Criminal Minds: Season 1, Episode 14

Riding the Lightning (25 Jan. 2006)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 1,372 users  
Reviews: 12 user

The team of investigators interview husband and wife serial killers with their execution date set for two days time.



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Title: Riding the Lightning (25 Jan 2006)

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Episode credited cast:
Warden Charles Diehl
Sam Shapiro
Deb Mason
Frank Sheffield
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Cher Calvin ...
Lara Sedgwick
Ren Casey ...


The team investigates the Dawes couple on death row in Florida State Penitentiary for thirteen (or more) murders on young blonde girls in 1985. A dozen girl's bodies were found buried under the sexual psychopath Jacob's garage after the police got an anonymous call. Sarah Jean Dawes (née Mason) 'the Ice Queen' only confessed killing her own two-year old son Riley, Jacob would have ordered her to kill him because he slowed down their flight. Sarah's mother Deb Mason claims she was a normal shy girl util she met Jacob, her late father was a strict soldier but hit his wife. Gideon concludes from a letter to her mother and an interview that Sarah Jean is physically innocent. She just blames herself for failing to stop Jacob and tipped the police herself. Jacob, who clearly craves notoriety, refuses to tell Aaron "Hotch" Hotchner or Jennifer "JJ" Jareau if there are more bodies. When told that Sarah got a stay of execution, Jacob spontaneously offers the location of their son's burial ... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

25 January 2006 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


During the poker game the Jack of spades is in the killer's hand. When the camera comes back on the same hand, the Jack is now a Jack of Hearts See more »


This show is based at a state prison in Alachua, Florida just outside of Gainesville. This area of Florida is about 138 feet above sea level however as the team is driving to the prison in the opening scenes a very large mountain range can be seen in the distance through the windows of the SUV. The Alachua area is rather lush and green due to the abundance of fresh spring waters however as the SUV is driving into the prison not only is the mountain range in clear view but tumbleweeds are blowing across the road from a field with dead, brown grass. See more »


Penelope Garcia: You guys do realize that visiting death rows is not part of my job description?
Dr. Spencer Reid: Garcia, this will be the first serial killer couple ever recorded for VICAP
Penelope Garcia: They slaughtered 13 young girls with blond hair! Hello!
[points to her own blond hair]
See more »


Cello Suite 1
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
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User Reviews

Too Talky, Unappealing Episode
23 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This episode was just not appealing to me, which is unusual. I thought the story, which takes place in Central Florida, just smacked too much of political correctness and Liberalism: female is innocent; male is to blame; death penalty to kill an innocent person; religious people outside of prison made to look like creeps, etc. Gideon, instead of being his normal objective self, interviewed the woman like she was his long-lost mom, with these sad puppy- dog eyes. It was just ridiculous.

In addition, although the ending did interesting twist to it, the whole thing was too talky. This was the first episode that bored me. Maybe the people who wrote the script should have been sitting in "Sparky's" chair (only kidding).

14 of 132 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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