The daughter of an Navy Commander is kidnapped from her home in the Angeles National Forest and buried alive. This case visibly strikes a cord with Sam. Even though this is now an FBI case, he insists that Hetty allow them to work the case. The team tracks a car seen leaving the forest to the brother of convicted serial killer, Timon Maragos; whose M.O was burying young girls alive. Alex Maragos acts suspicious and during questioning, Sam catches him lying about his whereabouts the night of the kidnapping. Meanwhile, Deeks talks to Timon in prison where tries to implicate his brother in the previous murders and Ashley's kidnapping. The team doesn't know who to believe and with time running out Callen comes up with a plan to set a trap for both brothers and see which one of them takes the bait and leads them to Ashley. The plan works but when Callen and Sam tackle the suspects they discover that it is not Alex or Timon but Alex's teenage sons. Apparently, they admired their uncle and wanted to see if killing someone felt as good as Timon had described to them.
Hetty tells Callen to keep an eye on Sam, who is taking this case to heart. Sam finally opens up to his partner about the Serbian paramilitary locking him and his team member in a steal locker as they were on a mission to capture Serbian war criminals. Sam's team member died before the SEAL team could find and rescue them. He has always felt guilty about surviving and the circumstances of Ashley's kidnapping brought back memories that have always haunted him.