A serial killer turns himself in and challenges the team to find five people he has hidden somewhere before they die.

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
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Jennifer Jareau (credit only)
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Kaylee Robinson
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Detective Garrity
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Student 2
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Ricky
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Student 1 (as Jamie Israel)
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Storyline

A man calling himself Professor Rothchild approaches Rossi and Reid, saying that he has killed seven women already - scrambled photographs as proof - and within the next nine hours another five people he abducted will die. Current news reports that Kaylee Robinson and four children under her charge have gone missing, BAU believing they are the five targets. BAU's thought is true as Garcia is sent video footage of the five in a room wearing gas masks and being tortured by acid. Despite the professor asking for Reid, Rossi takes charge of the investigation thinking that he will not bow to Rothchild's wishes. As the investigation progresses, discussion between Rossi and Rothchild of the past killings and the future killings turn to the ideals of perfection. Meanwhile, Todd is feeling like the team does not yet trust her abilities based on actions by Morgan. Written by Huggo

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19 November 2008 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Just after the masks drop in the containment room, the shot changes to a computer screen outside. On the screen, there is a panning close up of one of the children inside. There is no camera in the holding room to get the shot shown on the screen. See more »

Quotes

David Rossi: [opening quote, voiceover] "Let us consider that we are all insane. It will explain us to each other. It will unriddle many riddles." - Mark Twain.
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Connections

References Tank Girl (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Not quite masterful, not a disaster either
26 July 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

"Masterpiece" is one of those 'Criminal Minds' episodes that seems to have garnered a mixed reception from fans. While it is not one of my favourite episodes of the show or of Season 4 (so far of the season personal favourites are "The Big Wheel" and "Conflicted"), "Masterpiece" had a lot of very well done things.

It is not a perfect episode by all means. While it is certainly difficult being a temporary replacement for JJ, the character of Jordan Todd was a pretty dull and ill-at-ease one aside from some charming chemistry with Morgan, which saw a nice mix of his tougher and more compassionate sides.

The whole stuff about the Fibonacci and golden ratio is very fascinating, nicely and tautly explored and a treat for those into science and maths. It is however somewhat too complex and implausible to start with, with a lot of information being thrown at the viewer with not always much breathing space which doesn't leave everything quite as well explained as it could, and perhaps takes too long to solve though it is never too obvious at all (was actually pretty taken aback).

Pretty much the same can be said for the twist too, clever and unexpected, but not quite as developed or as complete-feeling explanation-wise as it could have been towards the end. It's not convoluted or incoherent or anything like it, just that it felt like there were supposed to be a few bits that felt like they should have been there but weren't.

However, "Masterpiece" looks great visually (then again 'Criminal Minds' is always well-made) and is one of the more ominously atmospheric episodes, beautifully shot too as well as very well directed with the right amount of tension and eeriness. The music is also haunting and has an ominous intensity in the opening scene for example.

Smart, tight scripting also helps, and "Masterpiece" certainly has that especially in the interrogations between Rossi and Rothchild, Reid has some truly shining moments too. The story starts with one of the most frightening openings to 'Criminal Minds', and the tension, suspense and eeriness is maintained throughout with some nicely paced and written turns and one of the most masterful serial killer traps of the show.

What makes "Masterpiece" so interesting to watch is the intelligently written and nail-biting scenes, though often in a very subtle way, between Rossi and Rothchild (somewhat of a battle of the two egos), like Rothchild pointing out to Rossi about forgetting to ask about the rules and Rossi's dialogue regarding the death penalty. Prentiss and Reid shine too, and Rothchild's first scene at the lecture is chilling.

'Criminal Minds' nearly always has very good to great performances, and again "Masterpiece" doesn't fall short on that either. Joe Mantegna and Matthew Gray Gubler are particularly great of the regular team (who still work really well as a team and their personalities and character moments always watchable and more), while a barely recognisable Jason Alexander is surprisingly genius casting in a rare dramatic villain role, one that Alexander plays with calculating calmness and chilling subtlety (rare for Alexander in a career that sees him more in comedy and sometimes animation).

All in all, not quite masterful, not a disaster either. Not everything completely comes off, but the atmosphere, the scenes between Rossi and Rothchild and Alexander's performance make it an episode well worth watching. 7.5/10 Bethany Cox


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