Melinda takes Eli to Ned who shows them a computer game. Melinda picks out an avatar and then notices a character from the game staring at them. The computer crashes and the avatar suddenly appears in the shop. The avatar, which goes by Phoenix, freaks out and leaves. Melinda and the other try to find him. They see him watching a girl who is at a coffee shop. The girl is picked up by a car and Phoenix disappears.
Melinda goes home and tries to look up information on Phoenix. She comes up with several profiles from all over the world that are using that name. Eli says the ghost had no accent. Melinda uses her avatar in the game to keep an eye on the Phoenix, who hasn't moved all day.
Ned and Eli go to a coffee shop and see the girl that Phoenix was stalking. Ned contacts her through the computer and eventually goes to her table in person. Her name is Alise and she knows the avatar that goes by Phoenix. Eli hears Phoenix yell at Ned to leave Alise alone. They get in a fight and Alise asks Ned if he knows Eli. Ned pretends he doesn't. Eli and Phoenix argue about reality, then he disappears.
Ned, Melinda, and Eli try to figure out how to find the ghost avatar. Ned suggest tracking the IP address. Melinda checks the computer and sees that Phoenix is gone. She touches the screen and is pulled inside the game. She starts asking other avatars if they know where Phoenix is. Suddenly he appears and fighting ensues. He tells her she's ruining everything, then delivers a blow that knocks her out of the game.
Eli and Ned ask if she's okay and Melinda says she only felt the pain in the game. Melinda receives an email from Phoenix, but when she tries to respond, the email comes back as invalid. Ned looks up the email address and finds it links to a company. They go to the company and talk to the boss. He tells them that he already told the FBI everything he knows. He explains that his email account was hijacked by an online predator who preys on young girls. He gives them the card of the FBI agent who was handling his case.
Ned talks to Alise at the bookstore/coffee shop again. She tells him that her parents are divorced and her mom is overprotective. She won't let Alise talk to people in the real world, but is fine with her talking to strangers online. Her dad, on the other hand, couldn't care less what she does. Ned asks her if she can ever really know someone online and she says she thinks people are more honest online than in person.
Melinda sees Phoenix and he tells her to leave Alise alone. He tells her that he's trying to protect Alise. Eli goes to his friend Sam, a police officer, and asks for her help. She asks why he doesn't just go to the FBI and he explains that he knows her and feels like he can trust her more. They're able to track down the address of the Phoenix avatar user.
They enter the house and see it's a mess. They hear a beeping sound and find a dead guy face down on his computer keyboard. Phoenix appears and enters the house. They look at the pictures on the man's desk and find an empty bottle of prescription pills. They realize that the dead man is Alise's father, Larry. The avatar then changes into Larry. The authorities arrive and determine Larry died from a heart attack.
Outside the house, Larry's ghost tells Melinda and Eli that becoming Phoenix was the only way he could talk to her daughter. He explains that after he and his wife divorced, he pretty much lost all contact with Alise. He says that after he died, he went to his daughter and saw intimate emails she was exchanging. He became concerned and assumed his Avatar life to protect her. He says when he say Melinda, he didn't want his cover blown, but when he realized she was trying to help, he sent the email. He begs them to protect his daughter.
Melinda and Eli try to talk to Alise. Her mother comes out and asks who they are. They explain they talk to spirits and Alise's mother tells them to leave her and her daughter alone.