Criminal Minds: Season 3, Episode 12

3rd Life (9 Jan. 2008)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 839 users  
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Two teenage girls go missing, one of which is soon found dead and freshly buried. The team soon suspects that the killings are related to the witness protection program.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Vaughan (as Fredric Lane)
Pat Mannan
Bruce Owen
Lori Owen
Ryan Phillips
Lindsey (as Gina Mantegna)
Det. Payton
Katie Owen


In Chula Vista, California on a holiday long weekend, a dead body is found with the hands and face damaged to prevent identification. The authorities believe it is either one of two teen-aged girls, Katie Owen or Lindsey Vaughan. Both went to the movies together eighteen hours prior, but who have been missing ever since. The BAU also believe that the victim knew her murderer, hence the reason for the obliterated face and hands which will give the unsub extra time to escape capture. From a telephone call made just prior to the murder, the BAU have an identity of the dead girl and hope to find the other girl still alive. Profiling victimology, the BAU discover that one of the fathers of the missing girls is not who he appears to be on the surface. Following up on other leads, the BAU find another dead body - not one of the missing girls - which provides a clearer profile of the unsubs and thoughts of vigilante-ism. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

9 January 2008 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The character Lindsey is played by Gia Mantegna, the real-life daughter of Joe Mantegna, who plays SSA David Rossi. See more »


Aaron Hotchner: [opening quote, voiceover] "No man or woman who tries to pursue an ideal in his or her own way is without enemies." - Daisy Bates.
See more »


References The Last House on the Left (1972) See more »


Written by Jay Z, Kuk Harrell, Christopher Stewart and Terius Nash
Performed by Hayley McFarland
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User Reviews

A rare gem in an uneven series
2 July 2009 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

I was quite content with Season 1, especially the super-awesome (a bit of hyperbole never killed anyone) final cliffhanger episode "The Fisher King", but then Season 2 began by equally spectacularly fumbling the ball with Part 2 of said episode. After that, it was pretty much downhill from there, with actors coming and going like through revolving doors - in poorly scripted ways, no less. I mean, if Lola Glaudini was going to leave anyway, why not just let Unsub succeed in killing her? That guy was *thorough*, yet failed to notice that Elle was not dead. And so on. Over Season 2 my interest waned, until I stopped the series, but I happened to see this episode by accident. Man, was this of the quality "The Fisher King: Part 2" should have been. It is impossible to explain why it is great without dropping spoilers left and right, so you've been warned. First, the opening scene sets a chilling atmosphere with the corpse that has its face and hands "obliterated", as Hotch puts it. We don't see the corpse, but our minds conjure images lifted from Cannibal Corpse album covers. Then there is the gravitas of tough-guy Fredric Lehne (Marshall Edward Mars from "Lost" and The Yellow-Eyed Demon from "Supernatural"), whose mere presence as father of one of the two girls hints that something is not what it appears. The revelation of his secret is not groundbreaking, but it is handled very well. The red herring that comes from this revelation is simply genius and provides a great, disturbing twist that raises some serious questions about parenting. What the hell have the parents of the boys been doing? What kind of conditions create teens like these? OK, Mr. Silverman appears, but he does not get enough screen time for his role to become an actual character. Riley Smith gives a great performance as the bullying Ryan. Towards the end, the events take on ever darker turns, starting with the brilliantly understated scene where the dead Katie's father approaches Lehne's character Jack and plainly says, "I don't know who you are and what you've done. All I want to know is are you capable of still doing whatever it is that you did." This is a man who has nothing left but revenge. As dark as this is, the final confrontation between Jack and Ryan is truly black stuff, with Lindsay frantically *urging* his father to kill Ryan and Reid trying to talk him out of doing it. Now, in 9 out of 10 times the makers of movies and especially terrestrial TV wimp out and the avenger has a change of heart, deciding to spare the sick ****'s life. Not so here. BANG! As if this were not enough, there is a coda, that shows Jack and Lindsay relocated in the witness protection program - his testimony against the Irish mob having been so valuable he's been given a get-out-of-jail card for the cold execution of Ryan. Now, we are left with a never-ending discussion of revenge-vs-mercy *and* the mind-troubling results of bargains the criminals-turned-witnesses get...

19 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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