Shawn and Gus are recruited into a think tank to help prevent the murder of a business tycoon, but once the group has disbanded, they realize that one of the members plans to use the assassination ideas to kill the client instead of save him.
Shawn is wrapping up a case at a pizza parlor, breaking it down for Vick, Lassiter and Juliet in front of the suspects and a room full of witnesses, when Henry rushes in and quietly tells Shawn he's got the wrong guy. Shawn realizes Henry is right, and must switch suspects mid-stream. Vick overhears Henry talking to Shawn about how much his son comes to him for advice, but she's not the only one there interested in Shawn. Walter Snowden, a man who runs a private security firm, wants to hire Shawn to be part of a think tank working with billionaire businessman Ashton Bonaventure to prevent his assassination.
Shawn and Gus arrive at the security offices where Snowden tells them he has provided everything for them off their contract rider, from bubble gum to an air horn. They meet the other members of the team – Boyd, a retired Secret Service agent, Svetlana, a former hit woman for the KGB, and Zenuk, a crime statistician. Snowden gives them a brief bio on Bonaventure, who is in town to give a speech to his board of directors. His hostile takeovers and layoffs have made him many enemies and the attempts on his life are getting closer to success. There are holes in Bonaventure's security and the team is supposed to come up with ways to kill him in order to prevent such an assassination. Snowden then connects with Bonaventure over a satellite cam, who thanks the team for participating. Shawn jumps in to pitch him a product idea, but he doesn't respond and the then link is lost. As the team starts brainstorming ideas, Shawn realizes he is overmatched. Desperate, he starts to read the people in the room. Snowden's wedding ring on the right hand means he still cares for his wife who is no longer with him, and Svetlana's new key means she recently moved. But the team is not impressed with his parlor tricks. Snowden calls a recess and Gus tries to talk Shawn into leaving or calling Henry for help, but Shawn refuses. Back in the room, Snowden shows the group a schematic for Bonaventure's hotel. Wanting to prove himself, Shawn throws out the suggestion of shooting the target from below. The team scoffs at that plan and Snowden ends the session for the day. Out of ideas, Shawn and Gus head to the police station to get inspiration from Lassiter, who refuses to help them. He is working with Bonaventure's security team already, but he has never heard of Snowden. Shawn, then, sees Bonaventure on TV in a live interview and notices his hair is much longer than it was earlier on the satellite link at Snowden's office. Shawn realizes that the link was fake and so was the think tank, but when he and Gus return with the cops, the place is empty.