Criminal Minds: 100th Episode Review and Discussion

Published 5 years ago by

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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  1. First, I must say I am biased. Criminal Minds is my all time favorite show. The acting and writing have been excellent in my opinion since the first episode.
    I watched the 100th episode (but forgot before watching it was the 100th episode). I was waiting for this episode since I saw the previews for it the week before.
    I sat quietly in my chair watching and from the beginning I thought Hotch was dead. The director (I forgot the woman’s name), was asking all the agents questions, and I had this big lump in my throat, ready to cry, because I thought Hotch was a goner. I thought The Reaper had killed him and it was a flash back espisode. When Haley and Hotch talked on the phone I cried like a baby clear through the rest of the show. Tissues were flying from the box to my face.
    Every cast member did an excellent job. I particularly loved Spencer’s answers when he was questioned. I wish Haley hadn’t died. That was horrific. I had hoped she and Hotch would get back together. With all that said, I am getting a lump in my throat just remembering the impact of the last few scenes. C. Thomas Howell was at his best in this last episode, I have to say. He played the evil killer superbly. I was glad Hotch beat the Reaper to death. That may be an awful thing to say, but it was more realistic of what would really happen in those circumstances, then just handcuffing him and taking him back to jail. Great job gang. This was an excellent espisode.

  2. I was sad that they didn’t tell each other I love you. I really felt like they still did. I cried and cried. I really liked them as a family. I thought the episode was done very well. The reaction of everyone when the shots were fired. That was horrific because they realized they were too late. This is an amazing show and I can’t wait to see what changes Hotch’s character will go through.

  3. Oh my goodness, Criminal Minds–YOU ROCK!!! This 100th episode had to dominate that time slot. Or at least if people knew how dynamic, thrilling, nail bitting with outstanding acting this episode would be, it would have dominating all of T.V. including cable. WOW! the acting by all was superb!! Hotchner was outstanding! I must admit that I am a complete fan of Criminal Minds, but this was an outstanding episode!!! My heart was in my mouth for the most part, while the tears I shed were real! Truly touched me entire being—-now that’s acting at its best! Bravo! Love you criminal minds and now that I wont be watching American Idol, I will not miss anything!

  4. I’ve been a huge fan of this show since the beginning. I have always been interested in serial killers, especially the “Zodiac” and this show just seems to get better and better. The 100th episode was just disturbing, I felt like someone I knew was actually murdered by a serial killer. The show just draws you in I guess, very good acting and very convincing. It makes you wonder where they will go from here.


  5. I liked the episode too. I was glad to see finally the FBI agents, Hotchner, finally killed a criminal. In so many episodes, the suspects are given far more rights than the victims ever had.

  6. Okay, so I just found out about Criminal Minds this year, thanks to A&E. Now, I find myself going to all the sites trying to catch up and know what’s going on while I’m at work. I just watched the 100th episode…and OMG. If I wasn’t hooked before, I definitely am now. I’m a psych major, and never even considered that field, but I am more appreciative of it now. Thanks Criminal Minds! Hope to see much more of you (PS, I just started at episode 1 & I’m trying to work my way up through the not-so-busy holiday hours no one wanted to work).

  7. I too was surprised that they killed Hailey off in the manner they did. The part of 100 that got me the most was when Hotch was talking to his son on the phone and told him he needed him to work the case with him and so he went to the office and laid in the chest. This is probably just being hopeful because I love Hotch on the show, but the determination his character has and the drive so to speak makes me think that he will remain in the BAU. Although there was a tragic event in his life, it seems like Hotch is the kind of man that uses his circumstances to motivate him to work harder and more efficiently.

  8. Criminal Minds isn’t given enough credit for the way the show pushes the envelope for network television. I may be wrong but I can’t remember ever seeing a protagonist on a network television drama beating someone to death. And even though the episode went to great pains justifying Hotch’s act (and really, Foyet deserved every bloody fist) it was still an unnervingly disturbing scene. For one minute Hotch wasn’t a defender of the just. He became as inhumane and vicious as any unsub the Criminal Mind team was sworn to catch. I’m curious if Hotch’s short trip to the dark side will be further explored and if it will cause any residual problems to his state of mind.

  9. This 100th was done in excellence. I was hoping that Hotch would get to Halley in time. They never got a chance to say their final love for each other. Knowing that the Reaper was warned makes me wonder who in the BAU cannot be trusted. Excellent realistic role to Mr. Gibson. He deserves an Emmy.

  10. LOVED LOVED LOVED this episode! I had to record it because of the Thanksgiving holiday travel, so I’m just seeing it, but easily the MOST riveting show EVER.
    Emmy for Hotch or there IS no justice!

  11. The 100th episode, was awesome. I am a big fan of the show. I wanted to be a profile. I have been watching the show from the beginning. I was on the edge of my seat with this episode. I was not a fan of Hotchner’s wife, I don’t know why she complained about Hotchner’s job, what do you expect when you are trying to catch psychotic killers. Any way, I so was happy that Hotchner did not shot his son, through the curtains, but I was happy he was beating the crap out Foyer. This show is the best show on TV.
    Waiting to watch more 100th episodes.

  12. Isn’t it odd how we decide that something so disturbing as this can be entertainment. Episode 100 was easily the single most powerful and riveting hour of television or film I have ever watched. My wife and I kept saying to each other that they wouldn’t do it, wouldn’t kill his family…but true to form for this show, they did. I can not recall ever feeling such real and strong emotions ever before while watching fiction. I almost hope that they never top that one, not sure if I can take it. Well done.

