CRASH! A man hits the floor in a dark. He is Native American - Crow - and terrified. His long hair sticks to his sweaty face as he begs in his native tongue, but there is no mercy. Huge fists land in his face again and again with bone-crunching fury. Teeth fly from the man's mouth and skitter across the floor. With a final groan he crumples in a heap. The attacker scoops up the teeth in the palm of his giant hand.
Under the vast Wyoming sky, two boys in cowboy hats are in a clearing playing a game on horseback. One of the boys, an 8 year-old Cheyenne named Neel Cody, shouts "Ready or not, here we come!" The boys gallop after Addyson, a little girl riding an ATV. She hides behind a tree at the edge of the clearing just in time to see Neel ride down a dark path into a thicket of trees. She laughs, then hears something behind her. "Say your prayers, Indian!" She whirls around to face Neel's buddy, Dylan, who shoots her with his toy gun. Dylan calls out to Neel that he's got her! Neel's horse rides out of the thicket, saddle empty. One green Croc remains wedged in the stirrup, but the boy is gone.
The Sheriff's Bronco pulls up to a large, luxurious house surrounded by trees. Neel's father, Charlie Fielding, is distraught. Sheriff Walt Longmire suggests that Charlie calm down, but Charlie can't do it. His boy is missing! Deputy Victoria "Vic" Moretti exchanges a look with Walt. The boy is Cheyenne - this family is white. Neel's mother, Tracy, explains that Neel is their foster child. She sits with her arm around Addyson, holding Neel's lone green Croc. Walt gently questions the girl, but she didn't notice anything until the horse rode out without Neel. Walt asks Tracy if Neel ever tried to run away. Never. They were only two weeks away from adopting him. Tracy hands Walt a photo of Neel. Charlie believes the birth parents are drug addicts and it's possible that they took him. Charlie is ready to storm the Indian Reservation, but Walt placates him with a reassuring grin. This happens all the time. Neel will probably stroll in soon with a line of fish wondering why everyone is so upset.
In the clearing by the woods where Neel disappeared, Walt's calm reassurance has evaporated. This could be bad. Very bad. Vic is on her cell phone with Deputy Branch Connally, giving orders a mile a minute to put out a broadcast for the boy in Montana as well as Wyoming. Walt grabs the phone to add that Branch should also check alibis for every registered sex offender in the county. Without the description of a car or suspect, they can't issue an Amber Alert, but Walt suggests they focus on what they do have.
Walt and Vic head into the woods. Walt asks Vic if she ever ran away. Once, she says, when she was 13. Did she wear shoes? Of course; nobody runs away with just one shoe. Walt admits the father's theory that Neel's parents abducted him could be right. Half of all abductions are family members embroiled in custody battles, and Addyson didn't hear any screams. Either Neel's mouth was covered, or he saw a face that didn't scare him.
Walt's Bronco speeds down the road into the Cheyenne Reservation and pulls up to a cheaply built aluminum house with a broken-down car in the yard. Vic and Walt approach the front steps where a Cheyenne girl sits reading a tattered book. Glancing at the title, Vic beams a smile and asks if that's a dinosaur. The girl smartly retorts that it's a Parasaurolophus. CLICK - CLACK a gun is cocked behind Walt. He turns to face the girl's father holding a shotgun, demanding to know what they want.
Inside the tiny but immaculate home, Neel's Cheyenne mother accuses Walt and Vic of first taking her son away and then losing him. Vic bristles, but Walt wants to understand. Neel's father explains that Family Services snatched the boy right out of school and put him in a foster home without even telling them. They were accused of being drug addicts, and a neighbor reported abuse and neglect in their house, but it was all lies. Vic asks if they're fighting it in court. The father bitterly spits back that he walks three miles every day to work part-time for minimum wage, and has another job at night. As soon as he saves enough to fix his broken car so he can get a better job, he'll hire himself a lawyer.
