Derek and Sarah must outwit Cromartie after he kidnaps Charley's wife, and they must weigh the consequences in rescuing her. Meanwhile, John finds himself unable to choose between Cameron and Riley.
Off in the distance, a truck speeds up an empty road.
On their way out of town, Charley Dixon and his wife, Michelle, fill up at a gas station in the middle of the desert. As the truck arrives, Charley heads off to buy Michelle a soda. Michelle screams as Cromartie (revealed to have been in the truck) hops in and takes off with her. Charley chases after them on foot, but can't catch up in time. And just like that, they're gone.
John helps an extremely pregnant Kacy (their new landlord and neighbor) setup cable. On the local news they see a clip of Beast Wizard 7, the low-budget film starring George Laszlo (Cromartie's now-dead alter-ego and b-movie actor).
John comes home to find Cameron calculating the center of their new house. Oddly, Cameron analyzes that the house is moving and that they'll have to repaint in a year. Yeah, she's still not quite back to normal.
Sarah unpacks groceries when John gets a call from Charley Dixon. He doesn't have Sarah's number, so he asks to speak to her. Charley tells Sarah that Cromartie has taken Michelle but Sarah plays doesn't plays coy and doesn't want John to know because he'll want to help. Sarah finds out from Charley where he is and tells him to stay put. She scolds John for giving Charley his number.
Sarah packs up weapons as Cameron "investigates" a bird stuck in the fireplace. Sarah tells her to stay with John today and to not let him out of her sight. Sarah also fills in Derek who warns her it's a ploy, a trap to get to John. Sarah knows this but is going anyways. Derek grabs the guns and jumps in the truck with her...
Chillingly, Michelle is tied up in a chair. Cromartie methodically prepares something -- a device, it seems, that involves a mousetrap. But Michelle spots her cell phone and scoots towards it...
John and Cameron load new computer equipment into the back of their truck in the store parking lot. Riley calls from the Santa Monica Promenade, bored, and wants to hang out. But Cameron won't let John go and when she's distracted, John takes off on his own.
Ellison, rugged without purpose now, watches Beast Wizard 7. He receives a call out of the blue about a job opportunity -- from Catherine Weaver! She invites him for lunch to talk about "who or what" actually killed his colleagues.
Sarah and John meet up with Charley. Derek coldly tells Charley that Cromartie doesn't care about Michelle, it just using her to get to John. Michelle is probably already dead. But Charley's phone rings -- it's Michelle; she's managed to get to her cell. Derek and Sarah want him to test her, make sure it's not Cromartie imitating her voice. He does and she passes. As best she can, she tells him where she is, and they're off...
Michelle begs for her life, but Cromartie sets his trap and tapes her mouth shut.
John and Riley hang out on the Promenade. John tells her that he's not coming back to school, he's going to be home school now. Riley spots Cameron watching them, so they try to ditch her, but she follows...
Sarah, Derek, and Charley reconvene outside the building where Michelle's being held. They enter, search the place, and find Michelle, tied up to a chair set upon mousetraps and a bomb. Sarah demands Michelle not move while Derek double checks the rest of the place. Charley tells Michelle it will be okay, but "it will never be okay," she knows.
Charley announces that Cromartie took off (and killed their car before he did). Sarah realizes that this means it was all a setup -- even the bomb's not real! Sarah immediately calls John -- he tells her he's at the promenade and lies that he's with Cameron. Derek finds a computer that is broadcasting their call... right to Cromartie, who now knows their code!
Derek then finds a beeping detonator with a wire outside that leads to a cell tower. Cromartie dials his cell phone (the detonator) and blows the tower to smithereens. The massive tower falls into the building, but luckily no one is killed. All cell phone service is down. Quickly they realize that Michelle has been hurt by the falling tower and as she stumbles off, we see a big blood stain on her back.
From the desert Cromartie calls pretending to be Sarah. He tells John to wait at the Santa Monica Pier. Cromartie drives off, coming for him. Meanwhile, John tells Riley he has to go meet his mom at the pier. She tells him she's not afraid of his mom, but he leaves anyways, frustrating her.
Sarah, Derek, Charley, and Michelle plan to trek through the desert to find a car, but Charley doesn't want to leave because Michelle's bleeding out. Michelle says she can walk, no one has to wait on her.
Ellison meets with Catherine Weaver in her office and talk about the FBI massacre. She shows Ellison photographic evidence of a endoskeleton hand involved in a plain crash a few years back and shares that she knows that it was a robot that tried to kill John Connor in Red Valley, NM in 1999. Weaver even knows that a robot was involved in the FBI massacre! She claims to be working on reverse engineering the same technology and wants to hire Ellison to find out about these robots and to even catch one for her.
Cameron surprises Riley in a parking garage. "Where's John?" But John waits for "Sarah" at the crowded Santa Monica Pier, when Cromartie arrives...
Sarah carjacks a cell phone service van and they drive off after John. Michelle struggles to stay alive with Charley's help. He demands Sarah slow down, but she keeps repeating that he should have stayed away. Finally, Sarah stops...
John spots Cromartie and takes off running. The Triple-Eight follows suit, chasing John down the pier. Cameron, too, chases behind. John trades jackets with a fisherman, confusing Cromartie, but is eventually spotted by him. Trapped with nowhere else to run, John dives off the pier and into the ocean, Cromartie firing away at him. Forgetting that he can't swim, Cromartie jumps in after. John barely gets away by skirting out of his jacket, and Cromartie sinks to the bottom of the ocean. John swims up, looks up to Cameron on the pier. "Little help?" he asks.
"I can't swim," Cameron responds. Yeah, neither could Cromartie apparently. And John's safe again. For now.
John and Cameron meet up with Sarah and Derek in an alley in Santa Monica and hop in the van. John's okay, but shaken up. Inside the van he finds some of Michelle's blood and knows not all is well.
Cromartie walks out of the ocean, obviously having followed the ocean floor up to the sand. He's coming and he'll never stop...
Outside the hospital, John comforts Charley. Has Michelle survived? No, as it turns out. Later, Charley is joined by Ellison and others at Michelle's funeral, but neither Connors are in sight. Cromartie is, however, which is exactly why...
Somber, Sarah brings dinner to the table. She sits, quietly reflective, along with John, Derek, and Cameron. No, it will never be okay.