The team tracks down a highly obsessive-compulsive killer who targets blonde women and leaves messages to the police asking them to stop him.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Vincent
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Det. Lynne Henderson
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Stanley Wolcott
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Kate (as Martha Anne Madison)
Giselle Jones ...
Alice
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Michelle Watson
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Jay
Quentin Prescott Price ...
Carl
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Storyline

Michelle Watson, a Buffalo, New York based real estate agent, is found murdered inside a house at which she was showing. A week later, the Buffalo Police Department receive an audio-less and edited video recording from the murderer's viewpoint of the lead-up to the killing, including shots within the murderer's home, as well as the actual murder itself. From the video, it looks as if it was taken by a hidden camera located somewhere on the upper half of the murderer's body. From the actions on the video, the BAU can also tell that the murderer suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder. Reviewing past cases in the Buffalo area within the past ten years and another video visible in the background of the video sent makes them suspect that this murder was done by a serial killer. Two other key pieces of information on the video are the number "29", circled by the murderer on Michelle's day planner, and the murderer scrawling the words "HELP ME". The BAU have a race for time as they ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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29 April 2009 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Garcia points out that the footage of Vincent's mother's death is analog and has been digitized. She also says that the footage is seriously degraded. Whenever we see the tape being played (or the ripped version of it), we occasionally see a few horizontal degradation lines appear on the screen for a few frames and they are completely still. The only consumer camcorder formats available at the time were Betamax and VHS-C (and 1983 was the first year they were introduced). For analog tape formats like this, degradation lines would be moving downward. What is shown on the TV looks more like the loss of part of a signal from a TV broadcast. See more »

Quotes

Penelope Garcia: The video on this film is analog. It's since been digitized, but it is seriously degraded.
Jennifer 'JJ' Jareau: Meaning what?
Penelope Garcia: Meaning this kind of degradation only happens over at least a decade and thousands of repeating viewings.
David Rossi: It's the only way he can get any release.
Det. Lynne Henderson: Then you're right, he's been doing this for ten years.
Penelope Garcia: Uh... more like twenty. That woman in this video, she's wearing a sweater I haven't seen since "Flashdance".
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Connections

References Flashdance (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Frio
(uncredited)
Written by Carlos Villalobos
Performed by Carlos Villalobos
Courtesy of Alistar Records
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User Reviews

 
Complete the Circle
7 December 2010 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

While I agree with the previous reviewers that this is an outstanding episode, I must add that Alex O'Loughlin's magnificent performance is but a part of the pieces that add up to more than their sum. This is truly the first episode of Criminal Minds that is completely unique. The beginning alone *feels* different - the atmosphere is charged, the turns fast and *unsettling*. It felt more like a beginning to a thriller movie that could stand shoulder to shoulder with classics like The Silence of the Lambs and Se7en. Extremely impressive.

The plot is just staggering. The details so amazing. The nuances so perfect. From cinematography to editing, music and sound effects, this just blows all the episodes out of the water. There is *nothing* thrown in needlessly - the most common flaw in any given Criminal Minds episode - this is locked tight. Way too often the series takes the audience for stupider than we are and has loads of unnecessary exposition and those embarrassing re-enacting scenes - actually for once done right here, setting an example for the following episodes.

The best thing is that there is an unpredictability that keeps the viewer constantly unsure what will happen next. This is the one time the BAU team is not instantly, routinely throwing together a profile. This is *complex*, utterly compelling, loaded with emotion. Unlike #4.8, which had delusions of grandeur starting already with its title, THIS is the first true masterpiece of the series. The lesson: downplay, don't overplay. Engage the viewer's imagination. Achieve the impossible.


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