After 5 seasons, Criminal Minds has finally reached the episodic milestone of the coveted 100 episode mark. While many series have reached it before, one tends to forget just how many years it takes to reach such a number. As with most series, the 100th episode is usually a special one and Criminal Minds is no different. Criminal Minds celebrated their milestone with the conclusion of their Reaper storyline and boy what an episode it was.

The season premiere in September showed the Reaper causing havoc in the life of BAU leader, Aaron Hotchner, which led him to have his family put into protective custody – but fans knew that the story wouldn’t end there. There had to be a conclusion, but I think it’s safe to say that no one could have guessed the outcome that we saw last night.

The episode was delivered in one of my least favorite formats; where the end of the story is in the beginning and we spend the entire episode catching up the 2 minutes we saw in the beginning. Although, to give credit to the writers, the way this episode unfolded not only nullified whatever hatred I had for said episodic format, but had me sitting on the edge of my seat the entire way.

With my original review of the season premiere, I was none too kind to C. Thomas Howell’s portrayal of George Foyet aka the Reaper, but I must now apologize because the performance he delivered in this episode was above and beyond all expectations. The way his character’s ingenuity, ingeniousness and heartlessness grew throughout this episode was just wonderful, yet terrifying, to watch.

So far I’ve attempted to deliver my thoughts spoiler free, but I feel like there’s no way I could discuss the last part of the episode without them.

[Spoiler Warning]

Holy crap. I’m saying those words because I’m not allowed to write the other form, but I assure you that’s exactly what I’m thinking and feeling.

The whole cell phone conversation with Hotchner and his wife while the Reaper is sitting there playing with his child was the most intense thing I’ve seen all year. Not only was I speechless, sitting on the edge of my seat, but at some point I was so connected to Hotchner that I started mimicking his emotions.

I don’t care who you are or how manly of a man you claim to be (I am extremely manly), if you listened to the conversation between Hotchner and his wife when they both knew it would be their last and didn’t cry, even a little, you’re lying.

To be honest, I didn’t believe they’d do it. I didn’t believe they would kill her off, and in such a horrific manner – so brutally. Although, I did think that the second twist would be that when Hotch shot into the curtains thinking it was the Reaper that it would be his son. Happily, I was wrong.

While I could continue talking about this further, I’m going to wrap things up and leave it to your comments. Criminal Minds has always been a great series and with the change-ups in the cast, no one would have been surprised if it didn’t last as no one can tell what will bring a show down (cite: Felicity). Criminal Minds has not only lasted, but grown with each season and this episode was a perfect representation of that.

Here’s hoping for 100 more because I’m in it for the long haul.

Enough of my sucking up. What did you think of this episode? Where you able to keep it together during their final conversation? How do you feel about how they killed of Hotchner’s wife? What about Hotchner’s final moments with the Reaper and his fist?

Speak now or forever hold your peace.

Catch Criminal Minds Wednesday’s at 9PM on CBS