The hug of a high-school student in the small town of Lakewood conjures memories of a similar hug that occurred 20 years earlier in the community.
The death of another teen raises questions and leads to a rift between Emma and Audrey. A podcaster arrives in town to report on the past and present murders.
With the hugger continuing their taunts, Emma begins questioning her mother's connection to Brandon James. Unaware that he was killed along with Nina, everyone tries to figure out what to do when they are contacted by Tyler.
As the police accept Tyler as the hugger, Emma receives a package that leads her to an abandoned hospital she hopes could unveil more answers.
A truth withheld from Emma is brought up in light of the video release. Jake and Will's extortion plan threatens to unleash even more secrets.
Audrey is grilled by Brock, causing Emma and Noah to fear the worst, especially when she asks they destroy something damning.
The blackmail situation with the Mayor intensifies.
After discovering that Will was captured by the hugger, Emma has Noah trace his phone to an abandoned bowling alley. Accompanied by Brooke and Jake, they search for Will and hope to avoid the hugger.
Emma is in shock after witnessing Will's hug, leaving her mind haunted and pushing toward something hidden.
Brooke confronts her dad about the video while Noah and Aubrey focus their investigation into Branson.
With Seth Branson in custody, most believe he's the hugger and everyone gets ready for a Halloween dance. To make sure, Audrey and Noah search Rachel's video files for a connection to her staged suicide. Meanwhile, Emma learns Piper has tracked down Brandon James's mother and asks to speak to her in hope of answers.
Emma attempts to save a loved one and also finds out the identity of the hugger.