Walt and Vic arrive at the Sheriff's station where Ruby, the office manager, hands Walt a stack of mail including an envelope from the Denver Police Department. Walt slips it into his back pocket. Branch fills them in on the press conference he gave so news of the missing boy would be broadcast across the state. He hands Vic the arrest record he dug up on Neel's Cheyenne parents: a reckless driving citation, and one drunk and disorderly charge against the father that was dropped. Vic scoffs that her grandma has a longer rap sheet. Walt comments that it seems their biggest crime was being poor. The unfair removal of their son is motivation for them to have abducted him. Walt will ask the Tribal Police to keep an eye on them. Branch reports that there are eight registered sex offenders in the county, all with alibis. Walt tells him to visit the group home where Neel used to live in case the boy is hiding there. As if on cue Walt's daughter, Cady, walks in.
Walt brings Cady into his office where he and Vic shut the door and ask if she'll help find Neel. Cady is sympathetic, then cool remembering that her boss is handling Neel's adoption for the Fieldings. She can't believe her dad would ask her to break the law by revealing private information about a client. Vic steps in that she's the one asking and asks Cady if she's too much of a goody-goody to help a kid in danger. Cady retorts that she just doesn't want to get disbarred. Walt is suddenly all warmth and understanding. Of course she can't help the poor missing boy. The guilt-trip works: Cady won't give up any private information about the Fieldings' adoption, but she will direct them to public records not covered by attorney-client privilege.
Later, at the county group foster home, Cheyenne children are playing and watching TV while Branch questions Ryan Shank, the program director. Anxiety is all over his face; he's worried sick about Neel, who wasn't the type to run away. Shank has high praise for the Fieldings as foster parents, but Neel's Cheyenne parents are another story. Luke, a skinny 6 year old drawing at a nearby table, listens closely as Shank explains that he's not a racist, but the Cheyenne children at the home are "throw away kids," forgotten once they leave the Rez. Branch gives Ryan his card in case he thinks of anything else. He also asks for Neel's paperwork. Ryan explains that the paperwork is in transit to the county and would take hours to retrieve, does Branch want to wait? Wearing his usual cocky smirk, Branch agrees to wait... for Ryan's call.
Back in his office, Walt is on the phone with Mathias, head of the Tribal Police. As usual, it's not going well. Walt points out that all he's asking is for Mathias to keep an eye on the Cody's house. Walt eyes the letter from the Denver Police. He flashes back to:
A night so thick with rain the windshield wipers on Walt's car can't keep it clear. Walt grips the wheel tightly as he squints up at a highway sign for DENVER. He is startled by a loud knock...
...on his office door. It's Ruby announcing that there's a woman crying in the lobby.
Ms. Thompson, a middle-aged woman in neat pants and sweater, sits next to Ruby on the bench outside the station office door. She sobs as she looks up at Walt and Vic and declares that her son Jeremy is missing. Walt gently asks his age. She tells them that he's 35. Vic has to repeat it. 35? The woman hands Vic a photo of Jeremy. She felt compelled to come in when she saw the TV report about the little boy. Ms. Thompson is afraid for what Jeremy might have done. He was a teacher's aide in Tulsa where he "touched" some of the boys. Jeremy confessed to his sin, and after doing his time, moved in with his mother to get a fresh start. Walt adds that he never registered as a sex offender. Ms. Thompson weeps with guilt and sorrow.
Ruby and Walt hurry back into the office with Jeremy's photo. Walt tells Ruby to put out an Amber Alert immediately.
That night, at the group foster home, Ryan Shank reads at his desk while Ruby's voice is heard over the radio issuing the Amber Alert for Neel. Outside the window, someone is watching Ryan as he checks his watch and gets up from is desk.
Ruby's Amber Alert continues with a description of Jeremy Thompson and his car as Ryan goes into the dorm room to tuck the boys into their bunk beds. Luke, the 6 year-old who eavesdropped on Ryan's talk with Branch, is still drawing in his sketchbook. Ryan declares lights out and pulls up Luke's blanket. Ruby's voice declares that the missing boy is in imminent danger. Luke puts his head down on the pillow but snaps up again at the sound of a fist on flesh, a pained grunt, and a thud. The shadow of a strange hulking shape with spiky hair crosses the threshold; Luke's eyes open wide in terror and awe as whoever, or whatever, approaches him.
The next morning, Walt and Vic are in the group home kitchen questioning the cook who called to report two Cheyenne boys missing. Ryan Shank never showed up to work and she is annoyed. Walt informs her that another Cheyenne boy in foster care is also missing making it three in less than 24 hours. The cook is shocked.
