"Criminal Minds" Dorado Falls (TV Episode 2011) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • The BAU team investigates a mass murder at an Internet security company in Charlottesville, Va., but clues reveal it is not a typical serial killer at work. Also, Prentiss must complete recertification training under Morgan's watchful eye.

  • The BAU investigate a mass murder at Synalock, an Internet security company located in Charlottesville, Virginia. Five people were shot, while three others were stabbed. By the severity of the killings, the company's CEO, Adam Werner, was the supposed intended target. They also surmise that despite the different styles of killings, there is only one unsub. When Mark and Mary Dolan are later that day found shot to death in their home, the BAU tie the two sets of murders together, the connection being the Dolan's son, Luke Dolan, who the BAU are certain is the unsub. Luke Dolan and Adam Werner were not navy communications men as their official records state, but rather Navy SEALs in the same unit, where Werner was the leader and Dolan the second in command. Dolan seems to be on a mission of some sort and seems to be facing some delusional break from reality. They have to figure out what caused the initial break from reality and what his current mission is. As Dolan had a loving relationship with his parents, the BAU think that Dolan's estranged wife Jenna and their daughter Ally may be his next targets. They also come to learn that Dorado Falls, a secret mission carried out by Dolan and Werner's unit, is playing a part in Dolan's current mission. Trying to find out about Dorado Falls is not as easy as they would like solely because of its classified nature. Meanwhile, Prentiss learns from Morgan that she has to go through recertification training and that he will be her trainer. She later learns from Hotch that what Morgan told her is not totally accurate.



The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Welcome to Virginia, where a heavily bearded man awakens inside a messy home with a nasty cut on his forehead. He is woozy. He walks outside and his neighbors are wary of him. The man ducks back inside and make a cell phone call. "Heads up," he whispers. "Someone's got eyes on us." Later, the man walks into a modern-looking office. Everyone seems to know him. The man then greets the boss ... and shoots him dead.

    CUT to Emily and Derek, who explains that the recently resurrected BAU agent needs to be recertified ... and Derek will be doing it. Later, Garcia briefs the team on the mass murders at a Virginia Internet security firm. Apparently, the bearded man didn't just kill the boss -- he killed everybody in the office using a gun AND a knife. Unusual. So the BAU heads to the crime scene. Reid theorizes that the unsub ran out of bullets and then resorted to a knife. He might have only come to the office planning to kill the boss and then decided to dispatch all the witnesses. Meanwhile, the office of the boss, a Navy Cross recipient, has been searched. A framed photo is missing. So are certain files.

    CUT to the unsub, who arrives his parents' house. His father is happy to see his son, referring to him as Luke. But Luke is confused. "Where is my father?" Luke asks his father. "Is this about the mission?" Now Dad is understandably confused. Luke then violently pins his father to the wall, demanding answers. Sometime later, we see Luke rummaging through his parents' bedroom. Turns out mom and dad have been tied up and hidden in the closet. "Luke!" dad screams. "We're your parents!" Luke responds by closing the closet door ... and then opening fire on it with an automatic weapon.

    Sure enough, mom and dad are dead when the BAU arrives at the team. Garcia then calls with info: the dead boss used to be in a combat unit with the dead parents' son, Luke. "What if, mentally, he is reliving a combat situation?" Emily asks. "How bad would his disorder have to be to make him kill his own parents?" Reid theorizes that the unsub is "on some sort of mission." Each crime scene has been thoroughly searched. J.J. addresses the press, showing a picture of Luke. Speaking of Luke, we CUT to the killer, who is parked outside the house of his ex wife. The place is crawling with police protection.

    Back at BAU HQ, the team discovers that Luke is a former Navy Seal -- and the dead boss was his former commander. This is not good. "Very few people on this planet are capable of stopping him," notes Rossi, referring to the deranged, but highly trained killer. Garcia enters, telling the team that Luke was in a car accident just days ago. Could the injuries have triggered his current mental state? CUT to Luke, who charges into the home of General Boyd Milgram and holds a gun to his wife's head. Luke demands the whereabouts of his family. The general is flabbergasted. The wife screams.

    Later, Reid and Derek interview the near hysterical wife. Apparently, Luke dragged the general out of the house. She claims that Luke was speaking "gibberish" -- yelling about the general "replaced" his parents and took his family. Reid then has an idea: the killer might have a rare syndrome in which a sense -- like sight -- is affected so that a person doesn't believe he/she is looking at a loved one. It can be caused by head trauma and explains why Luke believes his parents were replaced. "He murdered his best friend and his parents because he believed they were imposters," Emily notes.

    J.J., meanwhile, meets with a high-ranking military official, who warns her that the mission file he gives her is "classified." It is marked "Dorado Falls." CUT to Luke, who has tied the general to a chair in what appears to be a safe house of sorts. He gets a call on his cell phone. Turns out Rossi has used a number from the military file. Rossi explains that he is a retired marine -- and says that he once served with Luke's dad. "I just want my family back," Luke growls. Rossi managed to keep Luke on the phone just long enough for Garcia to trace it -- and pinpoint a location. Hotch and Derek head out.

    Rossi then reads from the "Dorado Falls" file. Turns out that Luke was ordered to eliminate two small children during the mission as they were witnesses to a government sanctioned raid. Luke then explains that the government also replaced his best friend, his parents and his family. CUT to Hotch and Derek, who storm an abandoned warehouse. They discover the general -- still alive -- but no Luke. That's because Luke long ago figured out that Rossi was a phony, recognizing the FBI prefix on his phone.

    Luke is now on his way to BAU headquarters. Garcia breaks more bad news: an agent was found dead nearby. "He's already here," Rossi says. Sure enough, Luke has put on the dead agent's uniform and gained access to the building. Luke doesn't know it, but his ex wife and daughter are being kept "safe" in the BAU offices. A SWAT team combs the hallways in an effort to find Luke. Suddenly, Rossi's phone rings. It's the Navy Seal. "Where are you?" Rossi asks. Growls Luke: "Right behind you."

    The team turns around to see a heavily armed Luke. Reid tries to talk some sense into Luke, explaining that his head trauma caused all of this. But Luke isn't listening. He demands that his family is returned to him. Emily then puts Luke's ex wife and daughter on the intercom. Luke hears their voices, but can't see them. This way, he believes that it really IS his family. "Please, let us help you," Derek says. So Luke lowers his weapon ... and closes his eyes. Derek quickly cuffs the man, who is then dragged from the room.

    Case closed ... but not the episode. Later, Emily discovers that Hotch didn't order the recertification. Derek did. "You're nervous about me being back," Emily says. Says Derek: "Yes, I am nervous, but not about you ... about me." In other words, losing Emily took a big toll on the tough guy. Now that Emily is back from the dead, he doesn't know if he could through that again. So the recertification was for "reassurance" for them both.

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