After Declan Salinger is found murdered in a luxury hotel room, Red enlists Liz to locate Vanessa Cruz, a woman who’s framed and ripped off several wealthy financiers for allegedly stealing millions from their clients. At the prison where he’s serving time, one of Vanessa’s victims, Lester Conway, explains how his mistress, Claudia Sanchez, hatched a Ponzi scheme that sent him to jail. Using bits and pieces of photos and fingerprints, Aram identifies her as Vanessa and finds a New Jersey address where she lived with her ailing mother, Aida. Meanwhile, as Tom asks Liz to return his fake passports so he can flee the country, Red looks to Kenneth Jasper for the swing vote to oust the Director from control of their secret organization.
Explaining how her son-in-law Hernando Cruz committed suicide after being accused of insider trading, Aida says that Vanessa then killed herself, too, though her body was never found. Aida offers a life insurance policy as proof that she’s dead, but Aram and Samar discover that the company that issued it was a fake. Because Red will only agree to help trace the company if he can have the Fulcrum, Liz turns to the one other person she knows can do it - Tom. In exchange for his passports, Tom takes her to see a Rastafarian who manages a number of phony “shelf” companies. Meanwhile, after cutting a deal for Jasper’s vote, Red realizes he’s been tricked and that the Director is still in control.
As Vanessa lays a trap for her girlfriend Abby’s lecherous boss, Mason Carlton, Liz and Ressler tell Conway that she sent him and her other victims to prison or an early death as revenge for her husband Hernando being falsely accused of insider trading. When Conway says that his boss - Carlton - was in on the deal, too, the Task Force scrambles to find him before it’s too late. Arriving at a hotel room expecting to meet with Abby, Carlton finds Vanessa posing as her instead. Though planning to make it look like Carlton killed Abby and then himself, Vanessa can’t go through with it and leaves them for the FBI. With Vanessa on the run, the framed men are exonerated and Carlton is charged with Hernando’s murder. Finally, after admitting he hired Tom to infiltrate her life, Red learns that Jasper betrayed him, so he again turns to Liz for the Fulcrum. But just after she throws it at him and starts to stalk off, Red is cut down by gunfire, leaving Liz and Dembe to save him.