The BAU search California's Angeles National Forest after a number of bodies mysteriously turn up in the mountain lakes there. Also, Rossi struggles with an agonizing decision regarding his ex-wife.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Whitaker
Lacey Campbell
Samantha Braun
Dr. Stacey Carroll
Evan Braun


The BAU is called to 1,000 square miled Angeles National Forest, California after three bodies are recovered from its Ridge Canyon Lake, a popular recreational area. The victims are all dark haired, muscular men. While those three bodies are being recovered, some boaters observing the police recovery team see their friend on shore, Nick Skirvin, being beaten and abducted by an unknown white male. Nick is later found dead alongside the forest's adjacent Lake Banter, but he doesn't fit the victim profile in that he is more slight and blonde, and the body was not found in the lake itself. When more victims are later found, the team notice that they are getting physically smaller. The team knows that the unsub is local and knows the area well, and the water burial has some significance to the ritual. After autopsies of the first four victims are conducted and some personal evidence is found on one of the latest victims, the team figures out why the unsub is killing, why there are signs of... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis





Release Date:

2 November 2011 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


In Chase's flashback to his father attempting to revive him, when young Chase is lying on the ground, you can see his chest rise. See more »


David Rossi: [voiceover] "To die is poignantly bitter, but the idea of having to die without having lived is unbearable." ~~ Erich Fromm
See more »


References Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »

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User Reviews

What happens after death?
17 March 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When on form, and even better at its best, 'Criminal Minds' is one of my most watched and most re-watched shows and is a personal favourite. It is nowhere near as good now, but there are still good to great episodes made every now and then when the show doesn't forget what it's about, but Seasons 1-5 was its prime period.

As far as Season 7 goes, "Epilogue" is up there among the better ones, on par with "Self Fulfilling Prophecy", "From Childhood's Hour", "Proof" and "Unknown Subject" and almost as good as "True Genius", "The Foundation", "Dorado Falls" and "The Company". Elsewhere Season 7 was very much mixed, though the only disappointments to me were "Closing Time", "Divining Rod" (and especially), "I Love You Tommy Brown" and "There's No Place Like Home".

To be honest, first impressions of "Epilogue" was one of uncertainty. The case seemed pretty run-of-the-mill and dull at first, with the past stuff initially confused, and there was the uncertainty as to whether the unsub's early reveal and prominence would be justified. Fortunately, the case gets significantly better with the only other fault being the poorly written tent scene which was an insult to common sense.

On the other hand, things pick up significantly after an unsure start. The case itself is suitably twisted and the more we're told the more interesting it gets and the more tense, suspenseful and creepy it gets. The life after death concept was an intriguing one and used to full potential, instead of making things weird or confusing it was handled thoughtfully. Usually tend to not care much for episodes with early unsub reveals and when they're unsub heavy, in "Epilogue" that all felt justified. There is nothing vague whatsoever about how he came to be that way and why, while one is given chills at what he does because of his circumstances one feels awful for him too.

Instead of taking over the story too much, Rossi's subplot is a case of a heavy issue handled sensitively and in a way that in the latter parts of the episode was heart-breaking, especially his conversation with Prentiss. It would help though to see "From Childhood's Hour" first, so that people aren't left in the dark about the situation and that potential unanswered questions are actually answered. As ever, the team interaction is delightful, especially in their concern for Rossi, and they work cohesively as a team with not too much of anybody and nobody invisible. Garcia has a couple of wicked one-liners here, that sees her as closer to the bubbly ray of sunshine of the earlier seasons than the melodramatic and annoying caricature that she could be in some later episodes (like "The Black Queen", "Burn" and "I Love You Tommy Brown").

Visually, the production values are without complaint. It's very well shot and lit and is overall stylish, gritty, classy and atmospheric. The music is moody in the haunting and melancholic sense and fits well, without either enhancing or distracting from it. The direction keeps the momentum going but lets the case breathe. Much of the script is thought-provoking, tightly structured and well-balanced.

As ever, the acting all round is very good, particularly from Joe Mantegna who brings a moving softer side to the normally sassy, old-school and hard-talking Rossi.

Overall, very good episode. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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