This one starts at Arkansas State Prison where a bunch of inmates are getting swole in the yard. Some white stuff starts falling from the sky and they think it’s snow at first, but it soon becomes clear that it’s ash. Part of the outside wall glows orange and melts away; naturally, all the cons run toward the breach but they quickly change direction when molten lava pours through the hole and melts part of the cement in the yard. Later, Steve and Myka show up to check it out and contact Artie to ask about lava-based artifacts. He says there are too many to mention, but he’s distracted by some shaking in the Warehouse—aftershocks from last episode’s quakes. Artie is also distracted by planning a party for Claudia’s twenty-first birthday; Myka is skeptical about Artie’s party planning skills and urges him not to get a clown. As he signs off, a ball falls from a shelf and bounces rapidly between Artie’s face and an old clock. After he catches the ball and shelves it, the clock gets a rather malevolent look to it.
At the prison, Pete and Myka talk to the U.S. Marshal assigned to the case, Liam Napier (played by Charlie Weber from Buffy and How To Get Away With Murder). When Liam sees Steve it’s obvious they know each other, but Steve pretends otherwise. They tell Liam they’re looking for an incendiary device, but Liam wonders what kind of incendiary can cause molten lava to flow through a wall. Myka asks about what was happening inside while the lava was eating through the wall outside. Pete figures maybe the attack on the outside wall was a distraction and the real prison break was inside. Liam goes to check on the lockdown and get a head count.
At the boardinghouse, Artie is getting things set up for Claudia’s party (including some groovy black light posters) when she walks in. He admits he’s planning a party for her and says he has a special surprise. Claudia hopes it isn’t a clown and Artie feels compelled to defend clowns. She says she’s just going to a bar with Steve and she and Artie start arguing. He asks her to turn off the music while they’re yelling at each other, but Claudia points out there is no music playing. Artie can hear Beethoven and remembers the ball bouncing between his face and the clock … Beethoven’s clock. At the prison, Pete, Myka, and Steve find another wall breached by lava, this time in the laundry room. Liam tells them two cons are missing (Barton and Davis) and Myka points out the breach came from outside, so Barton and Davis had help escaping.
We see the two fugitives getting picked up by a woman (Anna) in a truck not far from the prison. She’s Davis’s girlfriend and was expecting his cellmate to be with him (a dude named Griff), but Davis says Barton has money they’ll need to get away. Anna shows Davis a metal amphora and warns him to be careful since it melted through the prison walls like nothing. Davis says it’ll come in handy for breaking into banks … or eliminating anyone who gets in their way. At the prison, Liam tells the team that Davis is a member of a gang (the Third Street Turks) who are heavy into narcotics and armed robberies. Barton used to be a member of the Turks but they had a “falling out”. Myka wonders why Davis would escape with an ex-member of the Turks instead of Griff, who’s still in the gang. Liam says he’ll check out Griff; Myka figures someone should go with him but Steve is reluctant. Myka immediately realizes that Liam is Steve’s ex.
Steve admits it and says he’s not ready to hang out with the guy who dumped him. Myka says they can hate Liam for him, but Steve says it was more his fault than Liam’s and then clams up. Myka follows Liam, leaving Pete to exult in the fact that he’s totally Steve’s type (because he and Liam are both “hunky”). Liam tries to get info from Myka about Steve and she pretends that Steve has a very active social life. Liam sees through that right away, but is glad Steve has friends like her to stick up for him. They talk to Griff, and soon figure out why he’s being so forgiving toward Barton; Barton offered the Turks a pile of cash to wipe the slate clean. Davis was supposed to take Griff when he busted out, so it looks like Barton made him a better offer. Myka threatens to let the other Turks in the prison know how helpful Griff has been unless he tells them where Barton has his money stashed.
Pete and Steve check Davis’s cell (where Pete almost breaks his hand checking a poster for a Shawshank tunnel) and they find letters from Anna, Davis’s girlfriend. One of the letters is a really stupid poem and they realize it’s a code telling Davis when and where the escape was happening. At the Warehouse, Artie and Claudia research Beethoven’s clock and find out there’s piece missing, a bust of Aphrodite that’s supposed to sit on top. They have to find the missing piece before the clock can be properly neutralized, so Claudia uses some new software to check video footage all over the country until she finds the bust in a Boston art gallery. They have to hurry, since the music in Artie’s head is getting louder as it progresses through Beethoven’s catalogue.
In a forest not far from the prison, Myka and Liam find Barton’s stash, but all the money is still there. They know they’re on the right track because there’s ash falling around them and lumps of cooling lava all over the place. They find Davis dead under a pile of lava and Anna trapped in the truck, the doors of which are welded shut with more lava. Liam knows something weird is going on but Myka avoids his questions. She calls Pete and Steve to tell them about Davis being dead and says Barton must’ve taken the artifact. Pete wonders why Barton would leave the money behind, but Myka’s more worried that Barton has no problem using the artifact to kill people.
