Criminal Minds: Season 6, Episode 13

The Thirteenth Step (26 Jan. 2011)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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While the BAU chases a pair of young lovers on an interstate killing spree, Prentiss is contacted by an old friend with some bad news.


(as Doug Aarniokoski)


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Sydney Manning
Ray Donovan
Sean McAllister
Agent Bates
Gary Manning
Karen Manning
Heather Manning
Mr. Donovan


The BAU travel to Montana to investigate a mass murder shooting at a gas station. By witness accounts, a young male/female couple were the shooters. Evidence at the scene suggests that the couple are newlyweds, that the shooting was not planned, but that the shooters' primary need is to please each other. The BAU know that they will kill again. When the unsubs end up having another killing spree at an alcoholics support group meeting, the BAU believe that the unsubs are recovering alcoholics themselves who met at a support group meeting, but who have violated what is known as the thirteenth step of getting involved with another in the program. Piecing together the clues, the team are able to identify the male of the couple as Ray Donovan, and ultimately the female as Sydney Manning. Knowing their identities leads to knowing their next intended hit. That results in a standoff with innocent hostages involved. The team use the knowledge of Ray being a sociopath and Sydney being a ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

26 January 2011 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


When Garcia is looking over the reports of store clerks being killed the name of the victim is Apu, N. - a reference to the Simpsons See more »


When the team is in Spokane, WA, you can clearly see palm trees in the background. There are no palm trees in Spokane. See more »


Dr. Spencer Reid: You know, what if they really are struggling with sobriety? If they're really working the program, they could be working on the hardest steps.
Aaron Hotchner: Which are?
Dr. Spencer Reid: Seven, eight and nine. Acknowledge your shortcomings, accept responsibility, and make amends. The trouble is, these UnSubs already broke one of the most important steps.
Derek Morgan: What's that?
Dr. Spencer Reid: The 13th step. Members aren't supposed to enter relationships with each other while trying to get sober.
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References The Simpsons (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

27 January 2011 | by See all my reviews

Where to start; this episode is terrible. With no continuity from the previous episode, cliché story and hardly no screen time for the main characters, it's hard to see any good points of this episode.

The story cuts and swaps incoherently and the BAU seems to just magic up a profile with little to no investigation. here's hoping the next episode has greater depth. As this is generally quite a good show.

I can understand how the writers would have difficulty coming up with new plot points for so many episodes; however they can overcome this by focusing in on characters as the characters that make up the BAU is what makes criminal minds so interesting in the first place. don't bother with this episode.

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