A failed wannabe reality star goes on a killing spree, and Rusty receives another letter right before the end of his summer break.
A man is found dead, and the killer leaves so many clues around, like his prints. They also find another body of a girl. They learn that the killer dyed his hair to look like the man he killed. They learn that the man was chosen to be on a reality TV show. They get a photo of the killer withdrawing from the ATM of the man he killed. They talk to the producers and they say that the killer also tried out for the show but was rejected, which makes them think that's what's driving him. Taylor decides to release his name and picture to the media but Raydor doesn't want to. Later he picks up a girl and stays with her, and when she sends his picture to her friends, one of them sees that he's the one the police are looking for and sends her a message, which he sees first, so he kills her.
The bodies of a halfway-beheaded young man left in a bathtub and a week-old dead woman stuffed in a sofa put Major Crimes on high alert to stop the killing spree of a failed reality star wannabe whose regard for human life has become psychopathic. Meanwhile, Kris finds it imperative to break Rusty's confidence.
A handsome young man's corpse is found in his tub, tortured to death, next a girl. The team soon works out the serial killer assumes his male victims' identities, moving on across the US. The crucial link is TV model talent show Poster Boy, allowing to guess correctly the chameleon Brandon North, his next victim Carlo de Luca and trap the clever killer, but the negotiation ends tragically. Rusty quickly regrets having confided recent death treats into Chris, who naively told Sharon "trusting she won't tell", resulting in tightened protection.
- Summer Finale
Rusty's stalker pulls on a pair of gloves and writes another letter.
The Major Crimes team investigates a gruesome crime scene. A young man named Joe Fox was found tortured with bleach, mutilated, and left in a bathtub. His eye is completely eaten away from the bleach and the wounds on his neck indicate the killer tried to cut his head off. The number 4610 is written on the wall in blood. Sanchez guesses it might be a reference to Psalms 46:10: "Be still and know that I am God."
In a flashback sequence, we see the killer put down his knife to take a call from his grandmother. He chit-chats with her about finding a new roommate while smearing his bloody hands all over the walls and appliances. He pulls a frozen pizza out of the fridge.
Tao finds the bloodied pizza box in the bottom of the garbage, indicating the killer lived in the house for several days with the body still in the bathroom. From all the fingerprints left behind, Provenza assumes the killer either wants to get caught or doesn't care.
In the second bathroom, Sykes discovers remnants of hair dye and clippings. Another flashback shows the killer has bleached and cut his hair to look more like Joe Fox. They also find a car in the garage with blood in the trunk that's registered to a couple in Ohio
We see how the killer dragged a woman's body into the house and hid it in the springs of a fold-out couch. DDA Rios is disgusted when the detectives find the body inside the couch she was just sitting on.
Dr. Morales checks over the body in the morgue while Raydor and Flynn watch from the doorway to avoid the smell. Flynn discovers the car was registered to a woman named Caitlin Harvey, likely their second victim. Since Caitlin's parents report they have been texting with her all week, the killer has been using Caitlin's cell phone.
The killer ignores two frantic text messages from Caitlin's parents. He changes the license plate on Joe Fox's car and runs over the phone.
The team searches Caitlin Harvey's house to find a crime scene older than the one at Joe Fox's house. The suspect killed Caitlin in her home, lived there for some time, and then moved on to Joe Fox. They find a bloody knife hidden in a crawl space and an empty gun case.
The killer chats on the phone with his grandmother while loading the gun. He cuts in line at a nightclub and a young woman invites him to join her.
An analysis of the cellphone records for Caitlin and Joe lead the team to a reality TV production studio. Joe Fox was a finalist on "Poster Boy", one of their shows.
The killer snuggles in bed with Raquel, the woman from the nightclub. He tells her about how badly he wants to be on "Poster Boy"; he gave up his job, apartment, and savings for the chance to be on TV. She takes a picture of him to send to a friend. He stops her at first but eventually lets her.
Security footage at an ATM reveals the killer in sunglasses taking out money from Joe's bank account. The bloody numbers on Joe's wall were his pin code and he was likely tortured for the number. Two producers from Poster Boy identify the killer by several headshots they have on file. The man appears to be Brandon North, a man from Akron, Ohio they turned down for the show because he was an inch too short.
Taylor presses to release Brandon North's photo to the public. Sharon disagrees but allows the picture's release.
Rusty stares at the latest threatening letter and hides it in his pocket when when he hears Sharon in the other room. They watch a news broadcast featuring Brandon North's audition tape and theories of why he might have committed murder. Sharon regrets giving Brandon what he wants by making him famous for killing people.
Brandon is hanging out at Raquel's place. He sees an instant message from Raquel's friend warning her that he is a murderer. Brandon traps Raquel in the bathroom and smothers her with a pillow.
Raquel's room is now a crime scene. Tao finds that Brandon searched the internet for news coverage of himself and his previous victims just before killing Raquel. Sharon is upset that their decision to involve the press caused another murder. She orders warrants for a massive investigation of all search engines to find anyone looking for the victims' names in the area. It could be their only hope of catching up with Brandon before he kills again.
An internet sweep reveals Brandon has an interest in a charity fashion show scheduled to happen the following afternoon. Presumably, Brandon is planning a shooting at the event. When Brandon uses Raquel's iPad to search his victims' names, the team nearly locates him but he disconnects before they can pinpoint him.
Kris stops DDA Rios to tell her about the letters Rusty showed her. She's afraid something will happen to him if he doesn't tell someone.
An investigation of the fashion gala reveals that Carlo de Luca, the previous Poster Boy winner, is a featured model in the show. He could be Brandon's next target. They discreetly place him under protection. DDA Rios attempts to pulls Sharon aside but she is too busy for interruptions.
Brandon North's grandmother is interviewed by the news. The detectives now know that Brandon has his own phone that he has been using all along.
Brandon wanders around Carlo de Luca's house and begins trashing it. He gets a phone call that turns out to be Sharon and the rest of the LAPD. They are already stationed around the house. Sharon negotiates with Brandon for several minutes; he reveals he's sorry about killing Raquel but Joe deserved what he got for gloating about getting casted. Caitlin also deserved it because she kicked him out of her apartment after he failed the audition. All Brandon wants is to be famous and to be friends with Carlo de Luca.
Sharon tricks Brandon into believing Buzz is televising everything for the news. Brandon thanks his grandmother for supporting him his entire life even when his parents and friends thought he was crazy. He gets anxious when the police close in on the house. Sharon tries to coax Brandon out of the house but he shoots himself in the head.
Sharon feels guilty about Brandon's suicide. Andy assures her she did the right thing: no one on the team was hurt and the victims' loved ones will be spared a trial. Taylor and Rios interrupt to ask Sharon to speak with them privately.
Rusty arrives, upset that two officers pulled him out of class on his first day. The entire team is silent and sad. Provenza tells him to go upstairs to Taylor's office. When Rusty asks why, Provenza replies "You know why."
Upstairs, Rusty finds Sharon in the hallway. She's reading through all the letters with a heartbroken expression. Rusty approaches warily. Sharon turns to him, tearful: "Whatever happens next, know I love you." Rusty, shocked and near tears, walks into the office silently.
The agitated stalker crumples up several drafts of more letters to Rusty. He starts a new one on a fresh page, a knife and a gun visible next to him on the table. He begins this letter with "Dear Sharon."