  13. I have to agree with everyone else in saying that this was by far the BEST episode ever!! I was truly pulled into the “reality” of the story line – so much so that I sometimes forgot to breathe. I cried and mourned – even after the show had ended. Though I did not like the way Haley had treated Hotchner, I was so very saddened to see her killed in such a horrific way. I was so hoping that there was SOME way her life could have been spared. I worry now that Hotchner will call it quits so that he can devote his life and energy to his son – out of guilt, a sense of debt and love to his son’s now deceased mom, and a newly ordered list of priorities (family first). I pray, however, that I am wrong; just like I was when I thought Jack went to get a gun out of “the case” and when I thought Hotchner had shot his son in the curtains. The writing on this show is BRILLIANT, as is the acting.

  14. The show was and is incredible the characters are so well written you totatly connect with them,,,,,and as well as I like Mantange, ( Rossi_) it is time to bring back Gideon……the show has missed a beat since Mandy drove down that rode

  15. i loved the episode but when does it come back on they didnt show seens for next week

  16. Absolutely THE most riveting television I’ve ever experienced. I don’t watch TV because most of it is ^%*^ but my mother turned me on to Criminal Minds and I’ve not missed an espisode since. If the actor that portrays Hotchner doesn’t receive some award for that performance there is no justice in the world.

    With regard to the Gideon character – it would be excellent to see him again. Especially now that Hotchner is at this career crossroads.

    Criminal Minds writers – thank you for THE BEST hour of television ever!!!

  17. I agree with the review. This episode was riveting, freaky, and extremely heartbreaking. No doubt every person who watched this particular episode came away from it bitterly angry and beyond sad. I have never been emotionally attached to a TV show and its characters like I am this one. All I can say is whew…till the 200th

  18. I can’t believe I forgot to mention the actor that played Hotchner’s son. The acting they got out of that kid was amazing.

    I agree with all the comments, the whole “hugging me too hard” thing added so much to the scene.

  19. I L O V E this show!!! I’ve been watching it since the beginning. The actors are FANTASTIC!! Mr Gibson You sir, are incredible and SHOULD GET RECOGNIZED for this performance!!!! To the writers, you are better than anyone else out there. Keep up the wonderful work!!!!

  20. I loved it!! BUT (and it is a BIG but) this means that the whole dynamic is about to change. This always freaks me out. It is beyond me how Hotch is going to raise Jack AND work like a dog but I am sure this has been well thought out. Way to go Thomas Gibson. Once again, Texans rock!! :-)

  21. Really really good TV show. Like some others, I don’t like flashback episodes but they did a good job at not revealing anything in the BAU interviews. Killing Haley absolutely blew me away. Hearing the gunshots, I was sure that the little boy had killed Foyet, or the BAU had gotten there first. Even tho she was not a main recurring character it was still a complete shock to see her killed. I guess if they can kill off Warrick on CSI, they can kill off a fringe character on Criminal Minds. Too bad they wouldn’t kill off David Caruso.
    I miss Gideon. Mantegna just doesn’t quite do it for me but I have to get past it because I love the show too much. Here’s to 100 more!

  22. I already gave my opinion on this fantastic episode but I’m so glad that someone mentioned the actor who played Jack Hotchner – he did a simply marvelous job. So sweet and innocent and such talented young man!

  23. Do you think they may bring back Gideon? I thought that since he had his friend murdered by Frank in his own home similar to Hotch they may bring him back to help Hotch deal with his loss. I know that it got personal with Jason about catching Frank, that first episode with Frank was also a flashback. Just a thought, or maybe just wishful thinking because I really miss Gideon.


  24. Where I do agree with all that wrote in that Hotch does need his old friend back in his life at a time like this, I do remember that Mandy didn’t leave the show because Gideon was written out; Jason Gideon was written out of the show because Mandy went AWOL with no warning, just didn’t show up of work one morning. (I heard somewhere that he e-mailed apologies to all saying that the show had gotten to violent for him and he couldn’t stay.) So I don’t think they could convince him to come back.

    A second thought: If JJ’s boyfriend is gonna stick around, Hotch could hire him to take care of Jack. That would be keeping him in the family, so to speak. (I love Will’s accent…just thought I’d throw that in.)

  25. Though I am huge fan of Mandy P. (from Criminal Minds, Chicago Hope, and his musical talents), I am not a fan of how he leaves shows. He left Chicago Hope like that; leaving everyone high and dry. I don’t think I could stand to have him come back – just to leave again. I think Rossi adds to the show; I have thoroughly enjoyed him.

  26. I’ll agree that the episode was well acted and powerful. But I did not like it. I think too many television shows fall on torturing their characters for ratings. I get tired of it. There is sadness enough in the real world that entertainment is torturing the characters that we love. How realistic is it that in a SINGLE team in the FBI, one member is shot, survives and becomes a murderer (Ellie), another member’s close friend is killed and he disappears (Gideon), another member is kidnapped, tortured and becomes addicted to pain killers (Elliot), another is a survivor of child molestation (Derek), and the latest member suffers a divorce, an intimate stabbing scene done as though it were a rape, losing his ex-wife and son to witness protection, then finally hearing his ex-wife being murdered on the phone (Aaron). I’ll agree, this may happen to some people, but to people all on the same team? No. It’s torture for ratings, and I don’t like seeing the characters I love being tortured.

  27. I am a huge fan of Criminal Minds since the beginning. I was really shocked that Hailey was killed off, It was heartbreaking and it will be interesting to see what happens with Hotchs future.

  28. I missed this episode, and I’m kicking myself for it. Where can I watch it?

  29. I’ve never seen my husband cry during a tv show or movie, yet he cried during that scene between Hotch and Hailey. We also thought it was going to be Jack that Hotch shot, and were relieved to find it wasn’t. Really well done episode, although very sad. I’ve always liked Hailey and am sad she’s gone. I hope this show continues for a long time yet…love it! Oh, and they showed an older episode of Criminal minds last night and at the end of that was next weeks preview.