The team tries to identify a serial arsonist who has escalated to murder.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Evan Abby
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Lt. Ricardo Vega
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Vincent Stiles
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Charlotte Cutler
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Paul Cutler
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Dennis Cutler
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Det. Leah Castro (as Mercedes Colón)
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Tom Dunleivy
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Storyline

An arsonist has been at work in San Francisco, setting so far two house fires in three weeks. The two sets of residents - both families - all perished, except for one person. Unlike the work of most serial arsonists, these fires were meant to kill their inhabitants. Before she dies, the sole survivor of the those two initial fires tells Hotch and Prentiss of irregularities from that evening before and during the fire: that someone had turned off the water, that the smoke alarms did not work during the fire, that someone had locked the front door in such a way that they could not escape, and that she noticed a fireman inside the house just before she passed out. That fireman they know to be the unsub. Beyond general characteristics, Garcia finds one connection between the two families: the father figures both worked for different companies accused of LUST (leaking underground storage tanks) by an environmental activist/eco-terrorist (depending on one's viewpoint) group called the Earth... Written by Huggo

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TV-14
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Release Date:

21 March 2007 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Earth Defense Front (EDF) in this episode has a similar name to the real-life group Earth Liberation Front (ELF). The ELF are radical environmentalists who have been involved in arson and other property damage. The FBI considers them to be "eco-terrorists." See more »

Goofs

The ID for a suspect shows the residence city to be "Freemont" while there is a so named city in the SF Bay Area, it is spelled "Fremont" See more »

Quotes

Aaron 'Hotch' Hotchner: The unsub we're looking for is a highly intelligent, underachieving, 35 to 45 year old white male with a severe narcissistic character disorder.
Jason Gideon: Nothing in his life works for long. If he was married, he's now divorced. If employed, it won't last.
Derek Morgan: What he wants is admiration, but he's got no respect for others. Not their feelings, and most certainly not their safety.
Jason Gideon: He feels entitled. He's like a petulant adolescent. He both resents and he absolutely expects others to take care of him.
Aaron 'Hotch' Hotchner: And ...
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Soundtracks

Theme from Criminal Minds
Written by Marc Fantini and Steffan Fantini
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User Reviews

 
Music in opening scenes
8 July 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The music in the opening scenes of Ashes and Dust is Boadicea by Enya. Considering the history of Boadicea, especially the fact that she burned 3 Roman cities in Britain to the ground, it is quite an apt selection for this episode.

The episode is quite disturbing. Arsonists are not usually shown so up close and personal with their victims. The haunting music being played while the killer calmly watches his victims burn is chilling.

I found the episode interesting but the opening scenes were far more dramatic than the rest of the programme.

I think the editor was actually cutting to pictures of the 'happy' family rather than the books on the bookcase, showing the contrast between what had been and what was now. Perhaps I'm wrong but I didn't see it as an homage to "Fahrenheit 451".


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