In the playroom, Vic shows the children the picture of Jeremy Thompson. Did any of them see him last night? They shake their heads no, but Luke keeps his eyes on his sketchbook where he is drawing spiky hair onto an angry stick figure standing next to a dog. Walt gets a description of Ryan's car and Vic passes it on to Ruby for the Amber Alert. Walt asks to see Ryan's office.
In Ryan's office, the cook gives Walt photos of the two missing boys claiming Ryan would do anything to protect them. Walt looks skeptical as Vic digs into the file cabinet looking for the case files. Didn't Branch say Ryan was waiting for Neel's file to come back from the county? Well, it's right there in the drawer along with the files for the other two missing boys. Vic loads the files into evidence boxes while Walt examines Ryan's bookshelves. He finds a lot of science fiction and Ryan's high-school yearbooks. Walt takes those, too.
Later, in the Durant town square, Jacob Nighthorse, a powerful Reservation casino owner, gives a speech for a crowd that includes Branch. He complains that not only is the county plucking Cheyenne children off the Reservation to place them in white homes, now they have misplaced a child! Walt arrives just in time to hear Jacob accusing him of allowing a white pedophile to roam the streets. Would the Sheriff do so little if the pedophile were Cheyenne? As the crowd shouts their agreement, Walt asks Branch if he's sure he wants to be Sheriff. Branch counters that Jacob really doesn't like Walt; they must not be Facebook friends. Walt doesn't care about being liked, but he does care about dragging politics into a case involving missing kids. Branch catches the "s" and asks if more children have gone missing. Walt fills Branch in and tells him to dig deeper into Shank's background, and to contact the biological parents of the other missing boys. Neel and the other boys all had the same social worker. Walt is going to find out what she knows.
Crystal Shoemaker, reeking Ivy League, leads Walt into her office at the Family Services Department. Walt wonders if the three missing children have anything else in common besides her. She replies they are all linked by abuse and neglect, like so many other Native American children. Sadly, there's only so much that can be done with their limited resources. Since Crystal works closely with Shank, Walt wonders if she thinks he could have acted inappropriately with the kids. Crystal is stunned by the allegation. Walt reassures her that right now they're just trying to find Ryan. Crystal reveals that he called her around 10:30 last night, unusually late, but the conversation was mundane. Walt asks if Crystal has dealt with any emotional parents lately. She says she hasn't, but she did have an unpleasant encounter with an irate Cheyenne gentleman who became enraged over an issue involving one of the missing kids. Walt looks at the name on the file. Uh-oh.
At the Red Pony, Walt's friend, Henry Standing Bear, declares he wasn't "enraged," he was insistent. Walt points out that, according to Crystal, Henry pounded on her desk. Henry calls that a "rhetorical flourish." He went to Family Services because they took Cissy Ponson's son claiming she was a fall-down drunk and that her car was parked outside of the Red Pony day and night. In fact, Cissy Ponson is his employee and a hard working single mother. When he explained that to Crystal, she declared there was nothing she could do. Walt reveals that Cissy's son is one of the boys gone missing, but Henry already knows. He heard about it from Jacob Nighthorse. Walt is annoyed. Jacob's meddling makes his job harder, but Henry snaps that maybe Jacob is just trying to make sure the job gets done! After a moment of silence, Henry apologizes. He says that sometimes it feels like the hatred whites have for Indians will never change.
Back at the Sheriff's station, Vic flips through pages of Ryan Shank's yearbook.
In the adjacent room, Cady is reading government files. Branch brings her a cup of coffee. Slow and sexy, he drawls that it has no cream, two sugars. Vic overhears this and her eyebrows shoot up. Branch knows how Walt's daughter takes her coffee?
Cady smiles up at Branch until he teases her about compromising her ethics. Cady insists there's no compromise. What she's examining are public records. There's nothing wrong with helping the Sheriff navigate state bureaucracy. Besides, two of the boys aren't even her boss' clients.
Suddenly, Vic stops eavesdropping and locks into in the yearbook. Oh sh**! She shouts for Walt and he rushes over to Vic followed by Cady and Branch. Vic shows them the page with photos of the wrestling team. Standing side-by-side are Ryan Shank and Jeremy Thompson. Creepy. Vic wonders if they could have been running some kind of child sex ring together. Walt can't figure out why Ryan would bother abducting the boys when they live right down the hall. Cady suggests it could be for money. Ruby interrupts, shouting that the Amber Alert worked. They got him! Walt wonders, which him?