At the prison, Anna tells them Davis was going to waste Barton but Barton took the jug away and buried Davis in lava instead. Anna admits the jug came from Italy with a bunch of her grandmother’s stuff. She also says Barton used her phone before trapping her in the truck. The call was to a diner in nearby Fayetteville, a place where the Turks hang out. When they go to the diner, they find out they’re too late. Barton was there asking about someone named Chris and got into a scuffle with one of the Turks. Barton used the jug to bury him in lava and took off. Steve figures the jug might be from Pompeii since it can produce lava on command. They realize Barton has been killing Turks and figure this Chris person is Barton’s next target.
Liam asks Steve what the hell is going on, since he knows there’s more going on than just an incendiary device. Steve won’t tell him anything and Liam goes off to check the Turks’ hideout. Myka and Pete urge Steve to follow him, saying Liam will really have questions if he finds the artifact … and it might get him killed. In Boston, Claudia and Artie break into the gallery but the bust isn’t there. They realize it must’ve been sold and check the records to find out the buyer. The music in Artie’s head is getting louder, drowning out almost everything else and it has shifted to Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5. That freaks Artie out, since that was the last piece Beethoven performed publicly … because he went deaf soon after.
At the diner in Fayetteville, Myka figures out the Chris that Barton’s looking for is a waitress who used to work there. She quit about the same time Barton went to prison. Elsewhere, we see Barton showing up at Chris’s house and she’s not happy to see him. On the way to check out the Turks, Steve and Liam finally talk about their relationship. Turns out Liam didn’t dump Steve, Steve just up and left one day. Steve says Liam was lying all the time (remember, Steve has a sixth sense that tells him when someone’s lying), but Liam says nobody really wants 100% truth. He says he got paranoid wondering if Steve was waiting for him to screw up all the time and it was too much pressure. Liam admits they had plenty of love to go around, but they didn’t really like each other all that much, which isn’t a good basis for a relationship.
Pete and Myka go to Chris’s house to ask about Barton, but she says she doesn’t know him. Myka finds volcanic ash in the house, so Chris is obviously lying. At the Turks’ hideout (a shitty-looking Quonset in the middle of nowhere) Steve and Liam find the place trashed. They find ash on some papers that turn out to be the delivery schedule for an armoured car company. The next pick-up is in a parking garage in half an hour. Pete and Myka ask Chris about Barton but she’s not too cooperative. They quickly realize she’s worried about her son, Kyle, who’s been running with the Turks. Chris admits Barton is Kyle’s father and Pete figures Barton is trying to save Kyle from getting in too deep with the gang.
In Boston, Artie and Claudia check the place where the bust ended up, but some loser guy there figures it’s worth a lot of money and tries to take off with it. Artie completely loses his hearing, so Claudia chases the guy upstairs. He tries to get past her and knocks her down. She trips him, but hurts her ankle in the process. In Fayetteville, Steve and Liam show up at the parking garage after letting Pete and Myka know what’s up. The Turks have grabbed the armoured car guard and want Kyle to kill him as an initiation into the gang. Barton shows up and tells Kyle he doesn’t want him to make the same mistakes he did. The Turks try to shoot Barton and Kyle, so Steve and Liam jump out to stop them. That starts a big shootout and Barton uses the amphora to shoot some lava at the Turks, burning one of them up and melting the garage floor. Barton takes a bullet in the shoulder and drops the jug, spewing lava out of control all over the floor.
Barton and Kyle climb a ladder to escape the melting floor, but Barton can’t get very high because of his fucked-up shoulder. When Pete and Myka show up, the amphora is spilling lava all over and most of the floor has become a molten pool. Steve and Liam jump on vehicles to surf on top of the lava, but that’s only a temporary solution until someone can get to the amphora. In Boston, Artie confronts the would-be thief and decks him. Claudia finishes him with the Tesla and bags the bust, which restores Artie’s hearing. In Fayetteville, Liam urges Steve to get out while he can, but Steve sticks around to try and save Liam. Pete and Myka jump from car to car to get closer to the amphora like that kids’ game where you pretend the floor is lava and you have to stay on the furniture. Myka finally grabs the amphora and bags it, making the lava disappear right before Barton falls off the ladder. Afterward, Kyle isn’t sure how to feel about his father, but Pete says he should take the chance to get to know him while he can.
Liam has figured out that Steve hunts magical artifacts for a living, but promises not to tell anyone. Steve apologizes for all the shit between them and Liam says it’s cool and he’s glad they get a chance to say a proper goodbye this time. Later in Univille, they all go to a club for Claudia’s birthday party. She’s pissed off Steve didn’t dish anything about his ex and he admits they banged before saying goodbye. (Pete: “The gay me is as much of a playa as the straight me!”) Artie finally reveals his big surprise to Claudia: no, it’s not a clown, it’s Cherie Currie from the Runaways. (Artie apparently saved her life back in 1979, as recounted in her song “secrets”.) Cherie and Claudia jam onstage to a pretty cool version of “Cherry Bomb”.