When Justice Department lawyer Diane Fowler takes immunity off the table, Red maintains that he will only continue cooperating if he can speak with Liz. Tipped off to a deadly train wreck in a Maryland industrial park, Cooper and Ressler press Fowler to investigate when Red says that it wasn’t an accident, but a ploy designed to kill an Albany, New York planning commissioner on board. After identifying the killer as a prolific assassin known as the Freelancer, Red takes Liz to Montreal to meet him. Although he insists they not be followed, the operation backfires when Cooper orders tight surveillance and both Red and the Freelancer realize they are being watched. However, after turning up inside the FBI surveillance van following the chase, Red identifies the Freelancer’s next victim as anti-human-trafficking activist Floriana Campo. Meanwhile, Red continues to entice Liz with unsettling suggestions about her comatose husband, Tom.
Intercepting Floriana on the eve of a fundraiser in New York, Ressler and Liz warn that she’s been targeted by the Eberhardt human trafficking cartel. When Liz asks him for help protecting her, Red demands that he choose his own security team from a list of convicts and criminals. Though Fowler reluctantly agrees, she orders that ex-CIA agent Meera Malik work alongside them. When Red points out a waiter at the gala he says is the Freelancer, Ressler gives chase. But after he’s struck by a car while trying to escape, the assassin fingers Red as his boss, and Ressler realizes that the Freelancer was used to distract Floriana’s security detail.
In the hotel suite where she’s been confined, Red confronts Floriana about the foundation being a front for the Eberhardt cartel. Just as Liz arrives, Floriana starts succumbing to the effects of a deadly poison. Though Liz refuses to believe the accusations, Red promises an antidote to get Floriana to confess, and then lets her die anyway. Finally, as Meera and a team of agents free the cartel’s latest shipment of sex slaves, Liz learns that Tom has regained consciousness. But after taking him home to recuperate and continue her search for the truth about his past, Liz is left with more questions than answers when she finds a recording of the touching interview he gave during the adoption investigation.