Walt's Bronco screeches to a halt at a truck stop where Jeremy Thompson is in a brutal fistfight with a lynch mob of enraged truckers. Jeremy's giving as good as he gets, but it's a bloody battle. Vic jumps out of the Bronco and tries to break it up, but one of the truckers punches her in the gut. Wielding a giant wrench, a trucker tries to bash open the lock on Jeremy's tractor-trailer shouting that the kids are in there! Jeremy wrests the wrench from his hand and is about to smack him with it when BAM! Walt fires a shot into the air. Everyone freezes, even Vic who has the trucker who punched her on the ground. Walt politely asks Jeremy if they can talk.
Vic uses bolt cutters to open the lock on the trailer. Jeremy shouts that they can't do that, he's got rights! Walt remarks that they do, too. Vic opens the door to a strange sight: a collection of large stainless steel vats. Jeremy explains that they are for heating candle wax and now he's going to be late delivering them. Walt lifts one of the lids. It's empty. Vic wonders why Jeremy didn't just open the door for the truckers. He spits back that those jerks aren't cops, and she needs a warrant, that's the law! Walt remarks that it's also the law to register as a sex offender.
Back at the Sheriff's office, Walt snaps Jeremy's mug shot with an old Polaroid camera. Jacob Nighthorse barges in asking questions. Is this the pervert? Did he say where the kids are? Walt explains that Jeremy isn't talking and that's his right. Jacob demands that the missing children have rights, too. Walt confronts Jacob, asking what his angle is, since he always seems to have one. Jacob retorts that the angle isn't his; it's the government's. They're making money off the Cheyenne children. Every foster family receives federal money for the children in its care, but they get double for Indian kids as a motivator to take them in. Walt thinks that's a good thing. Jacob disagrees. Not if the kids are kidnapped from decent Cheyenne families!
Cady is listening closely to the conversation from the other room. Walt storms out of the office, ordering Branch to "talk politics" with Jacob. He's got work to do. He signals Vic to join him and asks Ruby to alert Henry that he's on his way.
Outside the foster group home, Walt sits across from Luke who clutches his sketchpad. Walt shows the boy the photo of Jeremy Thompson as Vic and Henry look on. Has Luke ever seen this man? Luke is worried about making any more trouble. Henry sits next to Luke, reassuring him that he's not in any trouble; these are friends trying to help. Luke whispers that he saw Hotametaneo'o. Luke shows Henry his drawings of a creature with spiky hair; half human, half dog. His grandmother warned him that if he didn't behave, Hotametaneo'o would come and take him away. Vic can't pronounce the name, but asks Henry to explain. There was a band of Cheyenne warriors called Hotametaneo'o: Dog Soldiers. They could shift shape from man to dog and back again. Luke believes Hotametaneo'o came for him because he broke Ryan Shank's radio. Walt asks how the boy knew it was the Dog Soldier? Luke saw him! He runs a finger under his eye. The Dog Soldier has a scar across his face. Henry and Walt exchange a look.
Heading out of the home towards the Bronco, Henry continues that Dog Soldiers were heroic warriors who fought to the death, figures of defiance tracked down and killed by the U.S. Army. All but one. Rumor has it a lone Dog Soldier survived, and that's who Luke saw last night. Walt disagrees. That was no spirit, it was Hector. Luke gave a perfect description of his scar. Vic is lost. Who is Hector? Henry explains that Hector is a former boxer who uses his fists to resolve disputes on the Rez when residents don't trust the courts, but kidnapping was never part of his repertoire. Walt goes one step further. Hector makes his living knocking out the teeth of thieves, rapists, thugs and wife beaters. Vic suggests they just show Luke a photo of Hector and be done with it. Walt replies that he would do just that, but no photo exists. Ruby's shrill voice hollers for Walt from the Bronco's police radio. The Highway Patrol found Shank's car near Spotted Horse in Campbell County. Walt wonders what it's doing way out there.
