Rossi determines that the case that haunts him has gone unsolved too long on its 20th anniversary, and the team horns in on his investigation despite his displeasure. Elsewhere, Reid and Hotchner interview a manipulative death-row convict.

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Cast

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Chester Hardwick
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Connie Galen
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Abner Merriman
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Landon
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Georgie Galen
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Detective Willis
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Alicia Galen (as Jessica Raskin)
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Storyline

Hotchner and Reid secure a pre-execution interview for research with death-row inmate, Chester Hardwick, who had a secret agenda. Unofficially, and unbeknown to his team, Rossi checks up on the surviving children of an Indianapolis couple who were victims of a still-unsolved, brutal, double-homicide exactly twenty years earlier, that he has never let go of, and to see if their are any new leads. Frustrated with his constant yearly gifts, a painful reminder of their parents' murder, the now-grown children beg Rossi to just leave them alone, but inadvertently provide him with a new lead. Concerned about his state of mind, Morgan, Prentiss, and J.J. join him, just in time to help make sense of the only new lead in twenty years, that may finally lead to the killer. Written by Lynne Boris Johnston

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2 April 2008 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Real life (twin) brother and sister, David Tom and Nicholle Tom play siblings Georgie and Connie Galen. See more »

Goofs

In the season three episode "Birthright," Rossi tells retired sheriff John Caulfield that this case has haunted him for 21 years. Caulfield replies by telling him not to let it become 22 years. However, in this episode, Rossi claims that this is the 20th year anniversary of that incident. See more »

Quotes

David Rossi: I was here on a serial rapist in '88. It was pretty short work. The guy wasn't gonna win any IQ contests. The day after we, uh, collared him, a local detective was driving me to the airport, and, um, he hears a call on his walkie of kids screaming in a house not far from where we were. He asks if I mind taking the job in with him. We were first on the scene. Inside we found...
Derek Morgan: [placing the case file on the table] Found this.
David Rossi: The ax had been left behind, but it had been wiped clean. It turns out ...
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Soundtracks

We'll Get By
(uncredited)
Performed by Gary Louris
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User Reviews

 
Really gave me the feels
31 July 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

"Damaged" seems to be one of Season 3's most polarising episodes (perhaps of the whole show as well), and one can see why. This reviewer however liked it very much on the whole, it's nowhere near one of the best of the show but it's not even close to being one of the stinkers too.

The main plot-line is solved rather too easily and felt somewhat rushed, also it felt like things were missed that would have helped Rossi solve the case more tangibly. Was also a bit disappointed in the unsub, mostly 'Criminal Minds' excels really well in making the audience hate those responsible or feel sympathy towards them but this unsub wasn't a particularly memorable one, not enough really to make one feel either of those things, plus Morgan's treatment of him was somewhat too extreme for an unsub who in comparison to most of those on 'Criminal Minds' not that evil a person.

On the other hand, it is agreed that "Damaged" is a very poignant episode, and it is very clear that it is a personal case for Rossi that has clearly haunted him for so long. There are quite a few times where tears are induced, especially in little scenes between Rossi and the children of the victims. Also loved seeing a more compassionate and softer side to Rossi, which gave more dimension and likability to a character that to that point was somewhat cold and old-school.

"Damaged" has a second running plot-line, that between Hotch, Reid and a serial killer on death row (who oddly enough makes more of an impression than the unsub, and portrayed in a way that will make the skin crawl). Those scenes had a lot of intensity and were thought-provokingly written. The final scene between them is particularly chilling, where my reaction was similar to Reid's. One mustn't forget the comic elements, courtesy of Garcia, that considering the serious nature of the story could have felt out of kilter. Actually, to me, they were interwoven with the seriousness beautifully and was genuinely hilarious too.

As always, it is a stylishly and audaciously made episode, with great atmosphere too. The music is haunting and melancholic, especially towards the end, while the direction is solid and the writing is thought-provoking and balances the comedy and the seriousness beautifully as aforementioned. The pacing has been criticised, with the main plot-line being dragged out and the rest of the episode feeling rushed, it didn't feel that way really to me though it was an episode that could easily have done, with the incorporation of two cases in one episode when there have been episodes in the show that have struggled with just one.

Joe Mantegna, Thomas Gibson and Matthew Gray Gubler are especially strong of the leads, who are all very good and the chemistry still shining. The Galens are movingly portrayed and Michael Shamus Wiles is skin-crawling. Matthew J. Cates does his best but doesn't have an awful lot to work with.

Overall, flawed and understandably polarising but haunting and poignant episode. 8/10 Bethany Cox


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