The unit works against the clock when a little girl disappears in a mall, believing a serial killer has struck a second time and the first girl died within an hour of abduction.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Susan Jacobs
Beth Jacobs
Richard Jacobs
Paul Jacobs
James Franklin


A young girl named Jessica Davis is abducted from a Washington, D.C. area shopping center and eventually found murdered. The BAU are called in when a week later, a second young girl, six-year old Katie Jacobs, is subsequently missing in a shopping center in Potomac Mills, Virgina, the mall which is under lock down. The surveillance cameras show no signs of Katie ever leaving the building. Based on statistics, the BAU have less than an hour to find Katie before her probable murder. Katie was at the mall with her parents, her aunt and uncle, and her thirteen year old cousin Jeremy, under whose watch she was when she went missing. The BAU believe Jeremy saw something before the abduction, but that a feeling of guilt on his part is manifesting itself in acute anxiety and amnesia on the issue. They were at the arcade before she disappeared, the arcade not some place she wanted to be or enjoyed. The case takes a turn when they find a necklace that Katie was wearing. That necklace gives the ... Written by Huggo

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TV-PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

24 October 2007 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The character Richard Jacobs played by Emmanuel Xuereb is the real brother of the actor Salvator Xuereb who played the role of his brother, Paul Jacobs. See more »


The abduction is supposed to take place in Potomac Mills Mall in Woodbridge, Virginia. However when the mother calls the police she's standing in front of escalators. Potomac Mills Mall is all a single level (no stairs or escalators). See more »


Jennifer 'JJ' Jareau: Susan consoling Katie's mother, that's an image that's gonna haunt me for a while.
Penelope Garcia: Well, we could have been left haunted by a lot worse.
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The Moment I Said It
Written by Imogen Heap
Performed by Imogen Heap
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User Reviews

Trapped in a mall with 'Criminal Minds'
15 July 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Maybe not 'Criminal Minds' at its peak, but one of the best episodes overall from Season 3 and a very strong reminder of what made the show so great.

"Seven Seconds" fares very highly in the production values, especially in the photography that has style, atmosphere and class. The mall setting may seem ordinary and harmless, but the more desperate the situation gets the more the atmosphere, suspense and such builds to dizzying heights in the genuinely tension-filled climactic moments.

The music, while not enhancing as effectively as some other episodes, at least always fits with the mood and never distracts. "Seven Seconds" is directed with the right amount of palpable tension and ominous edge, and the writing is thought-provoking, smart and layered.

Regarding the story, it's not the most complex or the most original of 'Criminal Minds' and the identity of the criminal is not entirely shocking. However, what still makes the storytelling so great is not just the taut pacing and how the tension keeps building and building in an already nightmarish situation, but "Seven Seconds" not once loses sight of what makes 'Criminal Minds' as good a show as it is and the character moments and how the characters are written, with every single character shown being affected by the case in some way, delight hugely here.

Highlights are Hotch, as a father figure, becoming increasingly desperate in the climactic scenes (loved the moments between him and Jack too), Morgan understanding and feeling the pain of the situation, Penelope's ray of sunshine comic moments without being misplaced and JJ showing the sympathetic side that made people like her so much in the first place (this was before she became out of character and over-used when brought back in a large part of the latter seasons). For me particularly strongly done were Reid's interaction with Jeremy and most notably Prentiss interrogating the criminal, literally digging right deep into them until they snap.

As for the criminal/unsub, there are ones in the show that are monsters with no redeeming qualities (George Foyet), ones that have done a lot of wrong but one feels really bad for (Jonny McHale, somewhat) and then there are those that are not just a different kind of loathsome but really are beneath contempt. It's for me in this last category where "Seven Seconds" criminal falls into, due to endangering a young child's life with knowledge of a potentially fatal medical condition but also with a complete lack of remorse or empathy.

The acting from everybody is great, Matthew Gray Gubler and Paget Brewster particularly shine of the regulars while Suzanne Cryer plays up to their level.

Overall, not 'Criminal Minds' at its peak but still a great episode indeed, containing everything that makes the show as good a show as it is. 9/10 Bethany Cox

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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