It's night by the time the Bronco pulls up behind Shank's car. Vic shines her flashlight around as the Highway Patrolman informs them the keys are still in the ignition. Vic spots something to the side of the highway and swings her flashlight to reveal a black Lab trotting out of the darkness. Awww. Vic clucks her tongue to invite the dog closer. He trots over and lays something at her feet: a human ear. Walt and Henry look at it with Vic. Henry can hardly breathe. It had better not be a child's ear.
Moments later, Walt, Vic, and Henry find a sewer tunnel dripping water. On the ground is a mangled corpse. Vic declares it's not a kid. She finds an ID in the pocket. It's Shank. Walt asks Henry, has the Dog Soldier struck again?
It's late at the Sheriff's office where Branch is working by lamplight. Cady comes in from another room and notices that Jeremy Thompson is no longer in the jail cell. Branch explains that his alibi checked out so he had to release him. Branch's cell phone rings and he's startled to see that it's Ryan Shank calling. Branch answers, but it's just Walt telling him that Shank is dead. Walt comes in, still on the phone, followed by Vic. He explains that they found Ryan's cell phone on his body along with the business card Branch gave him. Vic heads to her desk for a desperately needed cup of coffee while Walt tells Branch there is a suspect and he's sending Branch to look for him. Branch wonders who he's looking for. Walt only has to say one word: Hector. Branch gets serious. Walt tells Branch to take Vic, who stands but is none too happy about parting with her coffee.
As they leave, Cady follows Walt into his office where he starts rifling through drawers, looking for something. She asks who Hector is, and Walt explains that he's the kidnapper, and possibly a murderer. Cady wonders if Shank was killed trying to protect the boys. Walt doesn't know, but Cady has other news. Jacob was right. For every Native American child the foster home takes in, it receives double the money. There are now thirteen Cheyenne children in Shank's facility receiving an extra seven hundred dollars a month for each child. Over the course of a year, that adds up to over $100,000 that Shank wasn't reporting. He was skimming it off the top. Maybe the killing was payback. Walt points out that Hector is a high school drop out who gets paid $200 per tooth. How would he figure this out? Ruby hurries in, asking Walt for the name of the social worker he talked to. Walt answers Crystal Shoemaker, and Ruby tells him that she has been in a hit and run accident.
At the scene of the accident, Crystal's car is smashed into a tree. An EMT treats Crystal for a bloody head wound as she tearfully describes to Walt how she was run off the road by a car she didn't see. After the accident, a man approached Crystal and threatened to kill her if she didn't leave Cheyenne children alone. Walt gently informs her that they found Shank's body. Crystal is horrified. They're just trying to help these poor children! Walt asks her to describe the man: he was big, dark-skinned, probably Cheyenne, and he had a big scar under his eye.
Walt barges into the Red Pony and demands that Henry tell him where to find Hector. Henry hesitates, then says he doesn't know. Walt wonders if Henry wants to protect Hector or find the missing boys. Henry says he hopes to do both. Walt reiterates that three children are missing, a man is dead, and now the social worker Henry yelled at has been run off the road by a big Cheyenne man with a scar under his eye. This is no spirit. It's Hector! Henry is unconvinced. There's no proof, and he knows Hector is not a killer. Walt reminds Henry that he still has five years of warrants for Hector's arrest back at the station, and if Hector doesn't turn himself in, Walt will forward them to the U.S. Marshals. Henry is worried. If Hector goes into the federal system, he is never coming out. Walt insists that if he's innocent, he should come in and clear his name.
Much later that night, Walt trudges in his door. He takes off his coat and grabs a beer from the otherwise empty refrigerator. The letter from the Denver Police Station is still sticking out of his back pocket. Walt stares at the address on the envelope, flashing back to...
...a Denver hotel bathroom where Walt leans against the sink, shirtless, staring at himself in the mirror as if at a stranger. There are no scars on his naked back, but he is clearly hurting.
Back in the present, Walt pops open the beer can. Suddenly, he is attacked from behind. A powerful arm locks around his neck choking the breath out of him. Walt strains to reach for his gun on the table, but it's too late. He slumps to the floor.
There are flashes of Walt in the motel bathroom, the ghost of himself in the mirror.
