Criminal Minds: Season 6, Episode 21

The Stranger (13 Apr. 2011)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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The BAU hunts a stalker in San Diego who is targeting college students. Meanwhile, the team comes under Strauss' scrutiny in the wake of the loss of Prentiss.



(created by), (as Kimberley Ann Harrison) , 2 more credits »
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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Greg Phinney
Kate Phinney
Det. Bryce Harding
Lily Droubay
Bob Jenkins
Rosemary Jenkins
Jake Ellison


The team heads to San Diego, California where three murders have occurred in five days. The unrelated victims were each brunette, female, college students (in different institutions) majoring in education or some aspect of child care, and were murdered in their off campus home. Each murder, caused by multiple stab wounds, was successively more violent. Because of the unpredictable nature of the victims' schedules, the team realize that the victims were targeted and stalked. They also come to understand that the victims are surrogates for who will be the unsub's ultimate target. During the investigation, more murders occur with slightly different M.O.'s where the child care issue becomes more a central theme and a key piece for the team to find the murderer before he kills again and before he gets to his final target. Meanwhile, Strauss reviews Hotch's grief assessments of the team. The scrutiny unnerves all on the team, but Strauss admits the reason for the scrutiny to Hotch. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis





Release Date:

13 April 2011 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


None of the universities mentioned in the episode actually exist in San Diego, CA. See more »


This episode is set in San Diego, but the notices posted on a bulletin board include a moving sale in Las Vegas and an alcohol support group meeting in Pittsburgh. See more »


Aaron 'Hotch' Hotchner: [voiceover] Stephen King wrote, "Sometimes human places create inhuman monsters."
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