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A young man name Noah is being followed into a park by a clown. As he gets deeper into the woods, he realizes he is trapped. Noah tries to find another way out and the clown shoots and kills him and cuts off his right index finger.
A local police officer tells them that they saw a clown leaving the scene of the crime and rounds up a ton of clowns for the CBI team to investigate.
Apparently someone placed an ad to hire clowns and meet in this specific place and time. Jane points out that this was just smoke and mirrors for the killer to be able to escape.
Jane and Lisbon go to speak with the victim’s wife, Daphne and Noah’s brother. Tolman is a person that Noah played chess with. He owns a store right by where the crime scene happened.
When Jane and Lisbon get there to question Tolman, he tells them that Noah was a very kind soul who was beyond brilliant and he couldn’t understand why anyone would kill him. He also denies knowing that Noah was afraid of clowns. Jane sparks his interest in a chess game.
Daphne calls the CBI to get to her house because she notices that someone broke in. When they get there, the place is ransacked. They find a safe on the floor and Lisbon is able to open it with Noah’s index finger.
The next morning, Jane goes back to Noah’s house and his wife tells them that she had no clue about the safe. Lisbon believes that whatever the killer was looking for wasn’t in the safe. After Jane searches the safe, he finds a chess piece that has a secret key to a lock box. The killer obviously didn’t think to look in the chess pieces.
Noah had plenty of emailed code conversations with a guy named Alec. Cho and Rigsby go to investigate him and he tries to escape. Alec explains that Noah would pick winners based on his intellect. He was winning everything until one day he goes on a loosing streak.
The team is able to piece together why this loosing streak would happen to Noah because someone must be pressuring him in a very smart and cunning way.
Jane and Lisbon head back to visit Tolman. He tells them that he was grooming Noah to build a device that would hack into anything. If Noah did complete this device, he would pay him $2 million.
They go to visit one of the other people Tolman had working on this project. His name is Oliver and he is in a mental institute. Jane and Lisbon question him about the locker key and he said he has no idea where the locker is. Just as they are about to leave, Oliver ends up escaping.
The team finds out that Oliver copied the guards pass and would leave the mental institute whenever he wanted. This definitely gives Oliver a motive to kill Noah.
Jane goes to a very nice hotel where he finds Oliver hiding out. He calls Lisbon and tells her that he knows that he is there. In order to find the locker, they need to follow him.
Oliver heads to Pacific Park and someone attacks him. The attacker tries to escape in a run down, but Cho and Lisbon capture him. It ends up being Tolman.
Jane goes inside and opens the safe, but nothing is inside and is able to figure out that it is in another safe.
In investigation, Oliver tells Cho that he wanted the device so he could see how it works so he could make his own and sell multiple copies. Jane comes in and asks Oliver to do him a favor.
Because Tolman has many friends in high places, he gets released. Jane and Lisbon head over to visit Tolman with Noah’s wife and brother. Legally, the device is Noah’s wife, so if it works, she should get the $2 million. At first, the device doesn’t work, then after Daphne flicks something it works and says that she killed her husband.
Back in questioning, she admits that she killed him for the money. She was tired of being a waitress and being married to such a genius had its downfalls. They take her away to prison.
Janes gets a visit from Tolman who by default comes to pick up the device that is legally his. Jane ends up tinkering with it and ruining it. Before Tolman leaves, Jane checkmates his king and wins the game.
Lisbon asks Jane how he knew that Noah’s wife was the killer and he told her that the kitchen cabinets were all still organized –giving away that it was her kitchen and she already knew it wasn’t in there.