Walt come to and sees a hulking Cheyenne man with a hideous scar under his eye staring down at him: Hector. He asks Walt if he's dead. Raising himself up on his elbow, Walt says he doesn't think so. Hector admits that he warned Shank to stop stealing Cheyenne children, but he didn't kill him. Walt fingers his empty holster and asks where the boys are. Hector replies that he had a vision of them being returned to their rightful homes. Walt spots his gun on the table. He asks Hector about the social worker. Hector tells him to stop looking for the innocent, and find the bad. He moves towards the door, but Walt blocks it. He can't just let Hector walk out. The giant man looks Walt up and down and nearly laughs. This is Walt stopping him? Walt answers yes with a wild look in his eyes. Hector is equally ready to fight. They square off and lunge at each other. There is the sickening sound of fists on flesh and blood sprays against the window.
The next morning, Hector lies snoring with a battered face asleep on the cot in the jail cell. Cady walks into the station and does a double take when she sees Hector, but continues into Walt's office where she is even more shocked to find her dad equally bruised, with a black eye and split lip. What the hell happened? Walt won, he thinks. Walt explains his opponent was the guy in the jail cell. Cady opens the book to an illustration of the Dog Soldier, a powerful warrior wearing a huge spiky headdress. Is Hector is the "Dog Soldier?" Walt thinks Hector is taller. Cady has news: she worked all night researching the foster care case files for the boys, and discovered that each case was initiated by an accusation of abuse or neglect, all made by the same man! Unfortunately, they can't question him. He's lying in a hospital beaten unconscious.
Flash back to the very first scene of a Native American man hammered by fists until his teeth fly out of his mouth.
Ruby pokes her head into Walt's office to report that Henry is calling. Walt winces in pain reaching for the phone and immediately declares he has Hector. Henry thinks that's good, but he has something better. Walt should come right away. Alone.
At the Red Pony, Neel and the other two missing Cheyenne boys are enjoying a game of pool. They were there when Henry arrived to open the bar. Walt asks who brought them. Henry suggests that he ask the boys. Walt smiles and asks the boys if they're ok. They nod and he continues, saying that a lot of people will be very happy to see them, but can they tell him who took them? Neel speaks up first; it was the Dog Soldier. Walt guesses it happened at midnight, but is surprised when one of the boys answers no; it was after bed check at 10pm. As Walt heads out, Henry wants to know if he's going to call Family Services or return the boys to their real families. Walt pauses By law he should call Family Services, but just because something is lawful doesn't make it right. Henry agrees.
Walt returns to the station to find Jacob Nighthorse and his lawyer. Vic explains that Hector used his one phone call to summon Jacob. The lawyer accuses Walt of holding Hector without charging him with a crime. Vic objects, look at Walt's face! Walt barely listens as he heads for his office with Jacob on his heels demanding that Walt has to charge Hector or let him go. Walt digs through the evidence box from the group foster home and finds a cell phone that he examines closely. Nighthorse continues, saying that Walt can't hold Hector for kidnapping when he has no evidence. This gets Walt's attention. With a wry smile he wonders how Jacob knows there's no evidence.
Jacob follows Walt into the outer office scrambling to reply: if Walt had any evidence he would have charged Hector already. As Jacob rambles on about how Walt could face a civil suit if the children turn up unharmed, Walt grabs a Polaroid camera and approaches the jail cell. Jacob asks if Walt is even listening. Walt replies no, not really, but he's convinced. He orders Vic to release the prisoner. She is flabbergasted. Branch demands to know what he's doing. With heavy irony, Walt claims he's had a vision of empty pockets. Hector only works for money, and the parents of the missing children had none. Therefore, Hector must have been hired by someone else. Walt looks directly at Jacob, who is certainly someone with a lot of money. Jacob is busted, but replies that it's a shame visions don't hold up in white courts. Vic isn't happy, but she releases Hector. Walt stops him to snap his picture and make a joke. This is Walt, letting Hector go.
Vic, Branch and Cady follow Walt back into his office. They're incredulous, wondering if Walt got a concussion last night. Why did he release their prime suspect? Walt reveals that the children were returned to the Red Pony while Hector was still in custody. Vic asks about the murder. Walt looks out the window to watch Jacob and Hector shake hands. Walt points out that sometimes the best way to catch a killer is to let them think they're free. Walt puts on his shades and heads out.
