Criminal Minds: 100th Episode Review and Discussion

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criminalminds full Criminal Minds: 100th Episode Review and Discussion

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.

criminal minds reaper Criminal Minds: 100th Episode Review and Discussion

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.

CRIMINAL MINDS 100 3 Criminal Minds: 100th Episode Review and Discussion

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

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128 Comments

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  1. i was crying nearly the whole conversation between Hotch and his (ex)wife… the best episode ever. What she said was so, so, so great. i hope Hotch can recover from this, i really do.
    i must say i knew that by “work the case” Hotch wanted his son to hide himself. that was just great and i also loved the fight between Foyet and Hotch and how this bastard died!

    I have to add that i love Spencer and his ability to memorize things!

  2. Can’t believe the effect the show had on me and my family…still shaking it off today…it’s been a long time since a show has impacted me like this. Vowing to never watch again…or at least not until next Wednesday!

  3. The only word I can think of for this episode is brilliant. From the writers to the actors, it was totally brilliant. Thomas Gibson’s performance went above and beyond anything imaginable – you could actually feel the emotion with your whole being. I always knew he was a great actor but he certainly deserves an Emmy for last night’s show. Hotch’s and Hayley’s last conversation was something beyond words – I cried the first time I saw it and each time I watched it again. It was the truth – in the end, the only thing that truly matters in life is – love. The fight scene between Hotch and Foyet was gripping – you felt that you were right there in the scene – especially towards the end when Hotch remembered the awful things the Reaper had done with each blow. I wanted to throw in a couple of my own. And when Hotch got together with his son at the end, I lost it again. Each member of the team proved beyond a shadow of doubt that they are truly a family and are there for each other no matter what. I was sitting at the edge of my seat throughout the entire show – I have not seen a show as brilliant as this was portrayed in a long time and it is one that I’m sure I – as well as other fans – will NEVER forget. Brilliant – just brilliant.

  4. Your review is dead-on. It was a fabulous episode!! Great writing, and wonderful acting. I was sitting on the edge of my seat the entire time. Can’t wait for the next new episode!

  5. Criminal Minds is, without question, the deepest, darkest drama that it’s been my privilege to watch. The casting is superb, the writing excellent and the acting brilliant. I’m sorry that I can’t find another superlative to describe last night’s episode. Congratulations on #100 – I’m looking forward to at least another 100. Thank you all for making Wednesday nights so memorable.

  6. The most intense TV drama episode I have watched. Well done cast, director, writers and crew. Looking forward to 100 more.

  7. Truly amazing episode. I have to say, I didn’t believe they would kill hayley, even after you heard he gunshots, and even as hotch saw her lying on the floor! She was so brave, I guess that’s what having kids does to you, making you value their lives far above your own. I’m rather confused as to why foyet allowed hayley and aaron to have that last conversation, though. Wouldn’t it have been more sadistic to kill her before she could profess her last wishes?
    No other crime drama (apart from SVU maybe the mentalist) even approaches the calibre of this show.

  8. I agree it was a brilliant episode. I also thought his son Jack was hiding behind the curtain. I wonder what’s going to happen to Thomas Gibson’s character now that he’s a single Dad.

  9. I have worked in television as an actor and writer-producer, and been an avid viewer. As a fan of “Criminal Minds” I was looking forward to the 100th episode with some trepidation. Rarely, do such overly hyped episodes deliver as promised. This one did, and then some. From the writing to the directing to the acting, the tension and emotion rendered was superior. I wept, I chewed threw multiple fingernails, and ended the episode, exhausted–in a good way. Kudos to everyone involved, but especially Thomas Gibson. I’m sure the producers will be submitting this episode for Emmy consideration. If Mr. Gibson does not at least receive a nomination, there is something seriously wrong with the process.

  10. Thomas Gibson’s performance was brilliant and I agree that he totally deserves an Emmy! I was crying the whole time during the conversation between Hotch and his wife. I was so shocked that she was really killed by the Reaper; and the emotion was just so strong that I couldn’t stop crying! A great achievement, a great show with talented actors and excellent writing! This has been the only TV show I absolutely have to watch every week. Hope we fans will enjoy many many wonderful future episodes!

  11. Never has a show left such an impact on me…I can’t stop thinking about it.I just started watching CM this year and have been thinking why did I not start sooner. By far the best series on TV. I can’t wait till next Wednesday!!!

  12. damn criminal minds! i was hoping to starve off tele for good by following a mindlessly repetitive series (much like csi, or worse, lost) but this, this only left me aching for more. being a (almost)-reformed couch potato for many years, this episode is the single most intense, highly entertaining, gut wrenching, plot twisting ever!

    need i say more?

  13. As has been said, an absolutely stellar episode…and series, it’s the one I absolutely have to see. I’m glad it’s in syndication, cause now I can see it multiple times a week.
    The “cell phone conversation” was amazing….my words can’t do it justice.
    Thomas Gibson deserves a standing ovation…and most definitely an Emmy…for this episode.
    Bravo!!

