When a series of killings occur on the BAU's home turf, Prentiss realizes that Ian Doyle is responsible.

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Lex Dreyer
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Jeff Hastings
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Ron Cosenza
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Storyline

Doyle finally makes direct contact with Prentiss, telling her that he will eventually kill her, but in the process, she is not to involve her BAU colleagues. Meanwhile, the BAU investigate two DC area house fires that occurred on the same evening. Both seem suspicious - one looking to be a murder/suicide, the other an accidental gas leak explosion - especially as they seem to be under-reported in the media. Upon further investigation, the suicide was not so (that person also murdered). The only seeming connection between the two sets of victims is a European background. When Morgan and Prentiss investigate a common contact telephone number between the two families, they are ambushed, and manage to kill one of their ambushers. It is then that Prentiss not only suspects but truly believes this is the work of Doyle. As the BAU further investigate, which includes why the one news story of the fires was pulled from its online posting, they do find a connection to Doyle. Through it all, ... Written by Huggo

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2 March 2011 (USA)  »

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16:9 HD
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Goofs

When Prentiss and Morgan are talking in the SUV, they pass a Palm tree. Palms don't grow in D.C. See more »

Quotes

David Rossi: Are you alright? You know, you haven't had a vacation in a while. Weren't you talking about Italy?
Emily Prentiss: My mother extended her trip there. It wouldn't be much of a vacation.
David Rossi: It's a big country.
Emily Prentiss: Not big enough.
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User Reviews

 
Solid episode, if mostly build-up for what was about to follow
12 January 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Season 6 is one of the lesser, and most wildly variable, seasons of 'Criminal Minds'. There are no exceptional episodes as such, but there are some good (a few very good) episodes, some average and a few mediocre at best.

"Valhalla" is neither among the best ("Remembrance of Things Past", "Into the Woods", "Hanley Waters" and "The Longest Night", all four a mix of the creepy and the poignant) or among the weakest ("Today I Do", 25 to Life" and especially "The Thirteenth Step", the last example not feeling like 'Criminal Minds, "Today I Do" like an inferior carbon copy of 'Misery' and "25 to Life" could have been good if it hadn't fallen apart so badly in the second half).

Ranking it with the other episodes, "Valhalla" is around high middle. It has very little wrong actually, and is very solid stuff, it just lacks the extra something that make the best 'Criminal Minds' episodes so good.

One of the biggest problems with "Valhalla" is Seaver. Have always considered her a dead-weight and a failure of a character by 'Criminal Minds' standards and in general, and "Valhalla" does absolutely nothing to change my mind. As well as being bland, an awkward fit in the team due to vast inexperience and lack of chemistry, annoying and prone to making dumb assumptions and asking even dumber questions, Seaver has nothing to do here and her presence is just pointless. Rachel Nicholls' acting limitations come through loud and clear too.

The opening sequence is not for the faint hearted either and may go over the heads of many on first viewing, it did with me and only when the team are talking about it was it made clearer. The profiling is nice with less conclusion jumping and over-reliance on the all-too-convenient "magic" computer, but there also could have been more of it, an issue with Season 6 in general actually.

However, as always "Valhalla" is great, looking stylish and atmospheric. The music is suitably moody, and the direction has the right mix of the alert and the sensitive. The script is nicely written and taut enough, especially in the scenes with the team and the character moments.

When it comes to the story, it does feel like build-up to what happens in the succeeding episode but it sets what's to follow nicely and there is a tension and sadness to it all. The character moments are more interesting than the case, which is still tightly plotted and with nice twists and turns, but what was truly great about "Valhalla" was the team's touching chemistry. Especially in the secret keeping between Prentiss and Reid, which makes the heart melt, the elevator scene with Prentiss and Rossi, that agreed is a fond reminder of previous scenes between them in previous episodes, and the parts between Prentiss and Morgan where one really sees how caring Morgan is towards Prentiss.

All the cast do a great job, Paget Brewster being particularly splendid in a performance that brings tears to the eyes. Matthew Gray Gubler, Joe Mantegna and Shemar Moore are also great in their standout scenes with her, one really feels Reid's tenderness and Morgan's compassion. Timothy V Murphy cuts an ominous presence, both in scenes he's in and in ones where he is talked about.

(Contrary to an online review read that inexplicably criticised his accent, his Irish accent is spot on considering that Murphy is actually Irish. Plus I have two friends from Ireland and the way they speak accent-wise is identical to Murphy's, much more authentic than the accents used when the Irish are stereotyped in especially cartoons, which some may mistake as the real thing. Very irrelevant to be talked about here, but just wanted to clear this up before anybody is misled.)

All in all, mostly build up for what was about to follow, but very solid episode on the whole that is worth seeing for especially the little character moments. With more profiling, a clearer opening sequence and Seaver preferably being written out completely it would have been even better. 7/10 Bethany Cox


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