The seemingly random killings in a Houston ward bring the BAU down for the profile, but finding the pattern proves difficult.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Roy Woodridge
Dana Woodridge
Det. Fuller
Juan Ramírez ...


In Houston's fifth ward, three murders don't fit the usual drug trade- and street gang-related violence pattern; apparently unrelated adult white men -construction worker, security guard and homeless- had their necks broken, abandoned in the streets near abandoned buildings. The team considers a homeless killer, possibly 'territorial' defending his hole at each time. Next victim, in a sewer, is city worker Travis Overby. Then a man survives, apparently because his young daughter was watching, she describes the white adult. After finding and SOS sign made of rubble, the team profiles a post-traumatic veteran reliving a war zone and finds a plausible suspect, Roy Woodridge, but his training makes him hard to catch... Meanwhile Reid is becoming insensitive... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

21 February 2007 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


This reference is to Operation Gothic Serpent, which was depicted in the book Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War by Mark Bowden and in the film that followed. See more »


California license plates and Los Angeles street signs are seen in what is supposed to be Houston. See more »


Aaron Hotchner: What's that?
Jennifer Jareau: One of the detective's wives made us cookies
Emily Prentiss: Wow, homemade cookies?
Jennifer Jareau: Yeah, I guess that's what they mean by southern hospitality
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Performed by The Pimps
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User Reviews

Distressing- in a good way
10 March 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When on form, and even better at its best, 'Criminal Minds' is one of my most watched and most re-watched shows and is a personal favourite. It is nowhere near as good now, but there are still good to great episodes made every now and then when the show doesn't forget what it's about, but Seasons 1-5 was its prime period.

Season 2 was a mostly solid season for 'Criminal Minds'. Boasting great episodes such as "The Fisher King Part II", "Sex, Birth, Death", "North Mammon", "The Boogeyman", the "No Way Out" episodes, "Revelations" and "Profiler, Profiled", with almost all the episodes missing that very high standard still being strong. The only real odd-one out, meaning barely average, was "Honor Among Thieves", while "Aftermath" was also a lesser episode it was still decent whereas "Honor Among Thieves" even strained average level.

Whether "Distress" is a 'Criminal Minds' episode that one can watch over and over, with a subject matter and the way it's done hard to watch, is up for debate. What cannot be denied is its emotional impact and how well it deals with the subject of PTSD. It's an important and polarising topic to cover, and instead of being heavy handed or talking down to the audience "Distress" covers PTSD with tact and delicately.

"Distress" is similarly one of the better episodes featuring Reid's trauma he suffered during "Revelations" and the episode to cover it in a way that wasn't dragged out or under-exposed and its impact was disturbing in Reid's alarming change in behaviour and moving in the team interaction and how they react. The case itself has tension and suspense but also a harrowing and affecting emotional impact. The portrayal of the unsub was a relative change of pace up to this point with 'Criminal Minds', instead of being irredeemably evil or trying too hard to evoke sympathy while never condoning their actions one genuinely feels sorry for this unsub and fully understands how and why they came to be that way.

The rest of the team interaction is similarly delightful, especially the refreshingly amusing one between Morgan and Garcia and the direct but loyal one between Gideon and Hotch.

Visually, the production values are without complaint. It's very well shot and lit and is overall stylish, gritty, classy and atmospheric. The music is moody in the haunting and melancholic sense and fits well, never once being distracting. The direction keeps the momentum going but lets the case breathe, and all of the pacing is spot-on.

The script is thought-provoking, tautly paced and structured and nicely balanced. The story is absorbing and clever in construction, while the acting is very good all round.

Overall, an emotional episode and a great one. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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