Synopsis for
"Criminal Minds" Masterpiece (2008)

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Wailing children. A screaming woman. We flash to the basement of a suburban home, where a camera monitors a single, sealed room. Inside, the woman slams her fist against the lens, trapped like a rat. So who is the man behind the camera?

CUT to a classroom, where Rossi and Reid give a recruitment talk to students. The class ends and the pair are approached by a Professor Rothschild. "May I show you something?" the creepy man asks. He then hands Reid a portfolio of photos -- all showing women screaming and scatching at the lens. "Seven women, bodies have never been found," Rothschild whispers. "There is still time to save the others, though in a bit less than nine hours, five other people will be dead unless you can find a way to save them."

Oh, its ON, Rothschild.

Hotch gets a call from Rossi, who explains the peculiar case. Rossi says that he has sent the photos to Garcia and is bringing the prof in for questioning. "Do not forget a word he says the rest of the time we have him," Rossi tells Reid. Before you can say "Seven" or "Silence of the Lambs," Rothschild begins to taunt Rossi. "I read your books, David," he says. "You dont have the intellectual capacity to grasp whats going on here." So why did the man turn himself in? "Imagine what the world may have missed if Da Vinci never showed his work." Rothschild, it seems, fancies himself something of an artist.

Back at headquarters, the team watches Rothschild from behind a one-way mirror. Rossi suggests that they attempt to identify the past seven victims. "Going in there with names might just shake him up," he says. But how? Hotch suggests learning everything they can about Rothschild and profiling backwards. "From the unsub to the victim," Derek says. Exactly, tough guy. Exactly.

The team gets to work. Rossi points out that all the victims in the photos have dark hair, as does a woman reported missing just that morning. "I'll start there," Garcia says. "Brunettes from central Virginia who are missing." Derek says the man has also never been fingerprinted, a "ghost." Oh, and one more thing: Reid is not to enter the interrogation room. "He wants to play with you," Rossi says. "We have to knock him off his game." Hotch agrees ... for now.

Instead of Reid, Rossi brings Emily into the interrogation room. Seeing the brunette makes Rothschild visibly uncomfortable. "This is not a man who can confront a woman on equal footing," Rossi taunts. When Emily finally leaves the room, Rothschild turns his attention to his watch. He says Rossi isn't playing by the rules. What rules? "Every two hours one of them will die," Rothschild says.

CUT to the basement prison where a sprinkler head drips acid. Suddenly, a door slams shut, sealing off one of the children and, presumably, triggering the acid shower. Ugh.

Back from commercial, Garcia receives a mysterious email. She clicks on the link -- it's a live feed of the basement dungeon! "There are only three children," Hotch points out. Says Garcia: "There were four when I came to get you!" The woman and three remaining children wear gas masks descending from the ceiling. "The masks are there to keep them in specific positions," Emily theorizes. Correct -- directly under the acid showers.

Hotch pulls Rossi out of the room and suggests that Reid help interrogate the unsub. "You think he's smarter than me?" Rossi demands. "This is my interview!" Hmm. Perhaps Rothschild has gotten to Rossi, after all.

Meanwhile, Jordan and Derek arrive at a daycare center, the scene of the latest kidnapping. Inside, the toys have been arranged in a circle with a line through the center. Derek takes a photo and sends it to Reid.

Back at the office, Garcia identifies the last of the previous seven victims. All are extremely beautiful brunettes who disappeared in seemingly "routine" ways. But Reid isn't interested in all that at the moment. He is busy staring at the photo Derek sent and solving a puzzle in his head. Eventually, he moves to the dry-erase board and draws the symbol in the photo. He then hustles into the interrogation room and pulls Rothschild's pendent off his neck. The pendent is of a simliar shape. "I know where to find them," Reid says.

A few words from our sponsors later, Reid explains -- sort of. The wunderkind pulls up a map of where the victims are from. He explains the number of victims from each location creates a Fibonacci sequence. He then places Rothschild's spiral pendant, representing the "golden ratio," over the image. The end of the spiral points to Chester, Virginia. Rossi, however, isn't completely sold. "There's still something bugging me about this," he says.

So Rossi confronts Rothschild. "The golden ratio is a subconscious identifier of perfect humanness," the professor says. "Humans are a blight. We should all be eradicated." He then claims to have come across the idea from a number of Rossi's books. "It's in there every one of them, you're hatred," Rothschild says. To prove it, he quotes line after line, especially one particular passage: "Vengeance keeps us sane."

"You may have your vengeance," Rothschild says. "As I am about to have mine."

CUT to the five team members about to storm the suburban home. Rothschild, meanwhile, unfurls the details of his "masterpiece:" "It was never about that perfect woman, those wonderful children. It was about your team. Your merry band of five. They complete my sequence." In other words, the team is walking into a trap. The team, Rothschild claims, is already dead. But why? Why take vengeance on Rossi by killing his coworkers and friends?

Turns out a man Rossi once put away (and then described as the "face of pure evil" in one of his books) had a brother -- Rothschild. Furthemore, the man's fianc -- a brunette, natch -- dumped him after his brother was revealed as a killer. Rothschild then turned his attention to Rossi. "Vengeance," the killer says. "I killed 12 people because of you. You took my family. I take yours."

Rossi pauses dramatically then picks up his cell phone. "You get all that?" he asks. Indeed, the entire conversation has been recorded. Turns out Rossi knew Rothschild's plan all along and had been playing along to get a confession! Well, well, Rothschild: Who is the smart guy now?

Hotch calls. The team dismantled booby traps over the door to the home -- traps that would've sent acid raining down on the gang had Rossi not proven smarter than the average interrogator. The missing woman and kids are also safe. "He wasn't about to kill 10 people today," Rossi says. "That's not in the pattern."

Suddenly, Rothschild attacks! But the nutty professor is no match for the grizzled investigator, who slams the pitiful killer up against the wall. Rossi tells Rothschild that he'll be there when the lethal injection is administered so he can tell the man to "say hello to your scumbag brother." Vengeance, indeed.
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