Criminal Minds: Season 4, Episode 8

Masterpiece (19 Nov. 2008)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 698 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 1 critic

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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Title: Masterpiece (19 Nov 2008)

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


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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

19 November 2008 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


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.
See more »


References Tank Girl (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

24 November 2009 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

The title really says it all, this episode is one of the best episodes of the entire season if not the series. From the moment the episode starts it earns it's name, the opening shot showing us the room where the children and their care worker are being held is so slow and precise, going into the room with the paintings. Everything about the short screams perfection.

The undeniable star of the episode though is Jason Alexander playing Professor Rothschild, a character that is so creepy and subtle that you'll forget all about George Costanza. His performance is subtle and brilliant, the shot where the throws the photos of some of his victims down the stairs is beautiful and creepy all at once. One key thing about Jason's character involves a plot point known as the Fibonacci sequence, or 1 1 2 3 5 and so on. At 2 points he does this action, most memorably with his thumbs during the interrogation but more subtly (I only learned this when I watched the special feature on the DVD) when he's talking to Reid and Rossi in the college his hands make the sequence. Tiny actions like this sell the character that is both brilliant and terrifying and easily one of the creepiest unsubs this show has had for a while.

As I said this episode is a masterpiece. The team show their intelligence and use every skill they have to try and best Rothchild's little game. As every minute went on I was glued to the screen to see what would happen next, every single second of this episode is in itself a masterpiece. A must see episode.

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