The sky is black as Walt visits Crystal Shoemaker at her home. He tells her he knows who killed Ryan Shank and made the threat on her life, but he can't prosecute without her help. Walt shows Crystal the Polaroid of Hector and asks if he is the man who threatened her. She answers yes. Walt explains that Hector is a Cheyenne mercenary and takes off his sunglasses to show Crystal what Hector did to him. She gasps, but Walt tells her not to worry; he brought Hector into custody. Crystal thanks God. Walt reveals that Hector has been released. Crystal is astonished; why release the man who killed Shank and who tried to kill her?
Walt looks Crystal in the eye. He knows that on the night of the kidnapping, Hector assaulted Ryan and took the boys at around 10pm just after bed check. But he's confused. Ryan made a call at 10:34. He called Crystal. Why did he call her and not Walt's deputy? Crystal claims she doesn't know, but Walt isn't through by far. He lays it all out: Ryan called Crystal to let her know that someone had discovered her scam. She takes Cheyenne kids from their families and places them in Shank's group home to collect the extra federal money, which she and Shank share. Crystal insists the children are in better hands now. She was following up on reports of abuse or neglect - he can check her files. Walt already has, and he knows that all the allegations of abuse were made by one man, paid by Crystal to make those calls.
Again, Crystal denies it and claims she does all she can to protect the children. Walt disagrees. She does all she can to protect herself. Like killing Ryan Shank! After Hector's visit, he went to see her, and he must have been scared; Walt bets he wanted to come clean. So Crystal ran him over repeatedly and then ran herself into a tree to cover up the damage to her car. Shank told her what Hector looked like so she knew exactly what to say to Walt to frame him.
Bingo. Crystal's eyes narrow and her voice is flat and cold. A Wyoming jury will never convict her Ã¢â�¬â�� an articulate, compassionate white social worker accused with circumstantial evidence. Walt knows she's right; they won't see the cynical, burned out sociopath who is only out for herself. She'll walk free, but she's forgetting something. Crystal raises an eyebrow. Hector. He knows about her scam, and knows she tried to frame him for murder. Crystal smirks; some witness he'll make: a scar-faced Indian who kidnapped those boys.
Walt's voice drops low and a darkness steals over him. The boys say it was a Dog Soldier who abducted them, the avenging warrior spirit the Cheyenne say can take on any form, animal or human. Crystal scoffs; he believes that? Walt leans closer and admits that he believes in transformation, in forces we can't control. When Crystal drove over Ryan Shank, maybe it was the Dog Soldier's spirit guiding her. Walt admits that perhaps, once upon a time, its spirit guided him as well. Walt's voice is barely a whisper, but his eyes are on fire. He congratulates Crystal for getting away with the perfect crime. Without her confession, they have no case against her. But the Dog Soldier knows what she's done. And when he comes for her, Walt is just a phone call and a twenty-minute drive away. Crystal swallows hard.
Walt rises, puts on his hat, and walks out the door. Crystal licks her dry lips. She is so scared she can hardly breathe.
Outside Crystal's house, Walt walks slowly to his car. He opens the door and pauses as a memory steals up on him. Flashback to...
...the Denver motel room. Walt is dressed now, but his Sheriff's badge lies on the bathroom sink. He places it into the motel room safe and removes a handgun. He tucks it into the back of his pants.
Back in the present, Walt turns to see Crystal standing on the porch, her face lined with terror. Walt pulls out his handcuffs.
In another home, that same night, Neel Cody puts his head down on a pillow. His Cheyenne parents smile as they tuck him in.
Across town, Tracy Fielding, Neel's foster mom, sits in the backyard next to an empty swing cradling Neel's green Croc to her chest.
Finally home with a cozy fire going, Walt looks at the envelope from the Denver Police Department one more time. He drops it into the fireplace and watches it burn.
At the foster group home Luke is wide awake in his bed. He goes to the window and looks up at the night sky.
Under that same sky, a silhouetted figure holds two teeth in the palm of his hand. The figure is bare-chested in ceremonial dress: feathers, leather straps, and, on his head, the Dog Soldier's spiky headdress. His face is smeared with war paint as he raises it to the sky. It is Jacob Nighthorse. He raises his arms to the heavens, palms outstretched bearing the bloody human teeth. Making a plea? Or a sacrifice?