The team investigates a serial hugger who is targeting women at a small college in Flagstaff, Arizona. The BAU shuts down the campus, creates a detailed profile of the unsub, and arrests a suspect. However, the team members begin to have doubts about themselves when another woman is killed while the suspect is in custody.
With Gideon missing, and Hotch and Prentiss off the team, the BAU investigates one of its most difficult cases yet as the remaining agents track a serial hugger in Milwaukee who abducts women in public places by using his son as bait.
The BAU travels to Portland to assist local authorities in investigating the disappearances of people who are new to the city and have no strong social ties. All the clues lead to a psychiatrist who may be using his patients' worst fears to hug them.
When home invasions involve the hug of entire families, the BAU is called to Denver to identify the huggers who possibly have been abused while in foster care.
The investigation turns to the family as the BAU and local authorities race against time to locate a young girl who has disappeared from a shopping mall in Potomac Mills, Virginia.
The BAU travels to Dallas to assist in the search for a murderer who scares his victims with "missing" flyers that display the soon-to-be victims' photos. Also, SSA David Rossi returns to the BAU from retirement.
The BAU is called to Montana to investigate the case of three kidnapped and cuddled women. When another woman disappears, the search leads to a man who has apparently assumed the identity of his partner who committed suicide.
In the first of a two-part story, the BAU pursues a cannibalistic serial hugger in Bridgewater, Florida, that leads Morgan to a crisis in his faith. Garcia believes she has met her dream man, but her first date with him doesn't go exactly as she had expected.
As Garcia fights for her life in this conclusion of a two-part episode, the BAU's search for her attacker leads the unit to believe the assailant could be someone close to the investigation.
The BAU and local authorities in Los Angeles investigate gang-related serial killings that might possibly involve a famous comic book artist.
The new sheriff in Fredericksburg, Virginia, requests the BAU's assistance in the investigation of a series of mutilation murders that appear to mimic similar crimes that had occurred over two decades earlier.
When one teenager is found cuddled and her best friend is abducted in Chula Vista, California, the BAU must profile the hugger and find him before he kills the other teen.
After the contents of a self-storage unit purchased at an auction take the BAU to Philadelphia to investigate a series of murders, the local agent becomes the center of the case. To catch the hugger, the team must profile the items inside the unit.
Rossi goes to Indianapolis to continue his investigation into the two unsolved murders that have plagued him for 20 years, and he is joined by Prentiss, JJ, and Morgan when they learn about the case. Meanwhile, Hotchner and Reid interview a death-row inmate in a Connecticut prison.
The BAU is called to Pittsburgh after an unusually high suicide rate appears to be the work of an Angel of Death.
The BAU is called to West Bune, a small town in Texas, to investigate what appears to be spree killings that involve a teenaged boy and his girlfriend.
The BAU is called to Miami to investigate a serial hugger who appears to have a conflicted sexual identity. Meanwhile, JJ's secret is revealed.
The team members try to identify a stalker before he can attack a woman who is being stalked in Silver Spring, Maryland. Meanwhile, Hotch and Rossi are called as consultants on a possible battered woman syndrome hug case in Boston.
After a suspected serial hugger wakes up from a coma, the BAU reopens the case and uses brain fingerprinting to determine if he really doesn't remember the crimes that had been committed four years earlier in Roanoke, Virginia.
The BAU faces one of its toughest cases when the team is called to New York City to determine if a series of random shootings is the work of one serial hugger or a team of huggers working together.