A hitman targeting people in some way guilty of children-related crimes brings the BAU to Rossi's home town.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ray Finnegan
Judge Schuller
Det. Gil Hardesty
Heather Vanderwaal
Jerry Sorum (as Leith Burke)
Drew Sandweiss


The BAU are called to Commack, Long Island where Ben Vanderwaal, the third and latest victim of a serial killer, has just been found dead. Each victim was bound, then shot through the head and heart. The two male victims were also mutilated postmortem, but each with a different body part missing, whereas the sole female victim thus far was extremely emaciated prior to death. Rossi requests to stay behind at the office rather than go to Commack since this is his small home town, a part of his past that he does not want to revisit. His request is denied by Hotch since Reid is still not cleared to travel from his injury sustained in the "LC." case. Once they arrive in Commack, the BAU find Heather Vanderwaal, Ben's wife, who was beaten at the scene of her husband's murder but not killed herself. Information from her, and other information from Garcia and Reid, form a connection between the three victims. Each was involved in some aspect of child abuse, Vanderwaal's not yet a matter of ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis






Release Date:

7 October 2009 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


David Rossi: [voiceover] Justice without force is powerless; force without justice is tyrannical. -Blaise Pascal
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Theme from Criminal Minds
Composed by Marc Fantini and Steffan Fantini
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User Reviews

Decent episode if lacking the extra something to be great
21 January 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Season 5 is not as good as the first four seasons, but is a mostly well done season, with most of the episodes being decent to great, some outstanding ones and some misfires.

"Reckoner" is one of Season 5's decent ones, better than the likes of "The Fight", "Hopeless", "The Performer" and "Parasite" but inferior to "100", "...A Thousand Words", "The Uncanny Valley" and "Mosley Lane". "Reckoner" is decent and does a lot right, but just lacks the extra something for it to be even better.

As always, the production values are very high in quality, with some of the most stylish and atmospheric camera work of the season that gives the episode a suitably dark, ominous tone. The music is haunting and melancholic, and the direction shows good direction of the actors and mostly solid pacing.

The script is intelligent and thought-provoking, with a great job developing Rossi and some welcome humour with Reid and Garcia. The story is interesting enough, and held together by the team's tight and adorable bond, the touching chemistry between Ray and Sean and especially the awesomeness of Rossi, whose story is gripping and beautifully interwoven with the case without overwhelming it. Love Garcia and Reid, a more professional Morgan and the interrogation stuff is intriguing.

Nothing can be faulted with the acting either, Joe Mantegna brings a perfect amount of the bad-ass and the soft-heart. Matthew Gray Gubler and Kirsten Vangsness are amusing, and there are great supporting star turns from Vincent Guastaferro (good balance of eager and bemused), Cynthia Watros (bringing tension and pathos to her role), Lawrence Pressman (suitably world-weary and vengeful) and from William Sadler and Glenn Keogh.

On the other hand, "Reckoner" could have had more tension and suspense, the production values set the tone wonderfully but the tension and suspense could have been more consistent. This would have been helped by slightly tighter pacing (at times) and more development and personality for the hit man unsub (the Judge was handled pretty well though, though still not among the most interesting) which was sketchy at best, his fate at the end was a bit of a damb squib too. While the team chemistry and personalities were done very, very well, there could have been a little more of Hotch and Reid.

In summary, decent if lacking greatness. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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