  14. I don’t want to repeat all of the previous comments, but this episode was amazing. It was so powerful. I cried when Haley was hugging Jack and he said, “Mommy you hurting me!” and she told him how much she loved him. This is the best I’ve ever seen Thomas Gibson act. I really love this series!

  15. A++++ HOUR OF TV

  16. This was the best episode i ever seen. Thomas Gibson is a great actor i cried and cried. His performance went beyond all expectation.I hope 2 see another 100 more episode of crimnal minds. Thanks 2 all the writers and actors 4 giving us great tv.

  17. I was balling throughout practically the whole episode. While I am so RELIEVED that Hotch didn’t die, the fact that his wife had to die because of Hotch’s choices in his career was just HEARTBREAKING. I really want to know what Hotch will do now that he is a single parent…any ideas?

  18. Whiles am mostly detached from movies and tv series this particular episode was so intriguing that I couldn’t get myself out of it. I only got to watch a recorded version so I started to watch it from the end and I didn’t want to see Hotchner and his wifes conversation and I still don’t want to see it. Although good, I hope they don’t repeat this kind of tragedy any time soon.

  19. Criminal Minds is the only reason that I am paying for A&E cable channel right now (trying to cut down on expenses) because they show old episodes of the show one after the other, sometimes as many as 3 a night….. I am desperately trying to catch up to all the episodes; I am getting the big picture fast. Thank God for dramas like Criminal Minds, cannot watch reality TV, it irritates me. The 100th episode this past Wednesday gripped my heart from the opening scene until the credits began in the end. It took a good few minutes to realize it was over and that my nails were digging into my skin. Absolute Emmy contender. Keep it up.

  20. I don’t want to repeat what everyone else has already said, but I have to. Last night’s episode was amazing. I was super sad that they killed off Hailey, I didn’t think they would. I cried the whole episode, right from the beginning because since they showed the previews the week before, I knew someone had died.
    I feel lucky to have started watching CM in its second season and I have not missed a show since. I love CM, my favorite show ever…congrats on 100 episodes and I hope for 200 more…lol.

  21. OH MY GOSH!!!!

    This was one of the best episodes I have ever seen. I was choked up at the conversation between Hayley and Hotchner, grinded my teeth when Hotchner beat the hell out of Foyet and wished I could have helped, and totally lost it when Hotch went to find his son while he was “working the case”. No show has ever been able to give me such an emotional response. This was by far the best yet, and I hope Criminal Minds has another great 100 more episodes in its future.

  22. This episode was indescribable!!!!
    The setting was not only gripping, it was intelligent and well written in every way.
    “Work on the case” – im sorry but no matter what anyone says, that spin was incredible.
    Hotch and Hayley both deserve some kind of gesture that shows how we all appreciate this one time (and heart gripping) performance.

    Criminal Minds really is a underestimated series!

  23. criminal minds is my favorite show and this episode was incredibly intense (like penelope getting shot and spencer being held hostage and being forced to take delaudid). i knew when hotch told his son to “work the case with me” that it was code for something. in reality, foyette would have known that also and never let the boy leave the room. i was hoping that it was code for “go get the gun and shoot the bad guy”. when the screen went to black and the shots were fired, i was hoping that what i was thinking was the way the writers went. alas, i was wrong. first time team’s boss showed that she was human. interesting to see where they go from here.

  24. …I usually hate TV…I had given up on it…this is pretty much the only program I watch.
    All I could do last night was sit up in my bed, in the dark and murmur, “holy sh*t!” at the TV screen. I couldn’t take it when Hodge shot through those curtains – had to flip the channel for a moment as I, too, thought it was his son.
    Like someone else mentioned, spent the day trying to shake it off. The people involved in this whole production are a shining beacon afloat in a sea of satirical crap and reality garbage. I will throw my TV out our 10th story window if this show ever goes off the air – WOW!! Great!!

  25. Brilliant – If Thomas Gibson does not receive an emmy nomination, there is no justice!

  26. I have watched Criminal Minds since the first. I love the show. This was by far the most intense episode I have watched. I was crying during the conversation between Hotchner and his wife. I could feel what they were feeling. I was so relieved that his son was not behind the drape. I will be wondering what will happen next. Great show.

  27. Great 100th episode!
    I cant wait to see what happens next!

  28. Awesome stuff, surprising, shocking, well executed – the pinnacle of and definition of TV drama at its’ best. If our wishes as fans could come true, Thomas Gibson will stay for a very long time on the show as clearly we all have a lot invested in this great character. There is nothing better for me as a viewer than to be surprised and this episode delivered in every way. I cried, had the cold foreboding and it continues to haunt which I suspect may continue for a while. A gem.

  29. This episode was great. I didn’t cry, but I had the biggest lump in my throat. It was sad. I wish they didn’t kill her off but at least now Hotch gets his son. But will he leave the team? But all around it was great. So glade the Reaper is dead. Glade Hotch beat him to death.

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