The team, including Garcia, go to the small town of Franklin, Alaska to catch a rapidly escalating serial killer before the locals take justice into their own hands.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Sheriff Rhodes
Joshua Beardsley
Owen Porter
Deputy Susan Flack
Doc Johnson
Keith Graves


The BAU head to the small fishing town of Franklin, Alaska - population 1,500 - where there have been three murders in the span of a week. These three murders are the first ever in the town. On the surface, there is no similarity in either victimology or modus operandi, although each successive murder is becoming more confident in its approach. The case is made all the more difficult because everyone in town knows everyone's business, meaning that everyone is connected in some manner and if there is even the suspicion of someone being the killer, vigilante-ism could come into play. The key suspect is Joshua Beardsley, who was born and raised in Franklin, moved away to go the school and returned to town two weeks ago to help his recently widowed mother operate the town's only hotel/tavern. But when another person is murdered, the BAU not only believe they have a better profile and an understanding of why the victims were targeted, but that Joshua is the key to tracking the unsub. This ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis





Release Date:

12 May 2010 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


When the satellite phone cuts out, Penelope says "Frak", which is 1) a convenient way to swear without getting censored and 2) a nod to Battlestar Galactica. See more »


The BAU is called in to assist the Sheriff's Dept. in Franklin, Alaska (a made-up town, although there is a ghost town by that name). By statute, Alaska has never had any Sheriffs. Functions filled by sheriffs elsewhere fall mostly under the auspices of the Alaska State Troopers. Other law enforcement is by community or (rarely) borough which is what Alaska has instead of counties. See more »


Derek Morgan: It sucks, doesn't it?
Penelope Garcia: What?
Derek Morgan: Just knowing that we couldn't have done any of this without you.
Penelope Garcia: [scoffing laugh] Yeah, pretty much.
Derek Morgan: I'm proud of you, Penelope. Despite everything that happened, you came back... and you got the job done.
Penelope Garcia: The sight of blood used to make me run away. And two nights ago I ran towards it.
Derek Morgan: It means you're changing into someone stronger than you realize. You cared enough to risk your own life to try and save someone else.
Penelope Garcia: Yeah, but... what's the difference between being ...
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References Criminal Minds: Penelope (2007) See more »


I Made A Lovers Prayer
Performed by: Gillian Welch
Played right after they caught the unsub until the end
See more »

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User Reviews

'Criminal Minds' goes to Alaska
22 September 2016 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

"Exit Wounds" is not one of the best Season 5 episodes, like "100", "...A Thousand Words", "The Uncanny Valley" and "Mosley Lane", but it fares much better than "Parasite" and from memory "The Performer" and "Haunted".

Rather than being a great/top-tier 'Criminal Minds' episode, "Exit Wounds" is one of the solid/very good ones, nowhere near down there with the low-points of the show like "Machismo", "The Thirteenth Step", "I Love You Tommy Brown" and the worst of Season 9 ("200", "The Black Queen") and Season 11 (too many to list). It will be, and has been, picked apart for geographical errors, but to be honest this is not the first time and last time that this has applied to 'Criminal Minds'.

There is actually not very much that's wrong with "Exit Wounds", other than some supporting characters fare better than others, for example the unsub is one of not many on the show that's easy to feel for somewhat despite their crimes but others like the sheriff characters are dull clichés with not much personality or development. While tense undeniably, the climax is rather predictable and not that much different to other stand-offs on 'Criminal Minds' and other crime/mystery/procedural shows in general.

However, as always, "Exit Wounds" is very well made and has a lot of atmosphere. The music is a good haunting fit. The script is structurally taut with a good mix of humour, pathos, thought-provoking moments and mystery. The story begins effectively with a very suspenseful opening sequence and ends just as much with a sweet and amusing ending, these kinds of endings can feel tacky but it was a very nice way to end. Morgan and Garcia's chemistry is light-hearted, with the flirtatiousness not as over-used or as annoying as it could be, and heart-warming, and while the case could have had more profiling the profiling and pathology are still intriguing.

The case itself has intensity and suspense, even if conceptually somewhat standard which doesn't quite make it stand out as much as other episodes. The BAU have a great dynamic together, and they are all interesting. Although it's a Garcia-oriented episode, "Exit Wounds" doesn't make the mistake of over-using her at the expense of the rest of the team. She is likable and interesting, not the caricature that she became in much of the latter seasons. Nothing bothered me about the acting either, even less well-developed characters did a good deal with little. The show does belong to Kirsten Vangsness who is simply delightful here.

In summary, solid to very good episode. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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