With Kate having quit the team to spend time with Meg, and J.J. on maternity leave, the BAU is down two profilers as Hotch conducts interviews to fill Kate's position and as the remaining team members work on a case in progress. The case has two victims thus far - a suburban dad and a drug dealer - killed in two days, in two different cities across the country from each other, namely Albany, New York, and Seattle, Washington. The only reason they were able to identify the two deaths as being tied is that both victims had their face painted much like a pulchinella. It isn't until the autopsies are done that they learn that both were killed by a massive injection of a liquid nutritional supplement, much like one would would consume if one has trouble eating. They tie this evidence together to determine that the unsub has suffered a facial injury that does not allow him now to speak or eat. When a third victim emerges in Charlottesville, Virginia, the team has a clearer picture of the unsub's background, and the nature of his victims. At this time with no official police agency as their client, Hotch figures that he can kill two birds with one stone by delivering the profile to the team applicants for assistance. They also know that the unsub has some assistance in carrying out his mission, they not yet realizing who that person/people is/are and why.