holder contacts Sarah Linden, now working for the Vashon Island Transportation Authority, when he realizes the body's condition is similar to that of Trisha Seward, a victim from one of Linden’s old cases.
Street kids Bullet and Kallie Leeds seek a bed for the night at Beacon Home, a shelter for homeless teens. Bullet gets one, but Kallie doesn't. Before leaving to find somewhere else to sleep, Kallie takes possession of a blue ring that Bullet intends to give to Lyric, a girl she has a crush on.
Unable to find Kallie the next day, Bullet reports her as missing to the police, then goes to the apartment of Goldie, a pimp, to look for her. Goldie rapes Bullet.
Pastor Mike, who runs Beacon Home, suggests Holder and Reddick look for leads at the 7 Star Motel. Mama Dips, the motel owner, refuses to help.
Linden visits Seward’s son Adrian at his foster home and spots a drawing of trees similar to another drawing Adrian made years earlier. This time the drawing includes a building, which Linden recognizes as the abandoned factory where the dead girl was found. She visits the forest seen in the drawing and discovers a pond littered with corpses.
Skinner tells a specially assembled task force that 17 teenage girls were found in the pond, all with slashed throats or severed heads. Holder mentions Kallie’s recent disappearance. Linden, who’s now officially on the case, suspects a connection between the bodies and the Trisha Seward case.
Linden approaches Adrian at his school to ask why he drew the drawing with the factory. He has no answer.
On death row, Seward finds a razor blade planted in his soap and hides it inside his mouth. He later uses the blade to cut off a tattoo of an “A” on his chest.
In search of Kallie, Holder and Reddick speak to Bullet, who leads them to Goldie’s apartment. They arrest Goldie and discover his large kiddie porn stash.
The coroner estimates the 17 bodies were all killed three to five years ago within a six-month period, and that some had broken or severed fingers. Linden reveals that Trisha Seward's body also had a broken finger and was missing her rings.
Holder and Linden spot Kallie in one of Goldie’s porn videos and trace the video's location to a secret room in Mama Dips’ motel. Bullet notes that Kallie is wearing her blue ring in the video.
Twitch, another street kid, is forced to perform a sex act on his parole officer in exchange for completing his probation. The experience sends Twitch on a meth bender, upsetting Lyric, who is in love with Twitch.
Linden and Holder match two of the 17 victims to girls in the porn videos. Another cop recognizes another girl from the videos, Tiffany, from her recent arrest for soliciting. Tiffany tells them that Joe Mills, a cab driver and frequent john, shot the video.
A girl runs into the road and is hit by a car, but keeps running. The driver tells cops that he saw a man pursue the girl through the forest. Linden and Holder canvas the area, finding a severed finger near Beacon Home and eventually locating the girl, Angie Gower, at a nearby vet’s office. To Linden’s frustration, Angie doesn’t recognize Joe Mills in a mug shot lineup.
Linden realizes Mills is Mama Dips’ son, and tells Danette Leeds -- Kallie's mother and Joe Mills' girlfriend -- that Mills made a porn video with Kallie. Danette doesn't believe it, but then discovers Kallie’s mobile phone in Mills’ bag and goes to the police.
Adrian’s foster parents complain to Skinner that Linden’s visit triggered Adrian's old habit of sleeping inside a closet. Linden and Holder realize Adrian may have seen Trisha’s killer from the closet in his old apartment.
Linden visits Seward in jail and tells him she believes he's innocent. Seward grows anxious about choosing to be executed by hanging.
Bullet comforts Lyric about Twitch’s drug relapse. They kiss, and Bullet reveals her crush. She then asks Pastor Mike to help find them a place to sleep. The Pastor offers up his house.
After Angie sneaks out of the hospital, Linden and Holder look for her at Beacon Home. They begin to grow suspicious of Pastor Mike, especially after Rayna, another homeless youth, tells them she saw the pastor chasing Angie on the night Angie was attacked and later returning to Beacon Home with blood on his shirt. A background check reveals that Pastor Mike has been using a false identity and was once charged with kidnapping a teenage girl in Tempe, Arizona.
Police search for Pastor Mike, who’s now a suspect, and find his car, with Angie’s blood all over the back seat, at the train station.
Pastor Mike quietly takes Linden hostage in her car. As they drive around the city, she secretly turns on her police radio in hopes that her colleagues can track her. Meanwhile, Bullet tells Holder that Pastor Mike is taking Lyric to the woods where he killed the other girls. Skinner sends officers to search the woods. Holder then learns that Lyric was never actually missing and explodes at Bullet for lying to him.
Pastor Mike admits to Linden that he dropped Angie off at the vet, and insists he’s always only tried to help homeless kids. The police rescue Linden and arrest Pastor Mike, but learn that the pastor was out of the country when the murder of the 17 girls took place.
Seward calls Linden and offers to arrange an interview with Adrian, hoping his son can help exonerate him.
Bullet finds Angie and convinces her to reveal her abductor. Bullet then calls Holder to say she knows who the killer is. Holder, still angry, ignores her calls.
Linden and Holder find Mills hiding out in a storage unit and arrest him. Inside the unit, Reddick discovers a box filled with rings taken from the 17 victims. They also find Bullet’s body in the trunk of Mills’ cab.
Linden interviews Adrian, who picks out Mills from a mug shot lineup. However, Danette tells Linden that Mills was working in Alaska at the time of Trisha’s murder.
Linden visits a distraught Holder and comforts him over Bullet’s death. He tries to kiss her.
Police match all but four of the rings found in the storage unit to the victims. Linden shows the four rings to Seward, and he recognizes one of then as Trisha’s wedding ring. Linden tries to get a stay of execution so she can gather further evidence to bolster Seward’s innocence, but her request is denied. Seward is hanged.
Skinner comes to Linden's house and tells her his wife wants a divorce. They sleep together.
Linden and Holder examine a car that was recently torched with a body inside. Based on the details of the coroner’s report, Linden suspects the body is Angie’s.
Since Mills was in jail when Angie was killed, Holder speculates that a cop framed Mills by planting the rings. They visit the father of Bridget Delahanty, the first of the 17 victims, and learn that Reddick knew Bridget.
Recalling a story Ray Seward told her about building a treehouse for Adrian, Linden and Holder revisit the forest near where the 17 bodies were found and discover Adrian’s treehouse within view of the pond. Linden realizes that the killer wasn’t after Trisha: He was after Adrian, who had seen him dump the bodies. They search for Adrian but are unable to find him. They update Skinner and express their suspicions about Reddick.
Holder is detained by Internal Affairs regarding complaints that he’s been harassing Reddick’s family. To his surprise, Holder learns that Skinner filed the complaint. Holder lies his way of the I.A. interrogation, asks Reddick to continue the search for Adrian, then goes to hunt down Skinner.
Linden finds Skinner packing up at his house and tells him traffic cameras captured Adrian being followed home from school by a gray car. As they're walking out, Skinner's wife and daughter arrive. As Skinner hugs his daughter good-bye, Linden notices his daughter is wearing the blue ring Kallie disappeared with.
Outside the house, Linden points her gun at Skinner and orders him to drive her to Adrian. En route, Skinner confesses to killing the 17 girls in the pond, plus more that haven't been found, calling his victims “human garbage.”
Reddick finds Adrian hiding near his mother’s tombstone and informs Holder, who’s closing in on Skinner and Linden.
Skinner brings Linden to the woods by his lake house and tells her that he killed Adrian. Enraged, she shoots him just as Holder arrives on the scene. Skinner begs her to finish him off. Over Holder's protests, she obliges.