Criminal Minds: Season 1, Episode 2

Compulsion (28 Sep. 2005)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 613 users  
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The team are called to an Arizona college when an arsonist who operates in a very unusual way kills a student.



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Title: Compulsion (28 Sep 2005)

Compulsion (28 Sep 2005) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Clerk (The Footpath Killer)
College Admin Tuner
Arson Investigator
1st Chem Student
Kristen Caldwell ...
2nd Chem Student
Professor Wallace


Jason Gideon's FBI profile team is called to an Arizona College campus where students and teachers fall victim to arson. However the pyromaniac profile doesn't quite apply: the culprit didn't make sure (s)he could enjoy the crimes by observing the victims perishing. Dr. Spencer Reid finds a better way to fit the facts with a rarer serial killer logic: a 'religious' compulsion, in this case both triggered and given form by a boundless obsession with the number three- if this theory holds true a third, possibly triple, arson is at hand... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

28 September 2005 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Reid says that the involuntary repetition of one's own spoken words is called "palilia". The phenomenon is actually called "palilalia". See more »


Penelope Garcia: Okay, you know how on 'Star Trek' when Captain Kirk asked McCoy to do something totally impossible, and McCoy says, "Dammit, Jim, I'm a doctor not a miracle worker"?
Derek Morgan: Hey, what are you telling me? Not to expect a miracle?
Penelope Garcia: No, I'm saying I'm not a doctor.
See more »


References Star Trek (1966) See more »


Everyday is Exactly the Same
by Nine Inch Nails
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User Reviews

Think outside of the box.
22 February 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

In this second episode of Criminal Minds we open where we left off. Protagonist Jason Gideon is being held at gun point by a stuttering killer he has been seeking, yet came about through, in his words, "dumb luck".

As it is a flashback, the team are challenged to discover the reasoning as to why people stutter, as Gideon says his knowledge of this allowed him to get free. The answer to this IS revealed at the end, despite what the previous reviewer would strangely have you believe.

The episode continues meanwhile, with the team tracking down an arsonist in a college. It becomes clear that they must think outside the box in order to figure out the case, as the killer does not follow the precedent profile of an arsonist.

The idea of thinking outside the box is a key theme of the entire series, and it is made sure that viewers are aware of this with frequent referrals to it in this episode, (including Dr Reid attempting to defeat Gideon at a game of chess.) As we know from ccthemovieman-1's review, religion plays a part in this episode. However i'm sure not everyone is as inanely incompetent as he/she, as to think that every plot where religion is seen as a cause of crime is "prejudice" against religion.

Thankfully the team in Criminal Minds aren't so disillusioned with society, and acknowledge, after the clues present themselves, that religion could be pivotal in cracking the case.

You will surely be gripped to Criminal Minds after watching this second instalment, and will hopefully be very interested in learning more about the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) themselves.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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