A serial killer known as the Road Warrior is gunning down blonde women on roads in Orange County, California and the BAU suspect that the victims are surrogates and that it's only a matter of time before he kills the real one.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Norman Hill
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Detective Thea Salinas
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Burke Manning
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Judy Hannity
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Vanessa Hill
Rudy Moreno ...
Victor Alvarez
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Sasha Hill
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Storyline

Middle aged Caucasian blonde women are being gunned down on the freeways around Los Angeles. Based on victimology, the BAU determine that the women are surrogates for someone in the unsub's life, probably his wife or former partner. The unsub is feeling emasculated, this feeling onset by some specific traumatic event, but precipitated by perceived attitudes toward him. However, the killings are getting progressively brazen, where the BAU believes the unsub will eventually kill the real blonde woman in his life, and the children associated with that relationship. When the team locate the unsub, it may be too late. Written by Huggo

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17 December 2008 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mitch Pillegi portrayed role of Samuel Winchester (Sam and Dean's grandfather) and the soundtrack "A well respected man" by Kinks was also used in one of Supernatural episodes. See more »

Goofs

When the Unsub's first victim's Mercedes crashes, there is no one inside the car. See more »

Quotes

David Rossi: [closing quote, voiceover] "There's no tragedy in life like the death of a child. Things never get back to the way they were." - President Dwight Eisenhower.
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Connections

References Goldfinger (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Criminal Minds Titelmusik
(uncredited)
Written by Mark Mancina
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User Reviews

 
A nail-biter
23 November 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Having just re-watched "Normal" after a long time, while not quite among the best episodes of one of 'Criminal Minds' better and most consistent seasons it is certainly better than the likes of "Demonology" and "Catching Out" and much better than the vaguely indifferent reaction from first viewing long ago.

Two things are especially good. "Normal" contains one of Season 4's most visually striking and quite frightening, nail-biting in its intensity and horror-like suspense, opening sequences, and also for me one of the most visually striking and frightening opening sequences in the whole history of 'Criminal Minds'. Mitch Pileggi is remarkable also as the unsub (especially in the climax, which had an ingenious twist), he creates uneasy chills but at the same time because of the case being so tragic this is an unsub we feel a great deal of sorry emotion for.

"Normal's" story is compelling throughout, not letting one down at all after such a promising opening. Pacing is taut and fluid the entire time, and not only is there palpable suspense and tension, but the psychological elements are horrifically disturbing as they ought and emotionally some of the episode is tearjerker-inducing. Especially in the climax which was both scary and quite heart-breaking. The script on the most part is very well written, with a lot of thought and emotion, as well as the odd bit of humour. A favourite was the very humorous "endless supply of 3 things" exchange between Salinas and Reid.

All the acting is great, lead and supporting, Pileggi being particularly note-worthy. Visually, "Normal" looks great, being especially eye-catching at the start and the grit, atmosphere and class is maintained through the whole episode's duration. The music is haunting and moody, not always adding but never distracting. The direction as always is solid.

Criticisms are very few here. Can understand about a few finding the "happy" ending sappy and out of place for such a gritty episode, personally thought it was quite sweet and while a bit jarring tonally there are worse cases in the show in other episodes (speaking as a big fan). The only things for me actually that didn't strike me as right were the very forced and empty attempt at empathy at the end with Morgan towards the unsub (both the line and also, for someone usually so tough with criminals, that side to Morgan at that point just didn't feel right from that particular character at that particular time and aiming it at the last person he would usually do), and the dull and ill-fitting character of Todd.

Overall, a nail-biter of an episode that was almost among the season's best episodes but doesn't quite make it. 8/10 Bethany Cox


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